The above video is a recap of Dean's, Curtis', and my final projects for the class #eci832. They did amazing work. We basically spent our time debriefing about our biggest take aways from the course, in the context of our final projects. It's a great chat, and worth a listen. :)
From all this, we have decided that maybe, just maybe, we'll continue getting together, chatting about education, inspiring ourselves, and interviewing our fellow teachers. Best of all, we plan to continue uploading to YouTube, and we'll also look at uploading as a podcast. We aim to do this maybe once a month... more if we can. What an amazing thing that happened, I would have never thought I'd be in such a position 4 months ago. To be around and conversing with such amazing teachers as Dean and Curtis... well, just another blessing that came out of our #eci832 experience.
In other news, even though I did my wrap up post about 10 days ago (find that article HERE), I thought I'd give one last brief update on my personal journey into social media. So, some screenshots:
It's not much, but I've had more views in the last month than all of 2019. Slowly, I'm moving up! :)
Top video views... I'm not sure if I should cry or be happy, but a video I made in 2016 for a grade 9 math concept is month in and month out my most viewed video on my channel. What did I do so right? Someone who understands how YouTube works, please help!! I don't understand! Strangely, a video for gr 11 precalc that represents the first lesson in unit 1 also made the cut this month? Whaaaaat...
...And on the Twitter front, I continue to use the platform for my own development, with the secondary goal of just reaching out there and chatting with other educators/interesting people out there in the real world!
Well, my class Wakelet from last semester was not on public... and I realized it today! So today I finally made it public (DOH!) and put a tweet out on Twitter. If even one person finds it useful that'll be great.... Here's a link: https://wke.lt/w/s/i3splz
My new initiative, which isn't amazing, but which I have had great feedback from my students from is my "10 Minute Math Review" series on YouTube. Total knock off of Khan Academy (hey man, copy the best!), but more focused, and focused solely on the Manitoba Curriculum. Home grown stuff!
I plan to continue making these as time permits. My current goal is to create 2 of these every 7 days. Check out my latest:
Revival of #MBEdchat?
Last but not least... I'm interesting in reviving #MBEdChat on Twitter. I created a new account... but I'm trying to reach out to however owns the current account, whose last tweet was in 2017. I am cautiously moving forward on this... I hope to see if there is some interest. We are just going to do it eventually, and I believe I am starting to have the support network I need in order to accomplish this.
My Personal Journey...
Well, we got derailed, that's for sure. I didn't have childcare the last 2 weeks, and I pulled my kiddo from daycare as a precaution about 1 week before the government shut them all down.
So, the main thing I wanted to accomplish was to personally really dive into social media... a lot of things fell by the wayside... but that's because the deeper I dove into it (and sorry for the lack of updates), the more I realized that my project was about two personal things for me:
1) Increasing my use of YouTube in my classroom
2) Increasing my use of Twitter for both professional development, but also just to engage with social media, and overcome my resistance to using Twitter, sharing a few times a week, while at the same time not being glued to my phone.
Let us remember the things that I thought I would do but never really did:
The Fallen (sort of):
Aspects of the project that didn't quite work out, or, at the least, did not work out the way I envisioned they would (hence, the fallen!):
1) Investigate TikTok (this flopped, basically, because for math and science, I couldn't find a *good* use of TikTok... I think there is potential for Drama/Theater, in sharing little videos of skits/techniques)
2) Investigate Instagram usage (sort of did this in passing with my interview with Tyler found here).
3) Investigate Wakelet usage in the classroom. I'm putting this one in the graveyard, although I actually DID make great use of Wakelet this semester... I....
So, overall, that was actually not so bad! Things on this list still got completed, just not the way I originally thought I would investigate/use them... so, there it is!
Turns out that YouTube holds great potential in being a repository of educational video lessons, and also as an access point to notes and other activities that enhance learning potential. Kids are telling me that the ability to go back and "see" the lesson again (as horrible as it is) alleviates a lot of anxiety and stress because they can just watch it later at home.
A highly successful teacher shows off how he uses Twitter and Instagram in his classroom.
A Dive Into My Twitter Usage
A couple screen shots really paint a picture to me: Compared to even 3 months ago, I have REALLY started to integrate Twitter into my teaching practice. I use it for PD, I use it to connect to you guys, and I use it to share whatever little tidbits of knowledge I have. I made a quick recap video of my own usage, but the two pics below, for me, show me my metric growth:
The 28 day summary speaks volumes. I almost DOUBLED my followers, had a 50% increase in tweets, a 74% rise in profile views, and a 160% increase in "impressions"... I didn't realize I had grown so much until I went and checked out the analytics page.
I even started even using social media (Twitter/Instagram) for the robotics club I started at the school... for someone who literally barely used Twitter at all 6 months ago, this is a HUGE WIN!! MISSION COMPLETE!!
