Week 5 – e Learning Resources

Remember AsknLearn (or something similar to it)? That portal which you were supposed to log in and do some quiz during those holidays e learning days to do some learning?

AsknLearn was the e learning portal that I had to use for e learning in primary school, all the way to JC.

Back in those days, e learning was mostly about reading some long passage and doing some long quiz related to the passage. To be honest, I didn’t feel like I really learned anything through that portal. I guess I didn’t find it interactive due to its one-way format.

learning

It wasn’t this bad tho… 

image source

Besides, e learning can be quite frustrating at times. There were times when I was doing timed quizzes and the page wouldn’t load to the next page of questions. Sigh. 

Anyway, as far as I could remember, the main purpose of introducing us to e learning portals back in primary school was to allow us to virtually attend school when we couldn’t physically go to school in times of crisis and outbreaks.

Of course, e learning portals are used due to its convenience. Students can access it and learn anytime and anywhere (as long as there’s stable and fast internet) without having to physically attend school.

Despite its flaws, e learning has undoubtedly made learning and education more accessible to people with internet access. People can now attend courses virtually taught by teachers from all around the world at the comfort of their homes. e learning portals are now more interactive as well.

Furthermore, e learning saves money. Not only does it cut the cost of travelling from place to place, most online courses are inexpensive. Some of them are even free!

 

minions

Free?! Ahhhhh

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With the myriad of online courses available on the internet, there’s no way anyone can try and use all of them.

Out of the various online courses out there, here are 5 of them that you should know and give it a try.

1. edX

edX provides a huge variety of online courses, ranging from architecture all the way to social scienes. Unlike other online courses, the classes at edX have specific durations and lengths. Students will also get certificates upon completion of the course. Best of all, you get to attend courses from renowned institutions such as MIT and Oxford!

2. Khan Academy

If you prefer to learn on specific topics, Khan Academy is the portal to go for. The courses are video-based. Students can pick which topics they wanna learn without taking the whole subject. For instance, if you’re only interested in evolution but not the whole subject of biology, you can just watch a video on evolution. Other subjects offered include computer animation and economics. Best of all, it’s absolutely free!

3. Skillsoft

For those who want to upgrade their skills especially for work-related purposes, Skillsoft caters to that need. Courses offered are more work-related. They include leadership development, MS Office applications and software development.

4. Codecademy

As the name suggests, it allows users to learn coding. It teaches users to make a website, HTML, SQL and coding languages such as Java. What’s cool about it is that it has a live practice window which allows you to practice coding while looking at the course material. And it’s free too!

5. Coursera

Last but definitely not the least, Coursera needs no introduction. For those who has been living under a rock, Coursera is pretty much similar to edX (and probably the more well-known equivalent of it). It offers courses such as history, engineering and Korean from various prestigious institutions such as Stanford and Yale at no cost!

For more online education resources:

http://www.gettingsmart.com/2012/09/50-top-sources-of-free-elearning-courses/

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/money/25-killer-sites-for-free-online-education.html

Week 4 -E-commerce

I came across the concept of e-commerce when I was in secondary school. One of my friends had started buying clothes online and she was eagerly telling me how convenient it was.

“You can just buy whatever you want from home! You don’t even need to leave your house to shop!”

E-commerce is a platform whereby people can buy and sell goods and services electronically. Most e-commerces are found on the Internet.

Nowadays, it is uncommon for businesses and government agencies not to have a website where people can purchase and carry out transactions online from the comfort of their homes. Given the myriad of benefits of e-commerce, such as conveniene and cost reductions,  it’s no surprise that businesses and government agencies are jumping on the e-commerce bandwagon.

Basically, there are 6 basic types of e-commerce.

1. Business to Business (B2B)

B2B e-commerce refer to businesses that buy and sell goods and services electronically. The transaction between a manufacturer and a supplier depicts this type of e-commerce. Alibaba is one example of it.

