Tagged: twitter

My Community Involvement

Other Educators Inspire

I am a true believer that there are no boundaries to people’s imagination. Especially, there are no limits to educators’ imagination who very often get inspired by students who see the world around us way differently. All of us have astonishing ideas which can become really powerful when shared with others. I successfully learned that from the Learning 2 conference, where teachers are gathering together to learn from each other. That’s where I’ve heard about the COETAIL. It took me a while to take action and apply for this course. Some people around me were quite skeptical about this course and told me that this is going to be a difficult and time-consuming process. I have to admit, it wasn’t easy, but really effective. I’ve learned so much during this journey. But a particularly valuable experience to me was learning from other educators. All of us were receiving the same material that we had to study and all of us had to write blog posts. Despite the same material we all read, all of the blog posts we wrote were so diverse. This is one of the best parts of our learning in COETAIL. I’ve learned so much just by reading posts written by other COETAIL’ers. All of us have a variety of experiences to share. Moreover, commenting as well as replying to the comments received on our blog posts was one more push to communicate with each other.

I’ve prepared a short video why I would recommend this course to any educator 🙂

Collaboration on the Final Projects

I have to admit that without collaboration with other teachers my final project would not be that successful. First of all, I value the experience I’ve learned from colleagues of mine. During all our Google Meet sessions I could come up with ideas of possible improvements of my project. One more very important experience was mental support, which is necessary when you think that things do not go in the right direction.

All of us had some joint projects in this COETAIL journey. By taking a part in such projects I found real joy in collaboration with other educators. I never thought that it will be so easy to get along with people I barely know. It worked out just great! We all took roles, worked collaboratively towards the same goal, listened to each other and worked with big respect to each other. Moreover, we used the chat either on the What’s App or Twitter and got updated on the progress that has been done in order to keep everyone informed.

Cohort #12 Communication via Social Media

We established (thank you Cindy 🙂 ) our Cohort#12 group communication via Twitter chat. This was one of the most effective ways of staying connected with our tiny but powerful PLN. We were and still are sharing questions, requests, as well as reply to each other when possible. Our cohort members were always very helpful, tweeting or retweeting messages that required input/feedback.

 

 

Our Cohort #12 had an amazing opportunity to meet online via Google Meet video call. We discussed our impressions, experience and other relevant thoughts about working on our final COETAIL projects. All of us were part of this amazing COETAIL journey and it was exciting indeed to see at least some of our cohort COETAIL’ers and get to know each other at least a little bit closer. I wonder how would meeting look like at the beginning of the COETAIL journey…

Following COETAIL on Twitter

I am following COETAIL on Twitter and checking what’s new using #COETAIL and @COETAIL tags. I am and will be checking the new COETAIL’ers feeds in order to read their blogs or make new connections. Opportunities for educators are unlimited on Twitter. Checking out #COETAIL and participating in relevant discussions on a variety of topics can be really effective in making new connections as well as sharing ideas that can help others.

Post, Retweet, or Mention?

I am checking my Twitter several times a week. This kind of routine is important in getting new ideas as well as sharing them with other educators. During the Course5 I came up with a goal to release at least one Tweet a week. I think that sharing ideas and experiences via Twitter helps to build up bigger PLN. Some educators might see your post and reply to it, or at least like it (this is also a step forward). My personal experience has shown, that with one of my posts I got five more educators who began following me or shared some ideas related to my request. This is a great way of beginning a conversation as well as broadening your PLN. The same happened when I began posting about my COETAIL blog posts – educators began liking my posts as well as following me. Sharing ideas by retweeting other posts helps people find each other and collaborate when needed. This tiny step might be beneficial to others. One more really effective way of promoting ideas and sharing or even leading discussions is to mention educators in your posts by using the “@” character. I have to say, that taking similar action brought even more educators to my community, who followed me and this is another big step in building my PLN community even bigger and even stronger.

It wasn’t easy at the beginning. I felt vulnerable while sharing my thoughts and understanding of educational topics. However, after a while, I realized that I got a feeling that I have to share because it might be interesting and important to other educators. Then I stopped being afraid of posting on social media. Would it really harm somebody if I release a “wrong” post? This would just be a good lesson. We are human beings and learn from mistakes, no matter how experienced we are. It’s always better to continue learning than stop trying because of some fears.

