Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Final Reflection-EdTech 543

It is hard to believe the semester has come to an end, and I am writing my reflection on EDtech 543 Social Networking.

I think it is important to note, I was not an avid social media contributor at the beginning of this course. I had to create a Facebook account specifically for this class, and I was pretty much using twitter the wrong way. I was an observer of social media instead of a contributor. So what happened that made me a contributor? It was the ease of having someone like our Professor and a course that showed you the professional side of social media, and how it is relevant.  I think I can sum up what I mean by the below example.

One of our projects was to contribute to a social media site with a certain number of new posts and comments. I choose Google Plus. One of the posts I made was a picture about using technology in the classroom. We were also to join different groups. I found groups relevant to my teaching such as business educators and an Economics page. I posted that picture in all my different groups and the reaction was incredible with how quickly the picture made its way to 150 and counting re-shares and 80 some comments from people with whom I've never met, some of whom would later be fresh additions to my now growing personal learning network. There was a couple of people who started following my google plus posts and comments on current event economics news and other class specific articles I was sharing. About two weeks after that assignment I was trying to find a "new" economics project for my students, something that was more collaborative and less like a traditional project. Without hesitation I set out to my Business educators page on google plus. Within in seconds I was corresponding with about ten different instructors who were giving me QUALITY ideas. I settled with a project that centered on trade creating wealth, a project I can say with confidence was the best class of the term, and also something I would have never come up with on my own.

The class was full of moments of PLN help for me. Learning how to properly surround myself with like minded educators in the social media sphere was worth every hour, minute, and day spent on assignments and the class. On top of growing my social media presence with a positive footprint I was able to create a practical social media guide for my campus, something that I would of put off probably another year if it weren't for this class and it's requirement.

As far as my blog usage, I usually sell myself a little short when doing self evaluations, but I feel my reflections and posts were as true to my feelings as they could have been. I think my reflections were appropriate in length and met the course requirements, thus my thoughts on being a 75/75.

Again, this class had an incredible amount of new information and practical social media uses. It was so much more than just using social media, it really introduced students to the culture of connectedness that builds centers of influence and PLN's helping the education industry grow in new ways.