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Technology: From Beginning to End

Final Reflection Project for EDI 399: Technology Applications for Professionals
by

Chloe Owens

on 12 December 2012

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Transcript of Technology: From Beginning to End

Technology From Beginning to End From the Start What I Thought of Technology "I would define technology as machines that use computer chips, wiring, lighting, or electrical outlets to produce information, make information available, or make everyday tasks and/or needs easier to be completed and/or met. This would probably include, refrigerators, microwaves, computers, air conditioning/heating, lighting, laptops, radios, MP3 players/iPods, washing machines/dryers, hair straighteners, televisions, cell phones, game systems, sewing machines, etc. I think technology itself stands for improvement and the machines that we use to improve the things that we do; therefore it cannot and should not be limited to just computers and computer programs" (Owens, 2012b). From the start, I thought everything was technology. If it plugged into a wall or used batteries, I assumed that it was technology. Though there may be some truth to that, I think there is more to it. After taking EDI 399, I believe that technology is any program, system, or object that improves the way people live, learn, and communicate (Technology, 2012). This could include phones, which make it easier for people to stay in touch with one another, to automatic paper towel dispensers, which makes it easier for people to get paper towels, to almost anything you can think of. Has My Definition of Technology Changed From the Start? Yes and no. The examples I provided in week 1 still apply to what I believe technology is. However, I now have an actual definition of technology based on the common purpose of all technology, not just the few things I think they are all made of. Universal Design... ... & Technology from Class Me, Technology & Social Work How Will I Incorporate Technology Into My Social Work Practice? Podcasting & YouTube: I plan on using podcasts and YouTube as means of communication between my job and the community. It is important for social workers to educate the community they are in about social issues and ways the community can get involved in taking care of its issues, such as homelessness, rising crime, or education issues. Videos and podcasts are great ways to reach a wide variety of learners, such as visual learners and those who prefer to listen to receive information. PowerPoint & Prezi: Two ways of presenting information to groups, communities, and organizations are PowerPoint and Prezi. I would use these when community leaders are interested in being presented information about social issues they are facing. They can also be used in group work such as support or rehabilitation groups. PowerPoint can be use to present the topic to be discussed in each group meeting, Google Reader: Being a social worker not only means being active to educate the community about its issues but also being active in learning about growing issues in your community, problems in other places, and ways to tackle these issues. Google Reader is a great way to stay informed by subscribing to journals, news websites, and blogs. That way I can stay up to date with what is happening in the social work profession by subscribing to the appropriate sites. Searching
The
Internet And How I Research... Searching the Web from Google is not really searching the web; it is searching through an index of all of the information on the web. Using a spider system, Google search looks at the keywords that appear in a person's search and goes through millions of pages to see where these words appear, how many times they appear, the reliability of the websites that the words are found on, etc. (Cutts, 2010). Thanks to learning this information about Google and other search engines, "I now know how to weed out the sources or pages I do not want to get in my search, how to search two things at once, how to find sources or articles related to my topic that could be useful, and how to really identify which words are the most important in my search." (Owens, 2012a) Typing in a whole question to Google does not help when searching. The way Google and most other search engines work is by taking the words typed in the search bar and looking for those words in the index of pages they have. Therefore typing in a whole question searches all of the words a person types, including the unnecessary ones that are completely irrelevant and the ones that can add pages to the results that are far from what the person is actually looking for. (Cutts, 2010) Google also has many tricks that can be used such as using quotation marks to search for exact phrases, using "define:" in front of a word to search for the definition, using a minus sign in front of a word to exclude that word from a search, using certain symbols to find the answers to mathematical questions, and more (Vincent, 2011). Will Change Too! While I am still at Saint Louis University, I plan on utilizing the social work database for research that I need to do specifically for my major. As far as for other topics, By watching the YouTube video about JSTOR, I am better able to search for topics on databases, know how to better refine my search, like what format do I want the information to come in, how can I narrow down dates to fit my topic, and how do I separate sources I have access to and do not have access to (JSTORSupport, 2011). Collaborating and Presenting as a Social Worker Collaboration Presentation A great collaboration tool that I plan on utilizing as a social worker is wiki. Wiki spaces are great forums that can be used in the social work profession to facilitate online groups with an online discussion component or an educational page to inform viewers of public issues and general information they should be aware of. "Educational tools are often used in social work. Prezi could be used for presentations on a variety of topics. With the different themes that can be used, Prezi could be used to show cycles, timelines, paths or cycles, pros/cons of certain choices, plans for a nonprofit organization, and much more that could be applied to many social work topics like mental illness, abuse, homelessness, public policy, and poverty." (Owens, 2012d) Growing Information Literacy How have my information literacy skills improved this semester? What I Needed Help With:
"I would say that I need the most extra practice with, finding appropriate sources (where to look for them, what to search, databases versus search engines), getting to know the different types of sources there are and which are appropriate/best for what, and how many different formats can be used of one topic and still be creditable sources of information." (Owens, 2012c). “Information Literacy is defined as the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand” (Trawick, 2009). When I am researching in my psychology or social work classes, I now know which databases are appropriate for each subject. I also know different types of articles to look for depending on the formality of my paper. For example, on psychology assignments, I tend to need peer-reviewed, empirical journal articles published no earlier than 2000. Some social work assignments allow me to get less informative, more opinion based articles that did not need to come from a database. I know that for the majority of my research assignments, I am looking for peer-reviewed journal articles as opposed to newspaper articles, blog posts or discussion boards, and dissertations. Most of the time I need to find articles in databases such as PsychInfo or JSTOR instead of using search engines or even Google Scholar. What is Information Literacy? To The Finish How I Will Pursue Technology in Social Work The first steps I will take in continuing to learn about technology is to continue to expose myself to and utilize the different technologies I have been exposed to in Technology Applications for Professionals. Some of the things I have learned in class, such as Prezi and Google Reader, I already use now that I have learned more about them. I use Prezi for most of my presentations, and I use Google Reader to keep up with my favorite blogs, news sites, social work journals, and psychology journals. Other programs, such as Wiki and Blogger, I am less comfortable with, but I am going to work on incorporating them into how I collaborate with others and share information.

