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Get Rid of Those Bad Apples


In looking through the blog choices for this week, the Work Matters blog stood out to me. I’ve worked since I legally could (and the typical babysitting prior to that) so work for me has always mattered. In clicking this link, I found Bob Sutton’s writing engaging and also gives the reader a bit of a chuckle. His style of writing is almost pointing out the common sense in things, yet somehow these topics might not necessarily seem obvious. His blogging is pretty addictive; I’ve read about five in a row now.

He has covered an array of topics but a similar theme I found is separating the good from the bad. In the blog posting I’m focusing on for this week, Sutton is arguing Bad is Stronger than Good . What I find interesting is he describes the first order of business is to actually eliminate the negative in a working environment prior to even thinking of acknowledging the positive. In bosses providing positive reinforcement and career development for individuals, this seems to create a more productive environment. While bringing in great people and rewarding their efforts is beneficial, Sutton feels ‘bad apples’ will undermine this culture. Continue reading

Please Read Before Your Bedtime


After browsing through the blog options for this assignment, my interest was peaked when I read through the posts on The Happiness Project site. I stumbled upon the post, “A Secret to More Happiness and Energy? Give Yourself A Bedtime,” in which the writer, The Happiness Projectbook author Gretchen Rubin, discusses the importance of adults getting a good night sleep, that being seven to eight hours every night, and how it is the key to having more energy and overall a happier life. So, how do you actually get a good night’s rest? Well, that’s easy. Take a tip from your childhood and give yourself a bedtime! By setting a specific time to be in bed, putting down your phone, computer, kindle, Ipad and Ipod, you let your brain relax, and begin to fall asleep at the actual point that your body is tired. After reading her blog, I began to think about my own sleeping patterns and how college students in general differ in their sleeping habits.

So I try my best to be in bed, on most weeknights, by 11 or 11:30 PM. I know that I am the type of person who is more efficient when I have a good night’s rest under my belt and I am definitely more energized for my day’s activities. When reading other people’s comments about Rubin’s post, I decided to dig a little deeper about ways to strengthen one’s sleeping pattern in order to ensure a better night’s sleep and more energy. So, of course, I turned to my favorite medical site, WebMD. I used this site all the time when I was abroad for I was too afraid to go to a Czech doctor and decided I would use its symptoms checker to self diagnose myself (which I did successfully twice with bronchitis). So, in addition to Rubin’s suggestion of setting a bedtime, I found in the article, What’s Zapping Your Energy, that regularizing your sleep-wake patterns, meaning getting up and going to bed at the same time everyday, ritualizing your cues for good sleep, only using your bed for sleep, and resisting temptations such as caffeine and alcohol, can all contribute to overall better sleeping patterns. “Sleep busters” such as stress or anxiety, noise, caffeine, or an overcommitted schedule can all attribute to poor sleeping patterns, which can be remedied by the aforementioned suggestions.

Now, I am a realist, and most college students do not necessarily get a perfect seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Take for instance finals week, students pull all nighters for exams or research papers and are ready to go the next morning with just a cup of coffee. So, they might be running on adrenaline, but I know of people who only get four or five hours of sleep a night and still have the energy of a busy bee the next day. I have never pulled an all nighter, and if I did, I would be in bed the whole next day trying to catch up on all the sleep I had missed.

I think, overall, I do a good job at getting a significant amount of sleep each night and have enough energy to make it through the day. The question is… do you? How many hours of sleep do you get each night? What types of things help you fall asleep? Have any suggestions for those who are still counting sheep?

Also… check out my friend’s mom’s Bedtime Network’s site! Explore the site and see what they have to say about the secrets to a good night’s sleep!

 

Positives and Negatives of Classroom Blogging


Classroom Blogging

Positives

One of the most substantial gains that classroom blogging can contribute to an academic class is that blogging is a forum through which students are encouraged to actively participate consistently. On a blog, there is no privacy to keep ones rambling thoughts and ideas from being shared with the greater part of the class. Therefore, the peer-reviewing pressure encourages students to bring their “A-game” for each post that they publish to a class blog. Furthermore, this type of classroom communication allows others to critically evaluate others work by commenting underneath each post. Such a technique enables students to be actively engaged in others contributions to the class, ultimately forcing students to read other individuals’ thoughts as well as critically evaluate these posts. Students are also able to receive immediate feedback from comments from fellow classmates.

