Posts Tagged ‘EDTECH 543’

EDTECH 543 Final Reflection

Posted: November 30, 2016 in Uncategorized
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media-998990_1920When I first began this course on Social Media Learning, I was quite excited to begin the journey of including social media into my own classroom curriculum.  Prior to this course, I knew of some ways social media could be infused into the elementary curriculum; however, I did not have the expertise nor the drive to incorporate this technology into my class work at that time.  Subsequent to this course, I am confident in taking my learning experience to the next step by utilizing what I learned within my classroom agenda. I always used Twitter and Facebook personally but did not really dive into professional learning through social media.  Now I feel I am competent in finding relevant social media PLNs to help me improve my teaching methods and enhance my repertoire of resources.  This course not only helped me grow professionally, but will also be of assistance to my students’ learning and curriculum activities

These social networking tools are valuable to my program because I now utilize social media platforms for professional discussions and professional development.  One of the most rewarding experiences of this class was the Twitter for Professional Development assignment.  Having to dive into Twitter chats helped me grow in confidence that I have resources and knowledge that others find beneficial.  My Twitter PLN also shared great resources and ideas with me that I can put to use immediately with my students. I fully realize that planning lessons using knowledge base of my PLN, provides me the opportunity to create the best lesson possible for my students.  Being educated with collaborative ideas and fine-tuning them for my own, truly enhances the classroom experience for my students.

The webinar interactions offered another great opening for professional learning.  I previously dabbled in some webinars, but did not commit to as many as I did for this class.  I realize now how important it is to keep advancing my training, not only in my graduate studies, but also in self- directed learning as well.  I decide where I could use additional training and research a particular webinar that addresses my needs.  Where else can you get professional development such as that?  This pursuit of highly developed education is something that I will definitely continue into the future.  

Curation was a topic I really never heard much about.  Although I utilized others’ curations, I never took the time to see how important curation is and how difficult a process it can be.  I was inspired at a technology conference about games in the classroom, so I decided to do further research on this topic and use it for my curated topic. I found wonderful material and resources and I had the chance to share the work of someone who inspired me. Hopefully, it will help another teacher decide if games in the classroom works for their curriculum needs. I will continue adding to this curation and sharing it through social media PLNs.

Working with my PLN was a great opportunity to grow professionally and learn about myself.  Working with my classmates gave me a profound learning experience I cannot forget.  I was so used to working independently, so it was refreshing to hear from others and get ideas and share work with classmates.  I really enjoyed all the activities we did, but I especially liked creating a social media policy and a mini curriculum unit with my group.  Both of these activities will go directly into my lesson planning.  My group was open to ideas for my fifth grade class that I had prior to this module and let us go in that direction for our unit.  We were able to work together to devise a unit using social media for an upper elementary class. I am pleased with the final outcome for learning about Games Around the World using social media and the collaborative effort was a worthwhile experience that I would like to continue with others in my school and/or field. This unit will be completed with my fifth grade and I cannot wait to blog about how the experience unfolded.  It is rare to hear about social media use in an elementary setting, so I feel actually implementing the unit may help others.  I cannot thank my group enough for making this lesson come alive.

I want to thank Dr. Jackie Gerstein for once again, delivering a wonderful course and providing me with an excellent graduate experience.  This was my final class for my Masters of Educational Technology, and between Dr. Gerstein’s Edtech 541 (my first class) and Edtech 543, I have portfolio work that I am very proud to share for my showcase portfolio needed for a masters degree.  Although my journey at BSU is coming to end, my journey for professional learning will continue on, especially through the use of social media.  See everyone online!

P.S. As far as what my blog grade should be, I feel that I have completed all the required blogs with many personal experiences and to the best of my ability.  Therefore, I would give myself 75/75 points.

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Social Media in Elementary Schools as a Learning Strategy

Posted: October 30, 2016 in Uncategorized
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twitter-birds-flightSocial Media as a learning strategy has always been a topic of debate among educators and administrators. Social Media can definitely have its pros and cons for students, and some professionals fear the cons.  I believe that the best method to teach students how to use social media appropriately is to give them the opportunity to utilize social media in a controlled setting such as a classroom.  All too often you hear about young students who have social media accounts and there is no one guiding them along the way.  Just like you would never place a small child in a big city by themselves, you should never allow a child on the Internet without supervision. Parents and teachers must be involved in this process.  Therefore, it is imperative that we teach students how to use social media positively, using good digital citizenship, to help them achieve a positive digital footprint.  But the question is “how to we teach digital citizenship?”

