Am I Ready for This?

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

With the swoosh of a post on social media; our coursework in Social Networking begins. My reactions are different this time. I feel like Captain Kirk standing on the transporter getting ready to zoom off to some new world, learning new languages and interacting with people in a way I have not done before. At the same time, inside Kirk exists a grizzled, overall-clad, gray-haired grandpa on the porch of a old clapboard, whitewashed home, whittling a piece of cedar, pining away for “them good ole days.” I remember thousands of real-time “a-ha” moments with students whether in the classroom, on the stage, or in some athletic endeavor. Would we be able to look up from our devices long enough today to take in the moment or do we post and hope it goes viral? (Do we know how to enjoy a sunrise or sunset without posting it to social media?) How could I compare the modern couple to Romeo and Juliet? If Romeo had Twitter, Facebook and YouTube the play would have ended with one Act as Romeo tweets and posts his uncanny ability to woo a Capulet, sneaking into their own ball. The relationship would rise and fall in social media. Will likes outweigh sound judgment and analysis? Will the grading scale be based upon the number of re-tweets? As I look around at the change of current high school students/teachers and their level of connection, I wonder how that will affect me going forward.

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

I would say my experience is limited. I use Diigo now and appreciate seeing updates by my peers, fellow educators and professors. I am connected to Edtech @ BSU via my personal Facebook account and use LinkedIn. I have no experience with Twitter. I am certain that through this class I will reflect on this moment with a smile after learning how to effectively use social media for my professional growth.

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

I have encouraged the widespread use of social media (primarily Facebook Groups and Google+, Docs and Hangouts) throughout the on-base volunteer/support organizations. Communication has improved as we are meeting the younger spouses where they are. Again, I feel that I will learn how to be more effective than I am at the moment. I have used more primitive social media in years past with students and fellow teachers. The tools were new and boundaries were absent. There was nothing positive gained at that time. I have used YouTube and Wikipedia for a variety of purposes. At the time I was teaching, Wikis were still frowned upon a valid, quotable resources.

What are your expectations for this course?

As a cohort, I intend to pull my share and more. I will ask questions and seek answers. Sometimes it takes repackaging a lesson for me to process the concepts. I hope that will be available when needed. A Constructivist in the past, I was exposed to Connectivism in the Theories class. It is exciting to explore this theory in practice and execution. As an educator and future technology integration specialist, I look forward to tools, and theories of practice to frame new experiences.

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Final Blog Entry 541

Part I

All good things come to an end. This class is no different in that regard. John See stated years ago that technology should not be taught out of context of the material at hand (1992). I have learned and experienced first-hand Tech-PACK in context. I built on the three essential elements needed to guarantee positive technology integration: learning theory foundations, integration planning model & Tech-PACK and the essential conditions for integration (Roblyer & Doering, 2013, p. 34).  In my opinion that was the greatest value of this course.

I completed every project at a high level of excellence, not because I was grade-driven; but because I wanted to insure I could communicate what I learned with educators and students upon completion. I experimented with tools, apps, lessons and various ways of reaching a goal to insure I was mastering the material. I feel my body of work in this course meets the mastery criteria for each of the AECT course-specific standards.

Productive struggles, though frustrating in the moment, serve to show me what I am truly capable of achieving. I still need to work on communication to better articulate what I want or need to say. One can always improve and I wish to do better here.

As a learner who has struggled in the past and still struggles in some areas, I want to encourage the use of well-designed lessons and sites by my own students and teachers. I wish to strive for Accessible sites with goals that are articulated clearly.

The shift to Constructivism occurred some time ago. As a Theatre teacher, my curriculum has always leaned in that direction. Offering the students choices in early in the process and inviting them to share a seat at the planning table enriches the theatrical process. Adding a more modern touch with Connectivism seems a natural fit as we truly integrate technology beyond the crew positions and into the entire process of both education and performance. I was cognizant of both theories as I developed my lessons.

Part II

I feel my blogging efforts this term were solid across the board. Exploring the Blog Rubric now in hindsight, I still hold that view.

  • Content – 100/100 – My blog entries meet the criteria for Outstanding as I always went into depth on each topic. As a learner who sees things through a different lens, I shared my viewpoint with clarity, rich content and depth to articulate my point of view to the best of my ability.
  • Readings and Resources – 35/35 – Again, I feel I met the Outstanding criteria attempting to validate my points of view with grounded research and documentation worthy of a student enrolled in a Masters-level course.
  • Timeliness – 20/25- Being a harsh self-critic, if I had a shortcoming it was here. I would say I met the Proficient level. I would like to have been the first to post each and every week. Caring for an elderly father and enrolling him in Hospice during this term has been draining emotionally. Combining those issues with my own learning differences and needing to read, read and read again passages for comprehension meant time spent and posts occurred later in the week in a few instances. These are not excuses. I made choices and placed other priorities, my father and family and my own learning pace above being one of the first to post each and every week.
  • Responses to Other Students – 30/30 – I feel I met the criteria for Outstanding here as I embraced the opportunity to offer feedback to my peers. I offered true and honest feedback in a timely fashion. In many cases, I offered more than just feedback to two peers. I attempted to offer detailed feedback in a manner I would like to receive it – Praise, Correct, Praise. I started with a compliment, offered constructive points and finished with a positive comment. In many cases, I researched as much for their feedback as I did for my own posts.
  • Total – 185/190

Overall, the course has proven a valued rung in the ladder as I climb toward my goal. I appreciate the new tools in my toolbox as I feel they will be useful going forward.

References:

AECT Standards (2001) Retrieved from:  http://www.aect.org/standards/initstand.html

Dunaway, M. (2011). Connectivism: Learning theory and pedagogical practice for networked information landscape. Reference Services Review, 39(4), 675-684. Doi:10.1108/00907321111186686

Roblyer, M.D. and Doerling, A.H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

See, J. (1992). National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved July 30, 2014, from http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm