Mass Media: A New Culture

In April of 2005, Youtube was created by three gentlemen. Since then, mass media has been created by everyday people like you and I. Anyone with a webcam suddenly was given the ability to put their voice into a global network. Michael Wesch (link to his Youtube channel) discusses the culture of mass media through the many ways in which videos can become viral in a matter of hours.

Wesch also discusses the network between different social media programs. The community between each app and website allows for a massive spread of something to occur. For example, a video from Youtube can travel to review sites, to bloggers, and then to networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

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Alec Couros also explores this topic through the continuously changing trends of social media. Social medias can create a new sense of community with friends, family, and even strangers that benefit us in so many ways. For example, students are now able to present themselves in front of a global audience without leaving their homes. As teachers, it will benefit our students greatly if we are aware and are educating them on this amazing, yet dangerous fact.

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Of course, there are some downfalls to the identities that can be created on social media. If abused, programs can be used to scam people, steal identities, and expose individuals. Also, apps that allow activities such as live streaming and untraceable messaging or photos can create a negative space in the social media world.

Overall, as an educator, it is important to always be aware of the trending apps and programs and to be comfortable with this new culture that impacts every students lives in our classroom.

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Using Chrome Extensions in the Classroom

This week, I would like to share some great tools for teachers that are fantastic to have in the classroom. Google Translate is a Chrome extension that can help translate words and phrases with a simple highlight and click. Once added to your Chrome, the translator will appear whenever you highlight words that are not in English.

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Then, with a simple click, the extension pulls up Google Translate and automatically detects the language and translates it to English.

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I would strongly recommend this tool for people who are educating EAL students or teaching any language. I thought that this was a great tool for me because I am currently learning Spanish for my learning project, which you can check out here.

I also tried out Skitch, which is another Chrome extension that allows me to screenshot and add in the orange square and arrows that you see above. I would strongly recommend this tool as well as it is such an easy way to create instructional photos.

Both of these tools help us utilize technology in the classroom in a positive way. However, they are both very small additions to our daily tasks, therefore I believe would fall under Augmentation in the SAMR model. They are both able to make a task much simpler and also create functional improvements to translating languages and editing photos.

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Overall, it is so important to use technology to our advantage in the classroom. There are a large amount of resources out there for us, but we just have to search for them in order to benefit us and our students!

Spanish, Week Three

This week, I have shared more of my progress in learning Spanish through Duolingo. I am slowly learning phrases and complete sentences that will allow me to have a partial conversation in Spanish. My goal is to be able to order at a restaurant in Spain without any confusion. This week, I have been learning how to use words such as my, mine, hers, his, and ours in a sentence.

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It is also great that the website continues the previous lessons into the next ones. For example, it will ask me how to say “My dog eats fish”. This way, I am learning the word “my” and also recapping my knowledge of animals and food vocabulary. Overall, it has been another great week and I plan to record myself with more household items next week, so stay tuned!

 

Twitter for Teachers

I have had a small amount of experience using Twitter as a teenager, but have never thought of it in a professional way. So far, it is clear that Twitter has a very active community in the education world and is an amazing tool to communicate with other educators. I have also been able to learn from my peers already through their shared information on different subjects.

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However, I believe that Twitter can be a great way to communicate with students and parents as well. I think that social media is such an important way to keep parents updated with their students experiences in the classroom. For example, I know a teacher in Moose Jaw that uses a private Instagram account to post various photos of her students learning every day. This allows both the students and parents to see what is going on in the classroom and to collect various moments.

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Now, using Twitter as a way to communicate with other educators is another great way of utilizing the site/app. In my experience in the Saskedchat on TweetDeck, I have already gained about eight followers and was able to give and take ideas for my future classroom! Although the environment was a bit overwhelming, I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with others in this way. I am learning the importance of learning with others and will continue to seek out more Twitter accounts to follow for my professional development!