At the very beginning of my EC&I 832 class, I feel nervous and fortunate at the same time. I am excited to have the opportunity to learn about social- and educational apps that I am surrounded with but not know a whole lot about. I have never used Snapchat, Instagram, nor TikTok, so I decided to go on my personal journey and learn what these apps are and how to use them safely and effectively. Having both my students and my children (eight and eleven) use them, as a teacher and parent, I feel it is my responsibility to learn about these viral tools.
So I opted for the Personal journey into media:
The goal of my major project is to have a better understanding of the digital world and of the apps and programs that my children and students are using regularly. As part of my in-depth investigation, I will be focusing on reviewing two social apps Instagram and TikTok, and two educational apps, such as Aurasma and Touchcast.
I am planning to create a detailed review of the selected apps through a media lens including a description, analysis of the app platform, Terms of Service and privacy implications, as well as educational value and usage. I would like to experiment with the above highlighted four apps by actively engaging and using the apps for an extended period of time.
I already learnt it from my Learning Project of my EC&I 831 class that creating a plan on a fairly new topic can be quite challenging. When I started learning how to play the piano, I set the most amazing goals, such as playing an Ellie Goulding song by the end of my course. It was hard to face reality and change my final goal several times. But the Learning Project taught me about the importance of connecting with professionals and learning from each other. I had the opportunity to chat with one of my colleagues, Kristina Boutilier, regarding my Major Project in Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy, and she shared a wonderful site with me that I think will be very useful when it comes to examining apps through media lens. commonsensemedia.org is a collection of best apps that offers detailed description and evaluation of the various apps. I am also planning to examine other resources in the Educational App Store. The latter offers a wide collection of apps as well as overviews that will be helpful in finding valuable apps and learning what to look for in a good app. I also came across an open educational resource (OER), the Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) offering valuable information regarding the quality and relevance of apps by providing a checklist for an app evaluation. I will also continue reading articles and listen to TED talks on this topic. I came across Jeff Kirschner’s Litterati app, an app that makes it fun to pick up litter is definitely something I would like to know more about.
I hope, when I start examining apps, I will not get lost in the abundance of resources. Being fairly new in the world of technology, I am ALWAYS happy to hear your suggestions and advice.