The phrase a picture is worth a thousand words could not be more true in the world of technology. Athletic departments can make web pages more visually appealing by adding pictures and a good picture is key. Many sites are available to edit and add special effects to pictures. The photo below was edited using http//:pho.to/. It was simple to use and it doesn't even require an individual to set up an account. I highly recommend this site to make photos stand out.
I have never thought to use technology to create a personal learning network. I have a group of people, numerous textbooks, and some professional websites that I consult to learn new things on a regular basis, but I was unaware that one could use sites such as Scoop.it to create an online learning zone. I was excited to create my own online PLN and chose to use Scoop.it. I chose this site because the informational video made it seem simple to use and compared it to Tumblr which I am familiar with. I set up an account easy enough, but that is when the ease of use stopped. I felt the site did not give good enough instructions to people unfamiliar with RSS feeds. I finally figured out how to add blogs to my sources through RSS feeds, but I still cannot get the posts to show up on my dash board in order to scoop. So it is really not creating a shortcut to learning from these blogs so far.
I do like that it searches Google, news, YouTube, and twitter for key words automatically so I was able to gain access to many articles about athletic training that I would not have found for myself. I think this is the function that I would use Scoop.it for. Not to create a PLN of specific sites, but use it as a source to stay current on what is being added about athletic training.
The blogs that I added to my PLN were the BOC blog and media room, Brian Schiff’s blog, Concussion Wise, and Athletic Medicine. I chose these sites because I search these websites regularly for information and updates on athletic training. I would have liked to add the NATA website and the CATA website but these websites did not have an RSS link. Since I am unfamiliar with using RSS feeds I do not find this as a useful tool for my learning. As I get more familiar with it and use it more, I think it will become more helpful. I have added the RSS feed for my topic of athletic training from Scoop.it to the home page so that the articles I scoop will be available to anyone who views my PWP.
I think the internet is a great resource for learning. It gives individuals access to vast amounts of research at their fingertips. No longer do individuals have to wait to get a question answered, especially if one has a smart phone. Questions can be answered by the touch of a button in literally seconds. The internet has greatly impacted my own learning. It has allowed me to pursue my master’s degree online in the comfort of my home. I did not have to quit my job and relocate in order to pursue higher education which has been very beneficial for me professionally as well as personally.
The internet is the first place I turn to when researching or learning new things. I usually start with a general google search to see what information is out there and what information people searching the subject are reading. Especially if an athlete asks me a question I am unfamiliar with, I look at Wikipedia so that I can see what they have probably already looked at. This gives me a basic picture of the topic. I then go to professional organization websites such as the NATA or NCAA to gain more reliable information. If these sites do not have what I am looking for I search for peer reviewed journal articles through a library database such as PubMed or Ebsco. This usually answers my questions.
Although, caution should be warranted when getting information online. Individuals need to make sure that the sites are reliable and the information presented is indeed accurate. It is very easy to create web pages and present information as fact when it is not. So I always make sure to fact check information I obtain from a website that I am unsure of its credibility. It can also get distracting when trying to research something on the internet. There is so much information available it is easy to get overwhelmed or sidetracked. To avoid this, I always make sure I search for a specific topic or try to answer a certain question before I start my search so that I can stay focused. If I come across something interesting but not relevant to the task at hand, I will write it down to come back to it when I am done researching. This reduces distractions and allows me to get my research done in a timely manner.
I am lucky enough to be a part of the 17% that Buckingham was talking about in his video. My job as an athletic trainer allows me to play to my strengths. I think the place that I feel is my sweet spot is problem solving. I love to solve things—be it an injury, mathematical equation, or a jigsaw puzzle. I like being presented with a problem and work my way towards the solution. For example, nothing thrills me more than an athlete coming in with pain and I am able to pinpoint the problem, create a treatment program, and decrease or limit that pain. With that being said, I have a really hard time dealing with the unknown. I want to know and it is a struggle for me to accept that I might not be able to find a solution or an exact diagnosis. I have learned to deal with this aspect of my job by reaching out to more qualified professionals. That is a great aspect of having the sports medicine team. I can ask other athletic trainers, the coach, or the team physicians in order to get a greater understanding of an injury, the sport, or a tricky diagnosis.
