I was nominated to take part in this course right before it started. So I had no idea what to expect and I am still struggling to exactly figure out what the outcomes are. But I am sure it will be beneficial. So far I have been introduced to all kinds of new online tools. Some that I have never even heard of before. But I love change, so it is all very interesting and I am enjoying it. The challenge to me, however, is, I have not been able to figure out how I am going to use what I have learned so far as a part of my teaching and learning. Bearing in mind that I am in the accounting discipline. But… I am sure it will come as we progress into the course. Our School of Accounting is situated on multiple campuses across the country. And I think for communication purposes the tools that we have learnt so far might be very beneficial.

The most fascinating thing to me from the first topic was definitely the thing about the filter bubbles. According to Wikipedia: “A filter bubble is a result of a personalized search in which a website algorithm selectively guesses what information a user would like to see based on information about the user (such as location, past click behavior and search history) and, as a result, users become separated from information that disagrees with their viewpoints, effectively isolating them in their own cultural or ideological bubbles.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_bubble)

This basically means that if I search a word, Eli Pariser used the example of the word “Egypt” in his video on filter bubbles, on the internet, and someone else searches the exact same word, we will not get the same search results. The reason for that being our location, search history, even the type of device we are searching from. This means that I will only see what this algorithm thing thinks I want to see and agree with. It’s like only wanting to be around people you like and hearing stuff you believe in.

I don’t know about you, but I do not only want to receive information that I like and that I agree with, I want to receive information that will challenge my beliefs. So now the problem is – what can I do about this? I came across this website (http://www.niemanlab.org/2012/07/are-we-stuck-in-filter-bubbles-here-are-five-potential-paths-out/) that suggests five potential paths out of filter bubbles. Very interesting. Not all of them are things that we can do ourselves, but there are two things we can do – 1) we can stop speculating and start looking and we can 2) figure out what we really want. So I guess if we really use the internet to gain information and not only for playing around, and if we are being really specific in terms of what we need, we can side-step this filter bubble. I hate being trapped!! It will be my challenge to get out of it – accepted!!