Tag Archives: twitter

Our Social Appitite

Connected Learners

The digital world creates an opportunity for us to be increasingly globally connected. Our social circles extend far beyond the streets and towns that once bound us. Children are born today into a world of unbridled possibilities, and equally enormous pressures.

social-tools

Image: Monitoring Social Media by Creativebeans (2016), Retrieved from http://goo.gl/S3xDAW

As the digital revolution impacts the lives of our learners, teaching and learning practices must evolve in alignment. While concerns about cyberbullying and unfettered access to information incite caution, as educators we are faced with the challenge of developing teaching experiences which help our learners become safe and socially responsible users in this online space.

Social media provides an avenue for us to connect our students with people and places beyond the classroom walls. Networks such as Facebook and Twitter can be utilised to broaden our discussion groups and audiences. Building global relationships through these tools can enhance empathy, global awareness and lead to increased social good. Curation tools such as Pinterest can be used collaboratively encouraging shared discovery and knowledge creation. Exploring the ideas of others via creative tools such as YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr can also help our students to create, share and critique. Using platforms such as OpenIDEO and Zooniverse we can help learners realise their potential beyond than passive consumerism as they contribute solutions to real world issues.

As e-leaders, we need to encourage reflective learning focused use of social media. Running a workshop on the theme of global connectedness led to a critical discussion of this issue.

Presentation: Napier Girls High School, Global Connectedness Workshop (2016) by Heather McIntyre and Renee Raroa

Connected Educators

As educators, we spend most, if not all of our time giving. We tend to live and breathe our professions, always thinking of the next act we can do or the next resource we might create for our learners. Unless others are around who we can engage in critical discussion with and who feed our inquiring natures, our busy schools and classrooms can be isolating.

Social media is powerful in its ability to connect us with a world of like-minded others and critical friends. Tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin provide forums for discussion and sharing across the globe. National initiatives such as the VLN support our drive to develop, relevant and culturally situated learning experiences for our learners and ourselves.

“It is timely to consider the extent to which online social networks present both challenge and opportunity for educators’ professional learning.” Melhuish (2013).


References

Melhuish, K.(2013) Online social networking and its impact on New Zealand educators’ professional learning. Master Thesis. The University of Waikato. Retrieved on 12 March 2016, from http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10289/8482/thesis.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y
Twitterforeducation Wikispace. (2016) Educational Uses of Twitter. Retrieved on 12 March 2016, from https://twitterforeducation.wikispaces.com/Educational+Uses+of+Twitter

 


 

 

Welcome to My Digital World

Ko Wai Au?

I am a learner. Raised in the fresh sea air on the eastern most edge of New Zealand. I am a teacher. Learning alongside students, teachers and leaders as we navigate change. I am a leader. Uncovering strengths in myself and others to help weave a path of best practice, to reflect on mistakes and to learn, unlearn and relearn.

Ko wai au blog pic

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ” Alvin Toffler

Memoirs of a Mother

As my Twitter bio claims, I am both a mother and an educator. Ironically, one of my most vivid memories was formed in my role as a mother and learner. My daughter came home from Kindergarten, with one of those crunchy questions. She asked not why the sky was blue, nor the classic; from where do babies come? As an educator, these wonderings were always welcomed. I revelled in the chance to share in her learning and to help her to explore. No, the soft mumblings of my two-year-old daughter which shook my world to the core were “Mumma, where is our i-Pad?”.

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 8.14.05 PM

Birth of a New Age

This story begins way back in dark ages of mobile technologies. It seems like half a lifetime ago, but it was less than six years back, in 2010 when Apple released the first i-Pad.

At this time, my tech skills were little-to-none. I had been kept busy entertaining myself with several odd-jobs while raising the children, “screen-time” was an unnecessary luxury.

The Life Cycle of Change

My reaction to this other-worldly request precisely followed the Kuber-Ross Greif Cycle:

Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle

1. Denial — In my initial shock and confusion I wondered… How does my two-year-old even know about i-Pads? What is the ‘typical’ playground chit-chat in this digital age?

2. Anger — How dear the world be forcing these extravagances down the throats of babes! We cannot all afford these “toys.” Kids these days need to be outside climbing trees. Sound familiar?

3. Depression – Woe is me. What are we going to do, to support our poor child in this rat race world?

4. Bargaining – Accosting my partner with the ‘Five W’s and an H’ as he walks through the door with “Why does our daughter think we should have an iPad? Where did she learn about them? Who does she even know that has one? When did two-year-olds start thinking about such things? What are we going to do about this? How will we ever keep up?”

5. Acceptance – Then finally, with a sigh of relief, I remember that there are no rules. I allow my preconceptions to dissolve away and try to imagine what the future might look like for my daughter. I realise that if I am going to be a part of her digital world, then I need to step up to the play.

A Journey Begins

The journey into my digital world begins there. Five years later I have trained extramurally to become a teacher, taught in two secondary schools in the disciplines of  Science and Mathematics, taken on the role of e-Leader and carried out postgraduate studies in applied practice of digital and collaborative learning with The Mind Lab by Unitec. I am now a Facilitator of Learning with Digital Technologies and an Advisor for the Connected Learning Advisory, as part of the government’s initiative to increase digital proficiency in learners and teachers across New Zealand. I am still only at the beginning of the road, but I now know that I am ready to learn, relearn and unlearn as I walk beside my children into my, their, and our digital world.


References

Rowley, K. (2016). The 5 Stages of Grief after Death. Houseforkim.com. Retrieved 24 January 2016, from http://houseforkim.com/2013/02/06/5-stages-grief/
YouTube. (2016). Steve Jobs introduces Original iPad – Apple Special Event (2010). Retrieved 24 January 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KN-5zmvjAo&feature=youtu.be