Journal Entry #4 End of Course Reflection

The option I chose in the PIPD 3240 course, Media Enhanced Learning, was Social Media.  I learned how to build a blog, more about how to put together a Wiki, how social media influences society, more about Web 2.0 social media tools and more in depth information regarding copyright.

When I reflect on what I learned in the past weeks throughout the course I am amazed at what I learned and accomplished with a minimum amount of stress.  This was the second course I took that had me working on a Wiki.  Last time I worked on a Wiki in a group setting someone else in my group started the Wiki Space and then told me how to get on to the site and I learned from there.  This time as my partner had never worked on a Wiki it was me who had the opportunity to get the Wiki started and increase my knowledge of the tool.  I also was quite pleased to learn how to build a blog.  The skills I learned in both the Wiki and the Blog I noticed were transferable.  Because I had learned how to do something with one tool it helped me to figure out how to do the same process in the other tool.

Before this course I never thought of social media tools as tools for education.  I now see the usefulness of using them in a class room for almost any kind of course.  Society has changed and with technology it is rapidly changing more and more every day.  I think the most important thing I learned in this course is how technology is constantly changing how people communicate and learn.  The tools I learned throughout the course could be old and out of date shortly and I have to be ready for this change and ready to learn how to use new tools again.

I believe it is going to be quite the journey trying to keep up with the rapidly changing technology that the younger students seem to keep up with naturally.  I also see such exciting potential to try to incorporate these tools in my career.  These tools and the tools that will be coming to our rapidly changing world I will embrace and learn to use if that is what it takes to engage the young people of today.

Advertisements

Journal Entry #3 The Growing Use of Twitter by Today’s Educators

Journal #3

The speaker in the video-blog called “The Growing Use of Twitter by Today’s Educators” talks about just that – the growing use of Twitter by all, including educators.  The speaker says there are more than hundred millions users and three hundred thousand new users every day which include educators.  Educators are using twitter for sharing information with peers and using it as a real-time news source, but it is not very popular as a learning tool.  They do, however, use it for a way to mass communicate messages to students such as due dates and other announcements.  He also goes on to say that some educators are not very positive about twitter saying that some educators believe Twitter causes poor writing skills and that students miss out on valuable face-to-face learning.  The speaker than reminds us all that Twitter is only a mechanism or tool to be used only if we choose to use them.

Twitter is the one social media tools that I seem to know the least about.  Up to this point in my life I couldn’t imagine using it for teaching.  No one in my circle of family or friends use Twitter as far as I know.  I have never quite understood why anyone would use it unless you were into Hollywood gossip and want to follow famous people.

After listening to the speaker in this video-blog and reading “Hundred Ways to Use Twitter in Education, By Degree of Difficulty” I’m thinking I am wrong.  Either Twitter use has changed or I have not kept up with social media to know what Twitter actually has been used for the past years. I see there are uses for Twitter in education, not only for mass communications to students but also can be used as a learning tool in the classroom.  A couple of examples of use in the article, “Hundred Ways to Use Twitter in Education, By Degree of Difficulty” are after school discussions and getting feedback from students with open-ended questions.

In order to keep up with students I want to be open to using new technology, so I will be learning more about Twitter and ways to use it in education.  I want to use what will best engage students so if that means using tools that I am not familiar with I need to be more creative and learn how to use them in an effective way.

Reference:

Dunn, Jeff, 100 Ways to Use Twitter in Education, By Degree of Difficulty.  http://edudemic.com/2012/04/100-ways-to-use-twitter-in-education-by-degree-of-difficulty/ Wednesday, April 25, 2012 8:30 am

The Growing Use of Twitter by Today’s Educators, Emerging Ed. Techs, Video-Blog

Technology and Trends in Education

Technology and Trends in Education

Assignment – find two articles on Social Media and summarize its contents.

One of the articles I chose is written by George Couros who is an administrator in a school.  He says that when first presented with the idea of using twitter, facebook and blogging in education he was wary; however, he immersed himself into using Social Media in education and found a tremendous impact on education.  He says if we are using technology just to do the same things we have always done, but on a computer, it is not a good enough reason.  We need to think about how Social Media can be used for impacting education.

