Wednesday, September 28, 2011

810 Social Networks

I have to admit, I was not into the area of social networks. I was kind of a little scared after we received a few emails from my school district about "online conduct". I didn't want to chance it. After much convincing from my best friend (who lives in CO), I joined facebook about 2 years ago. So fast forward from that date to February 2011.  I attended a local  Smart Ed Free Tech Conference where I heard many speakers talk about using facebook and twitter to connect with other educators, parents, and even students. This is when my professional social networking life began. I am on facebook (Melanie Broxterman), twitter (@teachwtechbrox), Diigo (Melanie Broxterman), Technology Integration in Education (Melanie B.), and LinkedIn (thanks to this assignment -Melanie Broxterman).

My social networks fit into several categories. Through twitter and facebook, I have built up quite a professional learning network (PLN) of outstanding educators - both general and special education. The inspiring posts and willingness to interact and help problem solve has been amazing. As I have a great interest in iPads and iPad use within the classroom, both twitter and facebook have allowed me the opportunity to network with app developers to provide feedback about their apps and how well they work with students with disabilities. Through Diigo, I have been able to gain so many resources without even doing any of the searching. I follow Diigo groups for special education, Treasures reading program as well as the technology integration in education group. Often my coworkers think I ahve been up all hours of the night searching for resources and they don't believe me when I say "someone posted it on twitter" or "it was in my inbox". As for my students, I am still exploring ways that social networking can be integrated for them as most of their activities (including computer use) often needs maximum adult assistance. I know that they will need it in the future, but just not sure how to integrate it now. I do think that social networking could be a great way for the parents to interact and create a parent network. I am assisting my principal on keeping our school facebook page up to date. Also, one of the reasons I started my classroom/technology blog was so that parents could see what is going on in class and use that as a teaching tool or to start a discussion about the school day. After 7 months of being engulfed in the sea of social networking, I can honestly say, I consider my role within my PLN to be almost as important as my role as a coworker at my school.


This is a tweet I replied to the other night. It sums up how twitter has impacted me as an educator. Seven months ago, I would have never thought 140 characters could have this much of an impact!

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