PIDP 3240 Social Media
Blog site AVAM3101.blogspot.ca (A Career in Aircraft Maintenance)
Assignment #4 Resource Blog Self- Assessment
Before the start of this PID I was quite apprehensive about the topics we were to cover during the 8 weeks. Although I was comfortable on the computer and use one every day, my experience with blogs and wikis was nil. That being said, I come from a background in aircraft maintenance and on an almost daily basis I was confronted by technical snags for which I had no immediate answer. I would study the faults, read the manuals, consult co-workers and inevitably get the problem resolved. Dealing with blogs and wikis could not be any worse; in fact I could be warm and dry with a hot pot of coffee at home while I figured it all out.
Once I began the process of assignments #3 and #4, my worries faded away and I realized how simple creating this site was. All the information and tips were on-line, usually via YouTube. I thoroughly enjoyed creating my blog and in fact had to stop myself from going in and tweaking it daily, changing this and that. I found it simple to use, edit and post information, no worse than the PowerPoint’s I create for my own classes. I found myself thinking often about information and saying “Oh yeah, this would be great on my blog”.
I quite enjoyed watching Ray Tessiers’ blog. This wasn’t just because we both teach at BCIT Aerospace, but more due to the fact the Ray had a completely different career in aviation than I did. I enjoyed watching his site grow, seeing the photos and having a peek into what his experience was like in aviation, except from a military background. I enjoyed watching what he included of value and comparing it to what I put an emphasis on for content. I also liked Emeldas’ blog because we chatted often about the technical issues she was having and her fear of the computer. I encouraged her to keep chipping away at it, telling her that before this course I had never worked on a wiki or a blog either. I felt comfortable on the computer and perusing the internet, so it was interesting and rewarding to see Emeldas’ blog grow as she figured things out.
I see the blog being used as a motivational tool for the students and a source for additional information I may not have time to provide in class. I encouraged my students to visit the blog and let me know what they thought. I included photos from my career and interesting video links about gas turbine engines and aircraft. Aviation is such a huge, broad industry that graduates could end up working in places and on machines they could never have predicted in school. My ten years as a mechanic and supervisor in the industry was short compared to most of my peers, but I enjoyed it from start to finish. I wanted to try capture some of this in the blog. When a student asks me what fishing has to do with working on airplanes? I know they have checked out my site. Then there is a story to every picture.
Many students are still unsure as they close in on graduation whether they will even work in the industry! Some are taking the education just to appease parents; others haven’t yet decided where they will focus their job hunt or if they want to travel away from the city for work. My hope is that the blog will provide them with a little window into my career and how much fun I had, the experiences I gained by not being afraid to travel around. They are after all going into an AVIATION career! As well, posting different links for work resources, educational material and maybe given the time a current events area could all serve the purpose of helping students learn more and discover more about their chosen career path than I can possibly teach them in class.
As my blog grows, I would like to include video of assignments from the course I teach. Once again, given the time I would enjoy recording an engine being disassembled by the student over their 3 week shop project. This video could then be edited, given a voice over and posted on my page. Not only is it interesting seeing how a gas turbine works, its’ internal parts and the disassembly, re-assembly process; student could use this video as a preview for the project to come; or students in earlier levels could have a peek at what they get to do in Level 5 with Mr. German. Once again the biggest issue is time to get these ideas completed. Also at BCIT, while I am teaching gas turbines today, there is no guarantee that in the new year I may be moved and end up teaching hydraulics for 6 months. My blog would then have to shift over to focus on brakes, landing gear and wheels, my ideas for gas turbines on hold till a later date.
In the future, should I create another blog my main issue is that I will have no fear and could probably get one up and running in a matter of minutes. What I do differently would depend on what I wish to post and present to the world? A blog highlighting my passion for sport and fitness may include photos and videos I have taken from trips and events worldwide. It could include links for food, nutrition, gear and travel sites. I could also provide links to other blogs such as my wife’s massage therapist page, physical therapists and other sports medicine areas. I would like to have a video that might play on the main page immediately as you log in but haven’t yet figure out how to link up a video to something I would post on YouTube.
I feel my blog is very strong. I am not going to say it has weaknesses because I have never created a blog before. As this is my first attempt I am quite proud of the work I have done. I have put a large amount of time and effort into creating an interesting and useful site. While reading through the rubric, I can say that I have targeted all the points essential to obtaining a Level 4. I have posted all the required material such as our Tech and Trends articles plus Web 2.0 tool summary; I have posted five (Death by PowerPoint was also included) journal entries which all show significant thought and insight; I have touched on all the points as per the expectations in the course assignment outline; I have contributed a significant amount of my own photos to provide a visually interesting page; I have also linked videos that should be of interest to not only my students but the casual visitor as well.
My entries to the blog are categorized and well titled with an excellent links page. My links include not only VCC but BCIT and the Aerospace link as well. I have a list of the reading material required in my course and in fact the whole program. Should the student be closer to graduation I have links to job boards and Transport Canada for their license requirements. Additional information and little teasers are provided in the form of links to web sites of some of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world today. A visit to any one of these sites could provide hours of reading and information for even the most basic aviation buff. My writing has been triple checked for grammar and spelling and I feel the look of the page is very clean, neat, organized and professional for a first attempt at a blog. For all these reasons I have stated my mark should be a minimum of an A, falling in the range from Level 3 (9) to Level 4 (9.5).