1.How would use blogs to communicate with your students and parents? (Give specific examples.)
I would use blogs to connect with parents about classroom activities and news. I think blogs are a great way to electronically post a classroom newsletter and updates about events going on in the classroom, school, and community. A blog is also a great way to share work of students and news of students electronically. For instance, if grandma and grandpa are living in another state they can access a teacher’s blog and see the art work or project of their grandchild from miles away. Another way I would use blogs are for students to do writing assignments about readings, opinions, or ideas we share in the classroom. Not only do blogs influence creative writing, but students can also comment or add ideas to blogs of other students and this creates a classroom discussion that can happen in school or at home. However, because blogs are on the internet if I used them in the classroom I would have to monitor blogs carefully. Not only do I need to proceed with caution on blogs with parent permission but students also have to know the dangers and standards for posting online blogs within the classroom as well as respecting each other on the internet.
2. Write a review of the programs, Animoto, GoAnimate, and Voki. Discuss the “good,” the “bad,” and how you see yourself using either or both in your classroom. (Give specific examples.)
After reviewing Animoto I thought it was a really great website for incorporating music, pictures, and video all into one. When watching sample videos the idea of an end of the year video of pictures of our students, videos of activities, and maybe our favorite songs in class would be a great way to review the year and share with parents. I think Animoto would be a great way for students in middle school or high school to express content, however I don’t think elementary students would have the time or practice to create an Animoto video. While looking at Voki I thought this was a very interactive technology website for students to create characters and share them. Not only can students create characters of themselves but also characters they are learning about in the classroom. Through these characters students and teachers can connect and apply classroom knowledge into their creative person. Again, I would probably stick to using Voki in middle or high school, however if I see upper elementary students very engaged into technology I would use Voki because I do think the idea of making virtual characters is engaging for students.
3. Read these articles on using Twitter and Instagram in the classroom: How Twitter Can Be Used as a Powerful Educational Tool; Everything you need to know about teaching with Instagram; Nerdy, Nerdy, Nerdy, David Truss: Pair of Dimes for Your Thoughts. In your blog, write down ideas that you can conclude from these articles pieces. Provide evidence that support your ideas. Reflect on any understandings about the relationship between Twitter and Instagram and teaching and learning. Then, choose another classmate’s response to these questions and decide whether or not you gain another perspective on the same topic.
While reading the article How Twitter Can Be Used as a Powerful Educational Tool, I thought the idea of using Twitter in the classroom to connect with students and have a classroom account could be very beneficial. The idea of a classroom account is a great idea because the teacher can post homework assignments, classroom news, and use the account to access information around the world. In the article they stated that students already use social media on a daily basis, why not use it for education purposes too? In my opinion, social media is not going to slow down in this world and it is constantly changing and growing, education and learning practices might as well use social media as a tool to enhance learning for students with it. In the article about using Instagram, I loved the idea of teachers sharing ideas through Instagram. This idea is like Pinterest, but Instagram is much easier to navigate and most teachers already have an Instagram account of their own that they use. The other way for teachers to use Instagram is to connect with students and create a class account similar to a class account on Twitter. Students can follow their class account, students can post and share assignments or photos. Also, similarly like many teachers have an Instagram, so do parents. Therefore, Instagram is a great way for parents to follow and stay involved about news in the classroom.
I feel that both Twitter and Instagram can be essential to learning in the way that not only do they connect the students to the teacher, but they can influence learning through technology in a positive environment. Twitter and Instagram can motivate students to use their creative writing and grammatical skills through social media. Instagram can be used for students to write free responses on pictures and Twitter can be used as a grammatical challenge in 140 less characters. These social media accounts can be used to influence student’s literacy skills in the 21st century because technology is always changing, but literacy is not. Another education practice that is taking place in many schools today is BYOD (bring your own device) in schools and this is a great way to use social media like Twitter and Instagram to connect learning. The article, Everything YOU need to know about Teaching with Instagram, it gives the idea of using posts or tweets as an exit slip or assignment tools for students to use their phone and devices in class. Unfortunately, many schools to not have access to technology devices for every single student but most students have their own devices in today’s world. The education system has already taken the step to incorporate technology into the curriculum and tying in social media can take the curriculum one step further.
In Rachel Hunter’s blog posting we both share same ideas about Twitter and Instagram being used to enhance learning for students, teachers, and parents. Rachel talked about in her blog and it was mentioned in the article How Twitter Can Be Used as a Powerful Educational Tool, that using hashtags is a great way to incorporate and search for information around the world. This can be used as search tool for students and a way to share ideas across the world. I think hashtags could be used in social media scavenger hunts or other activities and can be used as a safety lesson for students to acknowledge how fast information spreads across the internet and social media.