Personal Digital Identity through Social Media

What is my Digital Identity and have I used it to its full capacity??

…. Here is where you will find me on the internet.

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I use Twitter as a professional identity.  I have only had Twitter for 4 months and I know I am still not using it to its full capacity.  In typical “Kenna” fashion, I have found certain people I follow and continue to check.  I have not expanded my search on my own, only taking guidance from others that I follow.  I really enjoy following @isteconnects, the #edchat, #edtech, looking at what colleagues are typing, thinking on #ec1831, and running through the others.  I had mentioned in previous posts, I enjoy reading them and look at them daily but certainly my activity online would not show that.  I look, think, bring it to my staff and discuss in person and then think “Oh! I should retweet that, or favourite or do make a comment”.  I have had the most difficult time staying “connected” and sharing like so many others in our class.  I see quite a few people on Google+ who are posting and commenting regularly.  There is great collaboration with everyone. I am happy to be a part of the comments and posts on that… I suppose because it is something that only my class can see??

 

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Facebook is something that I use for personal use.  I have never shared anything related to my career.  I hardly ever use it anymore.  I enjoy looking at pictures of friends, sending private messages but post nothing about my life anymore.

 

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On my Kindergarten blog, which I have mentioned I am quite proud of, you do not see me.  The focus of the blog is everything that the Kindergarten’s do and we are both very proud of.  I am the operator of the blog but I am careful to not associate myself with the blog.

Digital Footprint

Photo Credit: Natesh Ramasamy via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Natesh Ramasamy via Compfight cc

I am a huge advocate of technology and technology in the classroom.  I am on my way to using it better.  The focus of this post is not on my classroom rather my own personal progress. When I started this course I thought I would embrace each of the materials presented without hesitation- trusting that this process is safe.  I believed I had but listening to Alec’s presentation in class this week brought to the surface my issue with privacy.  It has taken me a long time to wrap my head around being “safe” while connected on the internet.  It has been a lot of work to change my thinking – I am a very stubborn person.  I love reading them and watching videos like

and share it via email and then talk about it later with people.  My thoughts did not go to Twitter or Facebook butttt I posted this earlier on Google+ and that was one of the first posts I had written that got a response.  I actually felt connected!  I realized, honestly, the network you can create by expanding beyond four walls.  I know that seems silly especially since that is the course objective but it took me nearly 3 and half months to connect with the idea of through social media.

Finding Balance

I think I have unintentionally found balance.  I look at my colleagues and a bit of jealousy surfaces when I see how active they are.  I remind myself to take a step back and look at the progress I have made.  Finding balance was crucial for me because otherwise I could become overwhelmed with the content presented in the course.  What I enjoyed the most was the blog hub, and Google+.  It was nice to receive notifications of posts and activity that was happening in the course and reminded me to maintain activity and staying connected, which I believe was the purpose of those tools:)

I found this article: Social Media vs. Having a Life: 3 Ways to Strike a Balance.  Certainly a good read and encourages the reader to find a way to make social media work without taking over your life!  Point #1: Pick your Poison – “Don’t go willy-nilly into all social networks…”  For this course, I felt we needed to do that because I had to get connected to a few new networks!  I certainly do not regret them but if you look back to my post on needing help with Twitter I was not sure how to connect properly.  I knew my audience but I did not know how to reach them.

This weeks presentation really had me thinking about the progress I have made and the continued growth I can make.  It is easy for me to think about what I may not be using best (Twitter) but I am choosing to focus on what I have connected with and have found work best for me.  I look forward to making progress using these tools in my classroom and for personal use.

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Why Blog?

why blog question handwritten on the school blackboard - stock photo

 

We have been tossing around the concepts of classroom blogging, student blogging, and professional blogging this semester.  We have been given many tools to help this become successful in our rooms.  My own personal project was to begin a classroom blog of my own, and this class was the proper motivation I needed to do so.  I am understanding through conversation that we each have our own concepts of what a blog looks like in our rooms.  I have enjoyed reading the progress of Justine Stephanson’s posts on her student blogs. Her recent post titled: Just Keep Blogging…Just Keep Blogging…Just Keep Blogging…Blogging…Blogging | Justine Stephanson’s Blog, is not only catchy – as I catch the movie reference- but continues to show the progress and learning for both her and students.  She is taking a different route.  She is giving control to her students and they are contributing to their blogs.  I admire that she is able to be patient enough to help her students with this task. This particular post also has an incredible amount of links to other blogs.

If you have been following my personal reflections on my project and previous posts, I have used my classroom blog for a different purpose.  It is more of an opportunity for communication and collaboration between parents, students and teacher.  Each of have a different role to contribute.  I, the teacher, upload and post the content.  The parents read, comment, and share with other people.  The student’s go home and remind… which could sound more like a nag… their parents to look at what they did at school.  They absolutely love seeing themselves in the pictures.  I am very careful to include all students in pictures but it has happened that I have forgotten some students.  Can you picture what that may look like on a 5 year old’s face when they cannot see themselves????!?!??!?!

