The future is now, and I am a part of it. On the first day of class I learned that not only am I behind technologically in thousands of ways, but by the end of class period, I would be behind in probably even more than that. Our world is moving at a fast, fast pace. Ever since Shelley turned me on to ways to use social media in the class, more and more social media has come under my radar, and at first it seemed too overwhelming. At first, I felt like a tiny ant trapped in a room full of different sized and colored computers that all had indecipherable code on them. Delicious, Diigo, Twitter, Pixton, etc. All of these new made-up words had me feeling like I was in my third semester of Calculus again when my Professor said the word "anti-derivative" and I just laughed because I thought he was making it up. But he wasn't....and neither was Shelley.
I cannot say that I have fully emersed myself in social media, but I can say that I am now a believer in the movement. With Hopkins work, TFA work, and being a second-year teacher, I do not have too much time to explore each new avenue, however, even in the last 2 months I have picked and chosen certain sites that I know regard as essential.
I love Pixton comics. It provides such a great way/forum to introduce new discussion vocabulary when learning a foreign language. I have used it multiple times to introduce new questions and answers in Spanish, and my students are normally very receptive to the comics. My goal for the remaining part of the semester is to have my students create their own comic on Pixton using most, if not all of the phrases that we have learned thus far.
In the beginning, I have to admit....I once called Twitter, "Ashton Kutchner's personal stalking website". However, after only 2 months on Twitter, I now find myself STRONGLY suggesting it to others. I love #edchat. It is such an amazing way to connect with teachers across the world. I even placed #edchat on my IDP this year! Also, once you build a good PLN, you frequently get links to tons of interesting articles, websites, and many other resources for your students.
While I have not used it as much as I would like to, I can see the power in Delicious. It is a great way to keep articles so that students may read them either for class or at their leisure. I may not have time this semester or even this year, but my vision for Delicious is very clear. I eventually ant my students reading an article every single week and blogging a response to that article every weekend. It would be such an amazing way to teach culture in a foriegn language classroom, and a great way to hold my students accountable for their own learning.
What you have read above, and what I have output for this course is just the beginning of my integration of technology in my classroom. I know that I must be graded based on my output, but if I were to be graded based on my attitude and stance, I went from a D- to an A+. And one thing I CAN say for sure, is that if you were to enter my classroom next year, you will see students engaging with the materials from so many different levels/venues.
In closing, as corny as it is to say, Thank you Shelley. It just proves that the latin root for education is educare meaning to lead, to guide to. You guided me to social media, and I have grabbed on!