Posted in ECMP 355

Learning Together

What I loved most about this class was the emphasis on connecting with others online whether it was helping them learn, learning from them, or giving individuals credit for their awesome Twitter finds or well-written blogs.

I contributed to the learning of others through three different social media pages:

Sharing resources, commenting to help others, and asking questions on Google+ was not one of my strongest areas in the course. I found it hard to engage with. I’m not totally sure why but it probably had to do with balancing all the other tech tools I was dabbling in. In the beginning of the course, I asked a couple questions because I was drowning in the technicalities of WordPress. This is another piece of the course that was great to have was immediate feedback and help. As for my contributions via Google +, I made a few comments on other people’s posts but that was the farthest it went.

WordPress is a great place to learn and help others learn once you get past all the technical jargon of creating a web page and fancy tabs (struggled with this for awhile before this class). There were SO many people in our class but I did my best to search through the class link and comment on a few people’s blogs each week.

Something I really struggled with at first was figuring out how to juggle all the tech tools and responsibilities we had in this class but I knew I had to figure it out fast. Below I shared my method with Tanya who was curious what I thought about all of the tasks we had at once:

Many of my comments on WordPress consisted of compliments and sharing resources. If I were to try this again I would have tried to have more dialogue with my fellow bloggers. Generating dialogue is sometimes something I struggle with. A way I tried to combat this is by reading through a blog, commenting, and ending the comment with a question.

My most successful form of contributing to the learning of others happened through Twitter. I shared articles daily, had my followers retweet my articles daily, commented on other’s tweets daily, and participated in three #SaskEdchats in the last few weeks. I enjoyed this form of networking the most because of how easy it was to connect with people not only from my class but from around the world through a single hashtag.

When I first used Twitter, I posted articles related to education here and there and added the occasional photo. After a pep talk on Twitter etiquette: how to get more followers and the richest experience possible… I tweeted often but also gave some love to my followers and those I followed. By doing this my retweets, likes, and followers increased dramatically.

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I did my best to share articles related to education frequently (at least once a day):

One of my favorite contributions to other’s learning online was through #saskedchat on Twitter, this is one I will absolutely continue utilizing past this class and into my career. It is beyond awesome to be able to connect with educators around the world on a level that feels so close. I write more about this connection in Learning in a Network World:

I cannot say it enough… being pushed to network with others online in diverse ways has opened up so many doors for me as an educator. I appreciate this experience in an exceptional way because I know I will for most of my life, teach in small communities that do not always have access to resources. Technology makes resources for me limitless, and for that I am thankful.

Posted in ECMP 355, Learning Project

I can “speak!”

While I am still learning many different words in sign language, I am beginning to put words together in sentences which are really cool. When I watch Switched at Birth, I can pick up a few signs but I cannot always follow exactly what they say because they often sign fast.

Here is a video of me signing some different sentences: 

Last week I posted my second challenge to the ASL Facebook group. This time, I received plenty more feedback on my video than the first. I think this may be because I am playing a more active role on the page by liking and commenting on other people’s videos. Like Katia mentioned in class, if you want more followers on Twitter, you need to pump the tires of others! Okay.. she didn’t say exactly that. but something to that effect.

Engaging with others online in this journey has kept me motivated to stay on top of daily signing and documenting my progress. I feel a sense of accountability to my online community and support from those who are in the same learning process as me in ASL.

I mentioned a few blogs ago that I joined an online Google + community called The Sign Language Community. I posted to the group and received no feedback. However, when I scroll through the news feed of the community, I am still gaining access to more resources that others are posting on.

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In this community, I will continue the strategy of commenting on others posts, asking questions and helping others learn (even if my knowledge of ASL is still limited in retrospect). By reaching out, I am hoping more people will be willing to grab my hand or reach out to me so I can make some more meaningful learning connections.

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A challenge I would like to set for myself is reaching out to someone in the community and asking them to Skype with me. I have mentioned this idea before but have not yet fulfilled it. I can be very introverted. I love doing work on my own and stepping out to talk to others (especially new people), can sometimes be difficult for me. I know if I make this move it will not only make me a stronger individual but will also add more depth to my learning with ASL. Practicing signs and random sentences is one thing, but attempting to keep a conversation going with a person signing in real life is a level higher that I would like to achieve.

 

Posted in ECMP 355

Social Media PD via Twitter

This week I got to fully participate in #saskedchat on Twitter with my fellow collegues and tech teachers from around the world!

Now, if you haven’t participated in saskedchat I highly recommend it, here’s why: Saskedchat is a professional development network via Twitter that takes place every Thursday at 8 p.m. Sask. time. 

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I found it especially useful for me as I enter the teaching field in small town Sask. Perhaps like me, you enjoy the slow small town life. If you do, you understand that the diversity is not always as rich and resources aren’t always as easy to find as they were in the city. Hence, the wonderful all access online world.

However, this chat is so much more than getting links to resources. It is networking with fellow educators all over. You get resources AND human connections. To me, that is incredible. I truly believe teaching is a collaborative effort. The only way we can get better at what we do and lay ground for change is by CONNECTING with one another and hey, why not make some friends along the way.

The topic of discussion this week on saskedchat: Technology Integration. What a fitting topic for us in ECMP 355!

Here is a list of the questions we discussed and some highlights from the conversation:

After only one chat I made multiple connections with incredible educators, received multiple links to resources, and had some nice professional conversation with like minds. I will certainly use this tool in the future and make it a priority for my professional development via social media. 

A warning to the new users of Twitter or those who would like to try #saskedchat: it can be overwhelming at first. Teachers from all over are talking all at once, completely filling up your feed. It can be difficult to keep up and keep track of who is saying what. You see a good idea, you want to answer the tweet, yet looking at all the other ideas and trying to answer some of the questions yourself….yikes. WAIT, don’t run away yet.

For my first chat, I answered a few questions but took some time to step back and admire the beauty of the networking and ideas bouncing off each other so quickly. I retweeted many ideas, liked many tweets, and followed many new people! This was my method for easing into such a new fast paced environment. 

In future chats, I hope to learn more, articulate my thoughts in a perfect 140 or less character count, find knowledge of my own to share with the world, and gain full access to even more professionals in the teaching world!