Another thing that I love about athletic training and that my current position provides is the freedom to create and do things my own way. I have the freedom to create individualized treatment plans, taping techniques, and educational materials as I see fit. This allows me to play to my strengths because I get to decide what medium I want to accomplish these goals. For example, I like to create email blasts and handouts that I deliver to athletes to inform them of specific topics such as injury prevention, nutrition tips, or upcoming events; rather than addressing big groups of people. I feel totally out of my comfort zone when I have to perform in front of big groups of people, so I avoid it as much as possible. I feel more comfortable connecting with people on a one-to-one basis. Having the freedom to do things my own way allows me to play to my strengths because I get to choose what works best for me.
Microblogging (like Twitter) is a great way to reach many people instantly. It is a tool that all athletics programs should incorporate. It can let fans know about upcoming special events, game results, or schedule changes. It can be used to remind people to come support the athletics program and also attract new fans, because it is free advertising. In today’s technological society, it is an essential tool in order to reach a broader fan base that would be impossible to do through email, a conventional website, or signs alone. And best of all, many people are already using microblogging on a regular (and sometimes obsessive) basis, so the information that is sent is sure to be seen by a vast array of people.
Since many people have the potential to see such posts, it is very important that an organization or an individual presents themselves in a professional manner at all times. Microblogging can really promote a program or an individual, but it can also damage a reputation if one is careless. Making sure that posts are appropriate at all times is key to successful microblogging.
Having a PWP is a great asset to a person’s professional portfolio. It gives current and prospective employers access to an individual’s best work and helps introduce the individual in a professional way. It allows easy access which can come in handy when networking with individuals across the country. The best feature for having a personal web presence is that it allows an individual to take control of what information is being presented about themselves on the internet. A well-developed PWP also has the ability to show employers that an individual is tech savvy which can be a huge asset in today’s culture.
I looked at multiple PWP’s before creating my own to get a sense of what elements I wanted to include in my own. The first one I looked at was Michelle Culpepper’s PWP, which can be found at http://mculpepper.weebly.com/index.html. Her PWP was very visually appealing. She used a variety of media including links, videos, and pictures. I liked how her home page included a message that she used throughout her pages. She also used the pages very effectively. It was easy to navigate and looked very professional. I would have liked to see a blog page in order to see her personal views on topics. Since her PWP was mostly professional, the blog would have helped me connect more with who she is as a person as well as her accomplishments. I think she did an amazing job and this PWP will definitely help her in future career opportunities.
The second PWP that I looked at was DeAnna Butler, which can be found at http://deannabutler.weebly.com. DeAnna’s PWP was also very visually appealing although it lacked the variety of media that Michelle incorporated into her PWP. Unlike Michelle, she had a blog page that gave her personal opinion on topics in the field. I thought this was a very nice addition because she was able to blend the right amount of personal with professional. I really got a feel for her. I also liked that her home page was very simplistic, but her effective use of tabs made it easy to learn about her and her accomplishments. I really like how she had a separate contact button to make contacting her easy and efficient. I would have liked to see more pictures to enhance the text on some of the pages but I think she also did an amazing job of representing herself.
For my PWP, I will include similar elements that Michelle and DeAnna used. I want to make sure that my PWP is visually appealing so I will use pictures to enhance my text. I will incorporate a blog post so that people can get a sense of my personality and views about topics related to my field. I will also include separate pages that include an about me, philosophy, experience, portfolio, education, and a contact me. The two biggest things that I took away from Michelle and DeAnna’s PWPs is that I want to make sure that I present a professional web page that incorporates some personal aspects so that current and future employers get a real sense of who I am.