A personal learning network is a valuable asset for us as teachers in training and will be useful when we enter into our careers. These networks can be beneficial for planning lessons or coming up with activities to do with our class and also for personal learning. When we as teachers use others as a resource we are expanding our knowledge and helping others expand their knowledge. It can be as simple as reading a blog or following an education board on Pinterest. But doing those little things makes you a part of a larger community that are all seeking similar things which is to provide the best possible education for our students and expand our knowledge on ideas of what can be beneficial in the classroom.
I have been fearful of opening up online, I was hesitant of what benefits I would receive from it, and was unsure of how to go about expanding my community. But through ECS 210 and other education classes that I have taken in my three years of university, I have been introduced to so many valuable blogs and interesting technology. I know I still have a lot to learn and I am still only in the beginning stages of creating my community but I am confident that as I continue with my schooling and enter into my career that the community will continue to grow and be a place of learning for me.
Pinterest has been a great place for me to expand my community. It allows me to search basically anything, from math activities to writing techniques. I can also follow educational boards of a wide variety of people, and see what they are pinning and whether or not it could be relevant for myself in the future. I am always searching for new pins that I find will be useful. It is also nice because not only do they have to be strictly educational, but they can be motivational or humorous. http://www.pinterest.com/lydiamcleod/education/. I also like the idea of using Pinterest to expand my community because I can follow boards of people from all across the world and see what they are pinning. http://www.pinterest.com/lmgerrish/education-high-school/.
Blogging is also another way to expand our community of learning. Prior to ECS 210 I had used my blog for a couple of classes but not until this class did I start to really enjoy using and become interactive with my fellow classmates. I have begun to make more meaningful posts and have begun responding to posts that my classmates are making. Through this blog I can see what others are thinking about, regarding the class and readings, and it allows me to see the different ways that a person can view the readings. It allows me to hear their opinion and then reflect upon that opinion. Sometimes out peers read things a different way than I would so I am able to expand my view of the reading and converse with the individual by responding to their posts.
I also like to check out blogs from people outside of my ECS class. For example Dan Meyers is a very well-known within the math community. He has such a modern way of viewing education and through his blog we can see his experiences and ways in which he is shaping the way in which we view teaching mathematics. http://blog.mrmeyer.com/ . By viewing blogs like Dan’s I am able to expand my knowledge of the subject I will be teaching in the future. I can see how he is responding to the current ways in which many are teaching and his opinions on that and how he thinks modernizing your teaching strategies can be beneficial for the students.
Twitter has been an area that I have struggled with, I can see how it could be beneficial, however I find that it does not personally work for me. I would much rather prefer to communicate through blogs rather than twitter. I think that though twitter is a quick way for communication, I have not yet gotten to a point where I feel like I absolutely need to use it. Hopefully as I begin my teaching career I will be able to see the benefits more and have a better grasp on how it can be used.
A large part of this class has been about being aware of our personal attitudes and how they have been shaped by society. Today students are always on social media, so I think if we can connect with our students in a professional manner through the use of social media then we could possibly go beyond those views that society has created. I think if students feel as though we are making an effort to connect with them then they may feel like they are being treated with equity and not being placed in the other category. Technology is something that everyone can use, hence I think it is important to encourage our students to use it, and allow them to share their knowledge of social media with us as well.
I feel much more connected to my peers through the building of my personal learning network. I think it has been beneficial because I can respond to my peers and let them know that I have considered what they are talking about, it is also nice to get responses from my peers cause it reinforces that all the readings and discussions that we have as a class are important and will help us in our future teaching careers.