Week 9 Blog

It really does not feel like it’s been 9 weeks of this internship. It pains me to say, in 4 more weeks this internship will be over. However, I always try to look at the positive side of things, when this internship is over I will have made a massive positive impact on the module areas on Blackboard for my department, learning episodes will have been created, the accessibility rating of each module will have been improved, tutorial videos created for how to download specialist software, a navigation video of how to navigate around the Blackboard module areas and improved the captioning of the lectures. 

Overall, I cannot wait to get started with this week. Keep on reading to find exciting, events that happened throughout the week. 

Monday 

I woke up on a lovely Monday morning, with a cup of Coffee at hand – I prefer my coffee with milk. I opened my laptop at 8:45 and got started with today’s task. I feel that accessibility is extremely important because no students will be at a disadvantage of learning the content on Microsoft Word documents, PowerPoints (Where the lectures and seminars are created) and on Portable Document Format (PDF)s – that was this morning’s focus. Whilst doing it I realised how much progress Andrew (my colleague) and I have made on accessibility -everything is now 90% or more accessible and I am extremely joyful about that! Not only have we done a fantastic job but all of the students will be able to learn the content easily. It just amazing how much of a difference we have made. 

For the rest of the day, I focused on learning episodes. Learning episodes is another important aspect to learning because then students will be able to follow a pattern and be able to learn the content in the order the module leader intended the students to follow.

Tuesday 

Today has been the busiest day so far!

Some students find it difficult to install the software some modules required to complete the module. So today I had to create an installation video for Anaconda, which is a software used in data science. It uses the programming language Python. To complete this task, I had to learn how the software works. This meant having a play with the software and following the instructions provided in one of the lectures. It took most of the day to create to the video as the software’s installation process required some packages and specific settings.

For the final hour of the day I attended an extremely useful Careers webinar. This one was called ‘Spring into Success – The Graduate Job Interview – What to expect and how to prepare’. I found this incredibly useful because every time I have an interview, I always get a bit nervous. The techniques about reducing stress were great and they shared an important tip to make a plan for travelling to where the interview is going to take place and note down how long it takes you. I also learnt some common mistakes which I am to ensure I avoid in my next interview such as waffling on or saying too little, not drawing on experience, talking too fast or too little.

Wednesday 

Motivation is really important whilst you are working. The less motivated you are the quality of work you produce will decrease. Throughout my internship there have been times where I question my motivation. I have two solutions to this. One is take a quick ten minute break (breaks are mega important). You need time to breathe to relax as then your brain is not focusing on work. I normally sit down with a cup of tea and listen to one or two songs. Listening to Carly Rae Jepsen often helps keep my motivation levels up. The other solution is to mix things up and get on with other tasks. 

MacBook Pro

Thursday 

I felt amazing in the morning because my motivation levels have increased significantly from yesterday. Doing the captioning of the lecturers doesn’t just benefit the students and lecturers, it also benefits me as well because I get the chance to learn about topics taught in the Master’s program. The module my colleague and I worked on today is a Masters Dissertation Preparation module – I will be producing a dissertation in my 3rd year.

Proving you have a particular skill is incredibly useful for when you are trying to get a job, because of this I thought it would be extremely useful to spend some time completing a LinkedIn Learning course. One piece of software we all use is Microsoft Word and this LinkedIn Learning course is about learning the basics of Microsoft Word. The course is called Learning Word 2019. So when I’m applying for a job and in the future if the person specification says I need to have knowledge of Microsoft Word then I can show them the certificate to prove it! 

Friday 

Today is the final day of the week. I sat down with a glass of water and turned on my laptop on at 8:45 excited to get on with today’s task. Today my colleague and I decided to continue with the captioning of the lecture slides. This is a very important task to continue with because the current lecture slides needed to be replaced with the accessible template. So this task kept me busy for the rest of the day.

Reflection is an extremely important process because then you can identify your strengths and weaknesses. For me, the skill I want to improve on is my working speed. I am a bit of a perfectionist so this sometimes causes me to be careful in my work because I like to ensure that my work is done correctly. However, the disadvantage to this is I tend to take longer than necessary and I don’t often realise how long the job is taking me. In my reflection I have said my action plan is to time myself in how long I spend on a particular task, that way I will be able to see if I am spending too long on a task and need to move onto the next one. 

Overall, I have enjoyed this week a lot and I can’t wait to enjoy the rest of it and help make a difference to some of the module areas that the lecturers will use to teach their students. 

By Simon Hackett-Evans (Student Intern) 

Microsoft Educator

What is it? 

Microsoft Innovative Educator is a free service Microsoft offer which offers educators, or even those interested in using technology, certifications to prove they have bettered their learning. 

The Microsoft Educator Center offers access to many courses that let you earn professional development credit in the comfort of your home and your own time. Whether you are an educator or anyone looking to enrich your skills to offer your students the best possible learning experience or a student yourself, the Microsoft Educator Center will have activities that will help you improve your use of Office 365, Flipgrid, Microsoft Teams and many more.  

