Life in the fast lane…

From November 8 to November 13, 2013, I participated in “Cyber Citizenship Lesson Plans and Teaching Tools”, an online workshop through CEET (Community of Expertise in Educational Technology).  CEET Meets are hosted through LearnNowBC, a website that supports learning partners (students, parents and educators) in BC.  If you are interested in reading more about the workshop, check out the CEET Meet archives.

The original intent for participation in the CEET Meet was to gain experience in building a personal learning network.  With fingers crossed, I jumped in and began posting on the first day of the workshop.  Within a few hours, my mailbox was inundated with over 30 emails from participants in the CEET Meet!    I tried to keep up on the posts, but soon became overwhelmed with the volume.  I did manage to reply to a few posts and start a conversation in one instance, but eventually got to the point where I observed rather than participated.  I learned there is a term for this – a “lurker” – which is apparently a suitable thing to do when one is a bit overwhelmed!

I did not feel knowledgeable about the topic of cyber citizenship, and this contributed to my reluctance to post in the forum.  However, one discussion sparked my interest.  In response to the question “How do you prepare your students to use social media correctly?” many participants stated that as instructors they needed to have an understanding of social media.  However, instructors felt they lacked the skills necessary to support their students in regards to social media.  From this began a very helpful discussion around the use of Twitter.  Because of this discussion, I felt a sense of “I can do it” and went back to Twitter to see if I could find any useful links to post to the forum.  In particular, I was looking for ideas to use Twitter in my classroom.   I found what I think are some amazing resources:

1)  “Guide to Using Twitter in Your Teaching Practice”.  Here you will find safety tips, netiquette, Twitter 101, and many other resources.  In particular, I’m very excited about “Do Now”, which provides short themed videos that students watch and then respond to via social media.

2)” 7 Ideas for Using Twitter in the Classroom”.  This site suggests ideas for implementing Twitter in your classroom, provided you and your students have some background with this tool.

Although I do not feel that I made personal connections through my participation in the workshop, I definitely see the power of many minds working together towards a common goal.  I plan on attending more workshops in the future – and I may even graduate from being a “lurker”!

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