All other reading discussions for this course completed using the Web 2.0 tool Subtext. Articles read and reviewed are listed below:
About Skype in the Classroom
Dropbox: A Must For All Teachers
Wikipedia in the Classroom: Tips for Effective Use
Pecha Kucha in the Classroom
How Would You Fill An EdCanvas?
Learning Currents: EdCanvas- Presentation Tool Extraordinaire
Fair Use Frequently Asked Questions
Creative Commons for Teacher
Kidblog: Blogging Platform for Students and Teachers
The Ultimate Guide to Using Twitter in Education
Using Twitter in High School Classrooms
Using Fakebook in the Classroom
How Collaborative Learning Leads to Student Success
10 Tips to Help Master Prezi
1. What makes you most nervous about starting to create your PLN and why?
Creating a PLN doesn't make me very nervous because I've been working on building that PLN for the past year or two. Most of my original worries and concerns have been eased or worked through as I have practiced, experimented, and tried various social media tools. However, one concern I continually have is keeping my PLN separate from my personal life. Using social media tools for work and personal are different for me. Some people don't see a problem combining them or using the same social media accounts for both but that is something I have a hard time with. It is a constant struggle to find the right balance for me.
2. The Pinterest article gives you many ideas of how to incorporate Pinterest into your classroom and build your PLN. What are a few ideas that you liked and how can you use these ideas to make you a better educator?
The Pinterest article gives you many ideas of how to incorporate Pinterest into your classroom and build your PLN. What are a few ideas that you liked and how can you use these ideas to make you a better educator?The Pinterest article broke its uses into categories including inspirations, lessons, professional, and fun. In my experiences with Pinterest I use it for all of those reasons and have found it to really enhance my instruction, provide new innovative ideas, collaborate with other teachers, and more. When I taught third grade, each of the teachers on my team followed each other’s education Pinterest boards and it was a great way for us to collaborate and work together. Now that I am supporting teachers, I use Pinterest more for education technology resources and links. It has been fun and interesting for me to explore and discover new technology ideas through Pinterest which wasn't my main use in the past.
3. What role does/can Twitter play in the formation and maintenance of Personal Learning Networks?
Twitter is one of the most important social media tools in creating my PLN. In fact, it’s ability to share articles, links, resources, and ideas with other educators and then discuss them through conversation is extremely useful. It is also enjoyable which makes it an even bigger benefit. My use of Twitter in developing my PLN has been a slow and gradual process. However, after over a year on Twitter, I have found my personal uses and likes for it and it has become a beneficial tool.
1. (The Ultimate Guide to Using Twitter In Education) Why is there resistance to using Social Media sites such as Twitter as a form of communication? What are the benefits of using Social Media as a form of communication in education? What are the dangers and/or drawbacks of using Social Media in education?
There is resistance to Social Networking sites because it is different and to some it is unknown. An example of this is my mothers opinion of social networking sites. She calls Twitter “Tweeter” and tells us to be careful not to let our identities get stolen. It’s just something she doesn’t necessarily understand. However, I do believe that my mom is right that internet safety and protecting our identities is another reason for resistance. In my opinion social media is all about making wise educated decisions about who and what information you share.
One of the greatest benefits of using social media for communication is its ability to reach parents, community members, and other educators. Building a professional learning community can help inform about current educational trends and events, encourage continual learning and growth, and empower educators. Social media can also bring some of the fun and excitement back into education because it is entertaining.
As I discussed above it is important to know your audience and know how much is appropriate to share. If you give to much information about yourself, your family, work, students, etc. you can put yourself or others in harms way. However, when you use social media responsibly you will usually be alright.
2. (Social Networking Best Practices for Educators) This article talks about two court cases, Snyder v. Millersville University and Spanierman v. Hughes in which two teachers were disciplined for interactions they had with students on MySpace. Do you feel the courts came to the correct conclusions? Is it ever appropriate to interact with students (present and past) on Social Media sites such as MySpace and Facebook?
I do believe that often as educators we are held to a higher standard. We are expected to hold a certain level of decorum and responsibility due to our active roles in the community and interaction with impressionable students that are looking for role models. I think the actions of the teachers discussed in the article were irresponsible. I do not think there is any reason for a teacher to be interacting withs students on PERSONAL social networking sites. However, if they have a page that is strictly for their class instruction and is used appropriately with adhering to age restrictions, etc. then the interaction can be useful and enhance instruction. These types of social networking sites can be used for class announcements, to build a classroom community of learning, content discussion, etc. I personally would not participate in the type of social networking but mostly because I teach lower elementary school and the age restrictions make it completely inappropriate. I feel it’s risky business and something I avoid.