Microsoft Educator Center has a variety of different courses and just like LinkedIn Learning, have learning paths you can complete which aims to improve your skills at a particular topic such as the learning path we completed ‘Getting started with Office 365 and Windows for leadership’. This learning path shows how to efficiently organise and communicate frameworks by using the tools the software’s offer. Many of the beginner and intermediate learning paths will also offer recommendations of other learning paths which will help with furthering your knowledge on a particular subject. 

What does it offer? 

The Microsoft Educator Center also offers badges which will be given once you have completed courses, and these can also be shared with peers or other students to show your achievements. To earn learning path badges, you will need to complete earn all badges within that learning path by completing all the quizzes each course will provide. When 2 hours of courses have been completed, you will also earn the Microsoft Innovative Educator badge which is the first step in becoming a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. The Microsoft Innovative Educator Programs will be further explained below. 

Excluding courses and learning paths, the Microsoft Educator Center also offers learning through its resources. Unlike courses and learning paths a resource doesn’t offer badges, what it does offer is resources you can use to further educate yourself on different topics. One resource I found interesting was the ‘Introduction to Excel’ resources, as this offered helpful tips which will increase my efficiency when using Excel in the future.  

Screenshot of badges achieved on Microsoft

Microsoft Educator Center also links and post your qualifications onto your LinkedIn profile, where you can show your certifications to potential employers. This is also great as during your interviewing process you can provide certifications of being competent in the required Microsoft office programmes.  

What is the Microsoft Innovative Educator Programs and what to do?  

The Microsoft Innovative Educator Programs are great and are not necessary for just educators, I am hoping when I go to gain employment after university that these accreditations will stand as I do have the knowledge regarding Microsoft and it’s products that I have stated on my CV. 

I found theses course to be educational and engaging. The Microsoft innovate educator courses are online and therefore were easy to fit around my busy schedule. 

 These courses are mostly videos with an interactive quiz built into the video itself. Therefore, as the video plays along you must follow along within a new document within the website page. 

I chose to complete a course pathway first which included “Getting started with OneNote” and “Getting started with Office 365 and Windows” I found these to be simple and faster than the 1 hour time Microsoft had said they would take to complete. I find these useful and there was many hints and tips I did not know about this software.   

To gain your Microsoft Innovative Educator badge you need to complete 2 hours training and therefore by passing these courses I had done this. I found some of the learning pathways to be interesting and therefore chose to continue on with these. Below is some of the certifications I have gained through this programme.  

Screenshot of badges achieved on Microsoft

By Katie McCarthy and Daniel Bresnahan (Student Interns)

10 steps to make a captivating LinkedIn profile as a student

In the world of finding a job, there are many candidates competing against each other for a small pool of jobs. But there is a way that candidates can stand out amongst the crowd…. it’s a handy social media platform called LinkedIn.  

LinkedIn is a social networking site where you can show off your abilities and network with top professionals from all over the world. It might assist you in landing direct internships and career possibilities by referring you to your network. 

To take use of LinkedIn’s power as a student, you’ll need a great LinkedIn profile that can attract the attention of professionals on the platform. 

So here’s some steps to create the best LinkedIn profile. 

Step 1: Add a profile picture  

Did you know that profiles with a picture are 11 times more likely to be clicked on? So first impressions, even online, make a real impact. Don’t forget to make sure the background is clear, and your face is in the centre with nothing obstructing your face.  

Here’s an example of the most beautiful profile you’ll ever set your eyes on  

LinkedIn profile

Step 2: Create an eye-catching header  

linkedin profile

A great headline showcases your current position and also your interests, this is the best way to highlight your current area of study and also what you may want to do in the future. So be yourself and show off who you are! 

Step 3: Show off how professional you are with a summary  

Your summary should include an introduction to yourself as well as an overview of your academic and extracurricular accomplishments. 

Here’s an example: 

summary

When you’re just starting out in the professional world, it’s a good idea to add industry-specific keywords to your profile summary. Recruiters and hiring managers will be able to locate you more easily in search results as a result of this.  

Don’t be afraid to sell yourself and show your best self, you never know when a recruiter comes across your profile and would like to interview you, so having a great summary to present yourself will attract the right people to you.  

Step 4: Show off your brilliant mind with your education 

education

Create a list of all of the schools and colleges you’ve attended, along with their descriptions. 

It is always useful to add your university to your LinkedIn profile as it makes it easier to locate uni alumni, faculty and friends. You’ll be able to communicate with each other and keep track of what they’re up to this way. There could also be a chance that a person that attended the same uni is also in the company you want to work for, so you can now network with those people to ask questions and build a relationship.  

Step 5: Showcase your volunteering and experiences 

experience for linkedin
volunteer experience

Let your volunteering and experiences do all the talking when it comes to how much you have worked hard to gain valuable transferable skills. If you don’t have volunteering experience or a job yet, it is a good idea to start building up experiences as all industries want people to have experience. 

