Social Bookmarking

Last week, our assignment was to join Diigo and explore social bookmarking.  I had never used social bookmarking before signing up for Diigo.  It was a bit confusing at first, when it came to sharing bookmarks and annotating them.  However, I quickly began to see the value.  Whether I’m searching for something specific online or just browsing for new ideas, I often come across things I’d like to come back to.  Diigo is an awesome way to save pages and also to share those pages with other people.  I think it would great for a school, or groups within a school, to make a Diigo group and then share pages with each other.  The annotation options are helpful so the people you share with know exactly what to look for.  

Cool Tool: While performing a Google search, I noticed that Diigo also searches your Diigo library for any matches.  

If you do not prefer to use Diigo as your social bookmarking sight, the link below lists the top 15 most popular social bookmarking sights.  

http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-bookmarking-websites

Basic info for people wanting to know more about social bookmarking in education:

http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli7001.pdf

The following link explains how social bookmarking can be used to collaborate in the classroom:

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/classroom-collaboration-using-social-bookmarking-service-diigo

 

 

Personal Learning Networks

A teacher’s Personal Learning Network (PLN) is the people we learn from and share ideas with.  These PLNs include, but are not limited to, colleagues, social media groups, blogs, and professional groups.  Anywhere you go to share and collect information is part of your personal PLN.  Most educators are naturally knowledge seekers.  We are continuously looking for new information and improving ourselves academically.  We learn from the world around and in turn share our successful experiences with other knowledge seekers in our PLNs.  Therefore, our PLNs are essential to our endeavors as teachers.  Taking advantage of our PLN benefits our effectiveness as teachers as well as our students.  The following hyperlink is blog post which simply describes PLNs.  This was a great starting point for me as I did not know much about the term Personal Learning Network, although the concept is not new.  This blog also suggest ways to use social groups on the internet, such as Twitter and Nings, to expand your PLN.

http://www.teachingvillage.org/2012/01/03/what-is-a-pln-anyway/

Until recently my PLN was mainly limited to my colleagues and basic internet searches when I needed to expand my knowledge on a given topic.  I have not connected with other educators or professionals through Twitter or blogs or similar sites.  However, I do see the usefulness and necessity in doing so.  Before taking this class, I had no idea so many people use Twitter and other social media groups in professional ways.  It has been an enlightening experience.  Twitter especially is one area I’d like to learn more about.  I’ve noticed this is the social media group of choice among my students.  Although I have had the opportunity to briefly use Twitter through this class, I will admit I have not used it outside of class requirements yet.  I still mind it a bit overwhelming.  The following hyperlink was helpful in breaking down the process of using Twitter as part of a PLN.  The site also includes suggestions of educational Twitter chats to follow.  At this point in my career I would not be able to use Twitter with my students, however, I can definitely see how Twitter can aid me professionally.  I have been trying to find new twitter chats and people to follow.  

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/twitter-expanding-pln

This last link I want to share is especially helpful!  It includes an entire list of resources to help educators use Twitter.  I couldn’t pick just one hyperlink so I want to share them all.  I think there is something beneficial here for anyone interested in incorporating Twitter in the classroom.  There is also a section of links to encourage and support teachers in expanding their PLN.  I recommend bookmarking this awesome blog!

http://ideasfactory.me/using-twitter-the-pln-in-education

Gaming in Education

 

After reading the Open’s University’s Innovating Pedagogy Report for 2013, I am most interested in the concept of gaming and learning. As a middle school educator I am well aware that gaming plays a major role in many of our students’ lives.  I often hear students discussing how they devote dozens of hours per week playing the latest video games.  They spend hundreds of dollars on new games and sometimes wait hours in line when games are released.  Knowing what an impact gaming has on our students’ lives, we need to develop ways of integrating gaming and learning.  We live in a media-rich world where everything is interconnected and surrounded by ever-changing technology.  Educators need to learn to incorporate these media-rich technologies into daily teaching strategies in order to reach our modern students.  Of course this is not an easy task!  There is still on-going research and controversy surrounding gaming and education. 

