Final Networked learning post

Overall I would say that the class went very well. Twitter that was nothing to me before the class, became easily my favourite social media outlet. I was able to post many things and also learn from other people’s posts. Any post that I really really liked, I retweeted. Not only because I liked it but also because it was a way to encourage those who posted them. One could go on my Twitter page and see many retweets.

Here are some pictures of some of those retweets:

 

 

 

I also had people retweeting my tweets. which was very encouraging:

 

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In terms of Google Community, I was not as involved as Twitter, as I was a little bit overwhelmed with the amount of information that was circulating around (social media speaking, I prefer the one on one interaction over the group chats) but once in a while I participated. Nevertheless, I really liked the community because one could ask any question at any time of the day and would get an automatic answer; the amount of solidarity on that group was quite stunning. I was a bit skeptical at the beginning as of whether it would work (organic connections) but at the end of the day it worked. Here below are some examples:

 

 

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I also was able to comment and encourage other people on their learning projects, but was also encouraged by others commenting on mine. It was fascinating to see what other people were doing for their learning projects, very good ideas everywhere.

 

My favourite thing group wise was maybe the post that I made with Paige McNabb, it was only the two of us but I really liked it. We talked about the pros and cons of Facebook.

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Online social activism

Online social activism according to me can be very powerful, especially here in the Western world. I remember for instance what happened in “United Airlines a few days ago, things went viral on social media and it made a huge difference (United Airlines within 48 hours saw a 3% decrease financially). In other words, the awareness was well raised. In the West it can be very worthwhile and meaningful.

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In other parts of the world though Online Activism  has very small impact. How often have we seen online activism against the North Korean government for instance, or bad treatment of women in some parts of the world? Have things changed though? Not really. I grew up in a country ruled by a “dictatorship  type of goverment, and believe me online social activism is of small impact. So discouraging sometimes.

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Now in regard to conversations about social justice online, they can be very heated. Very rarely have I seen people admitting their mistakes online. It educates people and can be very helpful though, but the common reaction of people has been to argue and complain.

Kahoot!

Kahoot  is definitely one of my favourite  Free edtech tool. Used for formative assessments, I first came accross it in my ECS 200 class last semester. I am naturally very competitive so the fact that the game allows it very much stimulates me. The only thing I don’t like about it is the timeline element (while answering questions): one can answer a question well, but because they took longer than someone else, they would get less points. English is already not my first language, so I naturally take longer to read and understand the question asked. I would eventually get it right, but would get less point than someone who answered faster. That never impressed me to be honest.

Nevertheless as a teacher, I think it is a great formative tool. It requires less prep work and no wasting paper. Playing it right after a class is good because students tend to forget class content, but they rarely forget their Kawoot answers. I remember on my ECS 200 midterms, many questions that were on the Kahoot came back. I had not necessarily studied them but because I remembered my Kahoot answers, I was able to answer those midterm questions.

 

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I might be a big Kahoot fan, it is not always the case for everyone. Indeed, acording to the New Learning Times: “Only having four options might be a limitation, but you could also see it as a creative constraint. It was also not immediately clear how to play to begin a single-player game. Toggling between tabs in a single window for the game screen and answer board screen was annoying, and we would recommend having the answer board in a split screen window or on another device.” (https://newlearningtimes.com/cms/article/3214). As we can see like any other game,  Kahoot has its pros and cons.

Prezi

I remember last year a few classmates were talking about Prezi, so when I saw that as an option I quickly picked it. Prezi is another Presentation program, the company (which has the same name) is located in Budapest Hungary. To be honest it kind of looks more fancy than Powerpoint due to the fact that those circles are moving. The audience actually see the screen going from one thing to another. With different settings, I noticed that I could customize the background as well, which I liked. There were different plans and I picked the free one (I guess the simplest one too).

 

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I did not like the fact that it’s kind of too technical, one had to have a tutorial almost to navigate through it. I remember my very first time on Powerpoint, it did not take me more than 5 min to understand the tool. Prezi on the other hand gave me such a hard time! At the end of the day I think it is for more professional people. I also did not like the fact that that the options font and color were inexistent.

Overall, I would suggest Prezi for more tech and professional people, but for the day to day person, I would say Microsoft PowerPoint  is the best option.

