'TechnoChickHenOldBoiler' was the wonderfully evocative category I invented for this categeory of blog discussion way back before I ever imagined that I'd be enrolled in an online course at FutureLearn called 'Web Science: How the Web is Changing the World'. Prescient perhaps, and very glad to be!
As part of the first week of the course we have to consider our usage of the web. Those of you who know me more intimately on Facebook especially, will know that I'm an avid user of the web. I adore the many opportunities for random learning that it provides. Of course I still steer the direction of my learning in that I'll dismiss clicking links to celebrity news, but otherwise new directions in art or old archaelogical discoveries or my son telling me about a new podcast from the BBC, or his morning's snippet that French women banned wearing the burqa are staying indoors and creating web businesses, have the power to turn my head and have it snapping and my fingers typing phrases into Google which I just did, and voila, wow!
A fascinating class exercise asked us to copy our browser history and paste it into a table which graphed our actual usage. It was skewed a lot as I use my iPhone for most of my web usage and my laptop far less often. However, it was still a revealing exercise. FutureLearn was my big winner followed by FaceBook and craft online tutorials. Not that much a shock I guess. The laptop screen is much bigger than my iPhone and iPad, and is therefore the logical choice, but at least it raised my awareness, hence the object of the exercise.
We were then asked to respond by presenting this information in a table or form which would illustrate our use of the web. This was the kind of creatively intellectual challenge that appealed to me immediately. If we had a blog we were encouraged to use that platform!!! My visual response, as a visual learner and a lover of visual images, was to use my blog Magpie monniker Profile photograph and play around with Paint tools.
The course unit 'Examining personal Web usage' question asks: " Do you think your usage is typical - and does it depend on your age, lifestyle, class, race, nationality or professional status?"
Context is ALL. I am a retired, middle-aged, middle class Australian woman with post-graduate educational qualifications. I have 'enough' of everything for my perceived needs - enough time, enough of what is needed to sustain me. My health is the only thing that is problematic.
So, compared to many people across the world, my Web usage is not typical. I am fortunate to live in a country that is not war torn and that has a solid economy that affords people a lifestyle that allows many to pursue educational goals beyond those needed to make a living.
Compared to many women who share my socio-eonomic background, my Web usage is similar. Compared to those women again, my blog usage is probably much higher, comparatively.
Most of my friends on Facebook do not appear to use the Web to the same extent as I do. This may be an erroneous assumption because they may not be as forward or as extroverted as I am in sharing their discoveries and discussing the implications of what they encounter or sharing the range of their blogging interests.
If you scroll down the right hand side of my blog you can see that I call this blog, 'Magpie's Nest', my Mothership Blog. Attached to this blog are my other blogs that reflect my other interests such as ceramics painting; learning flute and piano as an adult; patchworking; knitting, and reading.
Without the creativity of the multimedia Web tools and the links to other sites, and the sheer intellectual creativity of blogging, my mental world would be severely impoverished. Followers are not what I'm after. I couldn't cope with the pressure. A select few perhaps. It is the creativity of multimedia composition and FaceBook as a publishing forum, and a couple of my craft circles, that truly sustains me.
Sooooooo, Web Science Me!!!!! I'm loving it!!!!!