This week we were asked the question: Can online social activism be meaningful and worthwhile?
I 100% think that it can be and it definitely has. I'd like to compare this question with one someone else may have. Is it possible to have an intellectual and meaningful conversation online through social media such as twitter? To some it would seem obvious that you cannot do such things. However, I know through experience that is not the case. For example with the Sasked chat that I participated in. It was a fully online chat through a social media platform. Now to go back to the first question. As long as you have the right people who are participating and are engaged with what you are trying to do it is possible to have meaningful activism online. And you see examples of this online all the time. Like with people starting online charities that people can donate to or groups that fight for something. Anything is possible as long as you have the right people involved.
Earlier today I attempted to do some coding over at the website https://www.codecademy.com/learn. I have never done any coding before however I did appreciate this challenge. This website breaks it down step by step in coding some html.
This was a fun little activity that I took place in. Really gave me appreciation for people who actually code all the time!
I think as we continue to develop into this technological age, I believe that coding is going to be seen as more important. I think we should have more of it in high school and earlier grades. Providing the students with an opportunity to delve into something that affects them everyday is pretty powerful. Also providing the students with more skills so it opens them up to more options later on in life is great as well. I also feel like a lot more students would be open to coding if they were exposed to it earlier on in life because most people just aren't exposed to it and by the time they are older they are more closed minded to the idea of coding.
Digital Citizenship is something everyone has to be aware of. If you are doing anything online that has information from you are a digital citizenship. With that comes the responsibility to monitor what you are posting so you do not post something could potentially harm you later on in your life. By maybe preventing you from getting a job because an employer saw a tweet you made several years. During the Ted talk How one tweet can ruin your life | Jon Ronson, Ronson tells a story of one unfortunate individual that made a misunderstood tweet about getting AIDS in Africa. Not only did this individual get a huge volume of hate tweets meant to shame her. She also lost her job. This just shows how one can't be to careful or mindful on the internet.
The conversation does not just stop with twitter. During the documentary Sext Up Kids it goes over the struggles the kids being sexualized via the internet and on social media. The need to constantly feel sexy is a huge thing for kids. And it is starting to hit them younger and younger. This is dangerous given all the sexting now. And the younger the people are who partake in this the less mature they will be. This can lead to problems down the road again. Because what happens if someone sends a private image to someone and that image that you thought was going to be private gets out somehow. It can really hamper your chances of getting a job if your employer happens to see the images. The amount of shame that would also come with that has unfortunately proven to be unbearable for some as well. Leading to unfortunate circumstances like with Amanda Todd.
So what does this mean for us? Again to reiterate what was said. It is important for us to be mindful when posting something online, or even sending "private" things to someone. Because you never know what could happen in the moment you send something.
Another aspect of the online spectrum which I have not spent a lot of time thinking about is the concept of Digital Citizenship. There are 9 elements to Digital Citizenship:
All these aspects are going to become increasingly important as we continue to advance our use of technology in the classroom and just in general! Some people may not see the importance in teaching these various ideas yet which will make trying to teach this at younger grades a bit more difficult. However, the benefits are there. People need to know these relatively basic concepts so they don't do things like infringing on digital laws and get in trouble for something as simple as using a picture without asking for permission. Or attempting to monetize something that may have copyright claims on it.
You may be wondering how would we even incorporate something like this into a classroom? Well it is actually quite simple. Many subjects could be used to incorporate this. Social studies is a good example. Perhaps a more obvious choice would be some computer class. Again easily incorporated into that.
Reflect on your own digital identity as a teacher in light of today’s lecture.
Through the years that social media has gotten bigger and bigger and the expansion of the web. I have never really thought of my own digital identity. I always knew that ones digital identity was somewhat important considering all the warning my parents gave me growing up; making sure I don't put anything up on the web that I would regret later on in life. So I always kept that in mind when uploading pictures for example on facebook or instagram. I have never seriously looked myself up prior to this class. Never really saw the point in it. But today I did look myself up. To see if there was any horrifying pictures of me or interesting information.
Once I looked myself up I noticed that there are 40,300,000 results for Noah Smith on the internet. I wondered if I would be able to find any information about me at all on the internet. Since Noah is a very common first name and Smith is a very common surname I did not have that much hope.
There are some University professionals with the same name as me. One activist with a large twitter following (almost 70k followers). No murders that I found, no Noah Smith has done anything particularly shameful. But there was also no of me. It wasn't until I eventually refined my search that I was able to find my facebook.
reflect on the new culture of participation as described by Alec and by Wesch - what does this mean for your future classroom? What does it mean for schools in general?
