This will not only be my final blog for my social media learning graduate class, but also my final blog post for my graduate program in general. This semester has truly been challenging as I juggled my final elective with the final graduate portfolio class, but the payoff has been great.
I was already an active social media participant in the world of educational technology. I regularly guest moderate and attend Twitter chats and am a member of many different educational technology Facebook groups. However, this class helped me dive a little bit deeper into the "why" and importance of social media learning. I am walking away from this class with a plethora of bookmarked and saved resources that I can share with teachers who are interested in engaging in social media learning themselves. I also have an example social media unit that I can share that highlights potential ways for social media tools to be integrated into elementary classroom curriculums.
As always, I truly enjoyed collaborating and creating assignments with peers. My tiny PLN with Betty turned out to be quite productive and great! I really enjoyed creating our content curation presentation together in Google Slides and really appreciated our teamwork in creating our social media mini-curriculum. We really worked well together and were able to easy delegate tasks to make the assignments easy to complete and share. I also appreciated the ease of using the Facebook group to share and observe my peer's work. It was the first class I have taken that utilized Facebook as the hub of learning and I really liked it! Since many of us are on Facebook regularly, it made keeping up with my peer's latest posts and feedback really simple and accessible.
I also liked engaging in Twitter chats and Webinars. I attended a couple Twitter chats that I engage with regularly, but I also attended a couple new ones that I really enjoyed. I LOVED my #BookCreator chat about Book Creator for Chrome and have since implemented it in a third grade class here in Portland. I also recently accepted a job as a Digital Literacy TOSA here in Portland so engaging in #TOSAChat chat was very helpful and connected me to some great resources. I learned something new from each webinar I attended and even walked away with some tools I am still using! I attended a webinar on the adaptive literacy software Velocity and have been using it with my boys at home with great success and engagement.
Overall, I walked away from this class with many new ideas and insights. I am a huge advocate for social media learning in the classroom and this class only fueled my desire to help other educators truly see the power these social media tools hold to transform learning environments in today's classrooms.
Self-Assessment of Blogging:
I put a lot of effort into my blogs this semester as well as many of the assignments. I created videos and images to highlight my learning and really tried my best to highlights those on my blog in effective and dynamic ways. I also tried my best to take my sharing one step further with either adding a MP3 audio recording of my blog posts or a video explanation to make my blog more accessible and engaging. I feel that my posts always met the requirements laid out by the instructor and were very well thought out and thorough. For the reasons written above, I would give myself 75 points for my blogging efforts this semester.
Last week I explored using Twitter in early elementary classrooms. I was inspired by some pretty amazing teachers who seamlessly integrated social media tools to share and extend their classroom learning. You will see that my policies are modified for a first grade classroom. The most effective way I have observed social media being used in the early elementary classroom is to have a classroom account. The social media apps would then be downloaded onto classroom devices for kids to access. There is extensive work in going over social media policies before students are allowed to use social media apps. The below policies are age appropriate and are centered around having young students working with one classroom account.
My classroom policies will sent home to be signed and returned so any questions and concerns can be answered and discussed. I will also encourage my parents to join the social media platforms we use so they can interact and follow our classroom activity. I also believe in engaging parents in hands-on workshops highlighting technology integration tools. I would set up a workshop where kids would teach their parents about how we are utilizing technology tools. I have used this in the past with other technology tools and it worked wonders.
Anderson, S. (2015). How to create social media guidelines for your school. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/edutopia-anderson-social-media-guidelines.pdf.
Davis, V. (2015, February 27). A guidebook for social media learning. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/guidebook-social-media-in-classroom-vicki-davis.
Dunn, J. (2014, September 24). An editable social media policy for schools that works. Retrieved from http://dailygenius.com/editable-social-media-policy-for-schools/.
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