EDU 625: Social Media

Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? There are more than those three?! It seems to me that everywhere we turn Social Media is constantly surrounding us.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary online (n.d.) defines social media as a, “form of electronic communication (as Web site for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)”. Currently, there are many people throughout the United States and other countries that are connected through Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more. Although there are age restrictions to many of these sites, somehow people of all ages manage to be connected in some way.

As an educator, it can become difficult to teach because at times one might feel as if they need to compete with these Social Media outlets because at the end of the day, THAT is what is getting our students’ attention.  How do we fix it? Is it even possible? Absolutely.

I have found that unfortunately, many people that I have come across believe that technology has ruined the world and the state of education, however, with proper education regarding technology being used in education, I think their viewpoint can change. Currently in schools, students need to be taught the 21st century skills that will enhance their learning in the present and the future. Included in that future is technology. Sometimes educators can get better results from their students when technology/Social Media is integrated into the classroom.

In an article published by The Chronicle of Higher Education (2010), it was written, “One benefit of the popular social network is that, unlike course-management systems such as Blackboard, students already know how to use it, said the presenter, Denise Knowles, a Web-application specialist at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, California” (para. 3). When students are able to make a stronger connection in the classroom, achievement is that much better.

One of the programs that I have liked to use in my classroom in the past is Edmodo. Edmodo is a site that allows educators to teach classes, conduct polls, upload and grade assignments, have discussions, and more. What is beneficial about using Edmodo is that it has a very similar look to Facebook and is very easy to navigate. I have personally found that my students enjoy using Edmodo because it is so similar to Facebook. Overall, there are many positive implications that Social Media implementation has on the classroom.

In Unit 1, I had a very positive experience exploring new technology programs. Almost all of the programs presented in the Unit were completely new to me, except Prezi. I dabbled in each of the programs and was shocked when I saw what Jing is all about. In EDU 624 for my eLearning lesson, I used Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 Screen Capture and found that to be very easy to navigate. I am interested in trying out Jing when the time comes.

Another source that I used that took me forever to use was Muvizu. The character animation program is really great to use once you get the hang of it, but without knowing anything about the program, it can be very frustrating to use. The only way I got through it was through the fantastic Muvizu tutorials that they provide. The tutorials are straight to the point and if I felt like I needed more information, I was able to search for more videos that were able to guide me through. Click the video below to see what I was FINALLY able to create! 🙂

From this unit, I have concluded that there are so many great resources I can start using in my classroom. I am so excited to start using these resources, but am also nervous to implement them. One of the questions I do have is simply, “Where do I begin!?” I’m very much looking forward to continuing learning and growing in this course.

References

Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (n.d.). Social media. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social%20media

Young, J.R. (2010, July 22). How social networking helps teaching (and worries some professors). The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/How-Social-Networking-Helps/123654/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

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