Social Media Reflection

My last journal entry was to reflect on the role of social media use in education, here were my thoughts:


As technology is becoming more prevalent in todays society, we must stay current and on trend in education. There are so many ways to communicate and interact with students that provides a more diversified and engaging platform for instruction. Although there are many tools to use, they may not be right for everyone. It is our job as instructors to choose what works best in the delivery and get the end result we were hoping for. The future is technology driven and we need to stay current and educated ourselves as instructors and mentors.


When I signed up for this course I was a little reluctant as I am not very tech savvy. I was also overwhelmed when I looked at our assignments and didn’t know really where to start. This experience was a HUGE learning curve for me. Surprisingly, once I got started on my blog, I really enjoyed the process. It was a task that could show my personality. I could design the look and feel, content and which direction I wanted to go. The group wiki was a slow start, as the topic is wide and endless. Once we decided on a specific topic, we were on our way.


PIDP 3240 exposed us to all sorts of social media platforms-whether we wanted to or not. I think it was a good thing. To see how Twitter works, sign up to Facebook, create blogs, links, wikis, research scholarly articles, and Web 2.0 tools. All the research done for these class projects has exposed us to many interesting facts and rules about copyright. There are strict guidelines  as to what is appropriate to use for educators and the classroom (and it goes far beyond the basic textbook).


I have learned so much about trends and technology by doing the blog that I will definitely use some of the tools in my future teaching career. I can appreciate the task of creating a blog and use it in the instruction of Dentistry. Whether it is on oral hygiene methods, future of dentistry or creating a wiki on different specialties such as pediatric (kids), surgical (implants, gum surgery, trauma), geriatric, endodontic (root canals) or dental products. The project would be fun, creative, informative and student-led. This gives the student a sense of ownership and pride in their work and the end result is a good product!!

Encouraging the use of social media in the classroom in a positive way, engages the students and makes the whole learning curve interesting for everyone. By setting boundaries on the use of these tools/devices, we gain more control over the content and the classroom. We as educators are always learning and will continue to learn in this fast-paced digital world, the key is to try and be one step ahead of the students!



Most Used Mobile Apps in Education

With the iPhone and other smart phones having such a presence in society today, it is no wonder that there are popular apps for education. Technology has become more portable with bigger versions such as the tablets, iPad and now the ipad Mini, that education can de done just about anywhere and any time. Here is a list of apps I came across that were the most used, according to  I created a word cloud with the apps.

Word Cloud created by me using Worditout-word-cloud.

References :

Education Technology Predictions to 2040

It wouldn’t be right to end off my blog if I didn’t post another infographic  (as you can tell, I like them!!) This one sums up the present and future trends and technology in the classroom. I wonder if the classroom will really be completely digital in 2020 and with retinal recognition to log on in 2030..who knows what the future holds in this ever changing world we live in?

Twitter in Education


After watching the video on the growing use of twitter in education, I was pleasantly surprised that the pros and cons were discussed.Kelly Walsh (an information tech) spoke about his blog on Emerging EdTech. He said that his most popular post was in regards to “100 ways to teach with twitter”. Kelly speaks about twitter having 100 million users and that over 300,000 users sigh up each day. He goes on to say that educators using twitter are on the rise (up 5% from the previous year, but this was done in 2010 so I’m curious to see what the numbers would be today).

The educators use twitter to allow the students to interact / collaborate with their classmates as well as provide the students with news in regards to class assignments, reminders and class changes. Kelly shared various quotes from teachers both good and bad regarding twitter use in the “classroom”. He had it categorized as “how and why faculty use twitter”, concerns that twitter “creates poor writing skills” and provides minimal “educational value”, and follows it up with “assorted observations about twitter”.


I was pleasantly surprised when I watched this video as it provided all aspects good and bad. It wasn’t someone promoting twitter and disregarding all the other issues with it.  I personally feel that twitter is a weak source of communication although Kelly calls it a micro-blogging. If you can only write 140 characters per tweet, I’m not sure how much information you are getting out there unless the grammar and spelling are incorrect (like in texting) and it seems that you would be tweeting an awful lot to get your ideas or thoughts out there. I also agree that students will become more engaged because we are using technology and it is fun, but a comment from am instructor was that the students become more shy and are unable to have the social skills or confidence for a class presentation in person.


I do agree that twitter is a quick and concise way of communicating, but I don’t think it is for everyone nor do I feel it belongs in a classroom. I see it more as a distraction than an educational aid. It would be interesting if the schools had a protocol on what is to be tweeted (i.e. assignments, dates of exams, pro-d days etc). If there was a real purpose for this tool, I might be more inclined to use it -but currently I don’t see the real value in this tool unless you are a marketing firm or IT person.