CLICK HERE TO SEE A QUICK RECAP VIDEO OF MY TWITTER USAGE
A Dive Into My YouTube Usage
Click the picture above to see a recap video of my YouTube usage.
This is where I spent the MAJORITY of my time in this project. I didn't realize how much of a difference a focused effort on my YouTube channel was making until I discovered the analytics section of my channel page. Here is probably the BIGGEST and most heavy hitting metric I could find:
In 2019, my YouTube channel had 1,041 views. For the first 3 months of 2020, my YouTube channel had 2,026 views, almost literally DOUBLE THE VIEWS in ONE QUARTER the amount of time. Sometimes your hard work pays off!
March 2019 was a big month, with 99 hours of content watched, and 1,219 views. Believe it or not, most of this was actually BEFORE schools shut down (I'm actually getting LESS views now that classes are temporarily on hold due to COVID-19.
What else did I accomplish by spending so much of my efforts and time on YouTube? The roughly hour a day I was spending on editing, uploading, and curating all my videos that I was creating led to:
-47 subscribers to 137 in 2 months
-Monthly watch time up 182% @ 99 hours
-I have 3 playlists now: Grade 11 PreCalc, Grade 12 PreCalc, and Grade 10 Computer Science
-I have uploaded my blank notes to the description of each video (which meant having to create all the blank PDFs, uploading to my Google Drive, and then going back and adding it to each video description--boring and time consuming).
-Creation of the "10 minute math" content list... Well, this is coming, I hope to upload some in the coming days!
Students tell me that being able to view the content online is more valuable than they thought it would be, and that it alleviates some stress for them. It also helps them review topics, and allows them to see things they didn't quite get right the first few times. It's not rocket science... and it takes a surprising amount of time to even just make a commitment to film everything, edit it, curate it, and share it, but it's well worth the effort based on the feedback I have received. A few parents even reached out and commented that while it was weird having my voice in their houses at first, they are thankful to have everything online.
That's it's for now!
Extra points to anyone who gets the corny reference to the amazing Green Day's song "when September Ends"... but what I'm saying is... with schools seemingly on hold and everything shifting to online learning for a while, I thought it'd be nice to do a collective #eci832 hurrah hurrah and push to create a shared Wakelet of resources that could help teachers, students, and parents in the aftermath of CODV-19.
SO, as part of my personal dive into social media--using it more often, and effectively--I went and combed through all the resources people had been sharing under the #eci832 hashtag, and tried to categorize them.
I'm sorry if I missed you! I also posted a link so that you could become an editor of the Wakelet, and add your own resources or modifying the headings, create new ones... whatever you think is required!
Want to Contribute? It's not too late!
Just click here if you'd like to become a contributor. You'll be able to add resources, add headings, modify... I trust my #eci832 crew! Let's do this!
So, I present to you, the current Wakelet, "Online Teaching Resources #eci832 Edition" as it stands...
Big thanks to... Mystery People (and Dean!)... and, of course, #eci832
Contribute away, and in the meantime, thank you!
Cheers, everyone, and great job on creating an interesting course dynamic and, as usual, teaching me so much more than I would have ever been able to do all alone!
Ya done good, #eci832!
Before I dive into YouTube and why I think it's the absolute best, an update on what I have been planning and researching for my Major Project this term:
1) YouTube: My continued commitment to posting my course lectures (can't post much else... maybe someday the computer science student projects?) This article covers my goals, how much time I spend during the week doing "YouTube stuff"
2) TikTok (this one is going TERRIBLY haha... there's a link to a test TikTok I made... it got about 300 views in a day, and now it's dead. It's not educational at all): Update --> So my Drama Teacher friend doesn't actually use TikTok (I misunderstood her)--she cited draconian Divisional Policies as the culprit--but she is willing to chat with me about how she used Vine when it was a thing, and I think this is very similar to TikTok, so I AM going to interview her on that and post it.
3) Twitter/Instagram: I've lined up an interview with a colleague of mine who uses Twitter in his English class to great effect. I'll discuss my own usage of it as well, and how I've been developing my own use of it
4) Wakelet: How I've begun using it for presentations, and getting students to use it to summarize their own learning.
Remember... my personal journey is not to develop resources for others (well, my YouTube really is for my students who like to review their notes)... and I guess the Wakelets might be for public consumption... I'm just trying to chip away at the iceberg of things that I wish I was, which is why this project is such a great thing for me to develop personally... I feel like I have so far to go and I've been at it for so long already....
To learn, students need to DO SOMETHING.
