So. My final post. Most of us would agree that we’ve had a lot of fun with the blog this semester. It’s been one of my favorite aspects of the class. It’s enabled us to augment in-class discussions with references we remembered after we separated, draw each other’s attention to various internet oddities, and enrich our understandings of the class’ texts through reading others’ thoughts and analyses. I would’ve liked it if, occasionally, we had been more critical of each other’s ideas, specifically each other’s reading responses. For the most part, though, we sustained an intriguing dialogue. In fact, the blog is the first icon on my bookmarks menu, which I click on nearly as often as my Gmail and Reader tabs. Absentmindedly accessing the blog is almost as automatic as typing in ‘facebook.com’ after opening my browser window. Seeing no new updates will feel pretty weird for awhile.
I’ve learned more in this class than in any other this semester. I’m pleased to report that I’m now familiar with HTML coding, the history of online communities, and copyright law, all of which I will be of great use to me in the future. By the end of my first day of class (others’ third or fourth class, if I remember correctly—I came in late), I could define ‘the Internet’ and ‘the World Wide Web’ without any external aid (perhaps this sounds insignificant, but it’s not—I had attempted to distinguish the difference between the two terms multiple times before, and, each instance, left the webpage or encyclopedia entry I had accessed without a definitive answer and slightly more confused than before.)
Class discussions continually excited me. I especially appreciated viewing YouTube videos and Internet memes as a group, then thinking critically about them. Out-of-class work was engaging, too. I thoroughly enjoyed many of our readings. My favorites were those regarding online social networking. Many of my daily activities, from checking Twitter to sharing links with friends, are conducted differently thanks to our studies. Clive Thompson’s explanation of ‘ambient awareness’ and propositions on close versus weak ties stuck with me, and I’m now much more conscious of how online engagement affects my relationships.
Most significantly, perhaps, our labs have been challenging and fun. Not only did they foster a deeper understanding of our readings, but, for me, they allowed for a much-needed creative release. The web and video projects, especially, I loved.
Thanks for an awesome semester, everyone. Perhaps we’ll come together again after Professor Fitzpatrick returns from her sabbatical!