EdTech 543 Final Reflection

As I finish up my final project reviews for EdTech 543, Social Network Learning, I’m looking back at all that I have learned. This summer course was 8 modules long and I spent many hours indoors rather than outside enjoying my teaching-free summer hours. I even spent part of my vacation in Maui inside finishing up my final project.  Overall, I really enjoyed this course. I came into thinking I knew a lot about Social Media, but this course really opened my eyes to how I can utilize my foundation in Social Media to benefit my students.  One of the greatest things about this course was how we were given so much flexibility to explore various Social Media. I can now say I am comfortable using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Edmodo, Scoop.it, Diigo, Moodle, Jing, and Flickr in the classroom.

During the first module, we familiarized ourselves with Facebook, Twitter, Diigo, and WordPress. Luckily for me, these are all platforms I am familiar with through my own personal social media interactions, and from taking other EdTech courses.

For module 2, we started to develop a PLN (Personal Learning Network) through Twitter and from creating a mini PLN with EdTech 543 classmates. My mini PLN consisted of Jennie and Dan and we gave feedback to each other during the course as well as created a final project together.

In module 3, we focused on creating and maintaining a positive digital footprint, followed different hashtags, and started to be part of live professional development via Twitter and other interactive platforms. I found this week to be very applicable for me because I want to stress the importance of a positive digital footprint to my students. This module was also challenging in that I had to participate in multiple online professional developments while communicating in the “back-channels” via Twitter. This was something I had never done before, but I found it as a great alternative to traditional professional development.

For module 4, we focused on curation using Scoop.it. In a previous EdTech class I had to do a similar project using Scoop.it and really enjoyed it. I often find many different articles that I want to use later, but am too unorganized to find them again. Using a curating tool like Scoop.it will help solve this issue.

In module 5 we finished up our participation in live professional development and also created a diagram that represented our PLE. The PLE diagram I created was a road that represented my professional learning experiences.

Module 6 is the week that I liked most. During this week we had to create a social media policy for our classroom or school. I chose to create a policy for my teaching situation that I plan on using once school starts back up.

Our last module was a group project where we had to create a social networked mini curriculum unit. For my final group project, I chose to use the learning platform of Edmodo. I am not familiar with Edmodo, but decided to just go for it. I found that it was fairly easy to use, but I did not like the overall structure of Edmodo. After using it, I would rather just create a Facebook group and add students that way. I worked with two other high school teachers, whose focus is on Mathematics. We created a unit that had students use social media to find out different ways Math will be used in their future.

I really enjoyed taking EdTech 543 and will definitely be integrating social media into my teaching this upcoming year.

Social Media Policy

Currently, my school (and district) does not have a social media policy. We have a technology use plan and policies in place for technology, but they are from an outdated plan developed for 2009-2012 school years.

Below are the policies I have created for my classroom. I had a difficult time creating these policies because I wanted them to be stringent enough for a school setting, yet not too much to discourage participation.  I believe these policies can be adopted for any classroom at my school and could also possibly be a school-wide policy.

Social Media Policy for my high school classroom:

1. Have a plan – What’s the purpose of your social media presence?

2. Online profile is the real you –  Your online presence is an extension of the real you. Don’t misrepresent yourself.

3. Deal with conflict positively – It’s ok to disagree with others, but do so respectfully.

4. Be safe – Never post personal info including, but not limited to, last names, birth dates, address, and passwords.

5. Know your privacy settings – Know who can view your profile and post accordingly.

6. Lasting legacy – What you post online does not go away…even if you hit “delete”.

7. Give credit – If the work or words are not your own then cite your source.

8. Pause before you post – Remember that once you post it, it can’t be taken back. Think from another perspective if the content could be offensive.

9. Extension of the classroom – Same rules apply online as they do at school. Make sure you follow the district policies.

10. Report inappropriate content – This includes cyberbullying or any other content that makes you feel uncomfortable or not respected.