Step 6: What skills do you have?  

skills & endorsement

Keeping track of important skills on your profile can help you locate better internships and career connections. Here’s an idea, get your friends that have worked on group projects with you to endorse your skills, or even a previous employer. The skills you emphasise will make you stand out amongst other people. 

Step 7: Add languages you are fluent in 

accomplishments

To add a language to your profile, first click on ‘Add a section’, then ‘Accomplishment’ and ‘Languages’ can be found under this section.  

Knowing languages other than your native tongue is incredibly advantageous in today’s world since being able to converse in different languages allows you to build genuine communication with others. 

So, if you’re multilingual, list those languages in the accomplishments area. Select your language proficiency level as well. 

Step 8: Don’t forget your certificates and award  

licenses and certificates

If you’ve earned any certificates or LinkedIn Learning courses, this is a great way to show off your extra-curricular activities, and your dedication to other activities other than school. It shows that you are interesting and that you have a life outside of just school or work.  

Step 9: Join LinkedIn Groups  

linkedin  groups

Put your self out there and start joining groups so that you can build a community on LinkedIn this will only further your profile as a student and gain you more connections. Join groups that you are interested in and start conversations and build relationships.  

Step 10: Start connecting with professionals and friends  

It’s so important to connect with classmates, teachers, and alumni, they should definitely be at the top of your priorities list when connecting with others. There are so many opportunities that will be open to you career wise when you are contacting people that have also attended your university or college – they can provide some advice and tips on how they got into the industry they are in. Later on, you might want to seek out more industry professionals and build contact with them. It’s always nice to respond to your contacts’ postings and professionally ask relevant questions. 

If you need any career help, Edge Hill provides a lot of help for students that want to prepare for the working world whether it’s interviews to gaining more experience or even discussing career options.  

If you want some support from Careers, click here for the careers page. You can also book an appointment.

By Gifty Reji (Student Intern)

Photograph of Gifty

A week in the life of a Student Intern – Week 8

It feels like so much has happened since I last wrote telling you all about my fifth week in the Internship, but here we are on Week 8. You can read my previous blog here – https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/learningedge/2021/07/16/week-5-a-week-in-the-life-of-a-student-intern/

Monday

It’s Monday morning… I got out of bed, had a morning cup of tea and got ready to greet my favourite team members.

After our Monday run down and a quick catch up, we logged off the meeting and got to work which for me was to make some changes to ‘meet the team posters’. A task myself and Reece (You would have read some his blogs around mental wellbeing, if not make sure to check them out!) have been working on.

This task requires us to create a fun yet professional poster introducing every member of the Faculty of Education to new students. Not only do we have to make sure their 100% accessible but that they meet a professional standard, and the staff are happy with their own individual poster.

Yet this week, we have made so much progress because we have completed 30 out of 63 ready to schedule for tweeting in September!! This took up most my morning and by the time we had fixed some issues, it was time for my lunch.

After my lunch, (cheesy pasta is always a go to) I was focusing on finishing up my digital escape room, well my third, I definitely got the hang of it!! I have created three surrounding Greek Myths, such as Theseus and the Minotaur, Perseus and Medusa and finally Odysseus’ Odyssey. The escape rooms ask students to escape through their knowledge of Edge Hill and the services the university provides as well as some creative riddles – which confuddled some of my teams’ heads.

By five all three escape rooms where perfect and I couldn’t have been prouder of myself.

Tuesday

I always think Tuesday’s go by in a flash. A task I have been given is to identify the sixth form providers in the Northwest of England and see if they are active on Twitter. This task meant one thing… a spreadsheet. Now if you’ve been reading my blogs since the start of the Internship then you’d know that me and Excel were not the best of friends… well now we’ve brought a house and are living happily ever after. I got into the routine of copying, pasting, searching and repeating to the point where this task which at first seemed huge took me a day!

I think this shows how when you can get in the groove of working, you can lose yourself a little. So, right now I’m going to remind you to make sure you’re drinking plenty and that you get yourself some fresh air, especially if you’re working from home!

Wednesday

On Wednesday I worked with Reece on the meet the team posters, completing some amendments and using Canva to make them look visually appealing. I’d like to think that Canva is following me, because if I’m not on it at work, then I’m seeing the advert everywhere!

Through creating the meet the team posters, I have definitely become more creative and can make posters for most tasks, I especially love using all the different elements they provide to create the perfect poster for my idea. For those interested there is great course available on Learning LinkedIn called Learning Canva – https://www.linkedin.com/learning/learning-canva-2/what-you-can-use-canva-for?u=35744052

Of course, we got the amendments done quickly, after that I dove into create some content for A Level Results Day to welcome new students to the Faculty of Education.

Thursday

Thursday always goes quickly. My Thursday consisted of planning for a new task, but first my morning meeting followed by a meeting with the lovely FoE Reading for Pleasure ambassadors, who work together to encourage teachers in training to get children reading for pleasure rather than just at school and as an aspiring author I adore the idea.

Following this meeting I began to research all kinds of different books which could benefit children. I was also tasked to create a thread of books which explore diversity and inclusivity for each stage of education, Early Years, Primary Education and Secondary Education. I found this task very exciting as I love to read.