Facebook in the classroom (written by Paige and Divin)

5 Reasons you should be using Facebook in your Classroom…


You can create a closed group with parents (and students)

By creating a closed group you are able to easily share classroom information to a number of parents and students and help eliminate losing notes on the journey from school – home. Although websites allow you to do the same sort of thing parents are more likely to be checking their Facebook throughout the day then a website. If you don’t believe me check out the Top 20 Facebook Stat’s of 2017.

You can share videos and web articles related to students learning

Teacher Cast: Social media is all about sharing… and videos are widely shared on Facebook. So, if you share interesting videos related to your course, you will be able to engage and educate your students at the same time.

There are two things you can do:

✓ Create your own videos. Keep them short, interesting and to-the-point. This way your students will not mind watching them. If your videos are long, chances are that most of your students will not bother watching them.
✓ You can share videos from YouTube. YouTube offers a wealth of knowledge. You can find all kinds of tutorials there. You will easily find quality tutorials related to fitness, design, languages, cooking, science, math, dissertation help and much more. Always share engaging and interesting videos though. 
You make getting help more accessible
In a group where students and parents can interact with each other on a 24-hour basis, students or parents with questions are easily able to take a picture or make a post on a question they may have about an assignment.
Although everyone in the group may not know the response to the question, someone in there may be able to answer a question or provide assistance quicker than a teacher would typically be able to respond to an email.
Other parents or students may also provide a new perspective on the question that is being asked.

You create involvement

Facebook is all about the sharing. So what better place to share our students successes, and their learning. Facebook is a quick and easy place to post photos and videos.

Facebook is a great tool to help bridge the gap between a students home life and a students life at school. Through tools like Facebook live you can quickly and easily communicate with parents what it is the students are doing through their days at school. Making it easier for parents to engage in conversations about what it is they are learning at school.

Not only do you create a way for parents to be more involved in your classroom through loves, and likes, but you may also influence students to work harder so they are shown on the Facebook page. For example: students will (hopefully) work harder so that they can have their work shown or ideas shared for the rest to see! This could be a great tool for motivation.

 

You can create polls and ask questions

This allows teachers to access feedback in a quick and effective way.

Teacher Cast provides a great example:

For example,if you are teaching geography, you can ask your students to identify the place by posting a picture and providing various options. You can also ask them what they would like to discuss in class later. This method will certainly help you engage your students.

From classroom management to breaking barriers and building relationships, the reasons you should invite Facebook into your classroom could go on for days and these are only five. If these aren’t enough reason for you check out Online College for 95 more reasons YOU should be using Facebook in your classroom.

If those still don’t convince you poll and comment WHY. I wanna hear your thoughts. Also head over to Divin’s blog as he argues against the majority of the points of why you should use FB in the classroom.

Would you create a Facebook group for your classroom?
YesNo

 

 

And if you just wants some laughs check out (caution it is rated PG)

 

Until next time, Miss. M

 

 

Even though Facebook is now used by millions of people all over the world, there are however many reasons to quit it (or just not to use it). Having been an user for 7 years, I have thought of saying bye to the tool numerous times and I am sure a good percentage of users too has. My approach until then has been screen time in moderation, but it’s not very easy with news popping up all over the world and everyday.

Anyways, here are some good reasons to quit Facebook :

 

1-  time-consuming

We do not really realize it but Facebook takes up a lot of our time. On average it is said that a person would spend 15 to 20 min a day on it, which is about 10 hours per month! And these are average casual users. Some more devoted people would spend an hour to an hour and a half per day, making it up to about 40 hours per month!

And it’s so subtle that people don’t realize it. Imagine what could be done in 40 hours: a parent spending more time with their kid (s), or students completing more homeworks, a teacher’s prep time, and so much more.facebook-time-consuming

2- Fake friendships

It is said that an average adult has about 300 Facebook friends but doesn’t even know 10% of them. Many people have Facebook friends living in different countries, and they never even met. People liking each other’s statuses, commenting, but not even close friends. Personally I rarely communicate with my closest friends through facebook (instead we text or call, or just skype), facebook being for distant acquaintances. 
As we can see, Facebook can easily become a fake and artificial world for many people, I can’t recount how many friends posted statuses like “screw facebook, I’m out of here coz everybody is so fake”, or “tired of having no friend, I think it’s time to leave facebook”.

