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.


About "B" Bernheim
“B”, his nickname, returns to the other side of the desk after many years. Graduating from UNC-Charlotte in 1983 with a BA in Education (K-12), he entered active service with the US Army. He began teaching high school upon completion of his tour of duty. B taught Language Arts and Social Studies for one year at the middle school level. English, Composition, Public Speaking, Theater, Forensics, and Technical Theater are among the subjects he has taught in public high school settings. Most recently, he was a Strategies of Instruction teacher, Assistant Dean of Students, dorm parent, girls’ hockey coach and rock climbing instructor at The Forman School in Litchfield, CT. The Forman School is a 9-12 boarding school specifically targeting students who learn differently.

5 Responses to Am I Ready for This?

  1. sarahbaughman says:

    I love your Romeo and Juliet comparison! I think that is a perfect idea and your students will love it! I am excited to take this course with you. Good luck!

  2. Hi B – I love this post. Especially the thoughts about Romeo and Juliet. It is fascinating to see how change happens in the world. I am always inspired by my students and feel in great part much younger just by virtue of being involved with their learning and how they approach the world. I feel lucky to be able to take this class and “catch up” on the social media I am not so familiar with. We will all be helping each other along the way, I am sure 🙂

    • "B" Bernheim says:

      I am pleased you enjoyed it, Amanda. My dad is in hospice now and is 100 years 7 months old. The essence of some of my post is on display when I try to explain to him what I am doing in grad school now. I just left him in Denver and you would have found our conversation about this upcoming coursework endearing. To his credit, he was quite interested and intrigued. He could tell I was short-changing him with regard to some of his “why do we need that?” questions.
      Knowing he grew up with a hand-crank wall phone on a community party-line, to be discussing handheld devices employing social media tools must really make him feel a little bit like the Captain Kirk and granddad in my post all at the same time. Now you know the back story to what was in my head when I composed the assignment. That, and I am an incurable romantic and not sure tweets are the same as holding hands in the moonlight. Like you, I will look to my students to see the same constants that have allowed Romeo and Juliet to remain relevant for 400+ years.
      Look forward to working with you again and I have no doubt I will need a lifeline or phone-a-friend along the way. 😉 ~ B

  3. I liked your post. Although I love social media, etc, I too have some reservations about how social media will affect future generations – nothing is private, we expect instant results, we are always plugged in, etc. I wonder if Romeo and Juliet would even have a normal conversation if they live today – or would they just text or tweet? Interesting and exciting times are ahead of us.

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