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Meet “Xpertise”

INTROWAPRESENT

Hodges, J- Our app is called Xpertise, geared toward college students. It is a research based site where people who need resources can collaborate. The home page consists of our logo, a drop down menu and settings link. The users are able to browse through top research of the day and top “Xperts.” Each section has a search bar which allows you to search within topics or “Xpert” profiles.

Our site has combined certain ideas from Pinterest, Google Image search, and Zite. Each application allows research to take place, but not to the full extent that we would like it to. Xpertise allows the user to navigate research in an easy way which makes it a less tedious task for college students.

Xpertise allows the user to research in ways that not only show articles, images and videos, but also link them to people who are “Xperts” in that specific topic. Our app combines all the greatest aspects of social media research and meets the standards of Web 2.0 explained by Tim O’Rielly in “What is Web 2.0?”

As stated by Vannevar Bush, “Science has provided the swiftest communication between individuals; it has provided a record of ideas and has enabled man to manipulate and to make extracts from that record so that knowledge evolves and endures throughout the life of a race rather than that of an individual.” This site brings together all of these aspects while providing an individual with further knowledge about a topic.

We learned from Bolter that technology is constantly remediated. We hope that “Xpertise” remediates research skills by providing “top” researched topics which not only provides written text, but images and videos as well. The “Xpert” profiles are a new collaborative source of research where they can gain information through conversation and questioning.

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Hardwick, B.-Because the purpose of Xpertise is to let college students share information and converse about research, the menu is important for making the collaborative features easily-accessible. These include favorite Xperts, “bins”, notes and their profile page.

When I was researching apps, I noticed that users like to save work from other resources and create their own. They also prefer a main menu and hub to access all information. The menu on Xpertise centralizes the main features of the app that instigate collaboration.

Web 2.0 is characterized by collaboration, where users can actively engage with each other as if they were in the same room. The menu option organizes and stores users’ information so that they can access and add to it at their convenience. This furthers the communication.

One of Xpertise main purposes is to open students up to a platform for technological literacy. As described by Cynthia Selfe, technological literacy is using computer skills to increase learning and efficiency. In the past, readers navigated through resources by reading a content page. Through remediation (Bolter), a menu has emerged that readers can click and instantly be redirected to the page that they desire. Xpertise creates a new form of network-based, collaborative file sharing (Bolter, Devoss)

Xpertise paves the way for new forms of research. Now, teachers and students can contribute and collaborate on projects. Researching is no longer an independent process. It is social.

Sherry, T.- The four features you’ll find when you search for topics are scholarly diagrams, published

articles, videos and links to Xpert profiles who have written on that topic. All results are compiled directly on top of each other-picture how when you search for images on Google to get an idea of how it’s laid out. The rationale behind this is that when I was researching writing apps, I noticed the best ones were often the most user friendly and simple, so I tried to stay true to this. I just reviewed notepad for Android which is a writing app. I liked its simple layout, so I tried to stay as true to that as possible. With Xpertise, you are no longer looking a stagnant document, but a living piece of writing whose author you can communicate with. In the article Why Nabster Matters to Writing, Devos and Porter say “in the era of digital writing we can no longer afford to take delivery for granted.” Since with the internet anyone delivery is instant and all people are linked, I took advantage of this and made it possible for anyone with expertise to share their knowledge with others.

In his article What is web 2.0? O’Riley describes blogging as “One of the most highly touted features of web 2.0,” and is why Xpertise gives each user the opportunity to maintain a profile, which you see a sneak preview of on the results page.

The future will need a program like this. While there are already scholarly search engines, I think everyone in the room can agree these aren’t very fun or easy to use. Just as Bolter talks about remediating in his article Writing as technology, the creators of Xpertise think that this search engine can remediate Google scholar the same way parchment remediated papyrus, or word process did the typewriter.

Strenkowski, L.-One of the most fundamental features of Xpertise is the Xpert Profile. Here, you can search different users for their specialties, credibility, as well as their favorite links and boards. Each Xpert will also have their own blog where users can make comments and ask the Xperts questions on their expertise topics. The profiles make the app more personal and give life to creators behind the knowledge available for use. Those who also want an Xpert profile are invited to sign up and create an account.

We used a lot of practical app research and personal experience to create our designs. While the topics are categorized into “bins” like Pinterest, we used a very common app design by inputting a header bar at the top of the app. We wanted our Xperts to have profiles similar to those from Facebook; the profiles have custom information inputted by users.

Web 2.0 is based upon the platform of social sharing. The Xpertise app greatly demonstrates the combination of social media connection and the sharing of scholarly sources and knowledge. The collegiate world is better connected under Xpertise’s Web 2.0’s met requirements.