11. Post accurately – Make sure you fact-check before posting information.

12. Be professional – Your work doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should have proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

After discussing my classroom policies with my students, I would have them and their parents fill out the following form:

Resources

Social Media Guidelines. (n.d.). Drexel University. Retrieved July 19, 2014, from http://www.drexel.edu/ucomm/social-media/guidelines/

Student Guidelines. (n.d.). socialmediaguidelines /. Retrieved July 19, 2014, from http://socialmediaguidelines.pbworks.com/w/page/17050885/Student%20Guidelines

Student Social Media Guidelines. (2013, October 1). . Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/9765B2DF-9BD5-42AA-8D85-005D0FC8AA23/0/Student_Social_MediaGuidelines_finalv3_20140128.pdf

 

 

 

Using Social Networking for Teaching and Learning

One motto I have always tried to use is “don’t re-invent the wheel”. As a teacher, we are constantly trying to keep our students engaged in our material with the latest and greatest ways to connect with our students. In this week’s module, we focused on doing research to find educational projects that have social media as a key component.

As a business teacher, I found many ways that other Marketing teachers have integrated social media into their teaching. One of the most common things I found is that many school are teaming up with local businesses and using the power of social media to market their company. Often times, students would have to come up with a marketing plan that would integrate Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube and the business would choose the group that they believed would work best for their company. The students would then follow through on their plan and be a resource for the local businesses. I think this is something I would like to integrate this next year in my advanced marketing classes. Not only does this give the students real-world experience, but it also helps out local small businesses as well. This is also a great opportunity for students to develop relationships with businesses in the community, which can lead to internships and other job opportunities.

Another topic that was common was how schools are using a school wide Twitter hashtag to get feedback from students on a variety of different topics. I definitely would like to start doing this with my leadership class to get feedback on spirit weeks, assemblies, and other activities that we plan.

Overall, this was a great assignment that is very applicable for my upcoming school year. Here is my curated content on educational projects that integrate social media

PLE Diagram

A Professional Learning Environment is like a road. It is constantly under construction while being re-paved, re-routed, and added to.

PLE

 

As I viewed many of my classmates diagrams, I noticed many similarities and many differences. Because we are all in an EdTech program, we had very similar content such as Social Media and content creation sites. However, the way in which each diagram was constructed was very different. Some people drew theirs out on whiteboards or paper, while others used advanced photoshop skills to create theirs. When comparing mine to theirs, I find mine in the middle of the road. I used an infographic creator called easel.ly that had the theme of a road. I believe everyone has a different road to their current PLE, and this road is constantly being re-paved and re-routed. As I was creating my PLE, I only put in resources that I currently use (re-paved), even though I could have added resources from when I was younger.

Through the creation of my PLE Diagram, I learned that many different things make up my learning environment and that those things have changed over time. I have many different resources I currently use, but soon those may become obsolete and I will have to re-pave my road and add to it.

 

Twitter Chats and Webinars

For the past three weeks in EdTech 543, we have been exploring the world of Twitter Chats and Live Webinars. Our mission was to “attend” and contribute to four live webinars and four live Twitter chats.

In order to participate in a Twitter chat, you must first find a topic that interests you and determine if there is a set time that topic will be discussed. Once the time has come for the Twitter chat to start, you will search for the hashtag (ie – #EdTechSN) and contribute tweets with that same hashtag. A dashboard application I like to use for participation in Twitter chats and helping manage Twitter is TweetDeck.

For Live Webinars, you watch and listen to a presentation while simultaneously participating in discussion via the webinars chat feature and/or via a specific hashtag on Twitter. These Webinars can be held through a multitude of online platforms such as Blackboard Collaborate. Once again, I like to use TweetDeck to contribute to these webinars.