3- Attention seeking

Facebook can be a huge attention seeking tool. Many people would post things just to get noticed, and would even go as far as posting inappropriate things when they don’t get the attention they wanted. Many kids would get depressed when nobody would like their statuses for instance, or they would feel more important when they get many likes. So they get immersed into an universe where they receive “affirmation” from complete strangers or distant acquaintances and easily become dependent.  These situations are also the perfect setting for online predators who would take advantage of those teens. I think of the innocent teenage girl with low self esteem and very few likes on facebook, then suddenly a stranger tells her how interesting, smart and beautiful she is: perfect setting for that predator

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4- Gossip

Facebook is also a huge place for Gossip . People backbiting each other, users with less privacy getting creeped, engagements or relationships breaking up and entire facebook aware….

We notice that pictures on facebook are always beautiful, most people’s lives seem pink and perfect, making it impossible to compete. The person creeping feels bad because they feel like they will never come close to other people’s level of happiness (seen through facebook) while the people being creeped too are broken inside because they know that the whole time they put a mask and were not authentic; their lives are just like everyone else’s.

5- Facebook keeps track of our deleted and unpublished updates/posts

Facebook a couple of years ago was doing a study in which they were tracking when people typed something and deleted it without publishing. They were doing it for the purpose of “understanding why users self-censor themselves in updates”. They have data scientists and a status of more than five characters that is written but not published, is kept in their files.

How many pictures and posts people decided to delete last minute? Facebook still has the records. I can also imagine that they keep record of all our searches.

As we can see, nothing really stays private on facebook, people’s lives are monitored and almost stalked.

 

 

Hope these reasons would be good enough to make you think. As I said, nothing on Facebook is private, your pictures for instance after being posted are now theirs.

 

Sincerely yours,
Divin Mvoula

Digital citizenship

When we talk about  digital Citizenship in classrooms, I see many advantages but also many challenges. As a teacher, I believe one of the challenges is improper use of technology. Katia pointed that out, she said “the problem is not with too much technology but unapropriate use of it”. I think teachers should come up with rules at the very beginning of the year if the school does not already have specific rules. I think there should be open and free communication in the classroom among peers (students) and between teacher-students. Nowadays technology is advancing at a rapid rate, in class we even saw that Internet has now become a human right. So I think students need to be introduced to all of that the proper way. I personally know many students that are tech oriented, they are real geniuses in the area, I think to completely confiscate technology in schools is not helping them.

I see digital citizenship fitting in the curriculum because that’s how the world is seemingly heading anyway. Too bad there are many teachers that are not tech at all, I think it will be hard for them. Kids will learn the best search engines, how to efficiently use computer tools that will be helpful in future professional duties. They should also be taught how to carry themselves around  Technology and especially  Internet. I even would like to see seminars where both teachers and students would attend. There is so much going on the net so students should be aware of where to go and where not to go. They should at the same time encouraged to avoid piracy and download (when something is actually supposed to be bought). At the same time it is a hard call because companies like  microsoft or apple or PandaSecurity or ESET actually hire professional hackers, so kids might actually develop their tech abilities at home through hacking and piracy. I know it might sound awful but as I said earlier, big companies hire hackers to protect them but also to maybe hack into other companies’s system….so.

 

I really enjoyed everything overall, I really learnt through the nine elements of digital citizenship. digital

Cyber Bullying

After Carol Todd’s visit, I must admit that my view on cyber Bullying will never be the same. I have never been a fan of online video chat , but now I am more than ever aware of the consequences cyber bullying can have. I was pretty shocked and angered upon reading the story of Amanda Todd, a sense of “this man needs to pay for that” rose up so strong in me. Another thing that shocked me (in a positive way) was the way Carol is handling the matter. Hearing her say that she is not bitter about it, to me is so admirative. Such a strong woman! I was also very shocked (negatively this time) to see that some people said that it was Amanda’s fault anyway, that she was responsible of her own actions. One thing is sure, if that man hadn’t harassed her that way, she would have still been alive. On another note we should not forget that she was still a kid, a minor, so I believe the man took advantage of that.

I did read on Carol’s facebook account that 47% of Canadian teens have experienced cyberbullying. Amanda brought the issue of cyber bullying to mainstream attention through a YouTube video.