Our society has changed dramatically since the time that Wesch posted his video on youtube "An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube" nine years ago. Our society is a lot more advanced now and is much more engaged with technology. Nine years does not seem like a lot of time. In all honesty it is quite small compared to other things and how long it took for other advancements in other fields.
For an example if you look at this chart which is provided from PewInternet you can see the significant increase in cellphones as well as smart phones from 2008 to 2016. 77% of people had a cellphone at the start of 2008 compared to 2016 where 95% of people now own a cellphone and 77% of those phones are smartphones. It is evident that this trend is going to increase not only with cellphones but a lot of other technologies that are being created. With the vast majority of students going to have access to some form of technology it is important that we adapt and incorporate technology into the classroom. We are moving away from the pen and paper way of doing things in the classroom. We need to provide tools for the class to be engaged and that complies with things that they already do outside of school which is using technology. As teachers we have so many options on how to incorporate technology into the classroom. By using things like Socrative or Kahoot! to help engage the students. Even using twitter to communicate with parents or to show them the progress that their sons/daughters are making in the classroom. This technology age is upon us and we need to adapt to it by actually using it in the classroom.
For this week I had to pick an app that I was unfamiliar with. I decided to use the app Camtasia. Camtasia is a video editing program. I decided to use this because I wanted a program that I could use to edit my videos of myself playing piano.
Camtasia is super easy to learn! I am a huge fan of it. Whether or not I had to edit clips by cutting them or stitching them with other parts. It was super easy to figure out and I would recommend!
Now in contemporary society social media is continuing to evolve and is proving to be an important tool in every day life. Whether you use social media to express your views or opinions or you use it to connect with family members. Chances are you use some form of it in your everyday life. For this class I just recently started using twitter. I like all the social media platforms. It was not really a surprise that I would also enjoy this one. It provides you with a way to post things you find interesting, or funny, or whatever the reason may be. It is also really easy to connect with friends or professionals who have similar views as you or are in the same profession as you which is an added benefit.
Since twitter is readily available to the majority of people. I think it is a great tool to use in the classroom and as a professional development tool. You can use it to communicate with parents, or to show them various projects your class is doing or have completed. This way parents can see what is happening in the class which is a nice use of twitter. You can also use it as a professional development tool. By reaching out to a huge audience because the user base of twitter is huge. By posting things that relate to your profession you can attract people who are equally interested in that. This can attract people to follow you and puts your name out there. You can also use it to track your growth as an educator. By comparing some posts from awhile ago to the present. To see if you still have those beliefs or if you have maybe adapted to something more modern or progressive.
My experience in the Saskedchat was a good one. I really enjoyed the questions and reading about what other people thought about various things. The Saskedchat can really open you up to new and refreshing ideas. I like this type of professional development; you are in the comfort of your own home if you choose to be and you can still communicate with other professionals. Seeing the wide range of responses can really open you up to newer ideas. It can potentially change your perspective regarding somethings which is great - and then you can apply the new ideas you are taking away from the Saskedchat to your classroom.
This week I began using the online tool Feebly to subscribe to things that I deem as interesting to myself. To stick with the theme of this class I decided to scout for educational posts as well as posts pertaining to technology. The first two blogs that I discovered was Cool Cat Teacher Blog and Free Technology for Teachers. When I was looking for blogs to find I did not necessarily want any relatively new blog with low followers so I attempted to look for more popular blogs that have been established over a decent period of time.
Cool Cat Teacher Blog is an interesting source that I enjoy because it has very interesting posts that could be talking about how to use various forms of technology in the classroom to how to build your personal brand. A lot of the posts are valuable to new and up coming teachers which is why I wanted to highlight this first blog that I found.
Free Technology for Teachers this blog as some of you would assume based off the name is a source that focuses on providing free sources of technology that teachers can use to spice up the classroom or their lesson plans. Most of the items that the blog posts is very insightful and that is why I am highlighting this page.
For those of you who do not know me - my name is Noah Smith (I am the one with the tie) and I am a preK-5 education student that is almost in my third year of schooling! I think educational technology is a great tool to use in the classroom. It can promote communication between the parents and the educators. As well as provide the students with a new way to approach how they learn certain things, instead of the bland note taking and just listening to the static teacher approach. I like blogging because it is a way to track your own personal growth and ideas that you may have had in the past. Since it is online you can always go back and look at what you posted in the past. It provides you with the option to reflect on what you did which is why I really like it. I am also going to be using twitter for this class, so give me a follow so you can see my progress in this class!