Thing 23: Reflection

The end of 23 Things and I have enjoyed investigating the digital Things on offer: it was fun to take part in a Wikipedia Adventure, and to spend time exploring resources such as Lit Long:Edinburgh, Tumblr and SoundCloud. I particularly found Thing 5: Diversity to be very interesting and thought-provoking.

As a very private person with a tiny digital footprint I was anxious about the blogging aspect of the course but found it a useful way to reflect on my learning and a motivator to keep working through the Things. I had no difficulties in completing the Things and found all the links and signposting clear and intuitive – time management was a bit of an issue!

My initial blog post for 23 Things was:

I hope to use the 23things course to enhance my knowledge of digital “things” and use that knowledge to help staff and students in my Centre to develop their digital presence for research impact and for use in teaching and learning.

At the end of this course I feel that I have gained the knowledge to structure my use of digital tools to make better use of them – in YouTube and Twitter for example.  I now feel confident to create and edit Wikipedia pages – something I felt was for “others” before.  In terms of helping others with their research impact I now feel able to advise others on the risks and benefits of using a number of digital platforms to enhance their profiles and to increase their public engagement.   I look forward to returning to some of the Things that were new to me so that I can explore their potential to enhance my provision of support such as Storify and Kahoot.  I  have found this course to be useful and enjoyable and aim to continue to make time to engage with digital tools – one day I may even update my LinkedIn page!

Thing 22: Fun and Play

I downloaded Snapchat just for this course and we had a good time playing with it at home but I won’t be indulging regularly! I’m not the most open of online sharers and and my face after two days of intense 23Thing-ing staring at the screen isn’t at its best even with crazy filters (though it did cause hilarity among my nearest and dearest) so here is a snap chat of one of the many cans of Diet Coke I have consumed in the writing of this blog:snapchattest

Thing 21: Online Games and Learning Tools

I played around with Hour of Code last night and was transported back to the days of making cyan circles on the ZX Spectrum and typing in lines of code from magazines to unlock levels or cheats on games (perhaps on the Spectrum + by then).  Those of us of a certain vintage learned basic code by default as there was no option to download cheats or extras from elsewhere.  I’m glad that coding is now being taught in schools and that there are resources for everyone to have a go (although I’m not sure that my daughter, having moved a cursor with her gaze in her VR apps will see quite the same magic in changing the colour of a circle).  As a learner I found these games intuitive and useful.  I also had a look at the NMS games – they serve a purpose to consolidate learning but perhaps don’t offer much as stand alone games.  Finally I have just been looking at Kahoot.  I like this for consolidation of learning but can also see potential in using it in research workshops to introduce new ideas or explore the views of the group to stimulate discussion.  It was a bit difficult to go between two screens to play – I’ll have another go using my phone and pc to further explore the possibilities.

Thing 20: LinkedIn,, ResearchGate

This takes me in a neat circle back to the beginning, or at least to Thing 3, and my digital footprint.  I have profiles on all three of the above sites, all to allow me to look at information on others but none of which I use to interact with others.  I’m not sure of the worth of interactions with others from or ResearchGate in terms of finding collaborators; I think Twitter and traditional literature searches may be more fruitful, although there is no harm in linking publications as widely as possible.

I vowed in Thing 3 to update my woeful LinkedIn profile but have yet to do it – there are a number of groups it would be useful for me to join but I am reluctant to make a commitment to social media interactions unless I intend to make time to update my posts and connections.    This blog for 23 Things has been a useful exercise in making the time to “mind my social media” but as can been seen by the dates of my blog entries, I’m a bit of a binge participant.  I’ll work up to the interactive bit……

Thing 19: Altmetrics

I am familiar with Altmetrics having attended two seminars in the past (one from the Athena Swan perspective presented by a rep from and the other an internal presentation from an impact perspective).  I do use to chart impact of papers from our Centre but many non-D.O.I mentions (on Twitter for example) are not listed.  We have played around with DOI shorteners and other tools to try to get our own tweets to register but with little success.  A combination of and Google alerts/Google Scholar captures social media citations more effectively but I remain to be convinced that these can be used to measure impact across the board.  There is no doubt that being able to measure international impact of papers from those unable to travel due to caring commitments or other reasons helps to further equality, and that the significance of online sharing continues to grow, but at present altmetrics with a small “a”represents the use of a series of tools to measure impact rather than a definitive application.

Thing 17: Geolocation Tools

I’m glad I’m at home trying to catch up on 23Things as I have now lost an hour to Lit Long:Edinburgh!  Fascinating to read passages from literature through the ages referencing where I am sitting right now.  I will return to this as Scottish literature is a passion of mine.  Equally interesting from a local perspective was to see that there are a significant number of geocaches near me.  I have, however, had a bit of a lightbulb moment realising that geocaching is designed to introduce me to other places – I haven’t really been that keen on it before but will view it in a new light and drag the wean on a voyage of discovery when the sun next shines.

Thing 16: OneNote

I have recently started using OneNote at work as I find it really suits my way of organising notes.  The sections/pages layout allows me to break down topics/tasks well and I can access my notes anywhere.  I particularly like the screen clipping function as this allows me to pop in bits of presentations, for example, that I have found useful without having to look through the whole thing.  I am getting better at taking notes in meetings into OneNote and then fitting in the relevant bits of a presentation (if it has been made available) along with clippings from relevant websites and plans for the future; this allows me to make better use of what I have learned rather than it languishing somewhere to be retrieved (or not) at a later date.  I flirted with the notion of linking my Outlook tasks with my main “To Do” notebook but found it too cumbersome.

Thing 15: Tumblr/Storify

I’m going to return to Storify at a later date – I like the idea of rationalising my output this way but as I don’t have time right now, I thought I’d take a look at Tumblr instead – big mistake; here is a link to a Tumblr blog about overcoming procrastination!  I’ve spent far too long on Tumblr today – I don’t think I’ll be going back.

Thing 14 – podcasts

I love podcasts! I love radio and the realisation several years back that you could listen to featured programmes or topics at a time of your choosing (post tape-recorder and very early-mp3 player) was fantastic.  I still subscribe to podcasts now even though I could find most of the content through other platforms – I enjoy things being curated on my behalf – it helps to broaden my listening.  I don’t tend to use them for work in terms of listening but some of the EU-funded projects I support create podcasts as part of their dissemination activities.   For a wee link not related to my work, the Scottish Poetry Library on Soundcloud

Thing 13 – YouTube

I watched the course on YouTube and enjoyed finding out more about the monetisation of videos – I can’t imagine racking up in excess of 100 hours of interest in anything I may upload but who knows?   I tend to search for videos as and when I need them therefore have never set up an account as I have used Vimeo and latterly Media Hopper for hosting videos for work.  I won’t be using my new login for sharing on social media but have set up a channel for talks on presentation skills, looked at a TED talk which had creative commons permissions and checked out the settings for screen readers.    A wealth of information and nonsense at our fingertips.  I will better organise and save my searches going forward.