1. Claire CooperMrs. LesterHon Lit/Comp 102 May 2012 End of Semester Summative Reflections 1. It is easy to say that during the Digital Text research project, my knowledge of my topic of choice, Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, has greatly increased. I have learned a lot about TBI, especially in terms of content. Since we were given a good length of time to research our topic and dig even deeper into the true specifics behind TBI, I no longer have as much curiosity as I did before starting the project. My group partners and I decided to research family coping, advances in technology, and preventions in which all relate to TBI. During my own research, I have come to an understanding of the emotions and difficulties that TBI patients receive. Traumatic Brain Injury is such a serious condition because it can dramatically alter your brain in areas that you would have never imagined. For example, soldiers and veterans suffering from TBI are faced with the daily struggles that not only they haveto face, but also their family and friends have to face. Personality shifts and mood swings are just some of the many symptoms that TBI brings. Throughout the project, I have been curious as to what else I need to know that will help me have an even better understanding about TBI. Though the project is over, I feel like I have gained most of the knowledge that is needed. However, I believe I will never truly be able to grasp what suffering from TBI is
2. really like. In other words, only those who suffer from TBI will know the true impact it has on their life. After all, it is a life changing experience.2. Throughout every group project, there will be challenges in terms of finding information, collaborating with your group, managing yourself, use of technology, and time management. The first couple of days of researching articles and any other information were rather easy. I began to learn the knowledge I needed to get an idea of what exactly TBI is. Because the research project requires more in-depth information, I needed to find better articles that really reached across most of the information that was already given in most of the articles I found. To do this, I changed my search terms. For example, in the beginning I searched, “TBI veterans”, then I later searched, “TBI family coping and/or strategies”. Also, finding pictures to use on our Voicethread was difficult. However, Ms. Hamilton taught us how to find more abstract pictures by messing around with the search terms. Luckily, collaborating with my group was easy because we all kept in touch through Gmail in which kept most of our documents. Managing my own work was easy also. However, I do wish I kept my work more organized since I had a lot of paper work to keep up with. Netvibes, Gmail, and other websites and databases made it easier for me to better manage my information. Time management played a big part throughout the project. Mrs. Lester and Ms. Hamilton made it easier by giving us calendars with what we were doing on what days along with deadlines. Also, the online calendar that Ms. Hamilton kept updated every day helped greatly as well. She posted links to
3. anything that was necessary in order to make our project easier and more organized.3. There were very few difficulties that I came across while working on the Digital Text research project. Keeping up with all the new requirements in an easy and organized way I found to be the most difficult. Though Mrs. Lester and Ms. Hamilton walked us through almost everything, I felt as if my head was spinning every day, which caused me to stress out on all the deadlines. However, I realized that this was only going to prepare me for the upcoming years. So I did my best to push through the struggles by asking Mrs. Lester and Ms. Hamilton any questions I had. I believe the whole process of the research project was rewarding. Not only have I gained knowledge in the overall information and content of the project, I have also gained knowledge in my computer skills. I now know how to easily upload links, photos, documents, and widgets. Working on the Digital Text research project allowed me to excel in my computer skills, which will be helpful for similar projects that will be given to me in the future.4. Reading both All Quiet on the Western Front and Purple Heartgave me a good insight as to the life of a soldier. All Quiet on the Western Front showed me the impact that war has on a single soldier. The book was very descriptive with specific feelings and emotions that the soldier dealt with. My mind was definitely broadened after reading All Quiet on the Western Front. The war book I chose was Purple Heart, written by Patricia McCormick. Purple Heart was extremely
