3 Influential Tweets

I made a professional twitter account for my ED554 class. Twitter has now connected me to so many inspiring educators and amazing resources. I will definitely continue to use this twitter to stay connected when I become a teacher. I have learned a lot through twitter and have read many great posts and articles through others’ tweets.

My three favorite/most influential tweets are…

#3     This article breaks my heart and warms it at the same time. Elephants have been my favorite animal since I was a little girl. I checked riding an elephant off my bucket list last August when I took an elephant safari ride in Zambia. Checking out the elephants in the wild was one of my favorite parts of being in Africa. Overall though, I want to instill a sense of love and appreciation for our world and its animals in my students. I hope that by sharing articles like this with my students, I will inspire them to take care of our earth and animals and make a positive difference in the world.

 

#2     I love this because I love to laugh. Life is so much better and so much more fun with laughter. I definitely want my future classroom to be full of life, excitement, and laughter.Life and learning does not need to be so serious. This article is a great reminder of why we need laughter in our classrooms and what a positive affect it has on learning.

 

 

And my #1 most influential tweet:

Oh, this letter makes my heart so happy! This letter means so much to me after working in a primary school and orphanage in Zambia. Students’ futures lie heavily on their grade 12 exam results (if they can even make it to grade 12). I wish I had encourage my students and the high school orphans in this way while I was there. But, it’s never too late! The grade 12 orphans take their exams in October. I think I’m going to mail a similar letter over to them. This is by far my favorite and most influential tweet! 🙂

 

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The New Digital Learning Playbook

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Speak Up is a national initiative of Project Tomorrow. The Speak Up National Research Project annually surveys K-12 students, parents, educators, and administration about the role of technology for learning in and out of school. Speak Up’s 2013 National Findings provides some very interesting information about the ways students are using technology.

The article states that the mobile device is “the new gateway to self-initiated technology use for schoolwork.” 64% of parents said they would purchase a mobile device for their child to use at school if it was allowed. Students are saying that it’s an obstacle to school technology use when school’s do not allow students to bring their own devices. Students were asked about their aspirations and ideas for improving technology use at school. Their answers from Speak Up’s Findings are below.

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I question students’ intentions of wanting greater access to websites, using their own mobile devices, and recharging their mobile devices at school. I graduated from high school 4 years ago. I don’t think students’ mindsets have changed that much. I used my iPhone to text and check social media in class. I remember my access to websites was fine – we just couldn’t view YouTube or Facebook. I’m not sure I would have gotten much work done if I could have. My personal opinion is that kids are bored. I don’t think that the problem is so much about the use of technology. I think the content needs to be more relevant and interesting to students. Then, they won’t care if they’re using tech or not.

The article talks about “envisioning the ultimate school” and how one-size does not fit all. Students, parents, and educators do not share the same vision of the ultimate school. It’s important to take all views into account. Each school and student population is going to be different. It’s important for each school to hear the voice of its students and parents before making its technology game plan. I think it’s important to ask students why they want something available at school to make sure their intentions are good. In addition, educators really need to get to know their students on a personal, deep level so that learning can be made personalized, interesting, and relevant whether or not tech is involved.

When I’m a teacher, I will incorporate technology when appropriate. I think it would be a good idea to get to know my students and parents’ use of technology at the beginning of the year to see what types of tech they like to work with. Each year, I’m going to have to adjust how I incorporate tech in the classroom to fit the interests of my students. I want to make sure that using technology enhances learning in my classroom, and that I’m not just using it for tech’s sake.

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Generation Like

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One of the most important jobs of teacher is to get to know his/her students. You can’t just know their names. You need to know their interests, their dreams, and what makes them “tick.” Teachers must know and understand their students in order to truly invest in their lives, inspire their futures, and help shape their character.

