What have I learned this past semester (8 weeks)? Plenty.
I hadn’t ever considered creating a classroom blog or page. Well, no I take that back. I had considered it. But never seriously considered it. Why? Because I was afraid of creating a digital space could be considered as infringing on the privacy of my students and I hated the idea of leaving a digital footprint. I would have thought that a classroom page would be considered a thing that parents would freak out over if I ever posted about what students were working on in class, pictures, etc. I guess I’m paranoid. But the way I see it now, having a properly maintained page or blog is a positive thing. It reaches out to the community. It shows parents what we are doing in class and shows how technology can be used in a positive way.
I was also concurrently taking Library Administration this fall and one thing that kept coming up in class was advocacy. As librarians we have to take our futures into our own hands and show how effective and important we are to the students, teachers, and community. Having something like a blog could be a simple and amazing way to show stakeholders what makes our program so vital to the school. It is also a place where students can show their work.
I’m also thankful to have found more technology that I can use in the classroom/library. I had never heard of Voicethread, Screencasts, or half of the digital storytelling tools we examined in this class. I had only ever heard of Photostory – seriously, that’s all. I had heard talk of wikis but never actually saw one. It’s pretty cool now to think that I have the ability to create whole pages were students could collaborate on projects, effectively taking their level of Bloom’s from the most basic recognizing and interpreting up to comparing, hypothesizing, and constructing. In one assignment, their digital literacy could be increased, their imaginations stretched, and their ability to work with others tested and grown. How cool is that?
I’ve also been considering how my lack of digital footprint could be a serious negative. As a future librarian I will have to have a certain level of technology understanding and how can I show that if I don’t have a digital footprint? I’ve since googled myself and found my blog (here) and my Twitter account. I haven’t found much else yet but maybe I need to branch out and try searching my name in Yahoo and other sites. Or maybe I just need to keep up with my accounts that I have started and build myself a technology base that show my proficiency and dedication to digital growth even if one can’t find me through a search. I’ll just have to post a collection of my digital sites and spaces maybe on a professional page such as LinkedIn or maybe actually create my own page like annegageby.com where my footprint can be followed.
Either way, I will be able to show that I am growing, learning, and taking on new technology. And that I understand where our future is headed and am preparing myself for that future.