After researching I moved onto a new task, which Sarah set us that morning creating a brand for the work we produce so they cohesively and collectively fit together.

The team quickly created our own brand kits and presented them to each other, we realised that we all had used a shade of blue, therefore blue was to be in our palette. We drew other colours such as a seafoam green from the Digital Internship logo and added base colours such as white and black and our colour palette was made!

Friday

Finally, Friday! I started my morning with ordering a caramel macchiato and saying good morning to my team.

A computer on a table

We discussed which font to choose for our brand image and we found this a little hard as two members of our team, myself included have a visual impairment, and we often found ourselves in the situation where one font was accessible for one of us but not for the other. Personally, I find fonts such as Cambria and Bookman Old Style easy to read but I would stick to Arial if you’re unsure.

So once our brand was confirmed, we could get back to work and today’s task was to create a social media good practice guide for future teachers in training in compliance to the Edge Hill Social Media Compliance Policy. I found this task quite refreshing as I understood most of it due to my experience within the field of Health and Social Care.

But that was my Friday, I logged off at five and enjoyed my weekend which included dinner at a local Italian and shopping!

By Sharnie Bowen (Student Intern)

The key to email accessibility

We Digital Interns have lived and breathed accessibility for the last couple of months. If you were to ask any one of us for advice on how to make a document accessible, we could give you a bucket load of tips. It has now become second nature for us to use refinements to make our reports and presentations 100% accessible. 

However, most of us continue to bash out an email on the keyboard without considering our dyslexic friend, or how it will translate to audio for the partially sighted students in our cohort.  

a key inserted into a lock

The fact is, it’s easy to make a couple of quick enhancements to the email template to ensure that all emails follow basic accessibility principles. Giving equal thought to formatting an email as you would to a Word document is crucial. For example, using heading structures and detailed alternative text when adding an image helps the partially sighted person understand the context of the document. 

Outlook offers the same accessibility features as other Microsoft products; a few seconds spent checking will ensure your important content is actioned by readers. There is nothing worse for a dyslexic than being faced with lines and lines of text.  They seem to mingle into one and become over facing, so keep emails succinct and to the point. Less is more.  

mobile phone screen showing inbox

Here are some helpful tips to remember when composing an email: 

  • Use clear fonts 
  • Use a larger font size (12+) 
  • Use 1.5 line spacing  
  • Format your email consistently 
  • Add alt text to your images 
  • Avoid image only emails 
  • Make sure it is consistent, defined and easily digestible 
  • Check the colour contrast using WebAim 
  • Use the accessibility checker before sending 

Take a look below at some further ways in which you too can now ensure that your emails are fully accessible, taking into consideration important aspects such as colour contrast levels, using a digital signature and adding alt text to images/screenshots.

Poor Contrast Levels

A common mistake is using poor colour contrast. If you need to use colours within the email then you check out the contrast on WebAim, ensuring that it is fully accessible.  

examples of good and bad contrast
Examples of Good and Poor Contrast 

Built-in Signature

Finally, using the built-in signature feature to add a few refinements can help spread the message throughout the Edge Hill community.  Why not add a line on the importance of accessibility to your email signature?

How about adding a link to this easy to follow “how to” document, so others can join the accessibility club?

For more information about accessibility staff can visit the following wiki pages – https://go.edgehill.ac.uk/display/ls/Accessibility

Students can also visit our Build Accessible webpages to learn more about accessibility – https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/onlinelearning/build-accessible/

By Paula Garlick (Student Intern)

Photograph of Paula

Wellbeing tips from Edge Hill’s Digital Student Interns…

Wellbeing: The state of being comfortable, happy, or healthy.

Happiness, comfort, and good health is a goal which stands at the heart of success; the Digital Student Interns have shared some of the ways in which they achieve good emotional and physical wellbeing…

First up is having time to relax– sometimes this falls into each day or week, and other times this means scheduling ‘down-time’ into your to-do list or timetable! It is easy to focus on productivity and being busy, but rest is imperative for the body to rebuild and regrow. Within this, comes sleep! It is without question that maintaining a regular sleep schedule (where possible) and getting between 7 and 10 hours of sleep per night, helps us to feel energised and positive each day. Additionally, some interns have suggested that listening to podcasts, audio-books, or using the Headspace mobile app have helped them to be mindful, and focus on relaxation. Getting outside and breathing in some fresh air, feeling the sun on your skin, and perhaps going for a short (or long) walk can provide an unrivalled boost to the system too.

Walking boots image.

Staying hydrated by drinking water, as well as maintaining a healthy and balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables is another popular way to stay happy and healthy. Not only is water the elixir of life and is imperative for surviving, keeping fluids up is the key to thriving each day too- flushing out the toxins, battling those nasty headaches and supporting the basic needs of the body. The vitamins and minerals packed into fruits and vegetables too provide nurture to our bodies- whether it’s a smoothie every morning, some dried mango as an easy snack for on-the-go or a plate full of salad-goodness for your evening meal! Also, ‘laughter is the best medicine– a shared belief within the Intern group which never fails to lift spirits and boost emotional wellbeing.

