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EDTECH 543: Final Thoughts

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Image source the lastdragontribute.com

“I’m taking Social Networking in the classroom!” This phrase caused some odd looks from my colleagues and friends.  Social networking in the classroom, at least in my current teaching situation is  something our school has not embraced.  It seems we are working more toward students NOT social networking in class.  This paradigm though is going to shift, as more training and strategies come.   In moments of frustration or misunderstanding as I am trying to help teachers understand the value of using online tools or social networking apps in class I share a simple quote, “Be Water, my friend”.  Bruce Lee’s wisdom of life fits so well into integrating technology in the classroom, and in some cases, the opportunities of integrating social networks.

What I Learned

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As I reflect on this course, I have found a great value in the use of Social Networking.  I believe that I have gained the most information using these tools as  Professional Development.  The live twitter chats and the webinars were by far my favorite part of the course.  Being connected and able to share ideas and learn new strategies was very exciting.  The second most valuable piece that I can take from this course is curation.  I had seen Storify cross my twitter feed, but I had never experimented with the app.  Using Storify (and the other curation tools) opened a new door for collecting and storing information online. Finally, the mini unit opened new doors simply from working with my PLN.  Alice and Jeff each taught me new ideas about the units we worked together on, specifically the platform Udemy as well as some new Google Drive shortcuts and ideas.

My Professional Practice

twitter-245460_1280Twitter has been the biggest addition to my professional practice.  I still participate in a few of the weekly Twitter chats that I was connected with during the Live Pro-D activities.  I also plan on creating some Udemy courses in the future.  As a volunteer technology coach, I have already talked with our faculty about curation and using Storify both professionally and in class.  The importance of a positive digital footprint is on the forefront of our 1:1 integration plans, we are constantly working to notify and train students to be good digital citizens, especially on social networking.

Self-Assessment

For this this blog I feel I have done what the objectives and requirements have asked.  Each of my posts have included the required information and been updated when required.  For that I would give myself a 75/75.  I appreciate this aspect of the course because it allows me to build on the experiences I have had as well as having a record of what I have done in the past.  Thank you Dr. Gerstien for another great semester!

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EDTECH 543: Social Media Policies

For this activity I was able to look through some of our school’s conduct code.  Our school’s stance on social media is very simple…it’s not allowed.  We use Schoology as our learning management tool.  This gives a social media feel without offering the temptations for distraction.  That being said I wrote policies for a school that uses more than simply the LMS they have selected.  Steven Anderson wrote in his article “it is important to understand the prevailing beliefs about social media in your community”.  Looking at our school the system is good for connecting with parents, however we are seeing more social media use inside individual classrooms.  Classroom Instagram accounts are documenting notes or procedures, some classes are using twitter to chat with other classes across the world about topics they are studying.  Teachers are challenging students to retell stories they are studying using a single tweet or a Vine, causing students to really focus on the important pieces.

This is the first draft of my social media policy.  These will go before my MS tech coach team as well as to our principal for final approval.  I have included a slideshow to enhance the presentation of the policies when presenting to students.  This way students can have more than just the list to remember what is appropriate or not.

  1. Acceptable Use Policy Must be Signed before students can have access to school network.
  2. Students must use the school’s wifi when in the building.
  3. Students must use only School sponsored sites (Schoology, G+ Communities, Class Instagram and Twitter accounts)
  4. Cheating is not allowed
  5. Assume everything is public: Think before you post!
  6. Negative or inappropriate comments will be removed and have consequences
  7. Teachers have the ability to integrate other social medias within a controlled setting (classroom accounts for instagram, twitter, blogs, etc.)
  8. Social Media will be used under supervision of teachers or Library staff.  Students may not be on un-approved social media (facebook, twitter, instagram etc.) between classes or in the hallway.
  9. Students comply with copyright laws, citing guidelines and school policy on plagiarism
  10. Actions online can be punished as stated in the student conduct code.