The best method of learning how to use social media is to actually have students use various social medias in schools.  I teach fifth grade, so this seems like an impossible task. However, there are an abundance of sites created for elementary age students that are available for sharing work, collaborating globally, and publishing content.  This week, in my EDTECH 543 class, I was asked to find at least 10 Social Media Classroom lessons/case studies that have had successful lessons utilizing social media as a tool for learning.  This was not an easy task due to the age of my students. Not many teachers publish their lesson plans and experience with social media in an elementary school setting. I could locate lists and suggestions, but had a difficult time locating actual case studies. Therefore, curating resources took a great deal of searching and time. I am pleased with the end result of my curated lesson experiences, hence I am  excited to incorporate social media within my fifth grade classroom.

Many of the lessons discussed blogging in the classroom.  Blogging gives the students a chance to share their opinion or work and have others comment on their blog post.  This provides the student with interaction and a chance to reflect on their learning.  KidBlog is a safe place to start my students blogging, which can be a private account for my class or a public account for the world. I know this will benefit students’ writing, realizing their work will be showcased for others to view. Throughout the blogging lessons I found, teachers discussed how important it is to teach the proper method of blogging and develop policies for respectable online behavior.  This is something I also feel strongly about, so I plan on incorporating these positive online experiences for the students.

My favorite lesson was Mystery Skype, where two classrooms in the world connect via a teacher account on Twitter.  The students ask the other class questions about where they live. From these answers the students use Google Maps to find the exact area where the other class is located.  Each student has an assigned task, and they are all involved in the project. This is great for cultural awareness, geography, collaborative learning, problem solving and social learning. Another wonderful lesson where students connect to another class around the world utilizes  Epals for communication. Students create kites with a buddy from another country while converting measurements from metrics.  Not only are the students learning a valuable math lesson, but they are engaged and excited to be part of this global project.  All of the lessons were excellent methods of infusing social media within the elementary classroom and I plan on incorporating each and every one of them. The common theme among all of these lessons were positive student learning outcome, responsibility, reflection, collaboration, pride, and motivation to learn and participate.

I wish, as a child, I had the chance to have friends globally, and publish my work and have my voice heard.  This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and we should not let fear hold us back from social media learning.  With the guidance of a supportive teacher and administration, the students will be facilitated through the world of social media and be ready to face the Internet independently and successfully in the years to come. Without this guidance, mistakes can be made that could impact a student’s life forever.  Digital Citizenship must be taught and practiced starting at an early age. I plan on blogging about my classroom experience using social media in elementary schools to help other elementary teachers see the impact that this method of learning can have on both the students and the teacher.  It should be easier to find elementary experiences than it was for me during this project, and hopefully my stories will make a difference and others will join in on sharing their experiences as well.

Click on Social Media Projects to see the lessons and experiences that I have found along with my insights on how each lesson relates to my fifth grade classroom.

Real Time and Live Virtual Professional Development

Posted: October 8, 2016 in Uncategorized
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cloud-709105_1280Over the past few weeks, I participated in various Twitter chats and live Webinars to enhance my professional development.  This experience was rewarding and exciting for my personal learning.  I have gained an immense amount of new information and a host of resources for use within my classroom setting.  Although this was an assignment for my EDTECH 543 class at Boise State, I plan on continuing both Twitter Chats and Webinars in the future.  Below you will find a link to a Google doc which includes a summary of each Chat and Webinar, along with evidence of my participation.  I am hopeful that some of the resources I learned about recently may help you in your educational setting. 

