Twitter, Google Reader and LinkedIn! Oh My!

This week was a mixed experience.  I did not enjoy my first experiences with Twitter. Maybe it is because I am a digital immigrant that I am hesitant about Twitter.  I have always associated Twitter with celebrities who pride themselves on tweeting regularly but really do not have much to say.  It takes a lot of time to weed through the fluff of Twitter to get to those worth following.

I struggled with Google Reader as well.  It takes a long time to sift through the overwhelming number of options.  I tried several subscriptions that I quickly found to be dull and repetitive.  Others that I have not subscribed to are showing up on my feed.  Obviously, I have a lot to learn.

I am conflicted about LinkedIn.  I understand the benefits of being involved in an online community.  However, I am still apprehensive about sharing information about myself with total strangers.  To be honest, I did not feel particularly comfortable doing my introduction video on Brainshark.  Again, maybe it is the digital immigrant in me, but I am weary about putting my life “out there” for everyone to see.  It is going to take me some time to get used to this but I am willing to try.

With all that said, I can see that there are educational and professional benefits to social networking.  The readings this week opened my eyes to the possible uses for communication sites such as Twitter.   I could use Twitter to gather information, ask for advice, use as a sounding board for ideas, stay up to date on the latest educational trends or find help for projects (Solomon & Schrum, 2010).  Twitter, if I can learn to access its potential, would be an valuable instrument in my professional learning network (PLN).  I realize now that it will take time to establish my PLN.  It seems to be a trial and error process to find those on Twitter or Google Reader or LinkedIn that are the right fit for me.  While I have been frustrated a lot this week, I do recognize the importance of developing a PLN.

The video assignment has been great fun.  I chose to base it on Standard 1.11.  This standard addresses  American symbols and practices, such as the American flag, bald eagle and Statue of Liberty.

 

I enlisted the help of one of my sons to record some patriotic songs.  Finding images that were free to use was not difficult.  However, finding images of the proper quality was challenging.  This video would be a great beginning to a unit on American symbols.  The video would spark students’ prior knowledge about national symbols and help facilitate a discussion.  Students could think of images to add to the video throughout the unit.  Animoto was easy to use and I think students would enjoy making videos of their own.

 

References

Solomon, G. & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0 how-to for educators. Washington, DC: International Society for Technology in Education.

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