All the webinars I participated in were for an online global event highlighting teaching and learning through The Future of Education website and used #RSCON5 (Reform Symposium Free Online Conference). This was a new experience for me to both watch a presentation online while participating in discussion via Twitter. I found it to be so much more engaging and allowed me to share my perspective and learning through Twitter. One thing I found quite amazing about contributing to discussion was how my Personal Learning Network expanded because of new followers developed from my tweets referencing #RSCON5. A hashtag can be so powerful.

My experience with Twitter chats was mixed. It was amazing to see the participation level difference among the hashtags. Some were easy to follow, and some were overwhelming. One example was the difference between the #educoach and #edmodochat chats. For the #educoach chat that was focused around Instructional Coaching, I asked a question about what attributes people looked for in an instructional coach and never got an answer. This chat was also easy to follow because hardly anyone participated. On the other hand, the #edmodochat I participated in was quite overwhelming. Even using TweetDeck, it was hard to follow conversations because so many people were posting at the same time. When I asked a question in this chat, I had multiple people respond within a minute, which was pretty amazing.

What I took away from the Twitter chats and Webinar discussions was a whole lot of knowledge on the process . Like most first experiences, I know what I will do differently next time. Most of the knowledge I gained was about the whole real-time chatting and getting used to the multi-tasking of watching a presentation, answering questions, and following hashtags. I really like using TweetDeck and found that it was much easier to use on my computer than just using the Twitter app on my phone. As far as the content is concerned, I learned that we must realize students are not just like we were when we were in school. They are a different generation that thinks differently and has different social norms than we did. In a separate session, they talked about how Gamification has become such a great motivator for today’s generation of student who does not thrive in the traditional classroom. students who In a different webinar, an 18 year old named Paige Woodard talked about her mission to explain the benefits of social media in the classroom. She gave 5 tips for educators:

  1. Respect students’ creativity
  2. Encourage 21st century resources, tools, and innovation
  3. Utilize technology/social media in the classroom for professional purposes
  4. Discuss with students what it means to be a digital citizen
  5. Facilitate student brainstorming and collaboration with peers and professionals

After being immersed in the world of Twitter chats and backchannel discussions during Webinars, I look forward to my future of interacting and collaborating with others from around the world. It’s amazing to see how the professional development experience has evolved over time. Thank you Twitter.

Developing and Maintaining a Positive Digital Footprint

Your online reputation is your new first impression. No longer are the days where a potential employer or new acquaintance first find out information about you in your initial face-to-face interaction. Your first impression is a Google search away.

A digital footprint is unlike any other footprint known to man. It can be accessed anywhere by anyone, and lasts a lifetime and beyond. One of the unfortunate things about a digital footprint is that the information about you is not always accurate and is often very hard to get rid of.

In order to develop and maintain a positive digital footprint, I recommend the following ten things:

1. Use a search engine such as Google to research information about yourself. Make sure you do multiple searches that includes information from each phase of your life (ie – name & hometown, name & employer, name & school) (Social Networking, n.d)

2. After a general search using Google, log-out of all Social Media sites and search the sites you have a profile on to view what is observable to the public. (Henry, 2012)

3. If you find any information that does not exude the reputation you are looking to have, see what you can do to fix it. This may mean contacting friends or internet sites to get information taken down. (Chandler, 2010)

4. Set strict privacy measures on your social media sites. Only allow your profile to be public if you are only sharing information you want anyone to see. Even if that anyone is an identity thief.  (Shah, 2012)

5. Keep private things private, but assume nothing online is fully private. (Adams, 2013)

6. The internet never forgets. Even though a website may no longer be in service, you can still view cached copies that Google stores long after. (Chandler, 2010)

7. In order for people to find you online, you need to be consistent. Use the same name, email and username in order to continue to build your brand.(Shah, 2012)

8. Buy your domain name. Even if you can’t get your exact name, you can get something close enough that will work. (Henry, 2012)

9. Blog anonymously and vent wisely. If you are going to write unprofessional information online, make sure you are using  (Social Networking & Online Image, n.d)