The theory behind “two heads is better than one” has shown to be true. We are all indelibly ingrained with unique ways of perceiving and processing information, thus our different neural networks allow us to take differing perspectives on the same issues. Through blogging, students are able to learn from others’ posts and work off of these ideas to produce a better end-product. Even better, all of these ideas are captured on one forum, as opposed to spread out in individual papers. All students have access to all ideas, whether recent or old.

Continue reading

You want me to do what??


From an early age, I can remember my English courses preaching on the importance of sticking to MLA format, having a few drafts before turing in a final one, and spending countless hours preparing such a report. But now I keep hearing this blogging word floating around. Do you mean to tell me I can speak my mind without having to follow a set of guidelines? Interesting.

Blogging has become one of the most dominant forces on the Internet since its inception in the late 1990’s. The sky is the limit for self-proclaimed bloggers and blogging as a whole, as this whole new aspect to idea sharing and social-media is still very early in development.

When first hearing about blogging, it never really interested me as I figured it was more geared toward those Geek Squad guys over at Best Buy. Little did I know, blogging is one of the most used tools by intellectuals and students of my age. Now that I am a member of this class, I have to admit, this is my first time as a “blogger”. Now that you know about the relationship between myself and blogging, let’s take a closer look into the role that blogging plays in education.

As I pointed to earlier, blogging is an excellent writing tool that can be utilized essentially at any location with WIFI and a compatible device. This is obviously a major advantage over standard writing methods that require MLA format, as is commonplace. Moreover, blogging creates a port for writers to express their thoughts on a much more frequent and informal basis. In a way, it makes writing not so much a task but rather an engaging experience that taps into a wide variety of audiences rather than just a professor. Finally, blogging can be an excellent tool for tweaking and strengthening one’s writing abilities. Students required to blog every week in addition to formal writing requirements are bound to be ahead of those students who just engage in formal writing requirements.

On the other hand, blogging can inspire one to abandon all those years of English courses and MLA format. It could also be seen as a source of unwanted rebellion and anarchy. Another downside of blogging is the fact that bloggers can potentially defame anyone or anything. Furthermore, because of the massive size of blogging it would seemingly go unnoticed. To be concise, blogging can spread the wrong kind of message about expressing one’s self. But then again that can also be an upside to blogging. All in all, I believe that blogging is a positive writing utensil when utilized correctly and in the right context. Some people are greatly opposed to it. But how could they be when we pride ourselves on being American and “free”.

 

Blogging in Education


Teachers are introducing students to blogging as early as elementary school.  Some educators who advocate for blogging as a learning tool suggest that it motivates students to want to write.  At an early age, students feel less pressure in blogging and it is an outlet for brainstorming ideas before writing a formal paper.  In addition, students take their blogging assignments more seriously.  They are more apt to use correct grammar and express their ideas in a logical way because they know that other people are going to read and assess their writing style and ideas.

At a later stage in education, blogging presents an outlet to collaborate with others about new ideas.  Students are able to both give and receive feedback on their writing and ideas.  This presents students with the opportunity to gain the opinions of others and focus their thoughts before engaging in a formal writing assignment.  It also gives the writer new knowledge about the aspects of their writing that may be unclear to the reader and ideas that could be explained in a different way.

Blogging is also helpful for students to practice expressing their ideas through writing.  We are all accustomed to voicing our opinions in class.  Blogging forces us to articulate our ideas in a new way and back up our arguments with solid evidence.  Another aspect of blogging is knowing your audience.  Audience awareness is an important aspect of writing and blogs allow students to experiment and learn about the appropriate writing style for different audiences.

The lack of confidentiality in blogging may cause students to hold back their opinions.  Students may fear criticism from classmates or other outside people.  It may also cause tension instead of collaboration if students begin competing for blog posts.  Some educators have also stayed away from blogging in a classroom setting because they feel students are less likely to use proper grammar and punctuation and this may cause poor writing habits.  Although these concerns about blogging in education may be true for some students, I believe the positive aspects of blogging far outweigh the negatives.  Blogging is new to education and as it matures, I believe we will see it more and more from educators and students.

Blogging: Friend or Foe?


