During our first week in our Social Networking class, we were asked to conduct a reflection focusing on answering the following questions:
- What are you initial reactions about joining these social networks for use in this course?
- What is your experience in using social media for your own professional development?
- What is your experience in using social media as an instructional strategy in your learning environment?
- What are your expectations for this course?
My reflection and answers to the above questions are found below.
What are your initial reactions about joining these social networks for use in this course? What is your experience in using social media for your own professional development?
I am excited about using these social networks for this course, I am somewhat familiar with Diigo, as we used it in other classes, I just don’t feel like I have discovered it’s full potential. I use FaceBook regularly for my personal use and for professional development. It has probably become one of my regular sources for growth as a professional in the last couple of years. I am part of a group of fourth-grade teachers from around the world and we collaborate, help one another and share resources, it is wonderful! I also follow a lot of education-related sites on FaceBook for a plethora of resources and food for thought. I also have a Twitter account that I don’t use very often for personal use, although every once in a while I will browse and find some hashtags to follow and find great resources or enticing conversations on various educational topics. I feel that social media is THE professional development of the modern teacher. There have been so many occurrences of me learning much more from time on social media (especially when I have have an objective) than in a conference dictated by my district. Don’t get me wrong, my district has some great professional development, BUT nothing beats self-directed, self-motivated learning & that is what social media is in the professional development world.
What is your experience in using social media as an instructional strategy in your learning environment? What are your expectations for this course?
In the Spring of last year, I came up with a lesson for one of my courses using Social Media, so I have been exposed to social media as an instructional strategy. I decided to use Twitter and created the #KidsPoetweet hashtag (I was pretty proud) of my idea for kids to share their poetry with other children and adults around the world during poetry month (April). This was based on the #Poetweet hashtag that is widespread on Twitter. My students were thrilled to have the opportunity and I invited the teachers I followed on Twitter to follow suite, we didn’t have much success but I encouraged my children to not be discouraged because we had only very recently started using Twitter so we didn’t have access to a wide audience. Even though we didn’t get to read many other students poems, my students were still thrilled when they tweeted their poems. We also had a student post a Tweet (& often an accompanying photo) each day to tell what we had done in class. This provided a fun way for parents to be involved. I would like to really increase my knowledge on how to effectively implement social media as an instructional strategy in the fourth-grade classroom, I believe it has great potential but would like some direct tools, ideas, and guides on how to use it to its full potential. I would also like to learn how to help parents overcome their fear of this tool in the educational environment, as I had some problems with parents not allowing their children to be a part of our Twitter project mentioned above, which was a bummer for their kids.
I am excited to embark upon this adventure and anxious to see how my learning unfolds and impacts my student’s learning.
Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:
- AECT Standard 4.3 Reflection on Practice: To create this reflection I analyzed and interpreted my experiences with social networking as an educator for both professional development and as an instructional strategy. This helped me develop an understanding of my current knowledge and feelings of the subject.