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!
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!