Social Networking in Education<br />By: Jacob O’Neal<br />
Social Networking in Education<br /> Social networking is important for education because it allows students and teachers to connect with people from all around the world and expand our knowledge based upon what other people think. It is also a means of communication from student to teacher as well as being a virtual classroom. <br />
Skype<br /> Skype is an interactive program that allows you to call other Skype users from the internet for free. It has many classroom uses as well as abilities to help our future students' minds grow even more than in the traditional classroom. It isn't just a means of communication; it is a business tool as well as an educational tool that you can use as a medium to get through to your students in a fun way. If you teach ESL, you can do it online as well as connect with people in other countries if you are learning a foreign language. You can see the other person, and it is almost like being there in person.<br />
Skype (Continued)<br /> A teacher used Skype as a means for students to ask questions to an author of a book in order to make reading a better experience so that they can use technology to support the fun factor of reading. It's a pretty well known fact that most kids do not like to read, but if you use technology along with reading it becomes a lot more fun for the student. <br />
Skype Reflection<br /> In my opinion, Skype is one of the best tools ever made in the world because not only can you see the other person, but it is made tremendous improvements in my ability to speak Japanese with my girlfriend. It is a wonderful tool that can help many people learn a foreign language, meet people around the world, and also get tutoring! For instance, one time I needed help with math... I had a hard time with standard deviance, but I found a website that offered tutoring through Skype so I took advantage of it. I raised my grade from a C to a B+! It was a really big shock that it helped me so much. Another thing is that you can use Skype for an online class. When students want to ask a question to their instructor, they can simply call or chat with their instructor during the times that they are online. If they are not online, they can simply leave a voicemail or a text message. The text message will be delivered the time that they student and the teacher are both online at the same time. The voicemail will go through as soon as the teacher returns to the computer, regardless of whether the student is online or not.<br />
Facebook and E-mail<br />In this article, it reflects the difference between grading for accuracy and completion and the dread of doing homework each night. Students have busy lives so why not try to make it more enjoyable and casual? The author tried a few theories, and he found the perfect solution: Facebook and E-mail. Facebook is sort of like e-mail because you can connect with people and send e-mail. The teacher that wrote this article experimented and found out that teachers who grade on traditional homework assignments causes students to lose their interest in homework altogether.<br />
Facebook and E-mail (continued)<br />He mentioned that he experimented and made a homework assignment/project where each student will read a book and then write a 200 word e-mail to one of their peers and then carbon copy the e-mail to the teacher for points. Not only did it make it more fun and interesting for the students, but they also could make new connections with their new friends and talk about various topics after the assignment. They can always talk to that person and it will help them learn more because they enjoy what they are learning rather than dreading each assignment because it is just individual "busy work".<br />
Facebook and E-mail Reflection<br /> In my opinion, this teacher hit the nail on the head. He found out that the key to learning is having a good time, and he realized his students weren't having a very good time learning the material. He adjusted his methods to accommodate the students of the "Facebook Generation". Not only did this allow them to get better grades in his class, but it made it more enjoyable for all the students. If I was to do something like this, I would probably change it around a little bit. I think it would be best to become a partnership of another school, perhaps another school in the same corporation as your school. Have the students fill out assessments of themselves and then try your best to match the students that match each other the most. If your students just emailed each other I don't think that it would really help much because they already know each other if it is a small class size. <br />
Blogging<br /> The article entitled, "An empirically grounded framework to guide blogging in higher education," is an interesting article that explains about the distance education students working for their master's degree had to keep a student teaching blog about what they learned. They found out early in the program that some of students didn't write in their blogs because of many reasons, but a lot of it was about the question, "How does it benefit me?" It can benefit each student in an amount of ways.<br />
Blogging (continued)<br /> The author goes on to explain that this semester was more so an exploratory approach to introduce new students into the habit of blogging to reinforce what they learn by means of technology. They were asked to summarize four case studies and share them in their blogs. At the end of the course, they got ten positive replies, six from females and four from the males. Eight of them had previously studied a course from the same university known as "eLearning Professionals" that expressed the importance in online technology. <br />
Blogging Reflection<br /> In my opinion, I think that blogging is a very useful tool that can assist someone that is learning something by reinforcing their previously learned knowledge and allow each student critically think about things to make them want to expand their horizons from where it used to be before.<br />
Conclusion<br /> Social networked has vastly changed the methods of education, and it has become quite a phenomenon as to how much it can help us as teachers and students of the world. Location and communication is no longer a barrier between people of the world now; therefore, we can develop ourselves to become aware of the technology around us. Skype allows us to call people from around the world for free with video via a webcam to give us the ability to start a videoconference. E-mail and applications like Facebook allow us to connect with these people around the world. Lastly, blogging allows us to express our thoughts and support what we have previously learned by getting us to talk about it as well as getting other people to talk about it, causing not just us, but other people to start thinking more critically.<br />
Bibliography<br />Conole, G., Kerawalla, L, Kirkup, G, Minocha, S. (2009). "An Empirically Grounded Framework to Guide Blogging in High Education." Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 25(1): 31-42.<br />EdTechTeacher.org (2009, 05/15/09). "EdTechTeacher:Skype Video Tutorial." from http://edtechteacher.org/skypetutorial.html.<br />Foote, C. (2008). "See Me, Hear Me: Skype in the Classroom." School Library Journal 54(1): 2.<br />Kitsis, S. (2008). "The Facebook Generation: Homework as Social Networking." English Journal 98(2): 6.<br />TeachingDegree.org (2009, June 30, 2009). "50 Awesome Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom." Retrieved August 8, 2009, from http://www.teachingdegree.org/2009/06/30/50-awesome-ways-to-use-skype-in-the-classroom/. <br />
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