As new technologies are discovered and created, I will be more open to exploring those options and learning about them thanks to this class. One must be open to new things in order to learn, and that is the attitude I plan on having towards technology. Technology
To Will
Apply How I Social Work! For my major, I can use Prezi and PowerPoint as methods of presentation for class projects. I can make charts, graphs, and tables in Excel for projects like my senior paper that will require statistical analysis and graphs. I will continue to use Microsoft Word for papers. I could use podcasts as a source of information or make podcasts to go along with presentations. I want to try to use wikis for group projects; discussion boards are great ways to collaborate, especially since it is extremely hard for larger groups to meet in person all of the time. What are Social Workers Already Using? Some technology is already being utilized by social workers across the field. I plan on exploring these already existing websites, wikis, databases, and whatever else I can find! Some Interesting Things I Have Already Found! http://socialworkpodcast.blogspot.com/

This is a blog/podcast channel that deals specifically with all topics social work! Social Justice Solutions is an organization put together by social workers to fight for social welfare from a political standpoint (Brewster et al., 2012).

http://www.socialjusticesolutions.org/ http://libguides.slu.edu/socialwork

At Saint Louis University, Jane Gillespie has organized an online tool specifically for students studying social work, giving them access to social work databases, information about books pertaining to the subject, and more! First, what is universal design? According to Mace, it is "[t]he design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design” (as cited in collaco, 2010). So, were the technologies we learned in class made with universal design in mind? Let's take a look at Microsoft Word, podcasting, Microsoft PowerPoint, Prezi, SLU Global, and the NASW website and the seven principles of universal design. None of the six selected technologies are equitable in use. They do not provide identical or equivalent means to all users such as people who have visual disabilities like blindness or people who have physical disabilities like inability to move hands or the loss of hand and wearing of prosthetic hands or arms. They do not have voice commanded features, making it very difficult for those people to use those technologies.

Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Prezi are flexible in use because they provide different layouts to choose from and different zoom options so that users can appropriately manipulate the program to fit certain preferences. SLU Global provides options for its users to organize their home screens and course pages the way they want. The NASW website and podcasting, however, do not have features for users to manipulate the program to fit their preferences and are therefore not flexible in use.

Only the NASW website and SLU Global are not simple and intuitive. The other technologies provide multiple ways of interpreting the information, such as symbols, pictures, and words, so that people can understand what certain actions are for regardless of literacy skills, experience, or general knowledge. The NASW website and SLU Global are not because they require that users be able to read to gather information and do not provide other options. by Chloe Owens None of the technologies provide perceptible information because they do not provide options for certain groups of people with sensory limitations, such as those with extreme visual or tactile limitations.

Prezi, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, and podcasting have a tolerance for error. Each technology warns users before they exit the program if they have not saved their work. They also have undo buttons, spell checking functions, and options to edit multiple times. SLU Global does not have these features, including for messaging and discussion board posts. The NASW website does not either; for example, when members comment on articles, blog posts, or news stories, they cannot go back to edit comments if they have errors.

All of the technologies require low physical effort. Users can maintain a neutral body position throughout use of each and none of the technologies work with operating systems that require unreasonable amounts of effort.

The last principle, size and space for approach and use, does not apply to the technologies themselves as it does to the operating system that the user would be utilizing to access these different technologies. References Brewster, V., Cohen, M., Kidd, C., Johnson, N., Haven, A., Reilly, G. & Sicignano, M. (2012). About us. Retrieved from http://www.socialjusticesolutions.org/about-us-2/

Collaco, L. (2010, September). Universal design [PowerPoint slides].

Cutts, Matt [Google]. (2010, 04 March). How search works [Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHR6IQJGZs

JSTORSupport (2011, 14 February). Searching JSTOR [Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzINvzEBczU

Owens, C. (2012a). Owens4 [Word document].

Owens, C. (2012b). Week 1 assignment [Word document].

Owens, C. (2012c). Week 3: information literacy [Word document].

Owens, C. (2012d, 31 October). What you should know: domestic violence & emotional abuse [Prezi presentation]. Retrieved from http://prezi.com/hmn6wi-vlhfh/what-you-should-know-domestic-violence-emotional-abuse/

Technology. (2012). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/585418/technology

Trawick, T.C. [ttrawick]. (2009, February 17). Information literacy: what is it & who needs it [Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMQvAeQOVqs&feature=related

Vincent, Tony. (2011, 06 April). Google tricks [Prezi presentation]. Retrieved from http://prezi.com/mohshuoe-qcf/google-search-tricks/
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