As I sit down to write my final networked learning post, I can’t help but feel mixed emotions. Not only is this my final blog post, but this is the final assignment of my undergraduate degree. I am so grateful for everything I have learned this semester and I look forward to carrying it into my internship in the fall.
Shockingly, Twitter became my main platform to share resources this semester. If you would have told me in January that I would become an active Twitter user, I would have laughed. After having the opportunity to follow many educational accounts, classmates, and other educators, I can see how this is an excellent platform to build a professional learning network. Throughout this class, I attempted to share and re-tweet resources that would expand the learning of my classmates and provide them with useful resources. Below are some of the resources I shared that I found to be beneficial. Some resources that were shared related to what we were discussing in class that week or educational technology and other posts were resources that could help in the classroom.
Connecting with Others
As I mentioned before, I found Twitter to be an excellent platform to build a professional learning network. This became evident to me when I had the opportunity to participate in my first ever Twitter chat! This was the #CdnEdChat focusing on #EdTechEthics. I had so much fun during this Twitter chat! I learned so much from my classmates and other educators about what we should be considering when using educational technology in the classroom. It reminded me of our responsibilities as educators when allowing our students to use these pieces of technology. Below are my contributions to this chat, which I hope contributed to the learning of not only my classmates but other educators as well.
Once I participated in that first Twitter chat, I was hooked! The idea that I can collaborate with educators from all over without having to leave my house was just the right thing for me. When I discovered that there would be a #EceYqlChat focusing on literacy, I was IN! The teacher who moderates the chat was kind enough to respond to my request if students could join. This Twitter chat was much smaller than the #CdnEdChat Twitter chat, but I felt that this allowed for more collaboration. I learned so much about literacy from these individuals and gained many ideas for my future classroom including writing workshops, online literacy activities, and engaging students with literacy by getting to know their interests. This was a particularly interesting time to be joining this chat as these educators are currently teaching online. Although I do not have the experience that these teachers do, I tried to contribute ideas and resources with them. I shared books I believed were beneficial to incorporate into the classroom and ideas on how to engage students with literacy through read alouds and book tastings. Being in such a positive environment made me feel comfortable to share my ideas, even with very little classroom experience. I know this will definitely be an #edchat that I return to in the future!
Connecting with Classmates
Twitter allowed me to not only connect with other teachers, but to connect and develop relationships with my fellow classmates. Many classmates shares resources that I found valuable and I tried to encourage and thank them by liking and commenting on their tweets. I was also able to contribute to the learning of others through this by providing resources in a few situations for individuals who were looking for ideas. Not only was I able to connect with classmates on a professional level, but on a personal level as well. I shared pictures of my dog with some and updates of what I was doing in self-isolation/how I was staying positive. I believe building these connections with classmates created a stronger and more positive learning environment. I often found myself turning to Twitter and to my EDTC300 classmates for support, a laugh, or ideas on how to stay positive during this unique time. I know I feel more comfortable talking with and sharing ideas with classmates than I did at the beginning of the year, and I believe we can thank Twitter and other platforms for helping us connect meaningfully.
Throughout this semester, I have felt very encouraged by classmates commenting on my blog posts. It was nice knowing someone was reading our posts and supporting us and our learning. I attempted to use blog posts as an opportunity to encourage my classmates. This experience has opened my eyes to the blogging world and allowed me to see the benefits of blogging in a classroom setting. Because everyone in our class was so positive and kind, I could see students sharing their ideas via blog and having classmates comment on their blogs being a very positive method for students to demonstrate their learning.
Another way I connected with classmates was through Slack. Although I did not use Slack often, it was a great tool to stay up to date with the course. This app also allowed me to connect with Lauren and Brooke to complete required blog posts. This app allowed us to feel comfortable reaching out to one another. We were able to contribute to each others learning by planning out our required blog posts and communicating resources that we would include in the assignment.
I cannot believe this course has come to an end. I am so thankful for everything I have learned relating to educational technology and digital literacy. This course has increased my excitement for internship, where I can practice incorporating technology in the classroom and try out new resources. Thank you so much to everyone who has followed along with my blog, my classmates, and Katia. Here is to a life of learning!