Summary of Twitter Chats and Webinars

Games in Education Curated Content

Posted: October 3, 2016 in Uncategorized
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new_games_for_change_logoLast week, in my EDTECH 543 Social Network Learning at Boise State University, I was asked to develop a checklist on Effective Content Curation Criteria.  From developing this checklist with my group, I learned a vast amount of valuable information about what content curation is and how to develop your own curated content on a particular topic.  This week, we were asked to create our own curated content on a professional topic of choice.  I used the techniques learned with my group to develop my own content curation on Games in Education using Pearltrees. I have been dabbling in researching games in education ever since I went to the 2015 Technology Conference at William Paterson University in NJ.  The keynote speaker was Matthew Farber who is an expert on game based learning and gamification and wrote the book, Gamify Your Classroom A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning.  The resources, methods, and tools he presented were extremely helpful within my classroom.  Matthew inspired me to further my knowledge on the subject so I can incorporate games more effectively into my daily curriculum.  My curated content is a variety of literature from various subjects that are knowledgeable in different aspects of game-based learning and gamification.  My goal is to have other educators asking themselves, from the readings and their own experience, if games have a place in their classroom and if so, how?  The curated collection has three parts: literature on the effectiveness of games in education, how to incorporate games effectively with various resources, and journal articles on the research of games in education.  I plan on updating this collection often so it is current and engaging for both myself and the reader.  Through my collecting and reading, I developed a question that I am having a hard time finding the answer to. Are there gender differences in the effectiveness of games in education.  I plan adding any literature I can find on the subject to my curated content and welcome any help I can receive. Here is the link to my Pearltrees Curated Content on Games in Education.  I hope you read through all the literature and resources and comment on your thoughts either in Pearltrees itself or on my blog.  

After creating my Games in Education Curation, I was asked to evaluate my curated content using the Effective Curation Checklist Criteria checklist created with my PLN from EDTECH 543. I believe a did a good job curating content that adheres to our criteria. Below is the link to my self evaluation.

Self Evaluation on Curated Content

 

Effective Content Curation Criteria

Posted: October 3, 2016 in Uncategorized
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500px-echo_curation_alt-svgCuration is not simply collecting resources with a common theme, in one place, for easy access. Curation is developed by “deeper thinking through synthesis and evaluation of the collected items”  (White, 2012). Content curation was a term that I was familiar with, but not something that I completely understood until this week.  I was asked by my professor to create a checklist of effective content curation criteria with my class PLN group.  Immediately, I dived through the resources given in my online class website to study more about curation. Although I have used many curators’ resources, I didn’t really recognize to what extent the curator was required to work to house this list together.  Curation is not something completed in one day.  It takes many hours and constant research to analyze the massive amount of information available online, while compiling a thorough and educational curated list of the most important information.  I learned through my readings and classmates’ checklists that curated material should be organized, accessible, current,  valuable, cited properly, and promoted for other professionals to view and comment upon.

I had the opportunity to work with Jessica Allen and Jana Warner on our Effective Content Curation Criteria Checklist.  In order to work effectively with my PLN, I created a Google Doc and shared it in the beginning of the week so everyone could work on their efforts when convenient for them.  I started out the list and found the first 6 items that I felt were necessary for a good curation.  Jessica and Jana added their contributions and we came up with a list of 17 items for our checklist.  With reflection and edits we finalized the list to create our finished product.  I always appreciate working with a group because I learn so much about myself.  I realize I am a perfectionist, and have to let go when necessary.  Everyone works differently and at different paces. Finishing with time to revise helped me feel confident about working with my group in the future.  I know we will make deadlines and be able to critique and review each others’ work.  I realize everyone is busy, so we will have to divide and conquer and I am sure we will be successful. Below is the link to our Effective Content Curation Criteria.  I trust you will enjoy reading through it, and look forward to your comments on this topic.

Effective Content Curation Criteria

White, N. (2012, July 7). Understanding Content Curation. Retrieved September 25, 2016, from http://d20innovation.d20blogs.org/2012/07/07/understanding-content-curation/

Positive Digital Footprint and Reputation Management Plan

Posted: September 24, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Click the link below to view my presentation created for my EDTECH 543 graduate class about a plan for keeping a positive digital footprint.