The impacts Couros discovered are the following:

  • Cuts down on isolation for off-site buildings because teachers are now connected to other teachers through social networks
  • Builds tolerance and understanding of cultural diversity by being able to connect with people all over the world – not just by reading books
  • Amplifies passion – children’s interests or passions are now no longer limited to being shared only by students in their classroom.  They are connected to people all over the world who may have similar interests or passions
  • Opens up the world of education – schedules, school newsletters and blogs can be shared from school to school

These are just a few uses Couros has found when using Social Media.  Working in higher education I can think of a few more uses such as using Social Media as teaching tools like in this Media Enhanced Learning course I am participating in.  Feel free to add more uses as you can think of them.

 

The second article I chose is from the University of Southern California called the “New Media Literacies” and focuses on the social skills of children using social media.  It talks about the fact that we should concentrate less on getting the computers into the classrooms but to concentrate on children having the basic social skills and cultural competencies to fully participate.

The following are The New Media Literacies this article presents:

  • Play: learning how to play helps in problem solving.  This is helpful when using a new piece of technology or a function that is not working as planned.
  • Performance: the ability to use alternative identities when moving between roles when exploring on-line communities.
  • Simulation: being able to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes helps to understand complex systems.
  • Appropriation: knowing what is appropriate and what is not.
  • Multitasking: being able to shift and focus and know when it is not good to multitask.
  • Distributed Cognition: the ability to use meaningful tools that expand mental capacity.
  • Collective Intelligence: pooling knowledge and comparing notes with others.
  • Judgement: knowing when sources are appropriate for use.
  • Transmedia Navigation: being able to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple media.
  • Networking: the ability to search, create and distribute information.
  • Negotiation: knowing how to travel across diverse communities respectfully.
  • Visualization: being able to translate information into visual models.

The article is referring to children; however, how many adults do not know how to use these New Media Literacies?  After reading this article it lead me to think that college computer classes should not only teach adults how to use the new technologies but should also teach these New Media Literacies.  Do you think adults need to be taught these New Media Literacies or would they already be able to translate what they have learned in our non-electronic world to function sufficiently in social media?

 

Assignment: Explain one Web 2.0 social media tool.

Hotseat

Hotseat encourages participation in a large lecture theatre where in general it is hard to engage or know if your students are engaged in the lecture being presented.  Instructors can poll the audience for key understanding and identify points for further discussion.  Students are given an active voice where in the past they may have been too intimated to participate with such as large group of students in one place.  They can now through technologies participate electronically and anonymously if preferred.

Using Hotseat in lectures helps to maintain focus on the main discussion.  Instead of students texting and playing games on their electronic devises they now can use their electronic devises to participate.  As one person put it – can’t beat em join em.  No special equipment is needed because most students have some form of electronic devise that are attending lectures.  Students and lecturers can also view the discussion later on their own time and pick up what they may have missed.  A huge benefit I see is for the students who would not generally participate with such a large audience feeling freer to offer suggestions and answers.  On the other hand, Hotseat can also keep the discussion on track avoiding the more zealous student from going off on other tangents.

Hotseat can be integrated through many different tools.  Not only can it be accessed through Facebook and Twitter via computers and laptops, but also through mobile devices such as smart phones, IPods, IPads and tablets.

I personally think this is brilliant – what do you think?

 

References

Couros, George, March 25, 2011, Why Social Media Can and Is Changing Education. Retrieved from http://connectedprincipals.com/archives/3024

USC, University of Southern California, Learning in a Participatory Culture, New Media Literacies.  Retrieved from http://www.newmedialiteracies.org/

Curtain Teaching and Learning, Last Modified September 28, 2012, Curtin Hotseat. Retrieved from http://otl.curtin.edu.au/learning_technologies/hotseat.cfm

Journal Entry #2 The Game Layer on Top of the World

The speaker, Seth Priebatsch talks about life being a game.  We are all influenced by these games played – some for good and some for bad.  He calls it game dynamics.  He then proceeds to tell us how these games are played, giving us four points on how to influence behavior.  The points are (1) Appointment Dynamic, meaning we are influenced to be at a certain place and time in order to win, (2) Influence in Status, by using such things as the prestigious credit cards or grades in school that you have to work towards, (3) Progression Dynamics, where you are making gradual steps to make it to the end such as in “linked in” (4) Communal Discovery, where a community has to work together to reach the ultimate goal.