Slide Show:

References:

Anderson, S. (2012, May 7). How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School. Retrieved November 3, 2015, from http://www.edutopia.org/how-to-create-social-media-guidelines-school

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Edtech 543: Social Networks in the Classroom

Here is the link to my curation of Social Network Case Studies

This week the activity was to research different ways that social networking is being used in the classroom.  For the purpose of this activity (and many in the past) I am taking on the role of technology coach.  The studies that I have included in my page were related to a diverse collection of grades and subjects.

Tweets from Clark– This video shows how a class twitter account of Clark the lizard helps students in their reading, writing and presentation practice.

Digital Pen Pals-  This classroom was using Skype as a way to connect with students in South America with students in the US to help with conversational Spanish.

The Case for Social Media in the Classroom: 

This article shows the use of Edublogs in the classroom.  From this reading it was very clear how students were inspired to write more using blogs because of the potential audience that they were writing to.

Antigone on Facebook

This project was a HS literature project that was adapting “Antigone” using facebook and blogs.  This was an experience that students could follow to help build a greater understanding of the play.

These case studies and more within my Annotary curation provide excellent ideas for how social media can be integrated into the classroom.  From what I found, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and Instagram were all popular apps that could be used within any subject or classroom.

I found the information that we used inspiring, bringing more ideas into my classroom and into the classrooms of my colleagues.  As i reflect on these activities, the main trend I am seeing is educators who are willing to step outside the box, try something new and see where social media can take them.

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EDTECH 543: Online Communities


This week’s assingment was really interesting.  I was able to join different communities that I had previously not been a part of.  Goodreads.com was a surprise to me.  Such an interesting community connecting the books that we enjoy, with so many suggestions and reviews from other readers.

Through the webinar activity I had started to get familiar with EdWeb so it was great to continue exploring thorugh this activity.  Though the website seems a little dated, the information that I was connected to was great!  I was able to comment and give some feedback on a few questions and posts within the digital technology community.

Google+ has been a staple since the beginning of the BSU program for me.  I have really enjoyed going through the ISTE Tech coach community as well as the GAFE community.  There were some great articles and posts that I commented on that offered great ideas within GAFE.  Since our school is a GAFE school, it was right up my alley.

Finally Common Sense Media Graphite was another community that I have just started with.  I was able to find and create a board with resources for problem solving in the classroom. There was so much information (curriculum, tools, reviews, blogs, etc) I will need more time with this site as well.

Overall, another eye opening activity that has brought more info that I seem to have time for!  Wow!

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EDTECH 543: Live Virtual Pro-D

I have really enjoyed the process of participating in the live Pro-D opportunities.  Though I had been a part of a few twitter chats, I was really intrigued and excited about getting involved so quickly and the amount of information that flows in these chats.  Below is the slideshow of all of my chats and webinars that I participated in. Below the slideshow I have explained what I learned and received from each chat and webinar.  Overall, this experience was really valuable.  I have made some excellent contacts, received some inspiration and practical ideas as well as new tools to investigate for my classroom!

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This chat was a lot of fun.  Though I joined it late, I was able to connect immediately about integrating tech into the classroom.  The questions within this chat covered topics such as digital differentiation, using tech for tech’s sake and what happens when things go wrong.  I felt really confident sharing opinions on this chat from my experience within BSU but also from my own experience.  My favorite tweet from this chat was from @urbie when asked what do you do when things don’t go as planned? His response was “Then: make excuses, duck, cover.  Now: Own it, Learn from it.”  I really appreciate this quote simply because it is a growth mindset within the realms of problem solving and failure.  There is no excuse when it comes to problems, just more questions and problems to fix.

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#TOSAchat (Teachers on Special Assignment) was a really interesting one because many of the participants were from a variety of positions within education with many different perspectives.  This was by far the fastest chat I had been a part of.  My TweetDeck was spinning like the big wheel on the Price is Right!

