Week of March 7th, 2016: My First Twitter Chat

This week, I participated in my very first Twitter chat! We were fortunate enough to be able to host this chat here in Burlington. Seven other tech teams participated in this Twitter chat: Hamilton Wenham Regio
nal High School, Bishop Feehan High School, Groton Dunstable Tech Task Force, the Shrewsbury High School Student Innovation Team, Governor’s Academy Tech Connectors, Lynnfield High School, and Wakefield Memorial High School. Unfortunately, I was not able to view the chat live because I was at a DECA conference. However, I was able to look over the chat afterwards. I read over many other student’s answers to the questions, and I learned a lot. It provided me with many other thoughtful insights that I hadn’t thought of. When preparing for the chat, I learned about a cool website called Tweetdeck. It is a Twitter Client with many awesome features. I used it to set up my Twitter feed so that I could see the stream of notifications, mentions, direct messages, and #techteamMA. #techteamMA is a hashtag that is required at the end of all of the Tweets that are a part of the chat. This is so that if you view the hashtag, you will see the whole chat. Also, if you set up this hashtag in Tweetdeck, you can see the live stream of Tweets with this hashtag. However, this isn’t the coolest feature of Tweetdeck. My favorite feature of Tweetdeck is the ability to schedule Tweets. You can write out a Tweet on Tweetdeck, and schedule it to get sent out any day at any time. The website doesn’t even have to be open to send out the Tweet. This feature really helped me out with my first Twitter chat. I did not have to be present in order to participate in the chat; all I had to do was write my answers and schedule them to be sent out at a specific time, after the question was asked. Seeing how a Twitter chat works was very interesting. Before this, I thought that everyone had to be there live and answer as the questions were asked. Now I know that everyone is given a sheet that has the questions and the time that they are asked. This is helpful because it allows you to give well thought answers planned in advance. During the chat, you can focus on following others, favoriting, retweeting, or replying to tweets rather than thinking out your answers. This will help you make connections, which is very important in the real world because it can help you get a job and give you many opportunities. I enjoyed my first Twitter chat and am eager for the next so that I can be there live!

Week of February 15th, 2016: Writing my first Screencast

This week, I made my first screencast. You can check it out here
. In my screencast, I showed how to use the Find & Replace feature in Google Docs. This is a very helpful tool in Google Docs. If you misspell a word multiple times, you can find the word each time it appears and replace it with the correct spelling in one click.  While making this screencast, I learned a lot of helpful skills that will help me with future screencasts. I also ran into a couple of problems. However, these problems were learning experiences and they will help me in the future.

One problem that I ran into while making this screencast was the preparation. In order to prepare for this screencast I wrote a script. While I was recording, I realized that some of my wording was awkward, and it didn’t sound correct. I had to record and rearrange my script multiple times. I found that I was relying on the script too much. I was almost reading directly from the script, which made my wording awkward, and it soundedScreencast Cover Slide.jpg like I was reading. From now on, I will make sure to not rely on a script as much. I will write a basic script so I have an outline to follow, but I will improvise it much more so it sounds more natural.

Despite there being a few mistakes, I think it was a positive experience. I learned a valuable lesson from my mistakes, and that will help me with my future screencasts. Other than the mistakes I made, I think I did a good job on my first screencast, and I am proud of my work. I imagined making a screencast would be challenging, but it came somewhat naturally. Before I started recording I was nervous that it wouldn’t be good. Once I started recording, it flowed and I did fine. I feel good about how my screencast went, and I am excited to make many more.

Making a screencast title slide was also a very good learning experience. I used Google Drawings to make it. It exercised my creativity, and I ended up with a cool title slide I can use for my future screencasts. Also, the title slide has my Twitter and blog, so anyone who sees it can easily find my Twitter or blog. Overall, I am proud of my work, and am looking forward towards the rest of my experience at the Help Desk.