The amount of research and information available on gaming and learning is vast and overwhelming.   The most helpful papers I came across were both co-published by the MIT Scheller Education Program and the Education Arcade (see links below).  While many educators accept and support the shift towards a more media-rich classroom, many traditional educators have concerns and are against a change.  Most educators will agree with that there is a similarity between the skills you need to succeed in schools and needed for games.  These include problem solving skills, attention to detail, creativity, and persistence.  Supporters, and some skeptics, of game integration agree that “game environments enable players to construct understanding actively, and at individual paces, and that well-designed games enable players to advance on different paths at different rates in response to each player’s interests and abilities, while also fostering collaboration and learning”.  However, parents and teachers have many concerns including aligning games with content standards, an unfamiliarity with the games, designing assessment tools, lack of research-based methods, and the cost of equipment and other resources.  While these certainly are all valid concerns, there needs to be some sort of technology shift within the classroom and gaming can be a part it.  The worlds around us is advancing and changing rapidly.  “Undoubtedly, without these recent technologies in the classroom, strong lessons can still be achieved, but there’s a sharp disconnect between the way students are taught in school and the way the outside world approaches socialization, meaning-making, and accomplishment.” What message are we sending our students in regards to technology if our classrooms do not mirror the rest of the world.  Education should be part of the forefront when it comes to new technologies.

Moving Learning Games Forward: opportunities, obstacles, and openness  

http://education.mit.edu/papers/MovingLearningGamesForward_EdArcade.pdf

Using the Technology of Today, in the classroom today: The instructional power of digital games, social networks, and simulations and how teachers can leverage them.

http://education.mit.edu/papers/GamesSimsSocNets_EdArcade.pdf

Below is the link to another great article recently published in T.H.E Journal.  This article describes some of the games, such as SimCityEdu and Minecraft, that educators are currently using in classroom.  The articles discusses the teachers experiences and implications for other classrooms.  Gaming as part of education will not be successful in every classroom nor is it intended for every student.  There are however, many students who would benefit from this hands-on type instruction.  As long as we can develop games that will align with standards and create valid assessment tools there is no reason to shut the door on the integration between education and gaming.  21st century educators need to embrace all new technologies and learn how to reach students in doing so.  Gaming is a great place to start this process!   

http://thejournal.com/articles/2013/09/02/will-gaming-save-education-or-just-waste-time.aspx

About Me

Hello all!

I’m Auburn. I am completely new to blogging. While I do read some blogs, I have never actually written one. I just figured I’d never have anything interesting enough to say. Luckily, my pursuit of a masters degrees is requiring me to give this blog (and Twitter) stuff a whirl.

Through this Transliteracy course I hope to gain a better understanding of how I can use social media and technology to become a better teacher. I am pretty savvy with social media, but mostly for the social aspects. I’ve always wanted to learn about successful ways to merge the social and educational.

A few basics…

I received my undergrad in education from Ohio University about five years ago. I currently hold an Ohio teaching license in Integrated Language Arts, 7-12. Since graduating I bounced around the education world without much luck. I substituted around the Cleveland area for the first two years, holding several long-term positions. I finally landed a job at a Cleveland charter school teaching 6th grade language arts. This job certainly had its ups and downs but overall was an incredible and successful learning experience. Therefore, I was heartbroken and confused when I was let go after my second year.

Feeling very discouraged with education I decided I was done with teaching and searched for a new career. I began working as a personal assistant for a financial advisor. While this was was a great opportunity for me, I lasted about 6 months. The teaching bug bit me and I knew finally that I was meant to teach.

I quit the corporate works and began to substitute again. I am now a tutor at the Garfield Heights learning center were I work with at-risk students in grades 8-12. I truly enjoy this position but am anxious to have my own classroom once again🙂.

A few extras…

Along with tutoring full-time, I work at a golf course I Columbia Station. I have been here for 9 years and can easily say its the best summer job! I live in Brunswick with my fiancée and three dogs. We have a cavachon, Zoe, and two 7-month-old German shepherd/ Rottweiler mix pups named Lucie and Nellie. When I do have spare time, which is rare, I enjoy working out, reading, and cooking yummy things.

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