Wednesday, March 20, 2013

VIC PLN - unit 3 post

I am a strong believer in creating online professional learning communities.  Through blogging and Twitter I can:

  • Connect
  • Share Ideas
  • Access Current Information
  • Find Answers
  • & Opportunities
  • Learn
  • Get Support

I think Twitter has myriad roles in education.  I have used it in the past when teaching VCE English classes.  I found students were more likely to read my Tweets as they were short and accessed through a forum they enjoyed using.  I don't have the same teaching load and use Twitter now for my own professional development, particularly regarding Library.  I follow authors, find out about events, connect with librarians, ask questions, get ideas and feel like I am up to date.  My address is @RiaCoffey

I am comfortable and familiar with Facebook, however I am no longer using it.  I found that it was not a positive use of my time and I preferred to connect with people in other mediums.  Facebook was always a more social sphere for me and I just didn't require it anymore.  If I was to reuse Facebook it would need to have a greater purpose than socialising.  At this stage I do not require more than Twitter, blogging and RSS feeds as my professional learning community.

Whilst studying my Masters in Teacher Librarianship I did sign up to Google+.  If I was using Google products more regularly and consistently I think I could see a purpose for Google+.  However, at the moment I just don't have time for more social media.  It is important to recognise what is too much and use one format successfully. 

I  am a big believer in not 'blocking' social media in schools.  Students can access anything they want on their personal devices and need to be taught how to access these sites and use them responsibly.  I cannot access Twitter from school and it is very annoying.  We should not get too hung up on the tool, because it is only a matter of time until it is replaced.  
"Tools come and go. The concepts they represent are much more important than that" (VICPLN).  Schools have blocked Facebook, however there are many chat rooms, photo blogs and social media that students can access.  

Students enjoy using social media and it is easy and accessible.  Most schools have developed their own systems, wikis and forums to use that engage students within a safe platform but are student friendly like Edmodo.  I think Edmodo has fantastic features and would consider using this with students.

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