4. relevant to my topic of choice of the research project. Matt Duffy, the main character of the story, suffers from a TBI he received while fighting in the Iraq war. The book really inspired me to want to learn more about what it is and how you can cope with it. Our cohort Fishbowl discussions had little influence on my choice of topic to research for the digital research project. I know of other people who were also interested in researching TBI and it inspired me to want to learn why it is such a major issue.5. I believe that reading the two books and reading non-fiction articles will have the most lasting impact on me. Reading the books was like getting a small taste of war. It only led me to crave for more in-depth and real information behind war and what the war brings to soldiers, veterans, and civilians. Studying the issue has had a major impact on me. It has made me more aware of how fragile, yet how violent war is. It is obvious that war is dangerous, but it is also obvious at how it brings life changing experiences to the soldiers and families. Soldiers are so easily touched by what the war has in store for them.6. Reflecting on my work the last eight weeks, I think I did well on finding out what information is most important and most needed for the project. Communicating with my two other partners helped me to find out what information I needed to add or take away. It is hard to point out one specific thing I am proud of because I am most proud of the overall work and effort I put forth into the making of this
5. project. I am also proud of the effort my partners brought because I know they put forth just as much time and commitment into this project as I did.7. The most difficult challenge I came upon was the exact organization of everything, including uploading the proposal, organizing Netvibes, and keeping up with everything in the right order. I handled these challenges by looking over the calendar every day to make sure I was on time with where I was at in the project. Asking Ms. Hamilton for help was also helpful since she easily stated what to do and how to do it. She made every step clear and easy to understand.8. I think I improved in researching the right information and getting used to the websites and sources that Ms. Hamilton provides for us. I have definitely learned a lot during this semester. I always think that whatever we do, it will be more difficult than it actually is, but it turns out to be just the opposite. Ms. Hamilton and Mrs. Lester always try to make it as easy and as simple as possible. I feel more intelligent and confident in my research literacy skills. Not only did this semester teach me a lot, but also this whole school year taught me to have better computer literacy skills in which I believe will get me on the right track for upcoming years. I believe that I demonstrated growth in was 2.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information. I have learned a lot through using Netvibes, Easybib, Wikispaces, and other websites that made it helpful for my project. I also demonstrated growth in 2.4.3 Recognize new knowledge and understanding. Researching TBI caused me to recognize and
6. understand more about how serious the injury is on the lives of soldiers and veterans. I mastered in 1.1.2 Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning because after reading All Quiet on the Western Front and Purple HeartI became interested in learning more about soldiers and their injuries. I gained knowledge in areas of the emotions and thoughts that soldiers deal with. I also used 1.2.7 Display persistence by continuing to pursue information to gain a broad perspective. At the beginning of my research I gathered enough of information that would help me to better understand TBI. However, I still yearned for deeper details that would me have more commentary for my project. I believe the most important skill I acquired was 1.1.9 Collaborate with others to broaden and deepen understanding. Working with two other group partners made this research project easier because it gave me the opportunity to collaborate with them over information and any questions I had. We also discussed over the articles we gathered which helped us to understand more about TBI.9. The process of composing a Voicethread enhanced my learning process in this unit of learning and inquiry. Each step in making the digital text was a learning experience. I had to teach myself how to become accustomed to the way things worked. I learned that once Mrs. Lester or Ms. Hamilton went through a portion of how to do something for the project I had to pay close attention because one missed step could mess it all up. The Digital Text research project also helped my whole learning process. It forced me to dig deeper into articles and find meaning
7. behind the given information. This project also taught me how to find the articles that would help me out best.10. My group decided to use Netvibes for our project. Netvibes helped us to gather our information into all one place. It was a great way to stay connected and organized. We even found pictures using Netvibes. I also uploaded some of our articles into Netvibes, which made it easy to locate. In the future, I would most likely use it more often than I did during this project. I believe that now that I know how to use it, I will be more confident when I use it next time. I also plan on using Netvibes next year in my classes. Looking back at my Netvibes, I believe it says that I am open to learning, yet I need to look for and add more information to anything that is needed.11. I will most likely be using similar skills in digital literacy, analytical reading and writing, and research in American Literature and Composition next year. The organization methods I used for this project seemed to work out quite well so I plan on using that for next year. During my research, I plan on using specific search terms that will help me find up to date articles that contains large amounts of information and examples. I also plan on reading “in between the lines” like I did during this research project. Understanding what the author is trying to get across is important because it helps you with what you are trying to reach across.