2. Business to Consumer (B2C)

Amazon, ASOS and Zalora are B2C e-commerces. B2C e-commerce is probably one of the e-commerce types that we’re most familiar with. It is the type of e-commerce whereby consumers buy goods and services from businesses. The online shop that my friend was talking about is an example of this.

3. Consumer to Consumer (C2C)

This is probably another kind of e-commerce that we’re most familiar with. Basically, this is the e-commerce whereby transactions are generally between customers. Carousell is a type of C2C e-commerce as it allows consumers to buy and sell their things (old and new) online.

4. Consumer to Business (C2B)

As the name suggests, this is the opposite of B2C e-commerce. C2B e-commerce allows consumers to provide and sell their goods and services to businesses. A consumer can sell his/her idea to a business through a C2B e-commerce. An example of it is iStockphoto, which is a platform for consumers to sell their photographs, images and designs to businesses.

5. Business to Administration (B2A)

This platform essentially allows online transactions between businesses and government agencies. This includes filing corporate taxes and applying for permits and licenses. Bizfile is a B2A platform that allows online applications for setting up a company in Singapore.

6. Consumer to Administration (C2A)

Similar to B2A e-commerce, C2A entails online transactions between consumers and government agencies. IRAS is an example of C2A platform, where it allows people to file their income taxes.

Sources:

http://bloomidea.com/en/blog/types-e-commerce

Week 3 -Social Media Management Tools

I never knew social media management tools existed until a few days ago when my lecturer mentioned it in class. Like my peers, I have been using social media for quite some time and I thought that I was pretty familiar with them but I guess I was wrong (again).

I only recently learned that there are apps and tools that help to manage several social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Some of these tools mentioned in class are Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, TweetDeck and DashBurst. I guess I didn’t know about these management tools because I don’t post much on my social media accounts. I also don’t see the need of having an app that manages my social media accounts since I only use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Anyway, since this week we learned about social media management tools, I’ll talk a bit about them.

There are various social media management tools that serve various purposes. These tools can be used for both personal and business purposes. (I personally think that these tools are more useful for business and marketing purposes.)

One social media management tool that I personally find pretty useful is TweetDeck. It allows users to schedule their tweets. This means that users can plan when to post their tweets by choosing specific times and dates for their tweets to be posted. I started using TweetDeck recently as I have to post tweets regularly for my UGC 111 class. Sometimes I like to write my tweets early but I do not want to post them immediately. So I use TweetDeck to schedule these tweets to be posted later.

Here’s a video on how to use TweetDeck:

Click here for more information about the functions of TweetDeck.

Another social media management tool that looks pretty useful to me (even though I have never used it…yet) is Hootsuite. Its functions include managing all of users’ social media accounts in one place, providing analytics so that users can spot trending topics and hashtags easier, and tracking messages and mentions on the different accounts.

One function of Hootsuite that looks cool is that it allows collaboration. A team of people can be assigned to handle different groups of messages or streams. It also ensures that multiple replies by different team members to the same message do not occur. Oh, imagine the horror awkwardness if a customer gets different replies from a company’s social media account!

Anyway, here’s a video on how to use Hootsuite:

Click here for more information about the functions of Hootsuite.

Week 2- Social media benefits and risks

Nowadays, having and using a social media account is common among people of all ages. Social media is no longer occupied by youths and millennials who were in their teens when Facebook first came into existence.

For instance, I found out a few days ago that some of my uncles, aunties and even one of my youngest cousins have Facebook accounts!

Social media use is not only prevalent among youths, but also among people of our parents’ age and children too.

With so many people of various ages connected to each other on social media, it would be a waste if businesses and organisations do not leverage on social media to promote their products and spread their cause.

Due to social media’s huge audience, broad reach and connectivity, people can share whatever you post on social media instantly and posts can go viral easily. Likewise, people can come across these viral posts almost instantly.

One excellent example of a viral social media campaign was a PSA video posted by Sandy Hook Promise Organisation in December 2016.

This video managed to highlight a really strong point about school shootings.

While there are benefits of social media, there are also risks.