DeVoss and Porter discuss the delivery of writing. The Xpertise app effortlessly delivers information from many different sources while still retaining the original credit. Written knowledge is sent, delivered, and received all through a mobile app. Bolter discusses remediation and the Xpertise app remediates library source databases for research. Research can now be completed in the palm of your hands.

This app will make the future of writing and the research of writing more seamless for students and colleagues alike. Information on common topics will be much easier spread and will reach larger audiences. Research papers will be easier to write, and questions will be more easily answered. The future of writing is mobile and it starts with the Xpertise app.

Weisser, S.- The comments section is a vital part of this app. It provides users with the opportunity to comment back to an Xpert’s work. Xperts are able to post their “Xpert work” to their page. Outside users, when viewing, are able to make comments or ask questions directly to the Xpert. Comments can then also become a conversation back and fourth between other viewers of the “Xpert page.” With the ability to share comments to the “information bin,” the collaboration really takes flight. If a commenter thinks the information given in a comment was helpful, they can opt to send it to the Xpert’s main page. You can see if others find the comment to be helpful, by looking at the number of “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” it gets. Also, the idea of the live chat makes it even easier for conversation to occur quickly and easily.

We wanted to make the app simple to use. All the actions are easy to do, and straight to the point. So many apps we researched were about the collaborative aspect, so we also wanted to incorporate this.

Web 2.0 allows for the online collaboration and interaction. The app allows for Xperts to share their work with users. The comments and live chats provide that outlet for collaboration and discussion.

Michael Wesch’s video, “The Machine is Us/ing Us,” states at the end, “Web 2.0 is linking people.” This app provides the opportunity to do just this by information sharing and collaboration. Bolter’s idea of remediation shows through with Xpertise, as it remediates the way that research is done. Research now becomes a lot more easily accessible. In the palm of your hand you can have tons of information on a specific topic, in seconds. In relation to DeVoss and Porter’s idea of a new ethic of delivery, this certainly provides one. Our app makes it easy to deliver Xpert information to any user with the click of a button. The publishing and accessing is so simple, and the app is cost free to all users, making the delivery of the information that much better.

Our app will certainly benefit the future of writing. Research will be so much easier to conduct with all the information on a topic now in one convenient location. Writings that require research will become simpler. The collaboration between users will help them to gain more insight on a specific idea utilizing the opinions of themselves and others.

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Creativity-not just for English students!

The concept of Dan Holden’s article Creativity is the key to Education, so why aren’t we persuing it? is that the government just doesn’t understand the importance of creativity. I couldn’t agree more with the statement. I don’t see any real problem with the STEM program, per se, only that creativity gets the short end of the stick. The article really touches upon a little discussed aspect of creativity, in that it is not something that only belongs to “certain” branches of learning.

Like Dan Holden, I too believe that creativity can apply to any learning discipline-furthermore, I would take this concept one step forward and argue that creativity exceeds the limitation of being only for certain school subjects. Rather, creativity can apply to anything at anywhere at anytime. It seems like such an obvious statement but, as the the article demonstrates,  many people don’t understand it-they think creativity should be contained in a neat little box and left to the English students. We need to encourage creativity in math and science especially-how else will we come up for cures for diseases like AIDS or cancer? Certainly this can only be achieved by an out of the box thinker and if we convince future scientists that creativity is useless, it may never happen. Kudos to Dan for pointing out the issue!

 

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You Can Hide, But You Can’t Run


Sydney Weisser

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Cyberbullying is an issue that is causing many mental health issues amongst young people. Relationships are easily threatened thanks to this new form of bullying. The internet is to blame for this distress.

In his article, Steven Walker discusses how cyberbullying is possibly more harmful that common forms of bullying for 3 reasons:

  • the secretive nature of the attack
  • the invasion of personal space
  • the idea that potentially harmful messages can be displayed publicly to a large audience

The secretive nature is a huge issue, which makes cyberbullying so easy to do. People hide behind their devices, as they gain the confidence to say the things that they may be too afraid to say in person. Without the technologies to shield their faces, bullying rates would probably drop significantly. A female victim of this form of bullying stated, “There is no hiding place from cyber-bullying.” Anyone can be a victim at any moment, publicly attacked for many people to see. It can occur anywhere, at any moment. There truly is nowhere to hide- nobody is safe.

Another issue with cyberbullying that Walker proposes is that people can use social media to post images or videos, send hurtful text messages, and even steal identities online, similar to the MTV show Catfish. Things like this aren’t possible through common forms of bullying. It is clear that in some ways, technology is tearing apart relationships. By being so simple and accessible, it seems to be occurring more frequently. Research states, “more than 80% of children in the UK have access to home computers and more than 75% of children aged eleven own a mobile phone.” Because of the accessibility, bullying becomes so easy to do, in such a quick fashion.