I have come across data analysis during my degree and I was thinking about learning more about it, as it all seemed very interesting. However, I had no idea how interesting it can get before spending three amazing days in London at the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing and taking part in their Creative Data Academy.
This course provided me an insight into how data analysis is used in marketing and why this is important when thinking about the whole marketing process. The three days were filled with talks and workshops from different companies, such as The Economist, RAPP, REaD Group, Direct Recruitment or Model Citizens, which helped me see the bigger picture, what jobs are available and what set of skills are needed when applying for a job in this area.
It also got my thinking about me as a customer. I value my privacy and most of the time I do not want to give away my data. However, I understand now how data can be used and I have become more open when providing certain information, if I trust the company.
This was also a great opportunity for me to meet new people with similar ideas and aspirations, people that I will hopefully meet again along my career path.
I believe that IDM Creative Data Academy was a ‘must’ for me in order to understand what I want to do after I graduate. Maybe I do not have a clear path or goal in mind, but I do know which areas to explore and what skills I should start developing.
I have 2 months left of my second year and I can say that I have enjoyed this year, even if it has been quite busy and it has forced me to prioritize a few things.
I started this academic year after a great Summer and with an increased knowledge about digital literacies and my online presence. Being a digital skills assistant was a great opportunity for me to challenge my research and presentation skills. After looking into digital literacies a bit more, I used tools such as VideoScribe and PowToon to help me present the findings. You can see the outcome in my Pathbrite portofolio.
A new academic year also means a new year for Robogals: new volunteers, events and workshops. In my opinion, it has been an eventful and successful year for us. We had a strong presence at Bunfight in Freshers’ Week which resulted in new volunteers (some actually joined the committee this year) and we have managed to run 10 workshops since October. One of these was a workshop at the Southampton Science and Engineering Festival, during which we managed to introduce programming to more than 50 kids. Another important event for us was the AGM. We had to elect a new committee and I have decided to stay on the committee for another year, as a president this time, and I am really looking forward to it.
Being involved with Robogals showed me the fun side of teaching and, at the beginning of the year, I decided to join a similar project, Code Plus. At Code Plus, we run weekly workshops to encourage kids to learn programming by helping them complete coding puzzles using Code Kingdoms, code.org, Scratch or Code Academy. As I really liked the project, I have also joined the committee as a session manager and I am now in charge of the bookings for each session.
This year, I have also decided to try archery. I discovered that I really enjoy it and it helps me relax and clear my mind. However, because this has been quite a busy year, I have decided to not continue with archery for now, but I will hopefully come back to it at some point.
This month I started to research digital literacies and I also thought about trying to improve mine. Can I say that I am a digital literate person? Do I know everything that I should? If I look at JISC’s 6 elements framework I do know a bit of everything but if I were to try and arrange them in order by how literate I actually am in that specific one I noticed that communication, collaboration and participation along with digital creation would come last.
At first I decided to start using Twitter and I realised how an amazing tool it is. I first came in contact with Twitter a few years back when I had actually no idea how to use it and, for me, it just looked like a very weird website. A few month back I decided to give it another chance as many people at my university were using it. The first thing I did was to try and see how they are using it and after viewing a few profiles I finally understood what makes Twitter so amazing. It’s the people you follow, the content you get and how easy it is to share, in just a few words, things that are worth sharing. It’s being interested in a subject and being able to filter the information you receive about it by following people that tweet what you want to read. And a few days back, Twitter just became even more amazing when I found out about lists: they are the easiest and nicest way of putting together tweets related to a specific subject so you can browse easier through them.
Pathbrite was next on my list. I love how easy it is to use and how you can put everything in one place. I have one portofolio where I keep the most interesting links related to my digital literacies research and another one to use as a training manager at Robogals. I can just share the link with the others committee members or with the volunteers if they want more details about the topic we discussed in the training session.
Last on my list it was a blog. I have been thinking about creating one for a few months now and I am happy that I finally did. I have a few ideas that I would like to share with the world and why not?
After all this, while looking into digital literacies I thought about searching if there are any MOOCs related to this. I have found Digital.Me: Managing your Digital Self from University of Derby on Canvas network. “progress from a tech savvy internet user into a digitally literate one, […] improve your ability to use technology for management of your life including learning, work, and more.” says the description and, in just the second week, I have found the course really useful for improving my online presence. I appreciate how, every week, the assignment is actually me sharing my knowledge or opinion about something with the rest of my coursemates. I don’t usually do this, I keep most of my ideas for myself or I share them with just a few people around me and I feel this course is getting me out of my confort zone and actually makes me do it. I have to do it in order to get a badge at the end of the week, which I think is a great thing to do. It makes me feel I have actually accomplished something and I have been rewarded for it. This week, the topic to talk about was social media in learning and I have found it very useful to read other comments. It’s amazing how many people use YouTube as an online learning tools and how different their reasons are.
I am looking forward to continuing the course and to keep improving my digital skills.
I am Andra, a second year Computer Science student at the University of Southampton and a digital skills assistant at the same institution.
As most people that I know when you say Computer Science you think about programming. And I did the same until recently. I think data is quite valuable (and more interesting) these days and I am aiming to end up being a data analyst.
As a digital skills assistant I have discovered that digital literacies are a really interesting topic and many of my post will be related to that.
Another big part of my life is occupied by Robogals Southampton where I am the current training manager. Have a look at what we do here Robogals Southampton or here Lego Day 2015 and let’s inspire people!
Computer Science student. Digital skills assistant. Robogals Southampton training manager. Game of Thrones, Sherlock and Gotham lover