Share, connect and chat!

For this week’s blog post, we were asked to consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of using social media to showcase students work publicly. As you already know, there are a wide range of social media sources which can be used to display student work or to assist in learning. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and blogging are some of the most commonly used social media sources by teachers today.

For instance, teachers can create a Facebook Group Page, specifically designed for their classroom. On this page, teachers can showcase their students work, post assignments/reminders, control its group members and maintain steady contact with both students and parents. Instagram can showcase student work by offering a place to feature student art work. Twitter provides a place where students can access current information about the world and use the information they find for classroom discussions, activities, or projects. However, there are many more social media tools available that each serve a different purpose. Some teachers may note that social media, when it is used appropriately, can be a useful tool rather than a distraction.

If you do not have experience using social media as a teaching tool, here are some of the pros and cons involved:

Pros of using social media in the classroom:

  • Social media sites can increase student collaboration
  • Using social media in the classroom can encourage more participation
  • Social media sites can be useful for homework help
  • Share resources quickly when using social media in the classroom
  • Social media helps keep parents, teachers and students all on the same page

Cons of using social media in the classroom:

  • Social media can be a distraction in class if it is not used in a supervised/controlled setting
  • Improper use of social media in the classroom
  • Using social media in the classroom can detract from human interaction
  • Cyber bullying on social media websites
  • Posting inappropriate content on social media websites

With social media being an ingrained part of today’s society, it seems almost impossible to avoid it. So, before you make the decision to dismiss it, consider “learning in the open” to be a positive experience. Moreover, the many life lessons we can learn from using social media. As teachers, we have the ability to control the setting and the way we allow our students to use social media during class time. But if we expect our students to be responsible digital citizens while using social media, then we need to teach them how to be. Many of our students are unaware of the consequences associated with the inappropriate use of social media. Therefore, we need to educate them about internet safety and all that comes with it; such as the do’s and don’ts when sharing or posting information online. We must also model appropriate commenting skills and social media etiquette. Yes, social media can be used for enjoyment but these tools were also created for a reason. Therefore, introducing social media sources to your students while also demonstrating their specific purposes through a teacher-guided lesson is recommended. Remember, there are many social media platforms that have great educational potential. So, it is time to start exploring them and discover all the different ways they can showcase student work but also contribute to learning.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

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I blog, so let’s all blog!

Hello everyone!

I would like to begin my first blog post for EC&I 831 by saying how excited I am to be a part of this course and to be working alongside all of you! Throughout this semester, I look forward to reading all of your blog posts and collaborating with you in the Zoom room!

For my major digital project, designing and implementing an open student blogging project has always been an interest of mine. Why? Well, since I began the blogging process last year through online courses with Alec and Katia, I have been able to demonstrate my learning in a productive and creative fashion. Blogging allows an outlet for me to express my thoughts and opinions about specific topics in a professional manner. It also provides an environment for me to explore, collaborate and learn from people who share the same profession as I do. I have never considered myself to be a confident public speaker and although I have been teaching for 8 years, I still feel uncomfortable with public speaking, more so in front of adults. However, blogging creates a comfortable setting where I am able to share information, in the form of writing. Blogging has also encouraged me to reach out and explore the digital world in many different ways, as well as utilize social media as an effective digital tool.

That being said, I would love to provide my students with the same positive learning experience, by designing and implementing an open student classroom blog. Although this is simply an idea at this point in time, I have created a basic outline of content which would need to be taught to the students before the actual blogging process could begin. Only after the following content is covered by the teacher, may we begin to navigate through the classroom blog site.  It is important the students are prepared and fully understand how to demonstrate responsible and accountable behaviour before posting or commenting online. The outline of content is as follows:

Step 1- Introduction to blogging.

  • What is a blog and what purpose does it serve?
  • Who can blog?
  • Why do we blog?

Step 2- The Do’s and Don’ts when sharing information online.

Step 3: Appropriate and responsible blogging (teacher-guided).

  • Quality vs Quantity
  • Sourcing of information
  • Review examples of appropriate and inappropriate blog posts/comments

As for the LMS I intend to use for the student classroom blog, I am unsure at this point in time. Although I blog often, I only have experience using WordPress. So, if any of you have any suggestions for possible blogging programs I can use, I’d love to hear from you! Also, please share your experiences while working with blogging programs! Within the near future, I plan to do some research using social media tools, such as Twitter and YouTube to assist me with the process of selecting a classroom blog site as well as setting it up.

For those of you who are new to the blogging experience, blogging can be beneficial for both teachers and students! And here’s why…blogging engages both students and parents, it serves as a form of student expression, reaches marginalized students who may be more comfortable writing than speaking, serves as a great classroom resource, aids in teacher and student relationships, and encourages self-directed study skills. It is important to note that blogging cannot replace the role of the teacher, but it can serve as a fun and engaging learning experience as well as teach our students how to be effective digital citizens and navigate the internet safely. I mean, let’s face it, we now live in a digital world and technology is advancing every day. So, we can choose to reject it or use it to our advantage, whichever way that may be.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!