Social Media Blog

Media Enhanced Learning is in my Future!


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My Facebook and School Links

I have spent countless hours, and got nowhere using the dashboards and widgets on WordPress.  Apparently my Facebook page doesn’t rate a “like” button and the less than user friendly site will not help me. My Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/donald.berry.946#!/donald.berry.946 and I am attending the VCC School of Instructor Education at www.instructordiploma.com to achieve my Provincial Instructors Diploma.

Yours faithfully D Berry

PS Special thanks to Mary Nicholls for her helpful advice. You’re the best


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Journal 4

Journal #4

Objective:

The Provincial Instructor’s Diploma is designed to provide both new and experienced instructors with the tools and knowledge to provide their students with an up to date and relevant education. PIDP course 3240(Social Media as a Learning Tool) is a course that taps into a growing societal trend and focuses its uses on education and social connections. The tools are everywhere and the current generation of student is familiar with them, so this course is an excellent introduction to enable the educator to take advantage of an added dimension to their students learning.

Reflective:

It would be an understatement on my part to say that one month ago the thought of blogging, twittering, or even using Skype was a source of stress to me. I was one of those people who had virtually no online presence, and used my computer mainly for web surfing and e-mailing only.   So having to accomplish all of these tasks for a class seemed impossible at first. Social Media appears on the surface to be mainly a purely superficial, individual focused medium. When explored on a deeper level this is far from the whole picture. Social Media has proven to be a reliable real time news source, a medium that fosters debate and conversation, and has the capacity to benefit both educators and students alike.

Interpretive:

Before PIDP 3240, I had no idea the amount of reading, research, and sheer time would be spent using Twitter, WikiSpaces, Word press, and Skype to study a medium I had little respect or use for previously. But as days and weeks passed, I slowly began to see that my biases and preconceptions had kept me from adding to my repertoire of educational options. My students were the losers in the war I waged with Social Media, and that would be one of the main reasons I fought exhaustion, deadlines and a little bit of SADS (Seasonal Affective Disorder) to finish this course and improve my teaching abilities.

Decisional:

I end this course a changed person and educator. While I don’t see myself Twittering with my students anytime soon, I have found a new and interesting direction for my teaching to take. Blogs are now a tool that I will encourage my students to explore and expand their educational growth with. Nursing is a course that is best face to face, and Social Media has ways to go before it will be my number one medium of choice for daily integrated use in my classes and labs. I will however, keep my mind open and use what I feel is appropriate and beneficial.


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Journal 3

Journal #3

Twitter in Education

Objective:

The video The Growing use of Twitter in Education by Today’s Educators posted by EmergingEdTech on YouTube discusses how Twitter use is on the rise in higher education. K. Walsh quotes studies done in 2009 and 2010 that show a steady growth of educational uses of Twitter by faculty that approach around 5%. The study further discusses how of 1,372 educators polled more than a third of the faculty were on Twitter; more than 50% did not use it to communicate with students, 17% used it prior but stopped, and while some faculty were on Twitter over 47% never tweeted. Walsh discusses the pros and cons of Twitter use through direct quotes from polled faculty and notes how the respondents were very passionate in their feelings regarding Twitter. The educators were asked in the poll how they used Twitter, with most faculty using it to share information between peers and as a real time news source.  The study also revealed that only 35% used it as a teaching tool in the classroom. In conclusion, K. Walsh makes a hopeful statement that Twitter is a tool that is available for use and educators need to continue to explore its future benefits.

Reflective:

Social media is an evolving educational tool and Twitter is one of the largest and most influential. Today’s students want up to date, real time opinions and information. The gap between educators and students is narrowing and this can only benefit education as a whole. All new technologies and tools have their issues and benefits, and Twitter is no different.

Interpretive:

As a person who had no previous experience with Social Media prior to this course, I had no idea how powerful and pervasive it is in today’s society. This article was eye opening but confirmed what I felt about Twitter. Twitter is an excellent news source, helps with information sharing, but is still in its infancy as an educational tool. Twitter has faults or gaps that make it a poor educational tool. Its use of slang, poor spelling, and limited characters is what dissuades educators like me from choosing it as a first choice tool. Where it is as a tool in the near future is anyone’s guess.

Decisional:

I have seen the benefits of Twitter’s real time information dissemination and its ability to allow people all over the globe to express their opinions and to interact in a meaningful way. However, this does not influence me to currently use Twitter in my teaching as I feel it is too flawed a too as I have stated above, and I do not want my students to rely on a faceless tool for an important career as Nursing where face to face communication is key. I will re-examine its use as I continue to teach, but remain unconvinced.

References:

Walsh, K. (2010). The Growing Use of Twitter by Today’s Educators (Video). Retrieved from http://www.emergingedtech.com. October 31/2012.

 


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Journal 2

Objective:  Seth Priebatsch, in his video Building a Game Layer on Top of the World discusses his theory on the current use of game dynamics in today’s society and the importance of utilizing its full potential in the future. He makes the listener aware of the pervasiveness of gaming dynamics in our everyday lives but feels the framework is flawed, tedious, and uninteresting.  Seth also talks about how he sees this as the next decade of building influence as opposed to last decades focus on building connections. It is the latter of which he feels as mostly a completed task. He discusses four dynamics of the game layers he feels help to influence our culture and behavior, and provides examples to solidify his points. The first dynamic he discusses is the appointment dynamic, which compels the user to return at a preplanned time to take a preplanned action. Seth goes on to discuss how his second dynamic influence and status motivates individuals to change their behavior through personal gain. The third dynamic Seth discusses is the progression dynamic which drives the individual or group to complete tasks in a hierarchal fashion to gain rewards. Finally, Seth discusses communal dynamics which he feels encourages collaboration and teamwork to achieve a task for a reward or benefit to all. He ends his talk by explaining that these dynamics can be used to society’s benefit or detriment, but the growth will continue whether we like it or not.

Reflective:  Until now I thought I was aware of how much the mass media and advertising influenced the public’s purchases and opinions, but Seth’s lecture changed all that for me forever.  The fact that game dynamics permeates our society on so many levels is disturbing to say the least. The one fact that was particularly perplexing was the discussion of how much time is wasted by individuals on games like Farmville. The future of modern society is truly a gamble when we allow others to drive our every action.

 Interpretive:  In a visionary’s hands these dynamics have the potential to be a beneficial force for societal change, but at what cost?  While society as a whole must have certain behaviors and expectations of its members for it to function smoothly, where does the individuals free will enter the picture? Game play in this decade has affected our youth’s behavior, attention span, health, and even their literacy levels in mostly negative ways. Expanding its use and applying it on a larger societal arena could have disastrous consequences if not properly policed.

Decisional:  The four dynamics that Seth P. discusses in his video are already in use in our current education system. Students have due dates for assignments such as this journal that motivate them to plan their schedules around school.  Grades and student excellence awards use status to motivate students to excel, and prerequisite courses and prior credits lead students to their end goal of a diploma, certificate or degree. Finally group projects, volunteer work and presentations apply a sense of community to students’ educational experience. The most socially responsible and personally fulfilling of the dynamics is communal discovery, and is where I feel students would benefit from more focus and research. According to Seth Priebatsch this may be the decade of building influence, but that does not mean we forget about our connections.

References: Priebatsch, S. (2010).  Building the Game Layer on Top of the World. [Video].  Retrieved on October 11, 2012 from TED.com.