Over the course of the semester, there were a number of online, course environments that we participated in and contributed to. To be completely honest, I was extremely overwhelmed with the expectations of contributing to others’ learning on top of all of the expectations there were for personal contributions, but found the more involved I became, the more overlap there was, and the easier it all became. As Mike would say “it’s all about the reps.”
Breakdown of Networked Learning Contributions
Through my experiences, I found one of the most difficult environments to engage in/on was the EDTC student blogs. It wasn’t that I was not interested and engaged in the work we were all producing, it was that there were sooooo many blogs and posts to keep up with. Because of this, I chose a few blogs to start with at the beginning of the semester, and followed their progress throughout the semester. One of the reasons for this, was that I found I was able to better interact with posts, and provide more descriptive feedback, having tracked their progress from the beginning. For example, because Megan was learning French (and I know French), I was able to see her first few blog posts about her learning, offer suggestions (on her blog and on Twitter), and even lend her a movie to watch! — where I don’t think there would be as much depth to my contributions if I followed and commented on 28 other blogs.
Each week we met with our class on this platform called Zoom. This was another platform I had never heard of, but came to enjoy the brief meetings we had here. Because our time was fairly restricted on this platform, there was not a lot of opportunity for sharing, but I know I shared, questioned and commented, as often as I could.
Twitter is one of the online environments that I actually really enjoyed using. Before starting this class, I had made a conscious effort to never join Twitter, kind of like I made a conscious effort to never work at a fast food restaurant.
I quickly learned that there is a whole new world out there in the Twitterverse, and found it to be an extremely valuable tool in building my PLN (Personal and Professional Learning Network). It is not only good for connecting with classmates, but people all over the world.
I had a ‘fan girl’ moment when Mr. D. followed me on Twitter, and it was at that point I realized how connected the web can really be! It’s not always about the resources or links you provide, but how you interact with your audience, how you engage with your PLN, the support you give and are open to receiving, and what kind of identity you are presenting online.
One of our class learning environments was called Google+ — I had never heard of this before the class, but really enjoyed the role it had in our class. This platform was a little more private in regard to the content and type of interactions we shared so I found it a particularly useful resource. I think I took full advantage of this learning platform, as I could ask questions, ask for advice, or ask for help, and typically, someone from the class would reply within a couple of hours.
There were many times that I would read the questions others had posed, but didn’t think I had any useful insights to add, so I piped in when I could!
There were a few times when I came across resources I’d found on other social media platforms, so shared those as well; hopefully helping some of my classmates along the way!
I started this document at the beginning of the semester, and slowly added to it over time. Even the way I’ve saved my work, shows the progress I’ve made in EdTech. The first few records are literally just screenshots of interactions (sometimes only a small paragraph is relevant, not the whole page!), and as the semester progressed, I took full advantage of the snipping tool to record my interactions and contributions. I think the document below, accurately depicts the contributions I’ve made to the learning environments in this class, as I’ve included interactions from Google+, Twitter, and the student blogs — sometimes providing resources, sometimes providing support, and sometimes asking questions!