I believe parents, schools need to come on board and educate kids on that matter. I am thinking about the girl that has low self esteem and that finds a random guy online that tells her that she is pretty and amazing and smart. Imagine the effect that would have on her if she opens up. And these kind of things are happening everyday as we speak! Many of those girls trapped in that emotional net would end up making bad choices to please “the only person” that appreciate them and compliment them. I think schools and parents need to come together so kids are taught how to detect online predators. As teachers I believe we need to be very vigilant and discerning. Open conversations with our students will be key, many of them feel like nobody cares or is listening, I believe we need to find ways to come close. I also honestly wish we had seminars at the university on cyberbullying, and how to protect our students, because whether we like it or not cyberbullying on our students will for sure happen during our careers. On top of that I believe that parents and schools need to come together to sort of educate kids on abusive consumption of technology. Because whether we like it or not, this has become a big problem today and parents (and school) have to put the foot on the table if necessary. Better be the bad guy than be sorry.

Furthermore I was also shocked to see that on most sites I went to to find out more about Amanda Todd, Cobin’s name never appeared. They refer to him as “the stranger”, “the man”. I believe that his name needs to be known, from the very moment the man admitted certain facts. That way he is less active and cause less harm. I really support Carol on this case, I really hope justice is done, I don’t believe the man needs 10 or 20 years of jail, I believe he deserves more. To be honest. Let’s see what the following weeks will look like.

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Digital Identity

One thing I have noticed on social media is that everybody is happy, everybody is beautiful, everyody is rejoicing. Lately there’s been lots of political posts and comments all over the place creating dissensions and arguments but that never affected the fact that everybody is happy/beautiful on Facebook and instagram. I have looked at many people on facebook and marvelled at their beauty, amazing life, wisdom…but once I met there in person I found out that they were actually very ordinary and not as amazing as I thought. People even make jokes such as: dating-2

That is one reason why I am very suspicious of those dating websites because most of the times digital identity does not match with real identity.

Personally I try to be as real as possibe on social media, my mother even said that I was too real, I should try to filter and play the game sometimes (do like everyone else, which means post only nice pictures). My digital identity usually speaks of social issues, but also I like to post encouraging things. I have had many people messaging me saying that they were encouraged by what I post (someone having a bad day for instance).

There is also much of my private life (relationship pictures, family, hobbies) on social media, in one word it is easy to find out who I really am through looking online. I do not have instagram, and I am just starting with Twitter (on which I mainly post encouraging, education and leadership quotes).

As teachers, I think it is important to abide by the deontology code, because we are seen as role models. And not only online, but also in real life. It is never good to see a teacher posting about partying and getting drunk. At the same time, those who get drunk all the time and do not post it (only post the ethical stuff), does that mean that their digital identity (sometimes called online identity ) differs from their real identity? Are they not supposed to walk the talk? Is keeping their digital identity different from the real one fine?

I am wondering what people reading this post are thinking? Your thoughts are very welcome.

Social media: reaction to Alec and Michael’s videos

I found the videos by Dr. Alec Couros and Michael very interesting, I learnt quite a lot. I knew that media and social network service  were becoming bigger and bigger with time, but I never realized that it was to that extent. Definitely it is becoming a culture, everybody is giving themselves to that. I have always thought that social media were a hindrance to real relationships (one could have two thousands friends on Facebook but only maybe fifty real friends) but watching Alec’s video I realized that even back in the day people were always on their newspapers. So nothing much has changed, just the form of it. It is also interesting to see the advancement humans have made in the area of technology and social media, I was laughing at the part (in Alec’s video) that showed phones in the eighties because I remember my parents using things like that.

As a teacher it will be important to at least know the basics of these social networks, that way we can easily understand our students and the world they live in. By understanding some of the basics we could also prevent things such as sexting, students being harassed or hacked… In my classes as an university student I have seen a split between university teachers,  some believe that technology and social media are important in a school (elementary or secondary) while others believe that it robs the kids from learning life skills. Personally I’m in between, I am for social media to an extent (group projects, homeworks, a kid is sick and therefore cannot show up but thanks to social media they can still be part…) but also I would like them to learn other skills.

Very edifying videos I would say, I am curious to see where we would be in five or ten years. I will be teaching by now, I wonder which realities will be present then.

My thoughts on twitter

For almost ten years now I have been using Facebook, but I was never interested in Twitter. It had always been too much for me simply because I use social networks to stay in touch with friends and since I can already do it through facebook, why bother? Using twitter lately though is giving me a different feel. The more I use it and the more I see my News Feed (ads, news, events…), the more I become interested. I like the challenge of being able to just use 140 characters, many people find it boring but I find it challenging and very good.

I am still learning and discovering, so far I have been using it at least twice a day (to post things), at the end of the course I should be able to give a definitive answer. So far though it is going well, I like it more and more. I have been posting a lot about education but also about positive and encouraging quotes.