Image of a smoothie on a table.

Having a giggle with friends or family out in town, or even just over a coffee in the garden is a perfect mood-enhancer, but there can also be a chuckle found in feel-good films and TV series. Why not check out ‘Box of Broadcasts’ with your Edge Hill student login and watch your favourite shows for free online, there is something on there for everyone. The top picks for the interns are Gavin and Stacey, Disney Films, Marvel, and Brooklyn99! TV not your thing? Immersing yourself in a good book might feed your happiness- Catalyst at the heart of Edge Hill campus has a wide range of fictional and non-academic based books and magazines which may spark your interest. In fact, there is a brand new ‘fiction for fun’ section coming to the bottom floor of Catalyst where you can browse your favourite books. Personally, I love a fiction book, but some of the Interns suggested that books based on their hobbies and passions, such as Greek mythology, crafts or astronomy tickle their fancy.

Finally, there was a strong consensus among the Digital Interns that getting our bodies moving was the key to physical and emotional wellbeing. Some of us love going to the gym, some favoured swimming, a few were partial to dancing like no-one is watching, yoga, gym classes, and others loved a quick 10-minute workout from Youtube. The subsidised gym membership provided at Edge Hill Sport Centre also gives a chance for students and staff members to feed their wellbeing 7 days a week with a whole range of different activities!

Image of a woman doing yoga.

So there stands just a few ways that the Digital Student Interns have found to boost their physical and emotional wellbeing. Everybody is different, so why not try your hand at a few of the above suggestions for health, comfort, and happiness?

Here is the link to Edge Hill Box of Broadcasts where you can browse your favourite shows or discover something new!

Box of Broadcasts – Edge Hill University

And… why not browse the Library Catalogue and find a good book to tuck into: Library and Learning Services – Learning Services (edgehill.ac.uk)

If you fancy popping into the Edge Hill University Arts Centre (Ormskirk Campus) to watch a film or browse What’s On, click here! The Arts Centre – The Arts Centre (edgehill.ac.uk)

By Eleanor Rowell (Student Intern)

Photograph of Eleanor.

The Benefits of LinkedIn Learning.

LinkedIn Learning graphic

With increased focus on digital learning, a self-guided approach to professional development has never been more important. Thankfully, Edge Hill’s Library and Learning Services have recently partnered with LinkedIn Learning, giving students free, unlimited access to thousands of high-quality courses developed by industry experts. Courses range from software guidance to advice on maintaining your wellbeing, and can be anywhere from short, 10-minute tutorials, to extensive, 4-hour upskilling courses.

Many LinkedIn Learning courses include exercise files that enable you to work alongside the course leader’s instructions. Upon finishing a course, you will be provided with a Certificate of Completion, which you can add to your LinkedIn profile and download for use elsewhere. The skills you have gained on the course will be added to the ‘Skills & Endorsements’ section of your LinkedIn profile, increasing your chances of appearing in relative search results. LinkedIn Learning also tailors your course suggestions based on your history. So, if you complete a course on Google Analytics, similar courses on Marketing will appear in your feed. It’s a great way to keep track of your progress and to stay on top of industry developments. Plus, by taking a self-directed approach to learning, you are demonstrating your commitment to professional development, enhancing your appeal to prospective employers.

My Top 5 LinkedIn Learning Courses.

Graphic of student working on ipad.

Digital Accessibility for the Modern Workplace, with Hector Minto.

As a Digital Intern, I have focused heavily on ensuring content is accessible to all students. Therefore, an understanding of disability requirements is imperative. Not all disabilities are visible, and some may even hide their disabilities for fear of discrimination. Therefore, it is important that we uncover gaps in our thinking to ensure working environments are as safe and inclusive as possible. This course covers vision, hearing, motor/dexterity, cognition/learning, mental health, and speech disabilities. It also includes guidance on increasing the accessibility of social media, meetings, emails, and presentations.

Google Universal Analytics (2020), with Corey Koberg.

As anyone with an interest in marketing will know, SEO is key to understanding customers. This course gives beginners a firm foundation for exploring Google Analytics, breaking down navigation basics, essential reports, metrics and dimensions, and user engagement. It certainly takes some practice, but once you have set up a Google Analytics account and you have added the tracking tag to your chosen sites, you get start getting to grips with the basics.

Marketing on Twitter, with Megan Adams.

I was recently appointed as a casual Communications Officer for a project I am passionate about, and my main responsibility is managing the social media. Therefore, maximising user engagement and building contacts through Twitter is crucial. This course covers branding, building a Twitter audience, and leveraging the power of your tweets. Here are some top tips I have taken away:

  • Include a call to action at the end of the tweet, e.g. ‘visit our website for more information’.
  • Add 2 keywords from any linked content to the body of your tweet.
  • Include images where possible, as tweets with visual elements drive more engagement.
  • Create Twitter lists to organise and prioritise tweets. This is useful if you don’t want to miss any content from specific users.
  • Use TweetDeck to schedule your Tweets. This helps to ensure a steady flow of content.

