The Key to Curiosity

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By Laura Siirila '14,
Communications Assistant

With a new semester here, it is time to make new resolutions. Usually students make goals to study more, go to class and work out consistently. These are honorable objectives, but have you ever considered trying to be more curious?

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Curiosity is more important than you may think. It is associated with higher levels of happiness and satisfaction with life. It requires embracing uncertainty and the unknown. Investigating something new, whether racquetball or causes of heart damage, means accepting initial inadequacies, possible failure and uncertainty. This unknown means that fear often accompanies new endeavors. Yet, overcoming fears instead of shying away from obstacles produces longer and deeper satisfaction compared to instant-gratification behavior.

Since curiosity is so important to life, including education and research, we are dedicating spring semester to finding out what makes people curious. We hope that you will feel refreshed, refueled, and challenged by the unknown of a new semester and, as always, stay curious.

Tips to Stay Curious

  1. Try to notice little details of your daily routine that you never noticed before.
  2. When talking to people, try to remain open to whatever transpires without judging or reacting.
  3. Let novelty unfold and resist the temptation to control the flow.
  4. Gently allow your attention to be guided by little sights, sounds or smells that come your way.

So ask yourself, "What keeps me curious?", share what you keeps you curious with #kincurious, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we share what keeps our researchers curious.

LinkedIn.jpg Brenda Senger '14, Communications Assistant

LinkedIn reigns number one for professional networking sites and it is likely that you have created a profile or at least thought about it. LinkedIn is a great tool to use when connecting with other professionals, co-workers, or students. It makes looking and applying for jobs easy and staying up to date with professional groups effortless. Whether you are just creating your profile or polishing a current one, these tips will help you master LinkedIn.

Optimizing your profile:

  • Have an updated professional picture.
  • Create a concise statement in your summary which describes personal and professional interests. You can also provide overall career goals so people have an idea of who you are and what you strive for.
  • This is not a one-page resume so add details in your experience section; you deserve to brag a little!
  • Use strong keywords that are commonly related to your position so that your profile is easy to find and so your connections get a feel for the kind of work you are capable of.

Tips on connecting with others

  • Personalize your message when you request to connect with someone, make your invitation to connect unique so your connections become meaningful.
  • Connect with people you know and that you have already established a relationship with.
  • It is also okay to make a connection with someone you don't know, just be sure to explain why you are looking to connect and how that connection could help you.

Other important features on LinkedIn are recommendations and skill endorsements. Both of these are great ways to support your connections but make sure when you recommend or endorse someone you can truly stand behind that claim.

Be sure to keep your profile up to date so when the time comes to connect or apply for a position it is organized and makes it easy to update your resume!

Need examples? Check out the E+DS team's LinkedIn profiles and connect with us:
Austin Stair Calhoun
Brenda Senger
Laura Siirila

Photo editors at your fingertips

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By Laura Siirila '13,
Communications Assistant

Do you have a stock pile of photos that need touching up, could be repurposed or need to be resized? Unless you are frequently using photo editors for professional projects, there is no need to purchase the expensive software when there are many free or mostly free online photo editors. Most online editors follow the same basic steps for changing a photo: 1) Upload the photo, 2) Preview changes (color, brightness, filters, text, stickers, etc.) to the photo and 3) Save and/or Publish the photo.

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When do I use an edited photo?
Edited photos have many purposes. In the classroom, they can be used in presentations or projects. Using an edited photo can make your content look more professional and improve the viewer experience. In marketing and communications, edited photos can be used in brochures, websites and social platforms to engage with viewers. Since text can be added to edited photos, they can also be used in fliers or other promotional materials.

What editor should I use?
There are many photo editors to choose from, but the following two editors are well-rated, user-friendly editors.

PicMonkey is one of the easiest online photo editors to use. To begin: upload a photo. Once a photo is uploaded, tabs on the left-hand side of the screen navigate the user through basic editing process, adding effects and filters to the photo, touching up facial features, adding text, adding overlays, adding frames, adding textures and using pre-made themes to edit photos. There are also options to create collages and start designing a piece from scratch.

Pros:

  • Enough options to allow for variety without becoming overwhelming
  • Low learning curve
  • A large collection of overlays and themes
  • Able to upload personal overlays and textures
Cons:
  • Many features require an upgraded plan to use
  • Once the tab in the internet browser is closed, the work is lost

Pixlr offers three different types of editors: the Pixlr Editor, the Pixlr Express and Pixlr O-Matic. These three editors are for a range of expertise, listed from hardest to easiest. The Pixlr Editor offers similar capabilities to Adobe Photoshop. This editor is quite comprehensive, but it takes time to learn to use properly. Pixlr Express offers an easier version of Pixlr Editor. Similar to PicMonkey, it offers several stages of editing, but it has more options than PicMonkey. For the beginner editor, this may be overwhelming. However, once you become more familiar with the settings, this becomes a useful feature of the program. Pixlr O-Matic has three editing options: effect, overlay and border.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Editors for different skill levels
  • Large number of options for Adjustment and Effect in Express version
Cons:
  • Steeper learning curve
  • Unable to upload own overlays and stickers

Recommendation
I personally recommend using Pixlr. There is a higher learning curve and the amount of options can make it overwhelming, but it has the most features and has the most power. However, I think experimenting with each programs will help you decide which editor is the best fit for your needs and experience.

Still need help?
Check out these tutorials to see if they answer your question
PicMonkey Tutorials
Pixlr Tutorials

About this Blog

All Things Kinsidered is a blog from the School of Kinesiology's tech team, designed to enhance the usage and integration of technology in the lives of our faculty, staff, and students.

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