December 11, 2014

What I've Learned

I was very unfamiliar with social media before taking this class.  I had not ever had a facebook account, and have only followed the tweets of certain organizations.  I can now navigate facebook and its features, as well as tweet myself.  I have not ventured far into Pinterest, Instagram, or Youtube, but my wife uses them often :)  As far as continuing social media, I do plan on continuing my twitter account.  It helps me communicate quickly with my soccer team, and I enjoy following Gamecock sports organizations.  I will not be continuing facebook.  I am afraid I have learned people are using it not as a connection site, but more of a vent place for thoughts and opinions.  I do not use it as an educational tool, but more of a personal site, so my family has decided to terminate it after the class ends.  There is a lot to be said for keeping things private now a days, where everyone seems to want to know the gossip.  We will continue our blog so family and friends can follow our children.  It is important that the distance not keep them from knowing our children.  We will be adding a password protection to our site, so not everyone can view it.
I do see benefits of reaching students through social media.  I think it can be used to make home assignments more interactive, and kids would be more likely to complete the work given.  Using youtube for lectures kids would be absent for, or having debates online after reading articles could be intriguing to students.  I even think instagram could be a great tool for parents to see what their kids are doing during instructional hours of the day.  I think all of it can be positive experiences for kids with the right privacy rules set down.
I do think there are many negatives of social media such as the type of income our students are used to from parents.  Some kids may not have updated phones and computers at their convenience.  We are into a hard financial time right now, and that may not be accessible to every child.  I think kids can become too reliant on social media and loose the skills of communication and personal connection.  And of course social media can leak information that should be kept personal.  It can be an invasion of privacy.
I do feel more connected through the experiences in this class, because people are always referring to social media tools around me.  I can now understand what they are talking about, even thought I do not use the tools myself.

December 4, 2014

Look at us now!

Brayden 5 1/2, Brooklyn 2

Brayden 4 Brooklyn 21 months

Big time update :)

Bratyden 4, Brooklyn 9 months