Written by Sequoia Abbott-Saulteaux
Well, here we are. My final blog post for the semester towards my Educational Technology 300 course. I can’t say exactly what I was expecting when I first entered this course as an senior educational elective for my very last semester at the University of Regina (here’s hoping for a successful internship next fall!), but I can say that I was not expecting how much I would look forward to this class every week. One of my favourite things about this course is the potential to build a sense of community. This ties into how I used to think about Digital Literacy; the internet was scary and had potentially dangerous consequences. While this is still true to some degree, I now believe that the Internet also allows human connections across vast distances like never before, and you get back what you put into it. While I used to think that you shouldn’t be able to find anything on me while googling my name, now I think that I have a duty to contribute in meaningful and positive ways to build my digital citizenship.
One of the goals I was given this semester, was to contribute to other classmates learning through posting in online spaces. This was mainly done through engaging with Twitter, the class Slack community, and commenting on others blog posts. This portion of the class, was honestly one of my favourite parts of the week. Collaboration is key when it comes to making innovative and engaging lesson plans for students. The opportunity to be engaged with a vast network of upcoming, or veteran, teachers has also allowed me to push my boundaries and improve on my preformed ideas. In helping others, I gain more perspective for myself.
Without further ado, here are some examples of how I contributed to others learning!
Commenting on Blogs!
During this course, we were given the opportunity to vamp up our blogs and contribute to others! I have had my WordPress blog since I was a first year University student, but I found myself using it less and less over the years until I would go onto it a couple of times a month. Before starting this class, I didn’t know if I wanted to utilize my blog for my educational career. Honestly, I was worried that it wasn’t flattering. Through my #edtc course, I was pushed to try out new things with my blog posts, and see what else is out there.
I loved getting to see what my classmates were up to each week. There are some amazing #LearningProjects and some great opportunities for discussion through the blogs of this course! I loved to see how creative everyone was getting with their #LearningProjects, there are some very talented pre-service teachers in this course. Since the blog prompts tended to lean towards open-ended questions, it was very interesting to see the various different takes for each question. This has allowed me deeper insight into specific prompt posts that I would have thought of as very straight forward before.
Down below is a slideshow of various comments that I’ve made on my classmates blogs!
Before this course, I had never ever heard of Slack. I ended up joining a Discord group for Animal Crossing New Horizons (a game for Nintendo Switch) for the first time a few weeks before this, and the platforms did remind me of one another (although that might be due to my limited experience on Discord). I did enjoy using Slack a lot more than just using forum posting on UR Courses. The multiple chat rooms allowed me to ask even the small questions with rooms such as “Q&A”, “Random” and “EDTC300”, among others. This seems like it would be a great platform to organize online classes, I think that I will need to look more into Slack for the future.
I attempted to contribute to the community by commenting on others comments, by sharing resources, and by attempting to build towards the sense of community. This platform made collaborating easier through the choice of commenting on specific comments or the post as a whole, and because of the many specific chat rooms. While I gave others resources on this platform, I found a lot more!
Down below is a slideshow with some examples of my interactions on Slack!
This was my first time ever on Twitter and I actually liked it a lot more than I thought I would! At the time of this post, I am following 227 people, with 81 followers and a total of 196 tweets since joining in January 2021! This was probably one of my favorite platforms to connect with others, since I was able to connect with others even outside of my #edtc class! I never realised the vast network of educators on Twitter, and the never ending amount of educational resources.
#SaskEdChat is a wonderful example of a great resource for educators on Twitter. Every Thursday night, the moderator Kelly Christopherson (@saskedchat) hosts a night full of questions directed at all types of educators, emerging, veteran, and everything in between. This was a great way to connect with others in Saskatchewan, I have heard some great advice and met some wonderfully supportive people through this network. I think that I will continue to keep my Twitter after this semester. I’m not sure if I’m going to keep up at the same rate but I will be sure to check into #saskedchat night every so often!
Down below are some examples of my interaction on Twitter in a slideshow I made!
I had another example of when I thought I had meaningfully contributed to another classmate but it didn’t really fit into any of the other categories so I thought that I would make a seperate area.
One of the prompt posts for our blog this semester was to “internet sleuth” someone and then describe our feelings towards the experience. For my blog post, I focused on my experience knowing that I was going to be sleuthed, rather than what I found on my partner. Partly because I didn’t really find anything, and partly because I wanted to highlight my experience coming to terms with my digital footprint. I decided to complete the form for my partner and they send it to them directly along with some helpful feedback.
While I am sad that the semester is coming to an end, my #edtc course turned out to be one of my favorite that I had taken at the University, I am so grateful for the opportunity towards growing my personal and professional connections. I have learned tools that I will continue to use throughout my career, but more importantly, I learned how to make meaningful connections online. This helps me on my journey towards becoming a life-long learner.
What’s your favourite way to connect with others online?