In this post I am going to be doing some self reflection, evaluation how I think I have done throughout the Challenges and how much I have learn since the start of the course.

I started the year and the course not knowing much about which direction it would end up taking me or what to expect from the course but with having such a small class number and a tutors that have a way of teaching that actually suits me down to the ground.

Started off with introductions to all of the units we are studying, learning so much new stuff about so many new programs and apps and also things on websites such as Twitter and various clients that go with it and Prezi, the alternative, and in my opinion better, way of making presentations.

Before I started the course I used to Twitter occasionally, normally at NUS Conferences because they have a projector screen with a twitter wall where all the tweets relating to a certain hash-tag float around the screen. But since I started the course I have become somewhat borderline addicted to Twitter. Everything I post now goes through Twitter as I have it set to automatically send my Tweets to Facebook. Also after looking at Twitter clients such as Tweetdeck, I now have an app called Twidget that sits on my Mac dashboard.

Another thing that I did occasionally use before I started the course was Blogging, I used Google’s Blogger to make a blog for my A2 Media Studies coursework to show my progress and all the work that I had done, much like I am doing now, however Blogger and Tumblr lacked the qualities that I was looking for to create the kind of blog I really wanted to create and they were the only two blogging websites that I had heard of until we were all introduced to the wonder that is WordPress. It has just got such a smooth interface to use, fully customisable blog and dashboard and also one of the things that I have found massively useful is the ability to organise everything into categories so with having multiple units and assignments and such it is easy to find what you are looking for without having to search through all the posts to find it.

After a couple of weeks on the course, meeting new people, getting to know them and getting to know new tutors that I had never met before and a whole new way or learning along with a brand new Macbook to learn how to use I soon found myself getting a hell of alot more interested in the Professional Practice unit and all the challenges we have been doing that go along with it. Things from researching areas of the media from the 1990’s to producing a case study on the newest Call of Duty game which lead me to doing research into the developers that were involved in the franchise, the history of them and also the history of the Publisher Activision.

Every time I write a blog post or do some research into something, I always end up looking back over it and thinking “Oh, theres not really alot of work here” but then listening to some of the comments around the room and some things that people have said to me it makes it sound as though I have done alot of work. There is something about Blogging all my assignments that I find alot more comfortable to do than writing essays in a text editor such as Microsoft Word or writing them down on paper, I somehow find Blogging a more informal way of doing the work and I end up getting immersed in the work that I am doing, especially if it is something that requires a lot of my own opinion and things that are coming out of my head rather than other sources because the words just come out a lot more fluently. Just looking down after explaining what doesn’t seem a lot has turned out to be nearly 700 words and its that kind of thing that I find easy, because with Blogging, their is no right or wrong way to present something because it is a persons personal log about what they have done and what they have found out, apposed to just having loads of facts and figures on a page that make people loose interest in what people are talking about.

Going on to discuss the other units, the Interactivity unit is interesting, changing interfaces and improving them or creating your own, however I have found it fairly difficult to find things that I would change on interfaces because I use them day to day and to me, I just accept them as how they are and If I encounter a problem then I will find a way around it or over it without changing the interface itself. Learning to use the software like Adobe Flash and also learning more skills on Adobe Photoshop have been really interesting as I’ve always wondered how people created flash animations and games. Even starting off with something as simple as Shape Tweens and Motion Tweens really interested me, I managed to make shapes fly around the screen, change shape and change colour all at the same time which actually blew my mind the first time I did it!

Going onto the VAL unit, we have learnt how to use so many different pieces of computer software. Mostly stuff made by a company called Autodesk, the main program being 3D Studio Max (3DSMax) then we went onto using other programs such as Mudbox and Maya which are all created by Autodesk. We have also looked at Augmented Reality looking at a piece of software created by BMW to show off their Z4 car and how it has been incorporated with Augmented Reality. We also looked at something that created our very own First Person Shooter game.

So all in all, I am enjoying the course, I have learnt so much stuff so far, from tutorials and guest speakers that have been in to talk to us and what they do and also from researching into various topics.