Learning to Write Marketing Copy, with Ian Lurie.

Many English graduates will know that copywriting positions are very competitive. Employers often ask for previous experience in a similar role; therefore, being able to provide evidence of adaptive writing skills is essential. This course takes you through the fundamentals of collateral, medium and style, how to construct an audience specification and how to clarify your copy. It also covers handy A/B and multivariate testing tools such as Optimizely and Unbounce for measuring Conversation Rate Optimization, so you can actually analyse the effectiveness of your copy.

Learning Excel 2019, with David Rivers.

I have always found Microsoft Excel intimidating. I struggle with numerical data, so the sight of formulas, graphs and grids can send me into panic mode. However, once I learned about formatting, formulas, and inserting charts, I realised that the basics of Excel are pretty straightforward. In fact, the programme’s auto functions make it a dream for those who have difficulty quantifying data, as Excel does all the hard work for you.

Graphic of person surrounded by data images, paper, graphs, phone etc.

For more top course recommendations compiled by digital interns, visit Getting Started with LinkedIn Learning.

EHU students can access further guidance on LinkedIn Learning through the Library and Learning Services.

By Laura Glancy (Student Intern)

Photograph of Laura Glancy

Turning your Mobile Phone into a Tool for Success – 6 ways to Optimise your Potential.

On average, Brits spend 3 hours and 23 minutes staring at their mobile phone each day. To put this into context, that’s 49 days of the whole year, can you imagine spending a month and a half sat looking at your phone the entire day? – tiring right? Yet we still do it. The most popular app in 2020 was TikTok – a highly addictive short video sharing platform. Imagine if we utilised the hours we look at our phone and turn it into a more productive tool to boost ourselves and maximise potential. Here’s 6 ways we can do that:

1. Podcasts

Podcasts have started to gain popularity over the past few years, but some people still don’t utilise them to their full potential. Podcasts are great. Stick them on whilst doing the cleaning, doing your makeup before a night out or in the morning to get you started for the day. Not only are podcasts a great substitute to pointless videos, they also limit the time actually spent viewing your phone in turn making you less exposed to blue light – win win! It’s a great way to find new hobbies and interests and learn new things! Spotify shows top podcasts by category, meaning you can explore podcasts to do with music, science, sports, true crime and much more! Some of my favourite podcasts include:

Times News Briefing

A short 2-3-minute podcast every day discussing the latest headlines aired 3 times a day! A great way to start your morning informed.

JaackMaates Happy Hour

A podcast hosted by Youtuber JaackMaate and his friend Stevie White who provide a comedic style podcast every Monday and Thursday. They often invite celebrity guests and YouTube stars to sit and discuss different topics. The podcast is famously known for asking each guest what their favourite meal deal is!

The Yes Theory Podcast

Another youtuber hosted podcast which explores how discomfort may hold the key to meaning and happiness. Alongside their YouTube channel, Thomas, Matt and Ammar break the boundaries with their ‘Yes’ theory – the theory of saying yes to everything. Their podcasts and YouTube videos are inspiring and perfect for self-growth and reflection.

Podcasts - Times New Briefing, JaackMaates Happy Hour, The Yes Theory Podcast.

2.    Regular Screen Time Checks

Many phones have an in-built app displaying screen time. It shows exactly how much time you spend on your phone and what on. Almost most of us are aware of this, how many of us actually use it to our potential? Knowing how much time you spend on your phone and setting limits is crucial. Could you be using your phone more wisely? Do you really need to spend 3 hours a day on TikTok? When you begin to cut back and substitute that time with more productive apps, you begin to use your phone as a tool for success. Being aware of limits and setting goals whilst requires self-strength, will allow you to optimise your phones potential.

3.    Productivity apps

If you struggle setting boundaries yourself and are easily tempted to scroll on your phone – I know how you feel we’ve all been in an endless tiktok hole, then use apps that help you stay on track. Forest is a mobile productivity application that enables users to focus on their work by planting trees. You can set timers to distance yourself away from your phone, and whilst time ticks on the app, a tree is planted creating a virtual garden (whilst also giving you the option to plant a real-life tree – how great!) If you use your phone, the tree dies! Applications like this are a fun way to stay focused and productive. How about you start a league with your friends, who can track the most hours focused on the app? Everyone loves a bit of friendly competition.

To find more apps view the top 35 productivity apps for iPhone here: 35 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2021 Updated) (lifehack.org)

Or for android these 25 apps may be useful: Top 25 Must-Have Productivity Apps For Your Android 2019 (techviral.net)

Productivity apps

4.    Remove unnecessary apps and replace with educational platforms

As much as playing Subway Surfers passes the time in a long car journey, replacing them hours with fun learning is way more beneficial. How about learning a new language with Duolingo whilst on the way to your staycation? The platform offers 30+ languages for on the go language learning! Fancy some meditation? Download Headspace a mindfulness app to help manage a happy and relaxed lifestyle, or a chef in the kitchen? BBC Good Food gives users an extensive recipe data base to help you keep inspired in the kitchen. How about inspire others by posting your meals on Pinterest or Instagram?

