Monday, May 30, 2016

Nurturing Learning Communities Reflection 3

The suggested prompt for this week was:  What have you seen that you think may violate creative commons, fair use, or copyright law? Did you do anything about it? Why or why not?
Personal Screenshot

Nothing but the work my students complete comes to mind.  I've been trying to instill the need for students to respect people's work by doing image searches that filter for those allowed for reuse.  I go as far as to do an image search on their blog posts about their Passion Project for the images they use to make sure they show up under such a label and mark them down when they don't.  

Since I've started to make such an effort not to use anything that isn't labeled for reuse, I know how hard it is to ignore some excellent images because they haven't been labeled as such.  It's a process that is going to take time.  Especially since when you do an image search for "labeled for reused" and then filter for such, you get a group of photos like these.

I do notice that a lot of the people I admire in the EdTech world, particularly those that blog, do their best to follow copyright laws and adhere to creative commons practices.  I always do my best to give credit, where credit is due.  This applies in particular in the education world where we want to share and build off of other's great ideas.

Then this made me think of those who don't want to share for whatever reason they may have: insecurity over their ideas or competitive need to be the best.  In class, we've been talking a lot about PLCs and PLNs (Professional Learning Communities and Professional/Personal Learning Networks for the acronym-impaired).  We talked, in particular, this week about trust in both and what both PLCs and PLNs need to work well.  

I think some PLCs don't work very well because sometimes schools, districts, the teachers within it themselves create an atmosphere of competition.  The point of participating in a PLC is for the benefit of all the students, not just one set of students.  So, trust is broken when educators hold back things that worked for them because they want their students to do better than the other teachers.

What I personally need from both and PLC and PLN is reciprocity.  I can't continually give and not get anything in return (and this itself could lead some teachers to stop sharing).  I think, from experience, that when educators are just starting to build and explore PLNs, they are going to, more naturally, take than give.  Now that I'm getting more comfortable communicating and sharing in the social media world of education, I've been making the effort to share more instead of just take.  

It's okay to capture up great ideas for awhile; but at some point, you should start to give back.  Sometimes, being reciprocal isn't always about sharing your work and ideas, but giving feedback to those that do.  It doesn't need to be tit-for-tat.  

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Nurturing Learning Communities Reflection 2

So, two classes down, six more to go.

This week we were supposed to start contributing to the networks we "joined".  I had already been building networks on these platforms, but I was a lot more passive about it.  So, I've gone out of my comfort zone and started to try and take a more active role with my contributions.

This isn't easy for me because I don't like pushing myself on to other people.  I don't invite myself over to other people's homes or parties, metaphorical or not, even when I know I am probably welcome.  I don't want to force someone to be fake nice to me.

So am going about contributing by sharing articles or information that I think may be of use to people.  I started with trying to start a dialogue on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter about Google Spaces.

On the Facebook group and on Google+ I started a very brief dialogue, but it fell flat on Twitter. That's the thing about social media. You can put yourself out there and no one has to return the favor and respond. I put myself out there with this blog, but very rarely do I get responses to my posts. However, thanks to the blogger data, I know that people read them. On the social networks, you don't usually know if people read your posts, so it can be a bit discouraging. That's why I think it's good to start slow.

On that note, that's why, knowing in particular that my classmates might be struggling with getting into Twitter, when I read the blog/podcast mentioned below, I used it as an opportunity to try and contribute meaningfully to Google+ and the cohort's facebook group.

Ultimately, you just need to keep trying. I'm hoping this class will push me to build strong networks of people who will support me and allow me to support them.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Nurturing Learning Communities Reflection 1

So on Saturday, a week ago this posting, I walked in my graduation for my MAED.

I am not, however, actually done.  I have one more class:  Nurturing Learning Communities.

For this class, we'll have to journal weekly, so I'm going to take the opportunity to use this blog to do so.  My hope is that maybe it will help me blog more consistently as a whole after the class is over.

For our first assignment, we were instructed to join three new social networks and make connections with 50 people per network.  Our instructor, in our face-to-face meeting, felt that number was a little too high to make it meaningful.  I kind of agree for those that are just dipping their toe in reaching out to the educator community on these networks.  You want to start slow and try and build relationships and not just lists and circles and groups of people you never end up dialoguing with.

I am already plugged into most of the effective networks.  So, I hope I will be forgiven for not joining new ones.  But, this assignment did push me to reach out and add more people to my circles on Google+.  I had to think carefully about the people I wanted to add.  I just didn't want to add people whose names were unrecognizable or that I knew nothing about.  I went through my G+ communities members and added people to my circles whose names I recognized from GAFE Summits and CUE and EdTechTeam interactions.

This assignment also pushed me to find out about Twitter lists.  I had noticed in my TweetDeck feed that people had added me to some of their lists, but never really looked into it.  So, I found some lists that looked promising and subscribed and created a few of my own.

I'm hoping that this class will push me, even more, to reach out and create PLNs on these platforms.  What platforms do you use?  What do you like about one over the other?