In FRONTLINE’s video “Generation Like,” it was said that “Young people want attention; they want validation. And that’s actually not new, it’s just that now the possible stage on which you can operate on is much bigger.” Children are still children, but they’re just searching for their attention in different ways than they did years ago. It’s important for teachers to understand how children are using social media so that we can relate to them and reach them. Teachers need to be able to give children the positive attention they need. Children are searching for attention on social media through followers and likes. Does this mean that teachers should go “like” all of his/her students’ pictures on Instagram? No. But it does mean that teachers could incorporate social media into educational lessons so that students can get the virtual attention and feedback they crave. Teachers can incorporate the use of blogs (like this one), Twitter, or YouTube easily into curriculum. It would also allow for “teaching moments” about Internet safety and professionalism on social media. Therefore, it’s very important for teachers to know what social media is out there, how to use it, and it’s importance.

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One big problem with education is that the content has not been made relevant to the students. Pretty much everything is out there on social media. When a teacher understands how children are using social media, he/she can relate the content of the curriculum to social media and daily life. Children are more motivated to learn when they know the content is useful to their lives. Then, if the assignments include a form of technology and social media, the children will be even more engaged because it includes doing something they’re already interested in.

Social media isn’t going anywhere. I realized after watching “Generation Like” that I have a lot more to learn about social media and the way children are using it than I thought. Although I’m just a young adult and grew up with some social media, children now are using it different that I do. In a few years, children will be using it differently than the children today are. I need to stay current with social medias’ uses so that I can be as relevant as possible with my students. I need to stay relevant so that I can make the biggest impact on their lives as possible.

Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century

The video Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century on PBS provides insight to the practicality and importance of technology and media in education. The video has me excited to use technology in my future classroom. Using digital tools can help children find something they’re passionate about. Children need to have a passion for something. Often, the activities children are passionate about are outside of school such as playing sports, playing video games, spending time on social media, participating in clubs, etc. Using digital devices in the classroom allows for children to find things they’re passionate about inside school. Children will be more excited to learn. Learning doesn’t become a burden when children are learning through a tool that excites them. The digital tool doesn’t even always have to be that exciting, it’s the program, game, or project on the media device that makes learning fun, exciting, and engaging. Additionally, digital media learning can motivate children to put more effort into their work. If there is potential for work to be shown to more people than just the teacher because it’s online or available to others, children may work harder on the project or assignment. The use of technology in the classroom is a tool to help children learn in new ways. Children no longer just need to know information; they need to know how to be innovated and think critically, which many technological tools facilitate.

My favorite learning program is the Smithsonian Institute program in Washington, D.C. So many children think museums are boring. They only enjoy going on field trips to museums because it’s day away from the classroom. I was definitely one of those children. I loved having a day to mix up the daily routine at school, but I could have cared less what was inside the museum we were visiting. Youth in the Smithsonian program are creating scavenger hunt games for teenagers to play at the museum.   The scavenger hunts send text message clues to cell phones. The teenagers playing are then forced to pay more attention and look more closely at the museum. They then aren’t just walking through the museum mindlessly. The players have to take a picture when they find what they’re looking for. A game like this on a phone would make any trip to a museum more interesting, especially to a teenager. It’s another opportunity for those teenage girls to take a perfect selfie with the objects they were looking for. The scavenger hunt allows for players to actively participate at the museum and learn so much more than if they just walked through passively.

As I learned more about digital media learning, I realized that traditional forms of literacy are still very much used. At the Smithsonian Institute program, children have to go through many traditional literacy steps before the scavenger hunt is put into the cell phone program. The children must work together to create a story line and questions to use throughout the scavenger hunt. It must be creative and suspenseful to entertain the players, but also concise because it’s displayed through a text message. It also must be well written. The children creating the scavenger hunts need to have good writing and editing skills in order to write good story line and questions. I had not thought about how traditional literacy skills would still be needed while creating a project with technology. Turns out, most projects must have lots of preparation with traditional forms of literacy before using the technology, like with videos, music, or podcasts. I think many people are like me and don’t realize this, which may be why some people haven’t jumped on the educational technology bandwagon yet.

The video has opened my eyes some of the numerous ways technology can be used in the classroom. I’m motivated to be an innovative teacher, looking for new ways for my students to work with technology to create work they can be passionate about and proud of. I hope my students enjoy learning more because of the technology and freedom it allows. I hope the experiences of working on projects with technology help my students learn to think creatively and critically, which is what education is all about anyway.