The main goal of this course was to participate in networked learning environments. As you can see from my Network map, this is only a sample of things I learned about and applied or want to apply. I believe that I was able to reflect upon some of my experiences through all the new social tools that I learned about in EC & I 831. I would like first of all to thank Alec Couros, Katia Hilderbrandt and all of our guess presenters. Our first presenter was Dr. Richard Schwier from the University of Saskatchewan. I loved Rick’s presentation because it was the first time that I really thought of virtual learning. Even though I already had 2 weeks of webinar lessons with Alec, Rick pull this idea of being connected through virtual learning communities. Sue Waters of the Edublogger is a great resource to learn about the effective use of blogging. George Siemens topic was on higher education including learning online through classes such as MOOC, and Sylvia Martinez showed us how easy bringing in the maker movement into the classroom can be. Alan Levine is the guru on digital story making and finally David Wiley a great supporter of the concept of open education as well as improving the new adoption of open educational resources from middle years to universities.
Recap of my Networked Professional Learning
This course has introduced me to a brand new world of learning, sharing and teaching. I have learned that technology can be used positively in your personal and professional life. I learned not to be afraid of technology but rather to explore and embrace it. I learned that the use of social media is not only for personal use but can also be used to collaborate and share with other professional around the world. As a mature teacher who’s been teaching for 15 years, I learned that you can teach old dog new tricks. ECI 831 had taught me to develop my own personal learning network and has introduced me with many great ideas on how to bring technology into my classroom. It has taught me how to be more effective and more productive.
The first thing I did was to start a blog on WordPress and I declared myself back in September. My Blog was an existing blog that I used while travelling around the world with my family in 2009-2010. So we used it as our travel blogs that friends and family could read what we were doing. I then added my class blog which I named “Lyane’s technology journey” and divided into 2 parts my summary of learning and my major project. On my blog, I have the freedom to share my thoughts on different educational topics and receive feedbacks from peers, friends, parents and other teaching professionals. I did a 30 day blog challenge because I felt that I need to have something to keep me connected. I have learned with Sue Waters that commenting in the spaces of others is as important as posting. I have read many blogs post and tried to comment on as many as I could. What I love the most about blogging was when people would comment on my blog, so this is when I really realized how important it was to comment on other people’s blog and tweets. But beside learning how to use WordPress, I also learned about many other blogging sites such as Weebly, Edublog and Blogger.
I now have a twitter account and I now know that it is a tool that can be used to collaborate and share information and resources with their online colleagues. I did not even know about the word hashtags before eci831. Now I know a little bit more about it but I have just scratched the surface. I know about tweetdeck but never really used it. I have been reading many tweets but not sharing so much. This is something I want to continue doing after this class because I now understand the importance.
Beside Twitter , I also learned to used Google + and Face Book as a professional social network. It is not only for personal use but can also be used to collaborate and share with other professional around the world. “ Sharing on Google Plus and Twitter” – I have tried to use both of them but felt somewhat uncomfortable. I guess this is something I will have to continue working on.
I learned that Google is so much more than a search engine. I can now create documents , powerpoint presentations, spreadsheet, wikis and websites on Google docs. I love that fact that I can use one platform for most of my digital creation and I can access it anywhere. New digital word I learned was “cloud” and this is where my Google stuff is. I also have a dropbox account that works similar to Google Drive.
This class has shown me how to use some websites such as You tube to a different level that I did not understand before this class. I never even went on youtube before this class, let alone having an account and uploading videos. A resource to me before this class was a dictionary and thesaurus, now I know that You Tube can be added to what I call resources. You tube not only allows people to broadcast themselves for the world to see but it’s also an online community that brings people together. And finally I learned that Tubechop can be very useful when you want only a portion of a video.
I learned about visual literacies and how to find quality photos on the internet. I used compfight on creative commons on Flikr to upload my own pictures but did not realise that it was a great place to look for pictures that people want to share with us and use for our own personal use. Before this class I took for granted that everything on the net was FREE but no, I learned that I was a thief. The use of Creative Commons will make me an honest person.
I learned how to create a positive online identity. I know that turning your back on technology is not the right thing to do, you do want to be part of this new and old way of thinking (for some people). I want to make sure that when people search my name, they see the positive things about me.
I have taken many things away from this class but I now know that the internet is where we can share our best work. It’s a space where we can collaborate and share with others. I no longer see myself using social media and the internet as a waste of time but a learning opportunity
Like a child having to decide what goodie to choose, this is exactly how I felt at the beginning of this class. I was so overwhelmed and amazed with all the different websites there are available to all of us. The list is endless. So I had to take a long and deep breath and say to myself, “Just take baby steps, under wise you will fall right on your face”. This class to me was like taking a leap of faith into a black unknown hole. I was what you called a tech illiterate person. Even all this new lingo to learn was challenging what are resources, application, websites, platform, tools, and programs. ECI 831 changed some of my philosophy on technology. It was somewhat negative, especially watching my own teenage kids spending every waking moment with it and slowly losing our family bonds, traditions and even culture due to technology innovations. I still believe that technology has destroyed some of our culture but it can be used to reinvent new cultures and new ideas. With the knowledge I acquire I am hoping to perhaps show to my own children and students how technology can be used positively and learn to be a good digital citizen.
Taken this class went beyond taking a class for my master’s class. I truly enjoyed all of my master’s classes but this one was life changing because after this class my learning for this class will continue and without waiting for a grade.
I attended every webinar on Blackboard Collaborate, chatted and even used the microphone a couple times. “WOW, Impressing!”. But what I love the most was that my educational colleagues in this class inspired me to become a better teacher by using technology to learn, connect and teach. I have crawled out of this unknown hole and found the sunshine. I am truly a different person than 3 months ago, who knows that almost at the end of my career I would become a better teacher. I have another 5-8 years left, I have no time to waste. I have developed a personal Learning Network that I will be able to use for many years to come.
But now if you really want to know more about my learning in a digital way, I created a Storybird book that explains a few more things about all the things I learned in this class and used screencast-o-matic to read it to my audience. And the fact that I started using this website with my Grade 3 students this year makes it even more interesting.