Positive Digital Footprint and Reputation Management Plan

digital-footprint

My Digital Footprint

Posted: September 15, 2016 in Uncategorized
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human-footprints-in-the-sand A digital footprint is a permanent mark you make on the Internet as you search, post, share, or collaborate.  Everything you do on the Internet can be traced back to you.  It is important that we keep this in mind at all times, whether you use the Internet for professional reasons or personal leisure.  As a professional, I need to be extremely conscious of the mark I make, and intentional about what I want it to say about me.  I must take certain steps to create the digital footprint that I want others to perceive about me by being proactive.  This seems a bit scary and overwhelming.  A person can easily make a mistake and post something they regret later, only to realize that they cannot delete this unfortunate event.  It is important that we teach this to our children so they are aware of the repercussions that could happen towards their future.  Luckily, once I began having social media platforms in my name, I always kept them private.  It wasn’t until graduate school, that I started using social media professionally, so nothing much came up in a search engine other than my username at that time.  Now, I am conscious to assure that what comes up in a search is positive for me and my professional reputation.

For my EDTECH 543 class, I was asked to complete a search of my name using various search engines.  I was intrigued by what I found.  The first item that came up in my Google search was my EDTECH 541 Integrating Technology into the Classroom website that I made for a weather unit for first grade.  I was glad to see that something of a professional nature showed up first.  Facebook showed up next, followed by most of the graduate work that I completed at Boise State University, including my EDTECH learning log on WordPress.  Next, I found my teacher’s website and LinkedIn profile.  This all proves to me that on Google I have a positive digital footprint and that I should continue on this path.  I would like to see more of my work show up; however, there is a doctor with my same name that appears often as well.  When I put the word teacher after my name, so much more of my information is revealed.  My NASA Education award and other achievements were then visible.  I would like for this Information to be more prevalent in my digital footprint in the future, without having to add the word teacher.  I was pleased to see that some of my resources are being used on other professional blogs and websites.  I felt honored to be of help to someone, and I am pleased I discovered this now. It is the concept of collaboration that keeps me working hard and sharing that information with others.

When I searched my name on Ask.com, my salary comes up first.  After that, I found that I was honored to have my blog linked on Cybraryman’s Website.  This site is a website that I use often for resources and information, and I had no idea that I was one of the blogs listed as a resource. My STEM LiveBinder for iPads seems to come up repeatedly which I had forgotten about.  Again, this was a pleasant surprise and assures me that I have a positive digital footprint here as well.

When I searched Yahoo, Bing, and Duck Duck Go, I once again found all the graduate websites that I created.  I was amazed how many pages of my work I could find.   I also found the STEM award from NASA, which was one of my favorite experiences professionally.  I am thrilled that this is part of my digital footprint. I was surprised to find more websites that link to my work.  

Overall, this digital footprint assignment was a positive experience for me.  There is one picture that I wish did not show up on images simply because it is not my best hair day. Oh, vanity, I know!  I also realized that I have to keep up with my Google Plus account so all the information is current. Otherwise, I couldn’t have asked for a more positive experience.  Again, I would like to see my information show up faster without having to add the word teacher after my name, but to have a professional, well respected doctor with my name show up also isn’t an issue.  If someone confuses us at least we both have good online reputations.  I plan on being proactive and ensuring that I create a positive digital footprint by being more aware of what I post and joining additional professional online organizations.  I also plan on sharing more of my work, which seems to help grow a positive digital footprint.  This exercise is something every person should do.  I invite you to go search your own name and see what you find.  You may also be pleasantly surprised, or, you may find you must be more cautious with what you post in the future.  

Twitter for Professional Development

Posted: September 15, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Participating in Twitter is not a new experience for me.  I first joined Twitter a few years ago when I started the Edtech Program at Boise State.  I heard about it through various friends and my first professor, Jackie Gerstein, who is now one of my last professors, and the one of the most valuable professors  I had at BSU.  Jackie’s passion for social learning had me curious and excited to learn something new. I wanted to dive into the Twitter world right away, but I was nervous when I had an issue with my account due to a Spam link.  I was hesitant after that for a while, but slowly I became more aware and curious about Twitter again.  I was lucky to find a great network to follow, and have quite a few followers myself, except that I was unreliable.  I would Tweet many resources that I found helpful one week, and then disappear for a while.  I always returned, but you could not rely on my presence in your PLN.  I want to change this habit, renew my love of Twitter, and keep in mind why I joined in the first place. I want to soak up as much professional knowledge as possible, while also contributing what I can to help others.  This assignment, which required us to follow 5 hashtags, was a great way to jump into social learning again.  Here is a list of the hashtags I chose to follow:

#edchat- this is a great group of people who share ideas, questions, answers, and resources within the field of education.

