Wednesday, August 28, 2013

EDtech 543 initial social media reactions

Your First Blog Assignment:

  • What are you initial reactions about joining these social networks for use in this course?
  • What is your experience in using social media for your own professional development?
  • What is your experience in using social media as an instructional strategy in your learning environment?
  • What are your expectations for this course?

Initial Reactions:

My initial reactions to joining these social media networks was one of excitement. I am familiar with using twitter as my go to news source. I am comfortable with it's interface and the ins and outs of the program itself, but would like a more professional working knowledge of it for better incorporation into the classroom if possible. I am not an avid Facebook user and have not been for sometime. I am interested in using it as a community based tool instead of a personal tool amongst friends. I am also interested to see the professional uses Facebook could provide to share with my adjunct instructors who use Facebook more often than I do.  Diigo is a completely new experience for me. While the layout and set up seems simple enough I do not like the way the links and general set up of the "feed" looks. My opinion is if it adopted more a tile format with a more visual appeal it could take a good concept and make it a great one. For a visual example of what I mean, you can think Feedley meets Pinterest.  That is my only complaint so far with Diigo other than that, I really enjoy the concept and overall I am excited to learn more about it. 

Experience using social media for professional development:

For the most part Google plus communities have provided me the best source of professional growth with in the education technology community. I have used this resources to share and learn from other instructors and teachers. I have found some of the best classroom Apps through Google plus and continue to be amazed at the quality and professionalism within the Google plus community.  For my school I am in the infancy stages of discussing and gaining approval for a community blog strictly for instructor resources and communication. The blog idea is to add support for day and nigh time professors who can share projects, lesson plans and lecture notes. For teachers of day and night courses this could help keep the curriculum on an even playing field and present a standard playing field for all subjects. 

Experience using social media as an instructional strategy:

One strategy I have begun incorporating is using RSS feeders and personal student blogs to  meet a class objective in my economics classes. Once the students had a working knowledge and felt comfortable with RSS readers they began to grow the list of blogs and news outlets they wanted to follow. Every student is required to follow at least 10 different sites five of which must be economic blogs. Once students find a current event or principal they wish to discuss they  then post their thoughts on the class blog.  Each week I introduce an economics concept that they must correlate to their article.  For example, if the second week of class is focused on the creation of wealth through trade, students will be asked to find a related article in their RSS feed to share and discuss how it fits in to our general discussion. Students are required to discuss their entry and thoughts in the beginning of each class. The students then take the information they have written about and bring it in to discuss. My goal was, and still is, to create a dynamic discussion each week based on the students working intelligence of current events. Students are  expected to interact with each other’s postings three times a week. They are also broken into small groups making larger classes more manageable for student interaction and commenting. 

Below is my grading rubric for the “Economics Current Event Blog”

Three weekly Posts – 25pts

Economic concept clearly discussed- 40pts

Commenting and student interaction – 25pts

Posts & comments are written in professional tone, with little to no spelling/usage errors – 10pts

Course Expectations:

I really just want to take in everything from this course, my expectations are to learn new and approachable ways to keep myself and instructors ahead of the curve when it comes to incorporating the power house of influence social media is. 
I am looking forward to working with everyone! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Intial thoughts to Diigo

Hello everyone

To kickstart my blogging for EDTECH 543 class I thought I'd share some intial reaction to a new website and service we've been asked to use called Diigo, which can be found here.

At first I thought Diigo was the marriage between Google reader and pinterest. Now that I have spent the last couple of hours with diigo, Ive come to see in itself, it adds little features that can make it a very useful tool at home and in the office. One of the first aspects that I really enjoyed was the ability to share to twitter right from the bookmark tool bar. The bookmark tool itself to use diggo was as easy as dragging an item my toolbar area. A side note is that I use Firefox as a browser so I can only speak for the ease it was for that particular browser, but I assume the set up is universal. The process itself is straightforward and I'm looking forward to using the community side more in the coming days.  The only addition I would like to see would be when I open my library if it could recognize my news websites and give me a preview of the headlines much like Feedley does. Instead of just listing the different sites I use, a preview of their current trending topics at each would be a great improvement.

Friday, August 2, 2013

TEd Talk on Failing Education

For some people who have watched they shake their heads in feverish agreement, others I've found said it's somewhat of an exageration.