Journal #4: Course Reflection

Objective:

I began this course with little or no experience with wikis, blogs, oovoo or even twitter.  I admit that, shamefully I had not even skyped. The topic of copyright was vague to me too, yet important given that as an instructor, I need to be aware of the rules for myself and for my students.  Given that social media and technology is such a popular part of today’s culture, utilizing these tools in education is not only effective but actually necessary.   The ease and speed of sharing information using social media is outstanding and will continue to grow and become increasingly more main stream.  In education these tools are powerful and increase the capacity we have to learn and grow collaboratively.

Reflective:

The issue of copyright is such a complex issue given the internet and current technology that it has seemed overwhelming to me.  I feel like I have gained a better understanding that pertains to my own use of media – what I can copy, save or reuse from the internet for my own power point slides, handouts or electronically shared information.  As an instructor, when plagiarizing is such a hot issue with students, it is especially important that I eliminate any risk of violating copyright laws.

The tools used in social media are powerful, but they do seem manageable and much less intimidating than when we started.  The possibilities that are available from utilizing these tools are rich and abundant!  I will definitely be dedicating some time to figure out how to apply what I have learned.  Now that I have this foundation, I am excited to try to apply it with my students.

Interpretive:

There is a certain lure with using social media tools in education.  It is so efficient, easily accessible and just plain cool.  It is a mainstream part of today’s culture that’s value must be embraced.  The benefits are just too many to not utilize it and use it for the benefits that it offers.  Using a wiki for group assignments, facebook or twitter to connect with students, or creating a department blog are all relevant and effective tools to use in education.

However, we must remember that we are human beings and there is value in human contact and the nuances that you get with personal interaction.   For example, the value of nonverbal communication – e-mails go awry, text messages get misconstrued (ok, but some of those are just hilarious), the instantaneous nature of facebook & twitter buts us in uncomfortable and often unbecoming social predicaments!  Where one would handwrite gracefully, now one uses text talk (omg!).  What about the continual decay of spelling and grammar?  Many 20 year olds can’t read handwriting anymore!

People need to breathe, process, think, have personal free space and make human contact and we still need to instill quality, work ethic, character and professionalism!  DIS aL needs 2 b a pRt of d convo 2 ensure dat we utilize d tools whIl kEpn a certan levL of standards 4 d futR.

Decisional:

Given the technology in the world today and the ever growing use of social media tools being used we have no choice but to keep up (or even ahead as if THAT’S possible)!  We have the benefit of this rich learning environment that gives the students more information, more efficiently and more effective ways to work collaboratively.   The technology allows for a learning process to develop rather than an end product. My view of social media has changed in so many ways through this course.  I am not as intimidated as I was in the beginning – in fact I feel confident to apply what I have learned in my work and look forward to doing so.

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