COETAIL has been a long journey full of excitement and I will never forget it. I have a feeling, that the fact that we are getting closer to finish makes me a bit sad, but in general, I am really happy about the experience I’ve gained here by studying, reflecting, communicating and learning with such an amazing team. Thank you to Cohort#12 and all our facilitators.

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Swimming in the Ocean of Information

Some people may say that modern technology at the hand of youth might be a threat for themselves, their closest relatives or even larger groups of society. That’s why I would like to emphasize the importance of educating our young learners as researchers and making them used to critical thinking. It is all in our – the hands of educators.

Different researches about the habits of technology use among youth are showing disappointing results and facts about how smartphones became an inherent part of everyday youth life (“Smartphones are fuelling a ‘bedroom culture’, with online access for many children becoming more personal, more private and less supervised” (The State of the World’s Children 2017: “Children in a Digital World“).

On the other hand, there is a bright side of technology’s impact on young people. Many young people succeed in making connections and developing friendships as well as receiving support online, which might be problematic or difficult for them in the offline world. Many young people use their devices in various ways as their favorite tool to socialize with friends as well as explore the world around them. Online tools are often used for discussions, sharing knowledge about their own choices and experiences in music, movies, gaming, browsing the internet, etc.

Unfortunately, there is a dark side as well. Research has shown the key domains of youth practice using technology – friendship, intimacy, family, gaming, creative production. Some of young people build their romantic relationships online, without even seeing each other in person and break up simply by changing the status of the relationship in social media. (The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning | November 2008).

Such facts might be confusing and terrifying. Is this how young people understand the relationship between people? Is this the future for future relationships? Teachers have a huge role not only in teaching students about critical thinking which they have to apply while using digital tools everywhere – both at school during their learning practice, but also in their personal everyday lives. Young people need to enrich their knowledge about the world around them and be aware of the current global issues. Our students is the future and it is essential to give them fundamental knowledge about digital tools and research.

Marianne Stenger in her article “8 Ways to Hone Your Fact-Checking Skills” emphasized one of the key challenges which young people struggle with while verifying credible sources. Unfortunately, young people quite often lack fact-checking skills. According to Marianne Stenger, many of them get news through social media where you can often face fake newshoaxes and misinformation. Students barely see the difference between real and fake news. Researchers have led the study which has shown, that true rumors can be resolved and verified within two hours, in comparison with the false rumors’ verification time of 14 hours.

Photo by Duri from Mocup on Unsplash

As an educator, I have to use my research skills very often. I am always looking for new information, tools, methods, etc. to enrich my teaching. In my daily practice, I always check my Twitter profile and use #hashtags to search for specific categories of information which might be useful for my everyday work. In contrast to a “lurker’s way” to use social media to enrich the research, being an active communicator (making connections and starting discussions with experts of the research topic) almost always provides an additional positive impact on the results of the research.

“If you are on social media, and you are not learning, not laughing, not being inspired or not networking, then you are using it wrong.”
― Germany Kent

Students need our – educators’ – help while learning specific strategies of the research process, as well as applying this knowledge practically in their day-to-day lives. They learn to search for relevant information purposefully by using specific methods such as searching specific domains, using quotation marks or hyphens to narrow down search results as well as find relevant information easily and quickly. More and more new sources of information are showing up every day and “Things can change so fast on the internet.” just like our posts on our COETAIL blogs 🙂

https://www.quotemaster.org/internet+in+education

Teaching students research skills is a significantly important part of teaching them long-life learning skills. The internet is an incredible place – it is the ocean of information and our students need to learn how to swim there and do it purposefully. These research tips might help students survive difficult moments when they feel lost in gigantic amount of information available online.

One more essential moment of teaching students research skills I would like to emphasize is online source evaluation. How do you recognize a credible source from fake newshoaxes and misinformation? The “5C”content, credibility, construction, corroboration, comparison key stages that help achieve that are explained in the following educational video by John Spenser – Helping Students Identify Fake News with the Five C’s of Critical Consuming.

One of my favorite tools that help recognize credible resources is Pacific Northwest tree octopus, which is a great example of how websites, looking credible and professional from the first sight can contain fake facts and nonsense information. The Pacific Northwest tree octopus website is commonly used for teaching Internet literacy in many schools. Many students tend to use the first website they find or even worse – Google summary – as a research source. Unfortunately, quite often it is a time-consuming process for students to understand that a search engine is a search tool with very different results in terms of credibility, rather than a fully reliable source of information. We, as educators, can and have to change this for the benefit of our students and society in general.

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