Mediated Writing

For my mediated writing project, I decided to write an informational how-to piece on creating intentional anchor charts. This was my first time using sway and probably won’t be the last!

Sway was relatively easy to use though it took some time to figure out how to add pictures and additional boxes. I had some difficulties at first when I chose the Portfolio design template. Portfolio puts more emphasis on the picture rather than the text which was not what I wanted for my project. After inputting half of my pictures and texts into Portfolio, I saw that my text did not fit very well. I decided to switch to the Blog design template instead. I struggled with replacing pictures the templates already had and ended up deleting their image box and creating a new image box where I could drag my own pictures. Overall I had a good experience using Sway and will be using it more in the future!

Using technology in Japan

My first two days in Japan have been a blur of good food, overwhelming sights, and so much technology! From hi-tech heated toilets to vending machines that provide hot coffee in a bottle (how??), Japan truly lives up to their reputation of being one of the most developed countries with a very advanced tech industry. As I’m fiddling with all their cool gadgets and devices, I am facing many challenges because everything is in Japanese but also because I have no prior knowledge of how to use their fancy machines. One of the popular methods of ordering food at a restaurant in Tokyo is by inputting your choice into a vending machine before you take your seat. Thankfully, the pictures and prices help with making our decision but the process of getting our ticket was difficult to figure out. My friends and I didn’t know whether to make our selections or put our money in first so our initial attempt was a disaster and we failed miserably, causing a commotion as we tried to communicate with the owner who did not speak any English. This experience has helped me to understand how important it is for individuals to be equipped with the basic skills and prior knowledge when it comes to using technology. Even more motivation for me to provide my students with the knowledge they need to succeed!

Enthusiastic Networkers

When reflecting upon Rheingold’s point of using ICT’s enthusiastically and nimbly, I was immediately reminded of those in my life who have also progressed through the process of becoming media-literate. Those from the previous generations are often hesitant when it comes to using internet and mobile technologies because of the overwhelming unknowns they must face. Rheingold mentions, “Evidence suggests that people do well as networkers if they are not timid about technology. Although diving into this world may be challenging at first, I have personally witnessed how becoming media-literate can provide an individual with the ability to find information, assess it, and react to it. My mom is the perfect example as one who had no technology or computer skills, in addition to limited English proficiency. Soon we realized neither of these reasons were reasonable in holding her back from being an avid media user. Once she jumped into the world of Wechat and Facebook, her enthusiasm to broaden her networks increased and motivated her to explore new digital tools. She became a participant in the many diverse networks and can now function independently when participating in her networks.

Bound to Technology

The mad influx of phone calls, text messages, and emails throughout a single day is often overwhelming but as seen through Justine Yu’s process of communication in Networked, it is clear that social organizing is now completely reliant on the interplay of mobile and online interactions. Similar to Justine, I hardly think twice about the process of coordinating and planning around a social event. The exchange of emails, texts, and phone calls have become so habitual that I don’t realize how my everyday life is heavily bound with technology. When analyzing my reliance on the internet to help with coordinating and making decisions, it is clear that my face-to-face interactions with others is completely dependent on mobile and online technologies that connect me to other people.

Challenge for 2017: Plan one event without using my phone or computer!

How does this apply to second grade?

When going through the coursework for this class, I have been constantly asking myself, “How does this apply to second grade?” It has been a struggle to implement concepts and integrate what we have been learning into my world of 7 and 8 year olds who have just begun learning how to type. As I reflect and ponder on “My Question” I am beginning to see how the many skills and habits necessary to be a participant in the digital world are practiced and developed long before students are exposed to Twitter or Facebook. As I was reading about collaboration and cooperation, the correlation between the activities we participate in BEDUC 476 and my classroom is apparent. Rheingold (2012) mentions regarding collaboration, “Collaborators develop and agree on common goals, share responsibility and work together to achieve those goals, and contribute resources to the effort.” 2nd grade book clubs require the same kind of collaboration where students come together and exchange information as they read through the same book. They share their ideas to build on one another and work together in creating a poster that gives a comprehensive summary of the book. 2nd graders cannot be direct participants in the digital world quite yet, but they have definitely begun developing the foundational skills needed to thrive in a social-digital environment.

We are responsible!

As we venture into this digital world, the responsibility teachers have to educate and prepare the next generation grows significantly. Educators must take part in training students on how to utilize new forms of literacy. We are responsible for teaching these skills at a basic level so students have a foundation for which to build their creativity upon. As mentioned in the connected learning video, if we don’t support students in this way but still assign digital literacy activities then we are basically telling a kid to write a letter and but not teaching them how to write it. An essential skill is the ability to determine whether the information or website they are looking at is credible. Teachers should guide students in using and developing techniques to determine what is real and accurate. Every individual is responsible for thinking skeptically, looking for the author, and seeing what others say about the author. As mentioned by Rheingold (2012), “Continue to pursue your investigation after you find an answer. Chase the story rather than just accepting the first evidence you encounter.”

Why should we become a networked creator?

An advantage of being a networked creator is that it allows individuals a form of self-expression. Whether it be letting off steam or keeping track of thoughts, social media can become at outlet for all at any place and time. Networked creation also provides a rich learning experience for those who are seeking information. As participants acquire and share knowledge, an area of concern may be whether the information is accurate and factual. Collaboration is another advantage as individuals can work together and create new content by negotiating and exchanging information. Two heads are better than one as teamwork can lead to new forms of innovation. Social media also increases opportunities to connect with the community by shifting our mindset from “stranger danger” to “strangers –> friends”. Lastly, a networked creator can experience a sense of empowerment and an increase in confidence. It can provide a realization that what they say matters and other people are saying and thinking the same thing too!