This chat was connected with connected educator month, focusing on what it means to be a connected educator.  I found a lot of great information including the use of Voxer within schools.  This is an app that I am not familiar with (it hasn’t made its way across the pacific to HK yet), but I was able to connect it’s uses within school (communication between teachers) to a group text on whatsapp that we use.  I was also really inspired by the amount of ideas that came across about different ways to collaborate outside of Twitter.  Some examples are edmodo groups, google apps, and schoology.

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It seems I like to participate in chats across the Southern USA!  The #ALedchat was a good one too.  Much more laid back, but still discussing great topics.  This chat centered around bullying in schools, with a specific time of discussing cyberbullying.  Some ideas that we came up with was using backchannel communication to allow students to connect with teachers more discreetly.  It was also very clear that student/teacher communication was key.  Teachers being willing to listen to students and students willing to share with teachers.

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The #resiliencechat was centered around two terms “Resilience vs. Grit”.  Initially the chat was angled toward how resilience in the classroom was more important or valuable than grit.  The second half of the chat was about the positives of grit.  A few of the main takeaways from this chat was “Grit is determination. Resilience is perseverance”  and

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I found this chat really interesting because there was a lot of new and unique information on both resilience and grit.

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The Spark101 Webinar was a great time to learn about an really cool STEM resource.  Spark101 offers different STEM centered case studies as well as templates to help integrate the studies into a classroom.  Though the webinar was a little like a sales pitch, I appreciated the usability of Spark101 as well as the fact that it is free.  This is something that I will be able to connect fellow teachers to at my school.

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This webinar was great.  My PLN partner Alice lead it.  The conversation was really easy to follow and give some really good tips on using video in the classroom.  The information from the three presenters was very practical, giving the ability to insert strategies into classes immediately.  My favorite quote from the webinar was from Alice about making a total fool of yourself in your video.

“Increasing Student Ownership of Learning Using Digital Portfolios”

Webinar

Oct 13, 2015

Presented by Rachel Langenhorst, K-12 Technology Integrationist

This webinar really brought some great information about digital portfolios.  The overall presentation was simply a “how to integrate portfolios into the classroom”.  I found some of the ideas and strategies very valuable.  I have been really interested in going deeper with the growth mindset, which was touched on during this webinar.  One quote that I really liked that was shared was from George Addair, “Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear”.  I really connect with this quote, especially learning about a new way to facilitate learning within students.  Overall this was a very helpful webinar.

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This was by far the most interesting webinar that I have attended.  The speaker took us through the history of educational technology, sharing different information about the reactions to the new tech.  For example he shared a quote “(This Device) appealed at once to the eye and to the ear, thus naturally forming the habit of attention, which is so difficult to form by the study of books”.  This quote is referring to the chalk board (from 1855).  I found it very facinating the reactions of people when technology was integrated into the classroom.  Dr. Couros also did some Q and A at the end and was able to share some great information on what 21st Century readers must do:

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Overall this webinar was a really fun one to be a part of and I am really glad that I had found it at the last minute.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This project was very interesting.  The twitter chats were very different experiences, all of which had an incredible amount of information being shared in a short amount of time.  The webinars were good as well, however my time difference made for some early mornings online!  All in all a great experience!

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EDTECH 543: Positive Digital Reputation

This activity was really interesting.  I found many different articles about how to maintain or fix your online reputation.  From my research I have come up with 10 major ideas (represented in the slideshow).

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Considering the Digital Footprint

Thoughts about living in a world where digital footprints are almost unavoidable for most people.

The first time that I really considered the impact of the digital footprint was when I had posted a picture of my daughter on my facebook page and someone who was a friend of my wife had posted a comment that was crass and inappropriate. (My daughter was standing holding a playground equipment and the woman made a reference to “poll dancing”).  besides making my Poppa Bear blood boil, I had a realization that this footprint that I am creating, not only for my self, but for my daughters.  Their entire lives are online… is that right? One blog post said, “A staggering 92% of American babies have an online presence…”.  This is incredible.  The blog continues by making the effect of the massive footprint, “Children born today will have every aspect of their life recorded, uploaded, backed up, forwarded and publicized completely without their consent.”
Now as a father I want to protect my daughters, does that mean we move to the mountains, eliminate what we can and live in a cave?  Part of me thinks that would be refreshing, but not possible.  The reality is, the footprint is with us…so how are we going to live in order to maintain a positive footprint?  Are we going to build up our children to be responsible online, understanding the impact that their use of the web can make? We have to.  As the previous generations taught their children survival on the farms, or in the mountains, we must teach our children how to survive with their footprint.

