Friday, November 11, 2016

PLN: Expanding 1, 2, 3

1) Twitter

Twitter is a social media networking site that I’ve used in the past, but unable to fully understand its function or gain anything from tweeting, I ended up deactivating my account. As I am expanding my personal learning network, however, I realize that Twitter is facilitates communication and innovation within my teaching career. Through Twitter, I am able to follow other teachers, and together we can learn from and help one another. If we want our students to grow and create a better future, we need to constantly work together to instill new teaching practices, technologies, and research. I also see the potential for using my twitter to stay in contact with my future students. Since Twitter is a popular site, many teachers use it to keep their class up to date on homework, tests, and projects. They even tweet about sites and events to provoke their students to own their learning outside of the school. It truly adds a new layer of collaboration and community to the classroom, and helps to integrate learning into everyday life.
With my Twitter account, I was able to follow and immediately begin interacting with other teachers and educational organizations around the world. In doing this, I discovered a ripple-effect: when I followed my professors and old teachers from high school, I then looked into the people and organizations they follow and began following them as well. As I followed more and more people, I noticed my homepage fill with articles, ideas, news, motivations, and provocative questions about education. I began re-tweeting posts I liked, participating in hashtags that were educationally appropriate, and even acquired my own followers. The site truly promotes interaction and the sharing of informative ideas.


Education Association liked my Tweet



The people/groups I followed responded back and sent recommendations



2) Twitter Outreach

Twitter is a very open environment that encourages communication, collaboration, and the sharing of ideas, but before this class I had always been too scared to interact with others. Becoming a professional, however, I have seen the importance of using social networks to actually work together to learn and teach one another. This is especially important in the teaching field because with the ever changing world and technologies, our job is different every day. In my interaction with Ryan McCarty, I was able to relate to his post about fake news because of the topics we’ve discussed in my edtech class. Using Twitter, I was able to reach out, ask him questions, and share the mutual importance of educating our students about internet safety and using their own minds to discern fact from opinion. Ryan was very helpful and provided me with his insights and more links about this issue. We are now mutual followers and a part of one another’s PLN. Because of this positive experience and the visible benefits of interacting with others on Twitter, I will use twitter in the future to collaborate, share ideas, and interact. It is so easy to become trapped in our school’s limited thinks tank, so interacting with others across the world and exploring new research and technology will be very beneficial to my teaching practice. I can also use twitter to communicate with my students. Instead of having my students send me repetitive emails asking the same question about an assignment, I will be able to publicly answer their questions for all to see. The re-tweeting feature and tags will be very beneficial here because it will make it easy for my students to access. I can also tweet helpful websites, information to consider, and practice problems to improve and further engage their learning.

An active teacher responded to my question and provided me with additional resources 
Tweet source: link to the Twitter conversation


3) Tweet Chat

            Tweet Chat is a live feature of Twitter that allows large groups of people to communicate about a shared topic using specific hashtags. Events like this allow groups, such as teachers, to directly communicate, share ideas, and ask or answer questions in an immediate response situation rather than waiting for a person to respond. Another benefit of Tweet chat is that you can be a viewer, participant, or a mixture of both. In the Tweet Chat I participated in, we were encouraged to view a live video on YouTube where Trevor Ragan, advocate for athletic and education reform, spoke about challenging our students, the growth mindset, and empowering our students to learn. While watching the video, we could use the Tweet Chat hashtag #iaedchat to communicate with each other about our opinions and answer and discuss some of the proposed questions. Though I did not participate in the Tweet Chat, I was and active viewer; I was able to see many peoples’ ideas about the topic both in the chat and live video, and was given time and resources to further consider and explore the material. Events like Tweet Chat and live YouTube streams allow teachers from all over the world to convene and discuss important education matters rather than having to fly out to a conference and spend lots of money recruiting and housing key note speakers. The environment is very relaxed and helpful; everyone there wants to learn, share, and make a difference in their students’ lives. When I have my own classroom and am student teaching, I will definitely be an active participant in Tweet Chat events like the #iaedchat in order to share what is working or not working in my classroom, learn about new research, and get good advice.  
Tweet chat (click to enlarge) 













Trevor Ragan LIVE Video 
#iaedchat : link to the tweet chat

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