5. Turning off notifications

A simple yet effective hack. Resisting the temptation can be difficult, by removing your notifications you are less likely to check social media as often. This gives you more time doing productive things you enjoy. So, go on, turn them off right now!

6.    Following people who make you feel good

This post isn’t suggesting stop using social media completely, social media is great when used in the correct way. Following people who inspire positivity and productivity can benefit your day massively. The links between negative body image and the use of social media is frightening but reclaiming apps like Instagram and creating a positive space is super easy! Although the gummy hair sweets look delicious or the cuticle cream is a must have… influencers who promote a positive lifestyle are the way to go! My favourite positively inspired wellbeing influencers include:

@mikzaaon on Instagram who promotes body positivity.

@justalittlebitofpositivity on Instagram who shares inspiring quotes and reminders.

@selfcarevisuals on Instagram who are a self-care and positivity page sharing tips and tricks to lead a healthier, happier life.

For more inspirational Instagram accounts visit: 25 Most Inspirational Instagram Accounts to Follow—Inspiring Instagram Accounts (parade.com) which runs through the 25 most inspirational accounts to follow!

Good Vibes Only

And there we have it! 6 tips to optimise your mobile phone potential. I hope these tips have been useful and begin to be incorporated into your daily life. Remember you have the power to change your phone into a tool for success, let’s get started!

By Jenna Wade – Student Intern

Jenna Wade

A Magical Experience: A Harry Potter Blog

Hello, I am Reece, and I am Student Intern at Edge Hill University. I hope by now you have come across at least one of my blogs because if not, you will find this one very strange. So, before I get into it, I will give you a bit of background on how this will go; I will discuss the previous week of the internship and focus on what I completed and how I maintained a positive attitude. However, the biggest plot twist in history is that I will write it as if I am at Hogwarts, so you Harry Potter fans better enjoy this! Ok, I have chatted too much about the irrelevant bits so let me just get on that nine and three-quarters platform and pop on the Hogwarts Express.

Hogwarts Express

Dear Muggles,

What a week it has been. Hogwarts has been fascinating, and since I started as a wizard (Student Intern) in week 1, I have learnt so much, and my magical skills have improved tremendously.

Let’s start off with the beginning of the week. Our headmaster, Dumbledore (Sarah), returned after their lovely break and caught up with all the wizards in Gryffindor (Faculty of Education). We all had an engaging catch-up, completed a few spells and even had a Butterbeer to celebrate Dumbledore returning. No, I am only joking; Butterbeer is after work hours only, or we would be banished to Azkaban for the remainder of our lives. I made some new potions (Posters) this week for the Mental Health task, and I do have to say I am pretty proud of them. I have learnt so much more about positive wellbeing, and I am confident the posters will benefit other wizards. Ok, that is enough about the start of the week because who is really interested in that? Let’s open a whole new door and see what I can share about Wednesday…

Opening a new door

Alohomora …

I created Meet the Team posters with my fellow wizard friend, Sharnie, to share some facts about the professors. This will benefit the new wizards arriving at Hogwarts in September because they will know what the professor specialises in. For example, potions, spells, muggle studies or charms. It has taken us nearly 7 weeks to complete this task, and it has been mentally draining at times to keep up with the workload and emails from over 70 professors, so what have I done to remain positive and not stress? There were only so many Bertie Bott’s jelly sweets I could eat, so I asked my fellow wizard, Amy, if they wanted to play Quidditch (UNO) during our lunch. We had a few games until we got angry because we kept losing and decided to fly off on our brooms to enjoy the rest of our lunch.

So, we are coming to the last two days of my Week 8 Hogwarts experience, and I can say I was mentally prepared for some new tasks. At that moment, Dumbledore set a new task to create a branded design for Gryffindor (Faculty of Education). All the wizards decided to cast their own spells and share their own ideas. This was great as it improved our creativity and team working skills. Nevertheless, we have still not decided on the perfect design, but we have all promised to include most or all our spells, so we all have an input in the design. Also, during that day, we had a meeting with the Ministry of Magic, but don’t worry everyone, the Ministry of Magic is no longer corrupt as it once was when Harry Potter attended Hogwarts. The lovely Laura and Leah are the Heads of the Ministry of Magic, so everything runs very smoothly. Unfortunately, Leah was out observing muggles, but Laura was there so we could share how Hogwarts has been, and she asked us for some content to have for the event in week 12 at the Ministry of Magic (The last week of the internship).

Hogwarts Castle

Finally, the day every wizard and muggle wait for… Friday! I had an important evening in Diagon Alley, but back to work talk. I created some more potions (posters) and completed my weekly reflection for the Ministry of Magic. I also made sure I helped another wizard with some content that will be shared on The Daily Prophet showing the LTD staff.

