There are a variety of topics my classmates and I are exploring within the realm of educational technology for our Genius Hour Projects. Each student (myself included) is pursuing a unique avenue. Some folks are researching the technological instructional tools and techniques that are best for students with dyslexia, attention deficit disorder (ADD), or Down Syndrome. Although we are completing our projects individually, the saying really does ring true – two heads are better than one. Most importantly, we can all learn something from each other.
There are also several students like me who are collecting information about how educators can incorporate personal learning devices to facilitate meaningful learning in the classroom. FlipGrid responses and Twitter have allowed me to connect with classmates (i.e.: Artianna Singleton, Hannah Rainey, and L. Oatman) who are exploring topics similar to mine. Through direct messages and tweets, I have been able to share helpful articles with classmates and vice versa. Artianna Singleton, for example, shared this link with me, which focuses on the role of educators in creating a personal learning environment for students. Another article she shared highlights the “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers Who Use Technology.” Be sure to check this one out because it includes a great graphic that summarizes the article – visual notes are a thing, y’all.
Needless to say, over the past week I have learned more about how to navigate “the Twitter realm.” While I had previously steered away from the social media site, Twitter has allowed me to easily access articles and opinions aggregated by subject matter. Surprisingly, Twitter has grown to be a helpful research tool, too. The site has allowed me to repost articles relevant to my Genius Hour Project. In doing so, I’ve been able to access the articles at my convenience while easily directing classmates to them as well.
“Social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr provide an unparalleled ability for people to stay connected in new and unique ways.” – Michael Bennett
By searching a simple hashtag (the hashtags #edtech and #eLearning have been especially helpful in pinpointing articles specific to personal learning devices), I found several relevant articles, specifically how best to use educational technology to drive success in and outside of the classroom. Folks who have posted articles I have found helpful include: Eric Sheninger (@E_Sheninger), Jana Jan (@janajan00), and RJ Jacquez (@rjacuqez).
I also participated in my first Twitter chat this past week, which was more fun than I ever expected; in fact, this has been a highlight of my educational technology course so far. Through my experience I connected with educators all across the U.S. interested in educational technology, maker spaces, and even superheroes and unicorns. Since I am not well-versed in the educational arena, I was nervous to participate at first. The good-humored nature of all the participants and the genuine interest in helping and supporting others, however, made me excited to participate! The chat enabled me to take note of topics I should research, namely links I should check out. I also began following several folks (@s_bearden and @ajpodchaski and @nathan_stevens) – cool thing is that they also started following me (and they have thousands of followers – wowzers!). If you’re ever around from 8pm – 9pm on Mondays, be sure to check out the educational technology chat, which is easily accessible via #edtechchat (Note: the chat I participated in was #edtechhack since it was Memorial Day).
All in all, two heads and the power of Twitter are much more powerful than me alone.