#STEM- I am an advocate of teaching STEM in school classrooms of all ages. This group shares resources and knowledge about how to incorporate STEM into your classroom and school district.

#edtech: This is my professional passion…edtech.  This group is perfect for me to continue learning how to infuse technology into my classroom and also share what knowledge I have gained over the years at Boise State and in my district.

#plbchat:  I love to infuse project based learning assignments within the curriculum and this hashtag gives great resources to various websites and resources that help me incorporate more pbl instruction.

#gafe:  I am a Certified Google Educator, helping my district with Google training needs.  This hashtag has many great methods of teaching using Google Apps for Education.  I learn new ways to use Google Apps and get ideas on how to incorporate Google Apps into my lessons.

#ntchat:  Although you cannot see this hashtag on my Tweetdeck photo, it is definitely there.  The new teacher chat seems odd for me to belong to after 24 years of teaching, but I feel I can learn so much from new teachers.  They are full of ideas and new training.  I also think being a seasoned teacher makes me a good person to share experiences and resources.

Some of the resources that I have gained access to from the people in these networks are:

Schoology from #edchat.  Schoology is a learning management system.  I have been looking for a place to host an online or blended classroom.  I enjoy watching my students grow and learn proper netiquette through the use of collaborative online learning . My school hosted Moodle for this purpose, but we no longer have access to this resource. Schoology seems like a great possibility for the future.

Google Classroom Tutorials was a great find for me.  I intend to utilize Google Classroom this year with my fifth grade class, and I could use a refresher on how to attach assignments to more than one class, how to schedule assignments for the future, and how to give a each student a copy of a document.  I like to refresh my skills before I actually use a resource within my classroom in order to concentrate on training the students on how to use the new technology.

Back to School with Google Chrome was another great find following the #gafe hashtag.  There are tutorials and Google Cheat Sheets to use with training students and faculty, as well as video tutorials to use in the classroom and at professional developments.

I find that using Twitter as a form of just-in-time professional development is an absolute must for me and I recommend it to all my colleagues.  I can learn so many ways to enhance my teaching and I can do this at my own convenience.  Many PD experiences given by my school district prove helpful but are not always what I need for my particular classroom experience.  It is impossible for a school district to provide PD that is a one size fits all experience.  There are limited resources and time throughout the year.  Twitter provides resource topics that I choose to participate in at any time throughout the year.  I can learn as little or as much as I choose each and every day, 24 hours a day.  This is a convenience no one should live without.  The possibilities are endless and readily available.  I expect that I convinced at least one teacher to try Twitter and see what works for them.  I am sure he/she will be pleasantly surprised by the results.  I would appreciate hearing your comments about how Twitter has enhanced your professional learning. Please feel free to leave a response to this post.

tweetdeck

 

 

 

This week we were asked to create a product that is representational of a Personal Learning Network (PLN), Communities of Practice (CoP), and Connectivism.  My first reaction was that I already had a solid foundation of what these terms mean, but after doing some needed research, I realized I did not have all the facts.  According to Jordan Catapan (2016), a PLN means  ”an individual has developed their own personalized “network” of fellow educators and resources who are designed to make them a better teacher.”  I personally started developing a PLN for exactly this reason.  I wanted to be sure that I was constantly learning and gaining the resources needed to become a better teacher.  My PLN consists of my fellow teachers and online communities of educators.  Communities of Practice are a group or network of individuals who share a common goal or passion and interact to improve their practice or common concern. It consists of a “domain” or shared interest, a “community” that does not necessarily physically work together but shares discussions and activities so they can grow from each other, and the “practice” where  “they develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems—in short a shared practice.” (Wenger, 2011)  This group can consist of many different people from many different backgrounds as long as they are communicating towards a common passion or concern.  Connectivism is a debated learning theory that reflects today’s changing technological world.  This theory by Stephen Downes and George Siemens states that learning occurs through an individual’s connections to a network. According to Siemens (2005), “Connectivism is driven by the understanding that decisions are based on rapidly altering foundations. New information is continually being acquired.”