What you discovered about your own digital footprint.

My footprint for the most part is pretty small.  I try to keep photos and information private.  I have also made it an important habit to limit how much information I share online.  Though I do have Facebook and Twitter, I try to utilize them for specific purposes.  Living overseas, Facebook has been so helpful to share with friends and family and visa-versa about life from across the world.  Twitter is strictly reserved for my professional development.  I try to not “cross contaminate” my private and personal lives between the two platforms.  That might sound archaic in a sense, but it’s a simple way for me to maintain my footprint.  

Final Thoughts

It’s interesting.  I saw this image come across my Facebook feed:

This is a picture of the bacteria on a hand that has been grown in a petri dish.  Now think for a minute… if this was a foot…

Our digital footprint, like the bacteria on our hands can be both positive and negative.  The question is how are you going to take care of yours?

References:

Blog Post-http://www.sileo.com/92-babies-are-online/

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EDTECH 543: Twitter #’s

The Art of Twitter

 

I have found in the past year the importance of Twitter as a resource and professional development tool.  Currently, these are the hashtags that I am following:

#whatisschool

#edtech

#techcoach

#tncohort

#asiaED

#edtechchat

 

The first tool that I learned about from the #tncohort is Sploder http://www.sploder.com/free-game-creator.php ).  Sploder is a website that allows you to create your own games.  These can be for fun or educational games that can be put together in an easy way.  I have since offered this as an option for my students to use in class on certain projects.  It is a great website for both students and teachers to use!

 

#asiaED offers many resources. One that I have found really valuable was an article titled “Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves”.  This article covers 4 different qualities  (Autonomy, Competence, Relatedness, and Relevance) that are important to helping students have self motivation.  This article was challenging and enlightening as I related it back to my classroom.

 

On #whatisschool there was a post “Transforming the Way We Learn: 4 New Ways Kids Can Learn Minecraft”.  Within this post, the author describes how students can learn Java programming, build up their writing skills, enhance their reading and practicing digital citizenship through minecraft.  

 

Twitter: Just In Time!

Twitter is such a valuable resource, especially for Pro-D.  I have found a great amount of information on twitter that I have been able to use practically in my classroom, as well as being able to share in our professional development times at my school.  Twitter is a wealth of information especially for teachers, educators.  

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EDTEDCH 543: Creative Expression

Using Piktochart I created a poster of the “Ingredients for a successful educator”.  At the top of the poster we see three separate categories, PLN, CoP, and Connectivism.

  • PLN- I created a bubble of people, sharing information across different platforms.  The people are all of different profession and background which offers a diverse network of learning.  I gave each person in the image a phone/tablet type device to represent the power of the PLN over the internet and social networks.  Marianne Stenger writes in her article, “Where educators once had to rely on meetings, workshops and conferences that were held a couple of times a year at best, they now have a host of online tools and platforms that enable them to interact and collaborate with other teachers anywhere in the world virtually 24/7”  My representation of PLN embodies my definition, a group of people using social networking as an additional professional development resource.
  • Connectivism- To me connectivism is best represented by a network icon.  Simple yet fully defining connectivism.  One post explains that connectivism gives people the abilities to share knowledge and information through the information boom that has come with the internet.  Justin Marquis  wrote, “Connectivism incorporates the additional dimension that learning happens more rapidly in a connected, information rich world through technological mediation.” (Marquis, 2011). This quote painted a clear picture of connectivism and how I wanted to represent it on my poster.  The network icon represents connection, but also the importance of the internet and the connections that offer the opportunity to explore connectivism.
  • Community of Practice– Community of Practice is very similar to both connectivism and PLN, but the main difference is the “community” aspect. The Wenger-Trayner website defines community of practice as, “…groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly”(2015).  These are people that are here with you , who are working or living life with you.  From this community you find common interests and start to build from.  I chose this icon simply because it shows three people in proximity of each other, connected in a common way.

