To Connect or Not To Connect…

I have always felt torn between the value of being “connected” and the value of being “disconnected”. For the most part, I’ve been unsettled by the sometimes negative lens that the use of technology is viewed through, or that being “plugged in” is something “bad”.

The readings from this week helped me better sort out where I stand on the debate. My main takeaway as I was reading always came back to the idea of “potential”.

In watching Visitors and Residents, I connected (haha..) to the idea that being a digital resident means you are a know-er of a specific language. If we think about our own experiences in attempting a new language then we can become a little bit more empathetic towards those who may not be as proficient, those who are in the beginning stages of understanding technology, and those who need to reevaluate how they are using technology.

Secondly, Visitors and Residents, makes an interesting argument that leads me to believe there is little separation between being a “resident” or a “visitor” when it comes to digital competencies. I believe that most people are a combination of both categories. According to White, Visitors usually are not in it to have a social trace whereas Residents are making a choice to be present and live a portion of their lives online.
I appreciate the separation that the author makes between these two supposed categories, however I think it’s important to note the ways in which we engage online, whether socially or more professionally, formally or informally, may not be compatible with each other however they all connect through a developing digital identity. I liked how David White was able to illustrate this concept so well in his video.

The reading I most enjoyed this week was The IRL Fetish by Nathan Jurgenson. This essay discussed the concept of a “real connection” vs a “virtual connection”. I struggled to formulate an idea of what a connection could really be defined as then, or if one concept of connection is superior to another. It seems to be highly debated that being offline, or having the willpower to “not be on your phone” offers a source of pride.. but this article reevaluates that idea. And it’s refreshing. It has made me consider if I have ever been offline, unplugged, or gone a few minutes without wondering what is happening online while I’m not. Is this a bad thing? Or is this just a part of world that I have been exposed to nearly all of my life? Is it okay that my version of normal is different from someone who hasn’t been exposed to medias in this sense?

Therein lies the potential that I wrote about at the beginning of this post. There is a potential to be exposed to new ways of experiencing and sharing our lives – whether that be delving into more media-friendly ways, or finding possibilities that don’t require you to be plugged in.

I think the big take away from The IRL Fetish article is that there needs to be a balance.

Image result for quotes about potential



Project Proposal

Did this idea come to me in the middle of the night? Yes. Does it need a lot of fine tuning? Also yes.
I’ve kind of combined the suggestions from Option #1 and Option #2 into my project proposal. I was torn between the two and wanted to find a way to explore them both and see what I can produce through this project.

Wise words are always helpful when getting started…

I want to develop a “Curriculum-Supported Digital Citizenship/Literacy Resource” while also venturing through “My Personal Journey into Media”. I like what others have said in terms of using categories for the apps, I think this will help keep my project organized.

  • Educational Apps: I am hoping to find curricular connections for these apps (I’ll be more specific about what these are after some more research) to be used in the classroom, specifically through English Language Arts.
  • Social Apps: I think it’s imperative that I am informed and knowledgeable about the apps that my students are interested in, using consistently, and sharing their lives through. In order to talk about Digital Citizenship with my students, it’s important that I have a basic foundation for these conversations.
  • Educational/Social Apps: I may be wrong, however I’m also feeling that these two categories are going to overlap and I’m looking forward to what I can do with that.

Educational Apps
— Google Classroom: I use Google Classroom a lot and our students are have a 1-1 device with the Chromebooks. Google Classroom is so much more than just having assignments online and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with this resource.  A while ago I bought “50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom” by Alice Keeler and Libbi Miller (sample PDF here) and I’ll be using this as a starting point.

— Literacy App??
— Writing Process App??

Social Apps
— Snapchat?
— Vsco?
— Fitness Apps?
**Obviously, I’ll be looking into this more and very much using the suggestions of my students to help me better frame this section.

ECI 832 – I’m uncomfortable, but that’s okay

Here goes… second grad class so there’s a feeling of being overwhelmed + first online class so trying to figure this out and stay organized + thinking I knew more than I did about technology and education than I really do = I’m uncomfortable.
But, I believe that important learning can come from being uncomfortable.
This is something that my students and I talk about a lot and in these first few weeks I have had to remind myself of this mantra…

I am really looking forward to the support system that is provided throughout this class so far – I self-declare as a bit of lurker at this point and know I need to be more active in the Google Community and on Twitter regarding course content and resources. That being said, it’s encouraging to see the amount of interaction that is happening on Twitter, in the Google Community, and on the blogs – it really makes me want to be a part of it!

Outside of taking my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction via course route, I am a high school English teacher in Moose Jaw, SK.  When I’m not in the classroom I’m either teaching at the dance studio I co-own/operate, taking dancers to competitions, travelling, or spending some quality time outdoors doing whatever these Saskatchewan seasons allow!

Also a Star Wars fan.