A Trip Across the City!


For what it’s worth, I found it hard to find a free image of businesswomen shaking hands (clarification: with their faces showing, not just generic hands!). Make of that what you will, and take into account the fact that I spent less than 6 minutes on the endeavor, but it did remind me of Women Laughing Alone with Salad.  

Anyway! My stock photo woes aside, this week is busy busy busy. Yesterday, I took a trip over to Mary Immaculate College to carry out my interview for TW5212. I interviewed an educational technologist, who actually did this MA about 6 years ago! He informed me that there are a few past-MA students working in educational technology over there, which is awesome. 

The interview was a fantastic experience. I am not going to lie, when I first heard about this assignment last semester, I recoiled at the thought of A) tracking down a stranger and asking them to give me an hour of their time, and B) actually interviewing them in person. The horror! I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I decided to contact my interviewee as my summer project (an online resource for UL students) has deepened my interest in third level education and technology. 

Trolls and Technology…

In 2014, I went on Erasmus to Norway for 5 months. At that point, I was used to technology in college in the form of Sulis, emails and those headsets we used in Spanish labs in first year! Everything in Norway was done with technology. In some of my classes, instead of putting up our hands and answering questions, we would log into a website and type our opinions via our smartphones. I believe it was a function of the university’s Learning Management System, Fronter. Which, by the way, I can pronounce in an impeccable Norwegian accent. 

Many of the business classes were simply too large to fit in one hall, so half of the class would sit in a lecture hall with the lecturer, and the other half would sit in the hall next door and watch via videolink. When it came to exams, we used our own laptops! We had to download software that locked us into the test, and wrote our essays from our own devices. I learned to just shrug and think “Okay, so this is how we do things here” a lot. 

Times are a-changin’…

All this to say, I am fascinated with how technology is creeping into universities. Speaking to my interviewee, it became obvious that the field has exploded with interest in the past 4 or 5 years, and that it is rapidly expanding. He provided me with so much insight into how we can effectively communicate with clients, and the challenges that we can face when bringing technology to reluctant users.

He also gave me a lot of think about, software wise. He mentioned some great open-source resources, such as eXeLearning which is another option to look at for the summer project! 

The rest of the week…

I am hyper-focused on getting my RM6011 proposal finished. I have the bones of it complete, and in my head know where I am going. The biggest challenge ahead is redesigning my interface designs! I am happy with the specifications I have already, but I need to create them in Illustrator, where I think they’ll ‘look the part’ more. 

Until next time! 


Interviews, interviews, interviews

Source: Pixabay

We’re coming to the end of week 9 (I think, who can even keep track anymore?) and I’ve been spending a lot of time interviewing people! I’m really starting to see how beneficial these experiences are. At first, I was a little apprehensive about carrying out the interviews, but it was great to step out of my comfort zone a little, and I think so far they have been a success! Technical writers obviously spend a lot of time communicating with subject matter experts, so it’s an important skill to practice. 

This week I had my interviews for my RM6011 proposal, in which I propose an online resource for UL students. I interviewed a staff member from the library, and a staff member from the Writing Centre. I am still amazed and so grateful that people are willing to give their time to help me in my studies. Both interviews went great, and I came away with a lot more clarity around some things (and a lot of questions about others!). I’m looking forward to processing the interviews as I write up my proposal. When I recorded my usability tests last semester, I didn’t fully trust my phone’s recording app. This time around, I used an app called Voice Recorder, and I was very happy with. I was able to easily upload the recordings to Google Drive straight from the app. 

As a result of the interviews, I’ve started thinking a lot more about how I might present my lessons. This is mostly summer’s problem, but I guess there’s no harm in considering it now. While I already anticipate using Dreamweaver and Animate CC, I’ve started looking at options such as screencasting (e.g. Screencast-O-Matic) and video animation software (e.g. Moovly)for some parts. Based on my audience survey, interactivity is going to be key. 

My interviewing days aren’t over yet! On Tuesday, I am taking a field trip over to Mary I to interview an educational technologist for TW5212. I have all my questions ready to go, and I have sent them over to the interviewee so he can have some time to consider them beforehand. Other than the fact that I’m obviously going to get lost in Mary I, the interview should be a fantastic experience! 

Now, hurry up Easter  🙂