Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Journal #4: "Join the flock!" and "Learning & leading with technology"

Ferguson, H. (2010). Join the flock!. Learning & leading with technology, 37(8), 12-15. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/learning-and-leading/issues/Join_the_Flock.aspx

McClintock, S. (2010). Enhance your twitter experience. Learning & leading with technology, 37(8), 14-17. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/Libraries/...and.../June_July_2010_Join_the_Flock.sflb.ashx 

Summary: Ferguson's "Join the flock" talks about the importance of personal learning networks (PLN). Personal learning networks are places where people can share their resources and build interpersonal relationships with one another. These resources are often some sort of link (e.g. journal article, web page, blog, etc) and can be very educational. As mentioned in this article, Twitter is a popular PLN that can be a very useful tool, especially for educators. Ferguson mentions that you can find people of interest to "follow;" this is a feature that allows you to keep track of their newsfeed posts. Doing such gives you the opportunity to make connections and develop relationships with people all across the world. It also lets you explore and discover any resources that others may have made public. For example, if you are following the tweets of a famous educator, they may post a journal article that is of interest to you, and you may be able to adopt this as a resource to use in your class. Ferguson also mentions that posting your own Tweets, or "exposing yourself," can be a good way to get feedback and criticism from others.

McClintock's "Enhance your twitter experience" also talks about the importance of PLN's for teachers.  This article talks about how you should start to expose yourself in Twitter by sharing your ideas, which can be done by tweeting links. McClintock also suggests using hashtags in your tweets. By doing such, your tweet will become visible to educators who can provide comments and/or feedback on what you posted. Further in the article, McClintock suggests using TweetDeck  or Hootsuite as a way to manage and organize your social networks. She goes on to list benefits of such programs. However, one such benefit of using these programs is that they organize your social networks into personalized lists of people you wish to "follow" on a regular basis.

Question 1: Would I use Twitter in my classroom?

I would not use Twitter in my classroom, especially since I plan on teaching elementary school. I think Twitter is a great resource, when it is used properly. For instance, it can be very beneficial to anyone who is looking to network and make connections. However, when people start using it for pure pleasure, it can become very distracting. Furthermore, I feel like my students would see Twitter more as nothing more than a social website; it could become a major distraction.

Question 2: What are some positive and negative aspects about using Twitter as a networking tool?

As mentioned above, Twitter is a great place for exploration and discovery. There is so much information and knowledge available on the web; it is just a matter of finding it. Furthermore, Twitter is a great way to make connections with others. However, Twitter does have some negative aspects, too. Although I do not know much about such issues, I feel like Twitter could be a place where false information is published. This can range anywhere from false facts to gossip. There are also issues of piracy and copyright theft.

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