You’d think that companies who have social media presence know the downsides of social media and are mindful of what they post on the Internet. But nope, there are still so many companies that (maybe accidentally on purpose) posted inappropriate things online.

For instance, in 2014 American Apparel posted a picture of the 1986 Challenger space shuttle explosion on tumblr on the Fourth of July.

Why, American Apparel, why would you post that?!

image source: Giphy

At home, on Black Friday in 2015, local e-commerce site SuperGurl changed their “Shop Now” button to “Rape us now” on the homepage. The inappropriate button was accompanied by an equally inappropriate photo.

 

They only apologised on Facebook the following Monday for the inappropriate words and photo. To make matters worse, their excuse for the fail was that they didn’t check the graphic designer’s work.

Seriously?!

image source: Giphy

Maybe all these social media fails are intentionally created for publicity. After all, as the common PR saying goes,

There is no such thing as bad publicity.

 

Whatever the purpose of posting something online, we have to remember something:

image source: tumblr

 

For your entertainment, head down to these articles for more social media fails:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/the-most-scandalous-corporate-social-media-fails/

https://www.clickz.com/the-10-cringe-worthiest-social-media-fails-of-2015/89524/

For more good social media campaigns, head down to this article:

https://www.adherecreative.com/blog/top-10-influential-social-media-marketing-campaigns-of-2016

Week 1 – What I didn’t know about the Internet

As I entered the class for my first COM 125 lesson, I wondered what I could possibly not know about the basics of the Internet. I pretty much grew up in the Internet age and Internet has become an indispensable part of my life. What could I possibly not know about the Internet that I had to take a module called Introduction to the Internet?

Alas, I was wrong. I had not known everything about the basics of the Internet. There is still so much to learn about the Internet.

For instance, I did not know that the Internet (back then it was known as the ARPANET) first went live way back in 1969! I thought it was launched only in the 1980s or 1990s. I guess I got it mixed up with the launching of the World Wide Web (more on that later).

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gif credit: tumblr

Anyway, the project was first started by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the US Department of Defense. First established in 1958, the agency was formed to carry out research and development projects for national security and military purposes. In 1962, J.C.R. Licklider started writing about his Intergalactic Network concept. This concept entails everyone to be connected and able to access any data from anywhere around the world.

Long story short, several people and several organisations including MIT, UCLA, and Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) were involved in the project. In 1969, four sites: UCLA, Stanford Research Institute (SRI), University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and, University of Utah were selected to establish the first network of computers. Each site worked on a software to make its computers and Interface Message Processors (IMPs) to communicate. ARPANET finally went live when the computers of these 4 sites were successfully connected to each other.

ARPANET was eventually shut down in 1990. In the same year, the Internet was officially launched to the public.

“Who’s the father of the Internet?”

“ARPANET”

~ Mr Abel Choy, my COM 125 lecturer

As much as this joke was punny, it was strangely accurate. The Internet would not have existed if it wasn’t for ARPANET. (Note for those who didn’t get the joke, ARPANET is pronounced as “Ah Pa Net”. Ah Pa means father, so ARPANET basically translates to “Father of the Internet”.)

Moving on to a few decades later, the concept of World Wide Web was first introduced by Tim-Berners Lee in 1989. It is basically a system of interlinked hypertext documents on the Internet. People can access anything on the web pages through using a web browser. The World Wide Web, which I initially confused it with the Internet, was launched in 1991.

Two more things I didn’t know about the Internet:

  • Extranet. I never know that existed. Basically it’s kind of like the intranet but it also “provides controlled access to authorized customers, vendors, partners, or others outside the company”.
  • .org. I thought it basically stands for “organisation”. It was only during this week’s class that I learnt it actually stands for “non profit organisation”.

Until next time peeps!

Sources:

http://www.computerhistory.org/internethistory/1960s/

http://www.darpa.mil/about-us/darpa-history-and-timeline

http://www.ijcsit.com/docs/Volume%205/vol5issue06/ijcsit20140506265.pdf

https://axerosolutions.com/blogs/timeisenhauer/pulse/165/intranets-vs-extranets-what-s-the-difference