I had a busy week, I guess, but I didn’t run into any Death Eaters or get tangled in the Whomping Willow. Week 8 has been enjoyable, and I got a lot of work done which makes me feel positive about my contribution to Hogwarts, and more specifically, Gryffindor. I hope you have all enjoyed reading my week at Hogwarts, but now I am going to steal the Weasley’s family car, Flying Ford Anglia. See you all very soon.

 

Weasley’s family car, Flying Ford Anglia.

By Reece Thomas – Student Intern

A Week in the Life of a Student Intern

Monday:

Today was completely different to my usual Mondays as I was not working, instead I was GRADUATING! Honestly, I am still in disbelief at the whole day, I can’t believe that I have done it! The stress I felt the morning of was off the charts, even the slightest of traffic jams made me panic. I ended up having to get dressed in the car which as you can imagine was rather comical; “don’t drive past any lorries or buses for the next five minutes please Dad”.

We finally arrived and I waddled out of the car to registration in ridiculously impractical heels (rooky mistake). After putting my cap and gown on I went to meet my friends and their families before heading over to the ceremony. The ceremony was fantastic, and I cried at least 3 times (I am an emotional wreck). I think this past year has just become so surreal to me because it wasn’t the final year that I had envisioned, and we have all gone through so much, but everything happens for a reason and I could not be prouder of myself and all of my fellow classmates.

Photograph of Rachel at graduation.

After the ceremony I had my pictures taken and then picked up my complimentary picnic basket from the front lawn – this was amazing. It was in the most gorgeous big black box and inside contained: prosecco, a selection of sandwiches and cakes, crisp, a sausage roll and a quiche. Edge Hill really did go above and beyond to ensure this was a special day. I spent the rest of the afternoon with my friends and our families dipping into the picnic and celebrating the past three years. We finished the day off by walking round Edge Hill’s beautiful campus together one last time and recounting all the amazing memories we made here together.

Photograph of Rachel at graduation

Tuesday:

BACK TO WORK! It felt strange this morning going back to working for Edge Hill after spending the whole day on campus yesterday. I started the day by getting organised and speaking to colleagues to ensure that I hadn’t missed anything too important the day before. I then decided to complete a LinkedIn Learning course just to get me started and wake my brain up for the day. The weather was beautiful today, so I decided to put the parasol up and work in the back garden which really uplifted my mood – nothing better than a bit of sun to brighten your day!

For the rest of the day I dived right in with accessibility, I wanted to make sure that I caught myself up on the hours that I missed by not working on Monday and therefore really threw myself into it. This became quite a long day for me as the module I was working on consisted of a lot of similar PDFs. However, I broke the day up with LinkedIn Learning and still felt great about the progress that I made. On to the next day!

Wednesday:

Today I woke up determined to finish the module that I have been working on. It consisted of over 60 PDFs all containing multiple pages and I very much wanted to complete it and move on to something else. With this motivation in mind, I woke up and dived straight into accessibility. PDFs are such a peculiar document to work on as some of them are incredibly easy and quick fixes, whilst others take up half of the day and still don’t quite reach 100% accessibility. Most files that I had been working on today needed tagging from scratch and then little things such as adding a title and the language. Depending on the size and content of the document these tasks vary in completion time. However, I went into the day with a strong mindset and the results of this showed through the amount of work that I got done – another proud day at the office.

Thursday:

This morning I began by finishing the module I had been working on. After doing most of the hard work yesterday I only had to work on a few extra things before this was finished which was a great feeling. Later on in the morning I attended the FAS catch up meeting with a few of my colleagues and the leaders of the internship. I always enjoy theses meetings as it gives me an insight into what everyone else is doing and allows me to address any problems that I have faced. It’s also a lovely way to stay connected with others and not fall into the trap of isolating myself whilst working from home.

After the meeting I had half an hour till lunch, so I decided to start a LinkedIn Learning course and wait till after lunch to start a new module. After lunch I had a quick meeting with some other colleagues about blogs going forward and just discussed some new ideas as a group. I think it so much better sharing my ideas with others as it helps bring them to life and other people’s opinions really allows any ideas to reach their full and best potential.

For the rest of the day I started on a new module, again focusing primarily on making PDFs throughout the module 85% or more accessible.

Green plant beside white desk, with phrase on wall saying 'punch today in the face'.

Friday:

It’s Friday! Can’t believe we’ve made it through another week already, time is going so fast it’s crazy!

Today I continued to focus on accessibility, however, because I had so much to do, I decided to break up the day with LinkedIn Learning. I decided to follow the routine of an hour and a half accessibility and then 30 minutes of a LinkedIn Learning course. I did this for the whole day, and it turned out to be productive!

When it got to half an hour before finish, I completed my daily tasks such as my weekly reflection, daily reflection and time sheet. I am really looking forward to having these reflections to read over once I have finished the internship. At 5pm I closed my laptop and got myself ready for another exciting weekend – see you on Monday!

By Rachel Roche (Student Intern)

Photograph of Rachel Roche