This semester, I have had many opportunities to re-evaluate my thinking regarding various platforms. I chose to write this post near the end of the semester rather than at the beginning so that I could give myself time to better understand each of these websites and the tools that they can offer.
If you had told me before the start of the semester that I would really enjoy the process of creating my own blog and website, I never would have believed you! Although I enjoy posting some parts of my life on social media, especially while I am traveling and discovering new parts of the world, I am definitely not one to virtually document every single part of my life. This semester, I used WordPress to capture a part of my learning in this Technology Innovation course and in my Music Education course. WordPress is a relatively easy platform to use, although it was a bit frustrating at first, I had fun discovering all of the possibilities for customization, and I like that the learning that I have documented here will not disappear at the end of the semester like the blog posts that we write on CourseSpaces. In writing blog posts, it is also important to keep personal privacy and consent in mind. For example, in any of the blog posts where I have mentioned someone by name, I have first ensured that I have gotten their specific permission to mention them by name on my blog. If I haven’t done that, I would simply refer to them using non-identifying descriptors. I think that a blog like this will be something that I continue to use, especially in my own classroom one day, as it is a great way to share and document learning. This experience has also opened up opportunities to discover various education-related blogs, many of which I have found and organized through the curation site Feedly.
When we began this class at the beginning of the semester, I was surprised to see Twitter on our syllabus. I had used Twitter in 2012 and 2013 to post funny pictures and communicate with my friends a bit, but I hadn’t used it since then, and I had no idea that it could be used as a platform for connecting with and learning from professionals in the education world. I have been keeping up with the #bcedchat, where educators across the province come together every Sunday night at 7PM to discuss various education related topics and questions. I have also found a couple curation tools and websites to be quite beneficial in my Twitter experience. Sometimes tweets and hashtags that I follow can get lost in Twitter’s seemingly endless homepage feed, and so I have been using TweetDeck to better organize and curate my feed. Another option for this is HootSuite.
Trello is a platform that was completely new to me at the beginning of this semester. Trello is a task-management app and website that can be used individually or as a group to keep track of specific tasks pertaining to various projects. On Trello, you can create cards which can be organized onto To-Do, Doing and Done lists on your various Boards. On the cards, images and files can be attached, specific group members can be assigned to a card or tagged, and labels and deadlines can be added. This semester, we had an individual board for our Open Inquiry projects, and a group board for our Tech Inquiry projects. I really like the organizational aspect of this platform, but I have also realized that I have a bit of a tough time switching from my traditional paper and pen To-Do lists. This will be something that I will continue to explore and look into, and perhaps use in my future intermediate or middle school classroom for project-based learning.