The new wave of fast-paced technology has allowed more information to be shared publicly. Blogging, brought on by this new culture of innovation, has become increasingly popular. Bloggers write about many different issues, from politics to fashion, and may allow others to comment on their posts in order to foster a sense of community and the spread of information globally. While some people see blogging as a useful tool, others view it as taking away from the way they were taught to write, and a mere means of providing opinions rather than facts.

Supporters of blogging say that it is a powerful tool to express an idea and receive feedback from many different people with varying backgrounds. At the Institute St. Joseph, the Principal calls blogging “a virtual extension of the classroom”.Blogging has been used for educational purposes, such as teachers posting assignments, receiving assignments, and responding. Also, teachers are able to open the realm of communication further since members of the community can react to current issues that may be discussed in class. Therefore, students are able to learn how to express themselves through writing and can also learn more through their conversations with members of the community.

A quote from the movie Contagion that struck me is, “Blogging is not writing, it’s just graffiti with punctuation.” I remember this from the movie because it made me think about what kind of impact the new wave of blogging may have on the development of writing skills and education. Indeed, critics of blogging believe that it is not real writing, it is teaching kids to write poorly, and it provides little insight. While I believe there are people out there who do not write blogs as eloquently as others, I believe the majority of people who really spend the time blogging are doing it well, and for a good cause.

I learned through my research that many people believe bloggers began receiving recognition only after September 11th occurred. News casters reviewed many blogs during this time to gain more information and have access to video recordings that they otherwise would not have found. Commentator Catherine Seipp recalls, “But after September 11, a slew of new or refocused media junkie/political sites reshaped the entire Internet media landscape. Blog now refers to a Web journal that comments on the news—often by criticizing the media and usually in rudely clever tones—with links to stories that back up the commentary with evidence.” I thought it was really interesting that this tragedy brought so many people together in this way, and was a huge contributor to the development of blogging.

Blogging in writing and education – the convergence of technology in the classroom


With the advent of technology and the large audience one can gain by sharing their thoughts on the Internet, it’s no wonder there are millions of blogs in cyberspace on any subject one could be interested in.  Blogging has given people a voice who may have not had an audience to share their voice with before.  Blogging also allows gifted writers and storytellers, as well as those with certain media connections, to provide unadulterated information to the public.  In fact, blogging has become so popular, and more importantly influential, that blogs with large audiences (high traffic volume) stand to make money through advertisements, and partnerships, among other things.  Blogging has given a voice to everyone who desires one, and with technology transforming the way we communicate (e.g. iPhone, cloud computing, etc.), blogs can be maintained and altered in seconds from a mobile device or tablet.  Because education is such a hot topic in today’s society, its no wonder blogging, among many other technologies, has invaded the classroom.   Continue reading

Blog Post 2 Instructions


  1. Find something “real” from Enron.  By real, I mean actual documents, voices, or material of the real people and events of the Enron case.  Avoid journalism in the from of articles.  This may be court documents, documentaries, oral histories, blogs form insiders FROM THAT time, Sherry Watkins memo and so on.  Hint: I know some business schools wrote cases praising Enron… that would be Ok also.  Discuss what you found and what it adds to our knowledge of Enron.  Hint: Use the footnotes in the Enron case for some ideas.
  2. Discuss role of blogging in writing and education.  What are pros and cons?  What have others said about this?
  3. Read and respond to the Stanford Encyclopedia article on business ethics.  Link to article.
  4. Provide more background on any of the big thinkers we have read about- C. Wright Mills,  Aristotle, John Stuart Mills and utilitarianism, or Kant.  Use hyperlinks or otherwise include sources you find.  Funny, interesting, or zany information, as long as it is accurate are ok.

Also,

You can check off each of these tasks…

Blog Skills Checklist for Session 3

  • You have changed your display name to something that makes sense.
  • You have added a real image for your avatar.
  • You know how to use categories and tags when crafting a post.
  • You know how to use the “read more” insert into a post so your post does not chew up the whole front page.
  • You know how to find the wordpress.com support.
  • You know how to include hyperlinks in your posts.
  • You know how to include multimedia in your posts.

BLOG INSTRUCTIONS

Blog 5 before session 6 What (interest) or Who (person) Inspires You? For this week’s prompt, the Blog Council wants you to examine how this class relates to your own interests. So, please write about how this class relates to some of your own intellectual or other learning interests. We are NOT interested in how it relates to a specific career goal. Plan B: same idea, but based on a person. See whole post for details.

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