Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Social Networking: Final Reflection

Final Reflection:
When reflecting on this course, I quickly realize how much more beneficial it was than I ever expected it to be. I originally chose to take this course knowing that I was pretty familiar with a lot of social media sites, but knew I wasn't quite sure on how to successfully bring them into the classroom. This course was able to really help my confidence with that and I'm excited to try using some social media in my classes in the future.

Even though I came into this course knowing how to use tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google apps, I also realized that there was a lot I didn't know or had never considered. One huge takeaway for me was the importance to create a positive digital footprint. Not only is this important for me as a teacher, but it is also important for me to teach my students. I can learn even more myself by growing my personal learning network and being a positive member online. Through doing this, I can be a positive influence for my students for their own social media usage as well. I also was able to see how much help virtual professional development can be compared to just a few years ago. Technology is becoming so much more prominent in schools that it is also allowing virtual professional development to be given the opportunity to help teachers by giving them an easily accessible place to encourage one another and share thoughts or ideas with each other.

The assignment that required us to make our own social media policy was also extremely beneficial. The school I work in will have a Chromebook in every student's hand in two years time. With that said, it's extremely important for me to begin to think about the policies that will need to be in place as we continue to use technology more and more. Whether that's just a policy for my class or even for the school, it definitely needs to be a subject that is brought up within the staff over this coming year. This assignment will give me the opportunity to bring ideas to the table and just allow me to remember the importance of safety on the internet for students as I begin to use it more in my own classroom.

Overall, I feel there are huge benefits from all of the assignments we had. They allowed me to learn a lot of things I didn't know and they also give me ideas on how to incorporate social media into my classroom while still allowing learning to go on. Some ways I see me using what I've learned in this course within my own classes are with the use of Twitter, Google Apps, Google Classroom, and blogging (just to name a few). All of these platforms allow students to share their own work, collaborate, and give feedback to one another. I've found with teaching high school students, Facebook really isn't "in" anymore, but using these other platforms could definitely work and allow them to have fun while learning. 

I would also say my main goal from this course to take back into the classroom is the student creativity and reflection pieces. When looking back on this course, I see how beneficial the blogging portion has been. It's allowed us to show our creative side with making our PLN diagram and creative expression while also letting us reflect on our own work. These are huge components of the learning process and could allow students the ability to think more on their own about the material and express their thoughts in writing. Considering that I'm a math teacher, getting students to write about their work and enjoy doing so could be a huge benefit for them. 

In the end, I'm more thankful for this course than I could have ever imagined being. I truly can't wait to take and apply what I've learned within my classes to benefit my students' learning while also making the learning fun.

When assessing my own blog performance for this course, I would give myself 75/75 points. I may not be the best writer (again, remember I'm a math teacher), but I posted on time every time I was supposed to. I also made sure to include all components that were required of me. 

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