How have I contributed to the learnings of others? That is a good question. And to be completely honest, I know I have gotten a lot more from students in this class than I could have possibly given them. I truly have never felt so lost on a subject before. ‘Educational Technology‘ is definitely new to me, but at the same time, I know it will become a very important part of my teaching philosophy….once I figure it out a bit more.
This site was a life saver for me! I think I asked, on average, one question a week, and every single question got answered. Not just a few word answer either, but an explanation or a video, or a suggestion to use another tool. It was simply amazing how much help my clasamtes were able to give me when it came to my “dumb questions”, as I called them. However, it turned out they were not so dumb. It turns out other students would often reply saying things like, “Thanks for this” or “I am going to try that”. So, I guess my main contribution was simply asking these questions. Had I not asked them maybe they would have never been answered, and no one would be better off because of the answers they received. I have alwasy considered myself to be a ‘questipn asker’, and in the case with this class and all the new technology tools involved with it, I think it definitely paid off for myself and for others. I would try to reply to any questions my clasmates had if I was confident in my answer. Sadly, witht he topic of technology this was far and few between. This is something I will have to work on in the future as I continue to use spaces like Twitter to interect with fellow teachers from around the world.
Before this class I think my only contribution to Twitter was retweeting a funny joke or the odd political article, and, for the most part, I only followed people I directly knew, politcal accounts, and funny accounts. In other words, I was not utilizing it as an educational tool at all! Now, I look at twitter as a way to share teaching strategies, techniques and approaches on, with an emphasis on #EdTech. I began to follow teachers from all over Canada (and even other countries)! I never realized teachers were such a “close knit” group willing to help each other daily. It was a great feeling. With that, I wanted to contribute article/blogs/strategies/etc that I felt could actually be utilized in the classroom with students.
In addition to sharing articles and other resrouces, I learned about ‘Netiquette‘. Saying something as simple as “Thanks for sharing” goes along way and lts the person know you genuinely are thankful for what they shared. It is a good feeling to both get and give one of those Tweets.
Some of the tweets I thought would be helpful to my classmates (and really any teacher):
Although I already had a blog set up prior to this class, I never really participated in the “blog world”. I would simply just write my blog and move one. Now, not only enjoy reading other people’s blogs, but I also enjoy commenting on them and even linking them into my own blogs. I would usually make two different types of comments. One, to give my opinion on the topic, and say whether I agree or disagree with their blog. And two, I would give some information that may help them out in a future similar situation. I think both of these typesof feedback give the blogger knowledge via perspective. Sometimes we are so set on our own “angle” on a topic that we cannot see other views. By sharing my opinions and stories with other people, I feel it will help them look at topics from another side, or see that they are not alone in a feeling toward something. Both offer great learning opportunities if you let them.
Within my own blogs, I wouldtry to contribute knowledge by hyperlinking terms that most people not be familiar with, or linking them a site that can provide more information on a topic, like another blog, or a newpaper site.
At the start of this class I had no idea what a ‘Professional Leanring Network’ was. NowI feel as though I have a good start to building one up of my own. I think my confidence in what I share and where I contribute will continue to grow as I become a more conifdent teacher. Right now, I feel as though i do not have much to offer other than good articles I find. I cannot wait until I can share real experiences regarding what techniques work and which don’t and why. I also cannot wait to try out so many of the things I have accumulated and read about through the above spaces. It hs never been moreto clear to me just how much being an educator means you are constantly learning and growing, and that you need a ‘Network’ to really reach your full potential!