World Class Lectures For FREE
I mean, come on, where else would you be able to get world class lectures without actually attending the university or lecture in person? That's right, on YouTube :)
YouTube is a strange place where you can learn anything. I keep saying it's the best thing since sliced bread. For a motivated learner, I really do believe you can find almost anything you want to learn for free on YouTube. Draw back? Quality isn't always great, but for a lot of mainstream subjects, it's amazing given that it's also FREE. A smattering of amazing educational channels follows for your own use:
TERMS OF SERVICE OVERVIEW
Yeah, it's bleak. But that seems to be the case for just about anything useful on the internet. You want great services for free? Well, prepare for sketchy internet practices. I'm actually a big fan of things like Wikipedia (which have been shown to be better or just as good as the "name brand" guys), and if we have to pay for it, I think that is fair. I think it should be free to those who cannot afford it. As far as YouTube goes, it gets a D from Terms of Service--Didn't Read. So, for student use, you'll have to check with your divisional policies. For example, in my division, YouTube is blocked for students (crazy, it should be open!), but with special permission, I was allowed to get students to post to YouTube and use it in my classroom.
How I Have Been Using YouTube
Two major ways:
1) To post my own lectures. My goal this semester continues to be (a holdover from #eci831) to upload every lesson. This means I am now doing this for 3 courses: Grade 10 computer science, Grade 11 Calculus, and Grade 12 Calculus. It doesn't sound like much, but this takes me about 20-30 minutes five times a week... this time involves editing videos, creating them, and uploading them. It takes a surprisingly long time... but I am happy to say that compared to how I felt about it last year, it is actually starting to become a HABIT to do this stuff... small victory! That was my major roadblock before!
-The lessons are typically around the 35 minute mark. That's long! I'd like to develop quick 5 minute topic overviews... like "how to _______" videos for those who need quick refreshers. I'd start this with math videos.
-In January I had 57 subscribers. Now I have 101. I'd like to have 150 by the end of April!
-Continue uploading videos until I have every course covered.
-Post links to my blank notes in the description of each video so people can download them. This involves uploading the PDFs (which I have to create!) to my Dropbox.
2) I use YouTube as a way for students to show their learning. This is self explanatory. Idid this last semester with my Grade 11/12 computer science class and it was great! I hope to continue doing this!
Goals are hard!!
The last thing I'd leave you with is a video I've posted before (in eci831 I think)... it's one of my favourite videos. It's from Derek Muller, who I think is a bit of an inspirational figure for me anyways... I enjoy his YouTube channel... he has spent a bit of time working for Bill Nye, and did his PhD thesis in physics education.
It doesn't matter what happens around the learner... we are not limited by what experiences we can give to students... no technology is inheritably superior to any other... researchers spent so much time researching whether one technology was more effective than another, that they failed to investigate exactly how to use the technology to promote meaningful thought processes. So the question really is, what kind of experiences promote the kind of thinking that is required for learning?
Alright, well, that's it for an update. I've been spending a lot of my energy on YouTube... and I've been doing a lot of research for Twitter, and for TikTok. Hopefully I'll have those interviews done in the next week or two (my Robotics Club has been keeping me mad busy though!!)
Stay curious friends,
The Essential Elements!
We examined Ribble's Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship this week in #eci832. I've been reflecting how this relates to my social media journey project. I'll be looking at TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, and maybe Wakelet as I journey into the wilderness of social media and education. TikTok is the first one I am tackling. Progress has been slow. This is a bit related to being a content-catalyst for next week's ECI832 Lesson! It's hard, yet inspiring, to try to keep up with the Hollywood videos created by the amazing group last week: shout out to Catherine, Nataly, Amanda, and Melinda.
I'm especially interested in TikTok... so while I believe all these points apply to the other social media platforms I'm examining, I'm especially turning my attention to TikTok. Here they are....
Element 3. Digital Communication and Collaboration: "the electronic exchange of information".
Well, TikTok allows people to exchange videos, which could have any sort of content or purpose. The most popular "purpose" I've seen in my "studies" on TikTok is that of entertainment, meme generation/spreading, and self-promotion.
Element 4. Digital Etiquette: "standards of conduct or procedures and has to do with the process of thinking about others when using digital devices".
There is great potential to discuss the appropriate use of Etiquette when utilizing TikTok, as you are presenting yourself to the world when you post a video.
Element 5. Digital Fluency: "the process of understanding technology and its use. Includes the ability to discern good information from poor, such as “fake news” from real news."
Lots of information is shared on TikTok, from memes, to reactions to current events, and news. Discerning what is valuable from what is not is certainly a part of this platform. Choosing it for entertainment or information is another.
Element 6. Digital Health and Welfare: "physical and psychological well-being in a digital world. Educators need to ask the question of how much screen time is appropriate for students."
My biggest downfall is opening the TikTok app. I've started setting a timer for 10 minutes, because time flows differently when you open the TikTok app. It's easy to drain an hour watching video after video. This is not OK. Definitely a discussion for students around appropriate use and screen time limits.
