For this summer’s EdTech course, I am taking EdTech 543, Social Network Learning. For our first assignment, we had to create a Facebook account using our BSU emails, tweet using the class hashtag, #EdTechSN, add our favorite website to the BSU EdTech Diigo group, and write this blog post. When I am finished, I will share a link to this post in the Facebook group. At first, I was annoyed that I had to create a new Facebook account. This would require signing out of my personal account, which I use regularly. However, once I did it, I realized that it wasn’t that big of a deal. I will just leave my phone signed in to my personal account, and have the new account in my tablet. I was a little concerned about Twitter, because I couldn’t remember my password, but it was easy to retrieve. As I checked over Twitter for the first time in 3+ years, I realized that I have tweeted in the past, but not anything very interesting. I also noticed that one of my students is following me…and thought, “maybe I should actually tweet.”
One of the questions I was asked was what experience I have had with using social media for my own professional development. Over the past couple of years, I have used Google+and Diigo in various EdTech classes. However, I have primarily used Pinterest and Facebook. Many of my friends are teachers, and I have discovered several great websites, blogs and news articles relevant to my teaching in their posts. I have also used Pinterest. One of the reasons I love Pinterest is the pictures. I generally go to Pinterest when I am looking for visual teaching tools, like anchor charts.
While I have used social media somewhat as a tool for my own use, I have not used it very well as a strategy in my classroom. In the past, I hosted a class website for communicating with parents and students. After site traffic nearly disappeared, I stopped using the site. In the past couple of years, I have tried Edmodo, MyHaikuClass, and Google Classroom. I have chosen to stick with Google Classroom. It allows my students to collaborate on projects and submit assignments without a lot of extra effort on my part.
This summer, I hope to learn strategies for using social media in my teaching. Currently, almost all social media is blocked by my district, but I have begun testing Slack With several other teachers at my school. It will be interesting to see what strategies I discover.