The product that I created is a slideshow of different color stick figures.  Each stick figure represents a PLN that has something in common and connects to others to gain their own professional knowledge.  The color of the stick figure is an individual PLN.  The stick figures (PLNs) come together to form a brain that is questioning together. They form a thumb up as they share resources and hold discussions.  I feel this represents Connectivism where people are constantly learning through a shared network.  In the end, the stick figures form a rainbow or Community of Practice where they all work together towards a common problem or interest. In this particular case, the goal is to create a harmonious song. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow represents the professional growth gained by participating within these communities.  The music also reminds of a PLN or CoP because it starts as one person playing music and strengthens as other participants of the PLN join in adding their  instruments to create a more accomplished song.  The sound of the music also increases in intensity as the participants slowly begin playing together, which reminds of the intense process of sharing and growing as everyone contributes within your PLN.  Together they were able to solve the problem of creating a song, such as a CoP may solve a problem or concern.  I learned so much more than I expected this week, and I positively enjoyed creating this project.  The assignment required examining each term discussed in order to increase my understanding of each word before I was able to represent it artistically. I sincerely hope you enjoy my presentation as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Resources:

Catapano, Jordan. “What Is a PLN? Why Do I Need One?” TeachHUB. K-12 Teachers Alliance, n.d. Web. Retrieved on August 31,2016. From http://www.teachhub.com/what-pln-why-do-i-need-one

Siemens, G. (2005, January). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, Retrieved on August 31, 2016 from http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm

Wenger, E. (2011). Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved on September 2, 2016 from https://www.ohr.wisc.edu/cop/articles/communities_practice_intro_wenger.pdf

 

 

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*What are you initial reactions about joining these social networks for use in this course?

I am thrilled to be adding to my repertoire of social networks that I use for professional learning.  So far, I have had a Twitter account that I use professionally, but I use it sporadically and I do not feel I use it to its full potential.  I am at awe when I see people who join multiple conversations and I would like to be privy to the information regarding when and how to get involved with these EDTECH subject conversations.  The little bit that I use Twitter, I have had positive results and gained many resources to apply within the classroom setting.  I can only achieve better results by joining these networks and gaining professional knowledge from each platform. I feel fortunate to be in a class that will help me build a professional networking platform.

  • What is your experience in using social media for your own professional development?

I have many social media accounts and I cannot keep up with which ones are the most valuable.  I tend to sign up for an account only to forget to visit it and keep up with gaining a professional network.  The one account that I have continued with is Twitter.  I can get really involved for a while and then tend to take a break from posting or reading anything that doesn’t help me gain a solid network.  I post resources that I found valuable for my own educational experience, and also like to learn what other teachers and leaders are using within their classrooms or districts.  When I first signed up for Twitter, I was overwhelmed with the experience. Since then, I found it to be a important resource that I still have not fully tapped into its potential. I would like to participate in more discussion hash tags.  I participated a few times; however, I think it is time to discover more about them.

  • What is your experience in using social media as an instructional strategy in your learning environment?

At this time, I have rarely used social media as an instructional strategy.  The only time I did was to “talk” to NASA Robonaut with my fifth grade class.  We had the chance to ask questions and publicly receive answers.  The class was thrilled when we received responses to our questions, so I know this is a strategy I will use in the future.  I used my own account for this experiment since I did not have a school account.  I plan on changing this for next year’s fifth grade class.  My middle school STEM class used Moodle to hold discussions with each other about social media use, which was a valuable way for them to receive lessons on Netiquette.   Our class also created web pages for the students to showcase projects and blogs, which allowed for commenting with one another.  Other than that, this is a new area for my school district and me.  I plan to incorporate Google Classroom next year and add new tech tools such as, Voicethread, Flickr, and Wikis to enhance our use of social media.

  • What are your expectations for this course?

I anticipate that I will gain a professional growth in the effectiveness of social media in the educational setting.  Although I am quick to try new tech tools, social media has been on the back burner for me due to my lack of knowledge of effective social media principles to put into place to enhance the learning experience. Discovering new tools and methods will help me gain the confidence I need to use social media as a learning tool.  I intend to start slow by taking this course, immersing myself into learning and incorporating one social media tool at a time into my classroom experience. Professionally, I am ready to dive in head first to enhance what I already have in place for learning opportunities.