 

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And then I look like this:

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followed by a post with a few more pictures of that child…. Kind of stressful!

To avoid this, I have not put in a better system and explain to the children that everyone will be seen just not always every post.

Between our rooms we have two different methods but I do think they are serving the purpose we are both trying to create.  I am enjoying the process of blogging in my classroom and in the new year will look to involve the students more!

I have been reflecting on why I want to have students create a post, even just one.  I want them to be proud and see their own progress; to share their progress and be accountable for their learning.  The article, Content Delivery in the “Blogosphere”, was a recommended read for this course in September.   The article has 4 main reasons why students should blog:

1.The use of blogs helps students become subject matter Experts.

2. The use of blogs helps increase students interest and ownership in learning

3.The use of blogs gives students legitimate chances to participate

4.The use of blogs gives students opportunity for diverse perspectives, both within and outside the classroom.

 

As I have been reflecting and thinking of ways to collaborate with the students, this article came into mind.  I am thinking I may do some buddy work to help and add some additional hands.I know the progress is happening and even more can help.  Also, with extra help, I will likely get this student:

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when they see what they can create.

So why do we blog?  We blog for success, progress, accountability, community, collaboration, happiness… any other words?!?! So to quote Justine Stephanson -“Just keep blogging… Just keep blogging.. Just keep blogging, blogging, blogging” 😉

Thanks for reading!  As always, if any of you who teach primary have similar stories or suggestions – I am all ears… eyes really;)

 

New tools to try – Digital Storytelling

On a colleagues, Andrea Needer, recent post she focused on digital story telling and what she has done with her children at home and how she will make it work in her classroom.  It is an excellent post and certainly directed me in a similar direction with my classroom. My classroom will be going to Canadian Western Agribition.  Each student will be going with a family member and as Andrea was typing about how it is nice to put those memories into a story, I thought it would be such a great memory for my families and students if I created a digital story from this event.  I am going to use Magisto  as my first tool to try digital story telling.

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Here is a first attempt of a Magisto.  I will have to play around with a few different styles.

http://www.magisto.com/embed/IAIOJVgIGGsyUB1hCzE?l=vem&o=w&c=b

http://www.magisto.com/embed/IAIOJVgIGGsyUB1hCzE?l=vem&o=w&c=b

I also posted the videos onto our classroom blog.  It was a fun tool to use!

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Anyone who has used it before… how do I avoid the zoom in to my lovely classroom background?

Learning through Twitter

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I am attempting to connect with other educators throughout the world through Twitter.  While looking at my feed earlier this week I saw ISTE being re-tweeted.  I quickly “googled” it to learn of its relevance to Education…. turns out it stands for International Society for Technology in Education.  Having never heard of this organization before in one day I have read two separate articles.  Old me would say, “Oh, neat.  A new site”  but new Twitter me is saying, “Retweet this!  Favourite this!  Share this!”  I am so proud of myself 🙂  I am still not using it as much as I would like but I enjoyed feeling connected and certainly making improvements.

 

Anyway,  the tweet

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really got me thinking.  I clicked on the video and point number three is what stuck with me.  Getting people on the same page.  The speaker talks about how parents, teachers, and peers all have different ideas of using technology.  We each have a confused idea of what it looks like to be a digital citizen.  She says that it is okay we are on separate pages but we need to be aware that we are and cannot ignore the other.  If you read or watch my reflections I am continually repeating myself and asking about ways to communicate effectively with parents.

It seems that at the age of 5 and 6 the children know how to use the tools but are using them as entertainment rather than learning.  This is not to suggest that all 5 and 6 year old use them as toys but in my classroom many of the students need a tremendous amount of support.  Many of my students ask me how to pull up a YouTube video or to play games….  teaching parents and students about different ways to use technology seems to be a new goal I am creating.  I do not think it is intentional but I may be assuming my way is the right way.   I am just so eager and excited to use the tools I am learning!

How do we get on the same page?

I am starting small: Making plugs where I can, asking parents what they use at home, and how they use their technology,  I am receiving some feedback but certainly I want them to feel connected to our classroom.  I post links that  can be used at home to extend learning – we want to be on the SAME PAGE  My hope is that they will share our blog and their child’s learning with their families in different parts of the world.  Isn’t that incredible???  Their grandparents who live in a different country can be a part of their child’s learning and progress as well.  Pretty exciting:)

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Image search for notebook free / Compfight / A Flickr Search Tool// //

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I am making progress with Twitter.  I would not have found this article had I not been on it.  A small victory as I am connecting outside of my comfort zone and finding it less intimidating as well.  If you do not already, follow @isteconnects to connect on #edchats and other passionate educators.  Thanks for reading 🙂