PLN Activity 4

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Part One: Exploring Twitter: A MicroBlogging Information Tool

Vicki Davis shared an excellent link to an article written by Martha Giffen about the importance of online visibility. She suggests creating your own blog, website, online groups or forums, and a strong social media presence to boost your visibility. The benefits of marking your presence all over the web is so that your prospective workplaces will have a way to find you and get an accurate glimpse of what you’re all about. If you need help with building visibility, simply click here!

Steven W. Anderson is another technological guru, with majority of his tweets relating to tips to make your classroom more up-to-date in the world of technology. In this tweet, he shared a link to an article written by himself about inviting TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) into your classroom. It is an online conference where innovative educators from around the world can bring forth their forward thinking and hopefully give people some great ideas!

What I really love about Shannon Miller’s tweets is that she brings the ideas and projects she implements in her own classroom to the social media world. In this tweet, Shannon shared a really neat way to get students at a young age emerged into the technological possibilities available online. She mentioned that her school held a “Going Google” Day, where students created presentations via Google Docs. I think Google Docs are not only an easy tool for children to learn, but also extremely efficient as they can use one website to share their endless ideas in multiple ways! 🙂

Part Two: What it means to be a citizen of the digital age

Egyptians Demonstrate Digital Citizenship

Steven Balkam’s article paints a picture of modern day Egypt: a society that is moving closer toward web-based activism and people-centric leadership through the powerful use of the web. They’ve used social media such as Twitter and Facebook to organize and carry out protests demanding their rights of free expression and assembly in hopes that their voices will be heard.

I think that this article and what is going on in Egypt right now directly encompasses what it means to be a digital citizen of the 21st century. The people organizing these riots are using their rights to show the rest of the world what ideas and ideals come forth when you take responsibility as a digital citizen. They are using a can of tools to open up the endless possibilities and powers of the internet.

Relating to schools in America, I believe the tools are all there because obviously if other countries are taking advantage of them they exist. However, the education system is not built upon a tree growing endless dollars, and there is certainly not enough money to go around to ensure that all students have access to the same digital resources.

With that being said, I don’t believe our schools are fully prepared to meet the needs of the digital citizen. In my 16 years of schooling, volunteering in different schools, and even working in schools far away from my hometown, I have seen one smart board in a classroom. Not only that, the smart board was rarely even used, as the teacher in that class preferred the chalkboard, instead.

I’m aware that smart boards are not the newest form of technology available for use in the classroom today, but that is the newest form I have ever been exposed to personally. I think future educators need to be educated on the benefits, tools, and innovations at hand when it comes to technology so that they may integrate that into future lesson plans. Only then, we may be able to move students forward in becoming a digital citizen.

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