My self-directed learning had the greatest impact upon my learning this semester. I tried to go to the BYU special collections every time that we had personal learning time to avoid the monotony of Youtube and Wikipedia. Reading, exploring, and researching the book Micrographia by Robert Hooke was the most rewarding of my researches. Learning about Micrographia launched me head first into the period of time called the Enlightenment. It helped me understand the main themes of the Enlightenment such as changing our frames of reference and collective collaboration. As a result of reading Micrographia I discovered the history behind the Royal Society and The Invisible College. I was able to relate the concepts and ideas that founded the Royal Society to businesses such as Apple or Google Inc. Second, reading The Communist Manifesto magnified my understanding of the ideologies of the 20th century. It really changed my view on just seeing Communism as an inherent evil. I was able to supplement the reading with a documentary on Senator Joseph McCarthy. The 20th century was full of clashing political ideologies that led to World War I, II, and the Cold War. I appreciate the 20th century much more after reading and watching primary documents such as The Communist Manifesto and The Twilight Zone. In conclusion, I spread my self-directed learning out over many different avenues in order to gain the most knowledge about subjects that were intriguing to me.
My Evolving Project
I was very scared and confused when I finished reading the prompt for the final project. I did not understand how I was going to contribute to the final project or my personal one. I began with the concept of revolutionizing the United States of America’s healthcare system. I related it to the failure of the French Revolution and how sometimes there is too much change. I finished sketching my ideas on the index cards and published them in the “When is Change too Much?” blog post. Upon receiving comments from Jackson Berg, I realized that my topic would not be able to fit in the class theme of critical communication. I completely changed directions by writing about the lost generation of World War I and social media. I received many comments from Jolene and Kaitlyn that helped shape my final project. In addition, thanks to Jordan Argyle I realized that I should create an introductory video to my individual blog post.
Our group project began on shaky ground as well. I was assigned to be in the Patterns of the Past group, which I feel did not really fit well with my individual project. We had many iterations of this project as time went on. At first the group wanted to produce a Moovly video, but decided that a more personal video would be more effective. The group video that we had posted was very primitive and took a lot of time to finish. We received very good feedback from Eli Hainsworth and from Professor Burton. We decided that we needed to add personal angles into our argument and video just as the group about Social Media and Digital Tools did. Lastly, we added the finishing touches with the sounds and pictures in order to produce our final product. This resulted in a much more effective and appealing video introduction.
Communication and History
Communication is central to society because it provides a means through which humans can interact. In order to form a civilized society it is necessary to have a form of communication. There has always been communication, but the mediums in which society communicates through change rapidly. The newest form of communication and interaction always make the headlines of human society. They are the crowning event of that century. When we define an era or century, we usually do it through the type of communication that was present during that era. Communication has shaped our history, thus molding our contemporary society. Understanding the different forms of communications in the past has led me to conceptualize communication in the present more effectively. The invention of the printing press revolutionized the way ideas were spread in the 13th century. Communication became much quicker and more ideas were spread. This was very evident in the birth and evolution of The Invisible College. The Invisible College heavily utilized the fruits of the printing press as they published and spread their scientific ideas. Seven hundred years later a new form of communication was born which we know as the Internet. Humans could now communicate more rapidly than ever before. Institutions such as Apple Incorporated took advantage of the Internet to spread their ideas. Just as their predecessors, the new form of communication had aided them in becoming a world-renowned institution. In conclusion, the invention of the Internet completely shapes our current society, but also helps us understand the past better. As there are infinite ways to advance communication, there will always be infinite ways to revolutionize the world.