Friday, 16 August 2013

MITA term 3 reflections

It is week 3 (end of!), term 3. We have had our third MITA academy day today with planning for the Manaiakalani hui which is on 23rd August at Tamaki College. This got me thinking ( as it was supposed to do) about what had happened with my research so far and the next steps I need to take.
Initially my research was going to be looking at the social media platform that worked best for communicating with students, but it has become more refined since the beginning.
Originally I was unsure which social media platform to use for communication with my class and considered the possibilities including Facebook, Twitter etc. I have narrowed my choices somewhat since term 1 and now feel that Google + has enormous potential as a medium to communicate with my students in and out of school time. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have created closed communities which my students can post comfortably in, without outside comment or interference. I have encouraged students to actually make public posts explaining their learning and this is something I feel could be worth expanding on. Images of roller coaster models that my students have been creating for their forces PBL lessons drew comments from people outside of the school community which was quite interesting for the students involved!
We have always encouraged students to Learn, Create and Share as part of our Manaiakalani ethos, and many of our kids have had experience with blogging in the past. I think of Google + as another way to share their learning and show people what cool things they are learning and what they are doing in class.
The problem seems to be that I have not been the best role model as I rarely update my blog, and have been a bit remiss with Google + of late, although I am going to blame a 3 week trip back to England (via Tokyo and Shanghai) for this lapse.
I need to make sure I can be seen by my classes to keep posting on Google + and my blog, perhaps this could become a class activity? Something for me to ponder...
And Edmodo? Well, I sent a message about an hour ago (via Google + as well as Edmodo!) to my classes to see if anyone still logs in and checks this account. I have had responses from 2 students already, so something is going right here. I have almost abandoned Edmodo, but now think there may be room for both media platforms within the classroom setting. Surely, the more places for students to communicate with me and vice versa, the better.
Maybe it is good to cover more bases and give the kids the option about how they communicate; maybe some of them just don't WANT to communicate with me in any way, shape or form!