10. Use the internet to your advantage. Even though things can go wrong, the benefits greatly outweigh the consequences. (Hill, 2014)

Resources

Adams, S. (2013, March 14). 6 Steps To Managing Your Online Reputation. Forbes. Retrieved June 29, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/03/14/6-steps-to-managing-your-online-reputation/

Chandler, N. (2010, October 5). HowStuffWorks “10 Tips for Maintaining a Professional Image Online”. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved June 29, 2014, from http://money.howstuffworks.com/10-tips-for-maintaining-professional-image-online.htm

Henry, A. (2012, November 28). How to Clean Up Your Online Presence and Make a Great First Impression. Lifehacker. Retrieved June 29, 2014, from http://lifehacker.com/5963864/how-to-clean-up-your-online-presence-and-make-a-great-first-impression

Shah, S. (2012, November 8). Build a positive professional online presence – The Times of India. The Times of India. Retrieved June 29, 2014, from http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/work/Build-a-positive-professional-online-presence/articleshow/11872412.cms

Social Networking. (n.d.). University of Minnesota. Retrieved June 29, 2014, from http://www.cehd.umn.edu/career/networking/social/

Social Networking & Online Image. (n.d.). . Retrieved June 29, 2014, from http://www.up.edu/showimage/show.aspx?file=23633

Creative Expression of CoP’s, PLN’s, and Connectivism

 

outside blackbrights 2

 

Connectivism, Personal Learning Networks, and Communities of Practice are all linked together. They all have to do with learning new information from an outside source you are connected to. Connectivism is the umbrella term, while PLN’s and CoP’s fall under this category of making new connections. Because of the development of technology, these connections are now not limited to physical interactions. These connections are the foundation and link of PLN’s, CoP’s, and Connectivism.

Connectivism

Connectivism Is a proposed learning theory by George Siemens and Stephen Downes that centers around learners constantly making new connections. It is said to be a learning theory for the digital age and Downes believes that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks” (Downes, 2007). However, some believe this “theory” is a tool to be used in the learning process instead of as a standalone learning theory. (Duke, 2013)
Regardless of Connectivism being a theory or not, it is something that is relevant for the digital age. Because of the development of technology, the increase in making new connections is at our fingertips. I believe that Communities of Practice, and Personal Learning Network’s fall under the category of Connectivism.

Communities of Practice

According to Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger, Communities of Practice (CoP) are a group of people that share a common interest, where all members contribute and put into practice the resources that are shared (Lave, 1998)

With the development of social media, communities of practice have no limit. Before the internet, learners would form these groups with people they had immediate face-to-face access to. This was the only way to communicate and share information. However, communication has evolved. There are now no restrictions to who is in your community.

Personal Learning Network

A Personal Learning Network is much like a CoP in that it is a group of people that someone associates with in order to learn more information about a certain topic. The great thing about PLN’s is that the learner can design their PLN to meet their needs and technology capabilities.

References

Communities of Practice (Lave and Wenger) | Learning Theories. (n.d.). Learning Theories RSS. Retrieved June 23, 2014, from http://www.learning-theories.com/communities-of-practice-lave-and-wenger.html

Downes, S. (2007, February 3). Half an Hour. : What Connectivism Is. Retrieved June 23, 2014, from http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2007/02/what-connectivism-is.html

Duke, B., Harper, G., & Johnston, M. (n.d.). Connectivism as a learning theory for the digital age. . Retrieved June 20, 2014, from https://www.hetl.org/wp-content/uploads/gravity_forms/2-298b245759ca2b0fab82a867d719cbae/2013/01/Connectivism-hand-out.pdf

Morrison, D. (2013, January 22). How to Create a Robust and Meaningful Personal Learning Network [PLN]. online learning insights. Retrieved June 23, 2014, from http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/how-to-create-a-robust-and-meaningful-personal-learning-network-pln/