EC&I 832

Learning How to Bend

A friend I haven’t seen in a while recently sent me a text and we had a brief convo.  Click on the link to see:  Kyla’s textingstory

Describing to someone else exactly what I learned while taking this class is difficult.  Most of the classes I’ve taken previous to this one have an established curricula or a set structure.  This class was different – in a good way.  If something came up, we talked about it.  We were constantly connected through Google+ community, Twitter, and our blogs.  We were interacting in multiple ways with our classmates and in turn with our students.  Taking EC&I 832 truly has changed the way I see and approach media. How do I describe what I’ve learned?

Where the heck to even start?  I’ve learned a tremendous amount about Emerging Media Literacies in this class… and for an old dinosaur like me, it was difficult to adapt!  Just like T-rex with his tiny arms would struggle in a push up contest, I felt like my “old school” brain struggled to keep up with and adapt to the platforms we were using in class.  There just seemed to be SO MUCH INFORMATION and SO MANY THREADS TO READ!  But wait.  Isn’t that the point?   Isn’t that what we’re learning and what we are trying to teach our students, ultimately?  To wade through the Fake News and the misinformation and discover the truth?

My first instinct was to WRITE about what I learned… writing is what I’m good at and most comfortable with.  I even recently edited a book that my best friend wrote.   But I digress.  I need to engage with the content, go outside my comfort zone.  I’m trying new things here… stepping outside my box.  Powtoon  is a fun video tool that is fairly easy to use, even for a dinosaur like me:

So much of what we learned in this class has been incorporated into my classroom practice.  My major project (which I’ll blog about next week!) was focused on incorporating the digital world that teens are so familiar with into the ELA curricular outcomes and finding a way to blend them while teaching students about digital identity, online privacy, and how to be safe online.  Probably the most impactful part of the class was the opportunity to listen to Carol Todd speak about Social Media and the journey she has been on since the death of her daughter, Amanda.  Even before Amanda’s death, Carol Todd and her family were asking for help and questioned how the authorities could do a better job of protecting vulnerable people from exploitation while online.

I had to do a lot of bending to step outside of my comfort zone and embrace the technologies, even when it was scary and overwhelming.  Change is hard…  but to be successful we must change and evolve!


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