Capturing My Thoughts

Abandon LMS at Universities?
via Diigo http://chronicle.com/article/Jim-Groom/130917/

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I absolutely feel comfortable stepping out of the institutionally supported technologies like the LMS (Learning Management Systems.) For one thing, most of these technologies are ridiculously priced. With the economy and how expensive things are these days, there is no need for fancy LMS. Everything that LMS can do, can easily be created using free resources on the Web. The following article explains the many services that Web 2.0 offers that makes it possible to have free online learning: Never Mind the Edupunks; or, The Great Web 2.0 Swindle.

After taking a social media course, I have realized that almost anything can be done using free resources such as Google and WordPress. I’m wondering why we even use Canvas at all… All assignments can be posted on blogs, students can meet face to face with Skype or Google hangouts, discussions can be held on blogs or through Google groups, and private or whole group messages can be shared. The greatest benefit is that these technologies are not exclusive, but they are open to a much wider audience. Being open allows for a much greater source of information, feedback, and idea sharing beyond the classroom. Instead of just a small class audience, the world becomes the audience, which makes this a more valuable and realistic experience. Anya Kamenetz referrs to this as “massively open online courses” in her article Edupunks Revisited.

So… What are the implications of going Edupunk? I honestly had a hard time coming up with any implications. The only things that I could think of would be the learning curve for learning all of these new technologies, and the privacy issue. LMS are usually laid out and very straightforward. Once you have used one, they all tend to be very similar, which makes them easy to navigate. If it wasn’t for the current class that I am taking on social media, I would never have known all the great technologies that are free to use. I also would have never made the time to learn all of these new technologies. So, I am thinking that many people would be hesitant to learn various technologies when they could simply learn one with LMS. Also, I think many people would be uneasy about the openness of these online learning communities. With LMS, the information is shared with a small group, and protected by password access. When things become free, they tend to become open, and some people do not feel comfortable sharing with the world.

I for one am definitely a huge fan of the term Edupunk and what it stands for… I’m just hoping to learn more and expand my knowledge on the different technologies available.

 

Something that I have always wanted to do but have not had the time, is to learn how to create a Wikispace for my classroom.

Different Approaches that I could take to learn how to create a Wikispace:
Wikis in Plain English

10 Minutes:
Read the tutorials online Wikispace.com
Watch a YouTube tutorial – Creating a Wikispace website and web pages
Step by step handout created by Maryna Badenhorst for Netbook Reflection Trial 2010

One Week:
Spend time collaborating with a tech savy colleague who already has a Wikispace up and running
The Old Fashion – Learn by doing method – Continue to play around with the space.

A Year or More:
Get involved with the Wetpaint Wiki Educational Community
Research with others and how wikis are being used in the classroom – PB Works Online Team Collaboration
Attend tech conferences involving Wikispaces in education

This all sounds great, If Only there was enough time!

For my latest class assignment, Jim was asked to make changes to my WordPress page and my AboutMe pageI decided to title this Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, because the place where I was at the beginning of this class and where I am now is completely different. I have also shifted my attitude towards a more professional outlook for both of these tools.

AboutMe Page
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The original page had a background that meant nothing to me. It was just a template that I found to use. The picture I had used was a very playful photo with mother Phillie Phanatic and I. The quote I chose was “One Day at a Time,” which was okay, but not very attention grabbing. My tags were very personal, for example, wine, labradoodle, Phillies, etc. They were just random things that interested me. My description/bio was very basic and didn’t have much of a focus.

New AboutMe Page
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My new page is more of a “ME” page. My name stands out with a bright green color that contrasts with my background. My catch phrase is Why YOU should know Me, which I believe intrigues a reader to want to know more. The purpose of my new page is to promote my educational interests. There is an open invitation for my followers/readers to contact me to network about technology in the k-12 sphere. All of my tags include education and technology which also flows with my phage nicely. The picture I chose to use in the background is a place that I know very well. It displays my interests in traveling to relaxing places.

WordPress Page
I never took a screenshot of my old page… but here is the new and improved look…
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Overall, I liked my WordPress page.  After looking it over, my background was pretty boring with just a girly, childish feel. I changed the background appearance to a retro looking camera to show the capturing of my thoughts, which also became my catch phrase. I changed the background to a darker shade to allow for the colors to stand out.

Safe Keeping
via Diigo http://www.ikeepsafe.org/educational-issues/social-media-in-the-classroom-the-digital-safety-debate-part-1-of-3/

My Social Media Policy

So what is my policy when it comes to social media? Before this class, I was only focused on Facebook as my social media source. I used it mostly for personal use to keep updated on my friends and family. Now with all the new social media I am learning, I see that there are different uses. Well since I am still learning it all, this is where I am starting…

Twitter: As of right now I am still trying to figure out Twitter. I am currently open to anyone reading what I have to say, and I am open to reading any posts that make some sort of sense to me. I do not check Twitter frequently, so it is not a great way to convey a message to me. I mostly use Twitter to tweet directly from a site that I am on and interested in that has the tweet already written for me. One of the first things I do check when I go onto Twitter is the @connect because I am interested in what people have to say to me or about me. I also definitely check the direct message box and will respond as soon as I see the message. I don not tend to spend a lot of time reading other people’s tweets. I mostly find what some of the people are tweeting is pointless. Perhaps this is because I mixed my personal with my professional.

Google +: I use google plus to post interesting articles to my google group for my doctorate class. I have a hard time keeping up with the amount of posts that are on there daily. I choose to read the posts that include graphics or videos of some sort. Using the google hangout is something that definitely attracts me.

Facebook: Facebook is still my favorite. I’m not sure if it is because I am use to it, but I just love how user friendly it is. I use Facebook for personal use. I do try to read almost every post on my news feed page. I even take the time to “facebook stalk” other pages that I find interesting. I like to know what is going on in my friends and family world. I respond to all posts from friends. If I get a friend that I do not know or someone I know but prefer to stay clear of, I ignore their friend request. I “like” many different businesses of my interests on facebook as well. I typically do a facebook cleansing each year and reconsider who I am socializing with. I try to keep everything on my page private except for the people I have friended.

Pinterest: At first, I loved Pinterest. I had all the time in the world to make boards that interested me this summer. I even won an iPad from creating a pinterest board,so I do favor this source. However once back to the daily grind, I find it hard to use pinterest frequently. I typically follow my friends to start, but I also google topics and locate other pinners with similar interests. I like pinners who have organized boards. I pin about many things, especially decorating ideas.

Although I enjoy social media sites, I still feel that the best way to contact me is through email. I constantly check my email. With social media, I can sometimes make time, or it is the first thing I push off. I see the value of using social media, especially for collaboration and advertising, but to use too many sources is overwhelming for me. I know there are dashboards, but I still think it can get to be too much.

 

101 websites that every teacher should know about
via Diigo http://www.goedonline.com/101-websites-for-elementary-teachers