 

I had never thought about life being a game before but have thought about how we are influenced by the media, some for good such as healthy eating life styles and some for bad in the way the media seem to mold our social morality.  The other thing he talked about that I have thought about and feel very strongly about is in point two where he talked about influence in status using grades in school.  I understand using grades as motivators to get students to work at their learning but it also can be so detrimental to student’s self-esteem.

 

I remember when I was a child our class being put in different reading groups.  I don’t remember how they titled or worded the groups but I know that one group was the brightest group and that was the group I wanted to be in but never quite made it.  I also know how my daughter worked so hard to be able to get on the honor roll so she could attend the honor roll banquet with her friends at the end of the school year and always missed it by a few percentages.  I believe that was an impact on her life as she always felt like she was not very smart.  I saw how hard she worked and believe that should be rewarded more so than the ‘A’ grades her friends received, seemingly effortlessly.

 

So what can I do about this?  I can try to emphasize less the grades the students work towards and more so on the learning that is happening.  When speaking to students about their classes I will be asking “what did you learn” not “what grade did you receive”.  When teaching a class I will be emphasizing the learning process and downplaying the grade they will be receiving at the end.  According to Seth Priebatsch I could try to influence society using Social Media to make this a system change.

 

Reference:

Priebatsch, Seth, The Game Layer on Top of the World, Filmed Jul 2010 • Posted Aug 2010 • TEDxBoston 2010, http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/seth_priebatsch_the_game_layer_on_top_of_the_world.html

Journal Entry #1 How Social Media Can Make History

Clay Shirky discusses the transformed media landscape, saying that if you want to get information or a message out to anywhere in the world you can do it now through our shiny new tools.  However, he goes on to say that it is not when the shiny new tools shows up that we can take advantage of it and get messages out – it is when everyone has access to these shiny new tools.  He goes on to give examples of this through a disaster of an earthquake in China and how fast this news got out through technology because most of the world now has these shiny new tools.

What I thought about right away is the fact that I cannot take for granted that the students I deal with have these shiny new tools or are connected electronically.  Although most of our homes here in North America seem to have at least one computer in the home, and most times more than one, this is not the case with people who live on First Nation reserves.  Poverty prevents them from being connected in this way – electronically.

I travel to Aboriginal communities all over British Columbia to encourage education by talking to band members about education, completing academic assessments, and helping the members make plans on how to achieve their goals and dreams.  When preparing the students to write the math and English assessments I often talk about resources they can find on the internet such as “Math is Fun” which gives step by step instructions on how to do a variety of math equations and concepts.  Many times I find the students responding with the fact that they do not have access to the internet.  The other issue I have found when trying to communicate with the learners after I leave their communities is that even if they provide me with an email address I cannot count on them getting my emails in a timely manner.  The reason is because they do not have computers in their own homes so they have to check their emails when they can get to the band office where there may be a computer they can use.

Knowing that some students may and some may not have access to a computer I still share the internet resources, but I also go over what I want them to learn from these resources as much as possible.  When communicating with these learners after I leave I still use the old snail mail and the telephone.  I know that my communications will get to them through these old but reliable modes of communication.

I’m hoping the future will be economically better and brighter for this group of people as I feel they are missing out on a wealth of useful information and social connectivity.  As my husband and I felt left behind when our children all had access to “Face Time” through their Iphones and Ipads I’m sure the Aboriginal communities are feeling like they have been left behind as well in not having access to the internet.  I’m hoping that the people living in Aboriginal Communities will soon be able to take this connectivity for granted like most of the rest of the world.

Reference:

Clay Sharky: How Social Media Can Make History

Filmed Jun 2009 • Posted Jun 2009 • TED@State’

http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_cellphones_twitter_facebook_can_make_history.html

Social Media

My name is Charlotte and I am taking my sixth course through the Instructor Diploma program with Vancouver Community College.  The course is called Media Enhanced Learning and the option I have chosen is Social Media.  One of my assignments is to create a blog and post all my completed assignments on it.