As the image travels down, the three separate colors come together into one measuring cup, adding up into a successful educator.  Without utilizing each of these theories and thought processes, modern teachers can be in danger of getting left behind..  There is an overwhelmingly large amount of information, and as a community or network education, (teachers and students) will greatly benefit from these activities.

Ingredients for Educators

Works Cited:

Marquis, Justin.  “Looking at Connectivism as a New Learning Theory.” Blog. Online Universities. 29 December 2011.

Stenger, Marianne. “Educators are Ditching Traditional Conferences for Blogs and Twitter.” informED. Open Colleges. Web, 6 July 2014.

Wenger-Trayner, E. &Wenger-Trayner, B. (2014). “Communities of Practice a brief introduction“. Wenger-Trayner. Retrieved from http://wenger-trayner.com/introduction-to-communities-of-practice/

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Safety on the Internet

 

(image source)

Having the opportunity to be a part of the EdTech department has been a real blessing.  At the same time, I also get to be a part of a school that is making a transition into a 1:1 model using MacBook Pro computers.  The real opportunity here is being able to be a part of two programs that are on the forefront of education and technology.  

That being said, priority number 1 as a teacher with students who will be linked to the web more often than not is to help them understand what it means to be safe online as well as what it means to be a good digital citizen.  

As a teacher there are 4 (and probably more if I really think about it) guidlines that I want to give my students in regards to internet safety and digital citizenship as they embark on this new educational journey.  

 

Guideline #1:  Privacy is not always private…be aware of what you share!

         There is a glaring misconception within our middle school population (and probably most middle school populations) that when you post something on the internet it is only going to go to the people that know you.  The alternative is simple- Be smart with what and to whom you share information.  

     1.  Do not accept friend requests or email messages from people that you don’t know or  

           haven’t talked to in person. 

     2.  Never, EVER, share your password to any of your online accounts. (Facebook, email, etc.)

     3.  Set your privacy settings to a strict level to protect your information from strangers on the  

           internet. 

For more information on Online Privacy go here:  http://www.edudemic.com/online-privacy-guide/

 

Guidline #2:  “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction” Newton’s 3rd Law

          Consider your actions online something of a chain.  This chain is linked to you the moment that you start joining networks or emails online.  Every action that you take online from searches, or games, to harmful posts and pictures making fun of someone else, will stick with you forever.  It is very possible that inappropriate content that you post to the internet could come back to affect your future.  College administrators and future employers might stumble across comments or pictures that you posted when you were in high school.  They might find this information offensive and not allow you into their institution or the job that you always wanted.  Beware that all information online is open to everyone and sometimes it can affect your future greatly. 

For more information on your digital footprint go here: http://www.edudemic.com/your-digital-footprint/

 

Guideline #3:  Stand Up for what is right!

          Think about what you are using these computers for.  There are strict guidelines in each of your classes about which websites you should be using.  If you see someone on an inappropriate website or postin inappropriate material, report it.  This includes bullying other students!  If everyone works to clean up the web and hold each other accountable, there is no way we will be overcome with the negative information that can be on the web. 

Here is more information on cyber-bullying and it’s effects: http://www.edudemic.com/cyberbullying/

Guideline #4:  You are not alone-Communicate with your teacher

          Sometimes being online can feel individual.  There are feelings that you are the only one struggling with certain websites, that you are the only one who is being bullied, or the only one who doesn’t know how to use different tools required for our class.  Please come and talk to the teacher about what is going on.  The first goal for all of your teachers is that you are safe and understand the information that we are sharing with you.  

For more information about communicating with your teacher go here: 

http://www.edudemic.com/7-survival-skills-modern-teachers-students/

 

 

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