Udemy courses

We must be isolating. Nothing like upgrading your brain and skills during ISO. I have completed two courses this week. One paid and one free. Udemy offers a range of courses at a range of prices. I have used it for a long time and have never been disappointed. Even less than perfect courses deliver a new perspectives, a different set of ideas and content worth knowing. I archived one paid course because it wasn’t what I thought and yet, I really liked the instructor and how he was talking me through the content. I am now wondering whether I shall be able to unarchive it if I want to do some more …

The SEO course for Beginners I have done before in 2016. Was it worth another go? Yes. Did Udemy notice I was doing it for a second time ? No. You can do the courses as often as you want.  I really got value out of this course the second time around because I had 4  more years of working with blogs and the changes on the internet since then and it has changed quite a bit. Daragh Walsh does not waste one minute of my time and he is good value in terms of tips, ideas, skills and explanations.

Anders Toxboe offered a paid course, Building Persuasive Products and it was worth doing in the light of how media saturated we have become. he did it as a lecture style and that might not suit everyone. It pulled out the psychology of websites, and online experiences and put it together in a way that gave clarity . It was mostly what I knew but it was really helpful to see it presented in such a comprehensive manner. Some things I did not know and so am now more mindful when I am online. New awareness of how things work.

Both courses had a glitch of doubling up on the subtitles/captions through different sections. I was on my iPad . It might have been a tablet issue. It has never happened before. I was really pleased to see the captions because it assists learners.

I have my next course picked out and then shall have a really good look at what else is on offer. Normally I am too busy to have time to explore the Udemy site in full. Am happy to make good use of this time as we all keep ourselves safe.

Training your brain in lockdown

University of Melbourne has put together some excellent advice for keeping alert and active during lockdown: how to train your brain during lockdown so you cope with the new set of circumstances and continue to thrive. The information is set out clearly.

You do need brain exercises, social contact and a way of staying solutions oriented. As I wrote the other day, technology is helping us significantly to create avenues for ourselves and others so we can keep moving in a positive direction no matter what the challenges.

We have been mastering web conferencing. We have been getting better at visual communication. Our reluctance to video call has been abandoned because it is hard not actually seeing anyone so it’s good to see them on video calls. We are all wearing our at home wear and our longer hair. We are more concerned we can see and talk to someone than we are about that picture in the background. It is making us real. Some people are getting together on web conferencing apps to do amazing things like the French orchestra who made Bolero for us all. Researchers can work together globally. People can use their languages skills to translate information so it can be quickly circulated. We are not perfect but we are rising to the challenges. Apps are being developed which will help us, 3D printers which were idle have been put to good use to make masks and face protection.

Training our brains is vital. We need to get through this and we can do it by sharing our knowledge. Technology lets us do that from home. Who would have thought we’d run the world from the settee? Big shout out to the teachers, students and parents running school from home and for @EduTweetOz and others for letting us know the successes of this . We are all pioneers.

AI Bot interviews Billie Eilish

Vogue broke new ground and put itself out there by creating an AI bot interview with American singer/songwriter Billie Eilish. It’s more of an oral questionnaire because there is very little conversation. Ms. Eilish is 18 years old and totally comfortable with this AI medium for an interview. She is calm, thoughtful and discusses the ideas provoked by the questions in a detailed way. She genuinely responds to them . Would everyone? Is it an age group thing or would the novelty of it encourage others to be more open? It does show that AI doesn’t dominate or manipulate the interview in any way. The person in the interview is centre stage and it is all about them. One of the points which Ms. Eilish makes is that AI is non judgemental. People who are interviewed probably appreciate impartiality. The AI Bot has created a Dada version of her lyrics and she quite likes it .

It is different. Is it the future? Would we do more of this ? If it is someone you want to hear then it is a good way to allow them to share their ideas. It is more like a performance than an interaction but not in any way lacking in humanity.

Psychologist’s view of UX

how memory worksImage: Today I Found Out 

Understanding user experience is critical these days. Most of us are connected and using devices. Many of us have been using technology for a very long time. We all come with our habits, views and perceptions of how technology should work. UX (user experience) is about working with real people so they can use your software and can easily access your website. We have all been there. The app which leaves us clueless as to what to do next or find what we are looking for. The website which gets us so frustrated because we are following the links and they are not going to where we want or worse, take us back to exactly where we started. In my opinion a circular website is the equivalent of smacking people in the face. It’s rude. At least put up a message that you are working on something or traffic volume is too high or whatever the truth is.
There’s a very good article by a psychologist which looks at UX from a psychological point of view. There are 10 main areas and each one is explained very efficiently. If you are planning screen services of any sort for anyone then it’s good to look at the psychology of it as well as the visual impact and functionality of it.

1.People don’t want to work or think more than they have to
2.People have limitations
3.People make mistakes
4. Human memory is complicated
5.People are social
6. Attention
7.People crave information
8. Unconscious processing
9. People create mental models
10. Visual system

The article in UX Magazine explains it all really well. It’s worth a look.

Tech savvy seniors

Seniors are more competent with technology than the world would have us believe. As mentioned in my post recently, the younger ones have been through jobs with technology training and requirements. As such they can be contributing to the backbone of technology today because they have the skills and knowledge to manage data, game,  curate, beta test, develop websites, online communities, video tutorials, online courses and so on. Some seniors remain disconnected because they haven’t had the chance to improve their skills and understand what connectivity might mean for them. The Australian Federal Government has responded to that need and learning gap by providing the Be Connected website and initiative:

Through Be Connected, older Australians are able to learn the basics of how to connect online, including how to:

  • use a digital device
  • be safe online
  • send emails
  • use Facebook and other social media
  • shop online
  • share holiday photos with family, and much more.

Organisations interested in in delivering these services and becoming part of the Be Connected Network should contact the Be Connected National Network Manager, Good Things Foundation.

Four years ago Mashable published an infographic about the technology which was used more by millennials than seniors in America. Four years laters I would expect that infographic to have changed. At the time basic mobile phones, desktop computers, VCRs, cable TV and satellite TV were more popular with people  of 65 and over. I doubt many seniors would be playing video tapes these days. More and more have adopted smartphones or come into retirement with a fully functioning smartphone. A lot more have tablets and the streaming market has burgeoned since then. It would be interesting to see how that played out now.

The Pew Research Centre has a very good article about technology use and seniors and the sorts of things which are blocking them. Seniors are no different to any other age group. They need personal learning plans, personal learning networks and personal learning options to enable their capacity to make best use of technology.

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