What are you initial reactions about joining these social networks for use in this course?
Thankfully through my experience in this program I have come into contact with all of the tools we are initially signing up for. Because my family and I live internationally (Hong Kong) we use Facebook as a way to share pictures of our family adventures with the grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins in the USA. I have also used it as a way to stay connected with friends from high school and other interactions in life. Twitter on the other hand is my Pro-D center. I use Twitter to learn about new resources, trends and events that are happening in the edtech world. WordPress I have used for my Learning Log (Obviously) and Diigo is relatively new to me. I use a similar app called Annotary to collect and gather different annotations from the web. Looking forward to getting more experience with Diigo!
What is your experience in using social media for your own professional development?
As I said above, Twitter has been my Pro-D center for the past year. I got hooked onto it when I went to the 21st Century Learning Conference in Hong Kong. From there I was able to build connections with people and get overwhelmed by the amount of resources available on Twitter. As a volunteer pro-d tech coach I use Twitter when looking at new tools or strategies that I might present in the classroom.
What is your experience in using social media as an instructional strategy in your learning environment?
Currently I am teaching 8th grade. I have experimented using social media in my classroom. I used twitter to facilitate a discussion. I posed questions with unique hashtags and then had the students answer on class Twitter profiles. I found the 8th grade class is a little to young.
That being said, I also am an online instructor in a teacher certification program and we use Twitter heavily, getting these future educators connected and used to the process of using Twitter. In fact, for one of our modules we have a 24 hour “twitter blitz” where all of the different cohorts in that module converge on a single hashtag and the instructors facilitate conversations and discussions from all around the world.
What are your expectations for this course?
My expectations for this course are pretty simple. I love technology and I love building connections between different tech and the classroom. I would love to walk away with a few ideas on how to integrate some social networking into my classroom (and my colleagues). I know it is going to be a great year, this is not my first class with Dr. Gerstein, and I am looking forward to another awesome experience like the last ones!