Progress on TikTok
I've recently identified from some discussions with students ways that they think TikTok might be useful in education. We all agreed that perhaps for Drama/theater, TikTok might actually be useful for motivating students, and giving them a global audience for their performances. See the video below that I filmed today while I was having some candid conversations with some of my grade 11/12 computer science class about TikTok and how they use it.
Well, you heard it here first! Some kiddos use it as their news source (which scares me frankly). It was in another unrecorded conversation where one student suggested it'd be great for Drama/Theater. So I went to the drama teacher, and low and behold, she said that coincidentally, her grade 12 class was just talking about TikTok today! Imagine that! The butterfly effect? Who knows!
So, my colleague and I, we decided that she would try to use some TikTok in her classroom, and let me know how it goes. I'll do a quick interview with her, and post it as part of my examination of TikTok, whenever it is complete! I am excited to share the results with you!
Do any of you foresee any useful educational uses of TikTok? I really can't find much on the web that actually seems reasonable/useful, at least at the high school level. Drama/theater was a new idea for me!
Till next time,
“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.”
And so, before I've even finished my Wakelet project from #eci831, (and yes, thanks for asking, this is actually the week where it all comes together--my class is working so hard--so I hope to have it complete by next weekend!) I'm embarking on another journey, YAY! I hope there is good candy and snacks along the way.
I started with a review of what my more prepared peers have already posted. Brad, for example, is doing a social media awareness campaign, which already puts his project on way higher ground than mine! Or Melinda, who is also doing an app I plan to cover, and others that I have never even heard of! Nancy is actually looking at seniors and their use of social media, and is going to develop a resource around that and digital citizenship. Others, like Daniel, are just looking forward to another great adventure learning from everyone in the class, and from our great professor, Alec Couros. I do feel blessed to be amongst so many great and talented educators.
THE DRAINING POWERS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
I began my personal journey with a quick reflection of my own interactions with social media. Just a few days ago, I opened the TikTok app, and marveled at how I literally drained 35 minutes of my life. Granted, this behavior is one I struggle with--I was procrastinating this post, among other things. I could have gone for a nice run in 35 minutes, I could have cleared my mind, found some peace--but TikTok is addicting. There are Memes about it.
I did a lot of reading. I even bloody Googled about it, and found that there is a movement of Silicon tech people--from Bill Gates to Steve Jobs--who limit their own kids use of social media and technology. Head scratching, but enlightening?
“Those devices in our pockets, are so psychologically powerful, that they don't only change what we do, they change who we are.”
Potter's book on Media Literacy talks about "automatic processing, information problems, media exposure, programming, automatic routines, gluts of information that aggressively pursue us" and other things. What is this social media beast?
And if we discover that the new medium brings along effects that might be detrimental to our society or culture, we have the opportunity to influence the development and evolution of the new innovation before the effects becomes pervasive.
SO WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ME?
The hardest hitting quote from Mark Federman for me was the above. It is up to us to decide the value of something, and whether or not we are going to interact with it. Students can't help but be affected by their teachers, they spend so much time with us. That is why we have such a sacred job. So if something is detrimental, perhaps we can get ahead of it before much damage is done.
Many social media platforms favor brevity over many other things. TikTok is a short 60 second or less video, with the default video being 15 seconds. Twitter is 280 characters. Do we lose anything when this is the case? Does it matter? I don't know, I just teach math and computer science.
But I can think about it. And that's what I hope to do on my personal journey.
So, in light all all this, my plan is to review a few social media platforms/apps, and see what their utility might be in the classroom, but I also plan to look at their utility for us in general in our lives. If I am going to use them with students, I would hope that they have the potential to be good for their development and growth long term.
I plan to examine the educational uses, life uses, drawbacks, and controversies around....
-Wakelet (well, I'm already doing a bunch of stuff with this already, so probably time for a nice review of it? I also happen to think it's the best thing since sliced bread!)
-TikTok (can it be useful in the classroom? Or is it just something everyone looks at? I've just recently started using this app)
-Twitter (this one seems obvious to review, both for educational purposes and just general life purposes)
-YouTube (and it's potential both in and out of the class)
-Something else (yes, mystery! This is a maybe, as time permits ... it will all become clear!)
Alrighty. I'd like to leave off with one last article... I found it interesting, and I do believe the picture actually got shared in our last class...
I found a good thought piece about it, so I'll leave you with a quote for thought. Thanks for sticking with it...
But the most important difference is what happens after the newspaper was done: people talked to each other about what they’d just read. They could engage in a civic discourse about the news of the day, because they were all reading the same basic material.
My name is Matteo Di Muro, the original Prairie Boy, and I've been teaching since I was 14. I currently teach mathematics and computer science in Brandon. I try to keep on learning things, and I'm getting onboard with sharing with others, hence this site!