The only reason I have a twitter account is because of this course. When I signed up, I really had no idea  of what to write but the twitter guide prompted “What are you doing”? Maybe my life isn’t as exciting as a movie star or rock star but I really think “who cares what I’m doing-except me!!” I think of me reading my tweets and it seems boring. I wasn’t sure if twitter was used much in Dentistry as my bosses do no use it. To my surprise I found that the average age of a tweeter s 31-and that was my answer as to why my bosses don’t use it (they are in their fifties-but look great :)). I then saw that some of the recent dental grads were on twitter and that dental marketing companies used it as well. One twitter account that I thought was well done was the Canadian Dental Association. They tweeted every couple of days (if not every) and it was in regards to Oral Health issues, local dental schools, and upcoming dental conferences. It served a purpose and was quite informative. I am happy to have been exposed to twitter, but I don’t feel it would benefit me as an educator or my future students.


Walsh, K. (2010).The Growing use of Twitter by todays educators. [Video]. Retrieved on November 5, 2012, from

Web 2.0 Tools 4 Teachers

There are over a hundred Web 2.o tools available for teachers to use in their classroom. Whether it is in the conventional classroom, virtual world or online learning-there is something for everyone. Here is a collage I created with the use of wordle. This is one tool I was introduced to in this course and I absolutely love it!! By creating your own image with text and colour, it can pretty much eliminate any copyright issues(which is always a good thing :).)

Correction: should be Edmodo not Edumodo-Sorry!!

References :

Must Have EdTech Cheat Sheet

As I was searching for information on my previous entry (“free” textbooks online), I came across this glossary of terms used in our electronic educational system today. In this article, there was also a link to  Boundless (An American free e-text website). They were the creators of this awesome tool. I felt it useful and thought I would share it with you all.



Nothing is Ever “Free”

There was an announcement made on October 16, 2012 that some of the textbooks would be available for “free” for post-secondary courses in the 2013-2014 school year in British Columbia. Some of the texts available would be for courses in the arts, sciences, humanitarian studies and business schools. This will benefit up to 200,000  students with a huge savings in text books. The average student spends $900-$1500 per school year on textbooks alone. This cost will be reduced to at the very most, $300 (for printed) or free for the electronic copies. Although this does not benefit all the students as it is selected for the “most popular” courses, it will also cost taxpayers $600,000 to $1 million each year!!


B.C. to lead Canada in offering students free, open textbooks. (2012). In Retrieved November 1, 2012. From

B.C. to offer free textbooks online. (2012). In Retrieved November 5, 2012. From

Building on the Social Layer

For this second journal entry, we were asked to watch a video (link below) and then reflect on it. Here are my thoughts:



Seth Priebatsch is a twenty-one year drop out from Princeton University who is the creator of SCVNGR, a social gaming site. He talks about how the last ten years of media use have created the social layer by using Facebook for people to connect with one another. He feels the “construction is over” but there is still lots to explore. He says the next phase we are entering is the game level whereby social media is used to influence people’s behaviour. The tools will influence how the game layer is used and what we ultimately do with it.

During the presentation, he says there are four dynamics needed to build this game layer. As Seth describes each dynamic he tells you how it is used in a game situation and how it is used for good in a real life situation. The first dynamic is the appointment dynamic. In order to be successful in this layer one must return at a certain time in order to get a specific action. The example he used here was “happy hour,” where a patron comes back at a certain time in order to receive a price break on food and drink. His real life situation was the use of glow caps as a reminder for patients to take their medication on time. The second dynamic is influence and status. This is the ability of one person to change the behaviour of another person through social pressure. The examples used here were the use of credit cards ( i.e., a black card hold more status than a gold card) and school (higher grades reflect smarter people). The third dynamic is the progression dynamic, where success is measured and displayed through a process of completing certain tasks. The example used was the progress bar in Linked In, to show the user how close they are to completing the initial sign up process. The fourth dynamic he discussed was the communal discovery. This is where the the whole community comes together to solve a challenge, but the game becomes more controlling than the end goal. His example here was the McDonald’s monopoly game where everyone becomes obsessed looking for the Boardwalk.


After watching the video, I sort of had an ah-ha moment. I never really gave it much thought about the outcomes of these social “games.” When he talked about levelling up, I instantly thought of the game Skylanders. My son plays it and the challenge is about collecting enough coins to have the character level up with additional strengths and powers. It provides him with a need to succeed and is super excited when he gets there. The downfall with media games is that they provide too much brain stimulation and I find it hard sometimes to unwind from it. There have been some deaths in the last couple of years due to video game misuse (Diablo, 2012). The obsession of getting the prize or end result seems to be more important than the real life they live in. For example, there was a family in South Korea who got hooked on raising a baby in a virtual world that they left their own child as they went to internet cafes and the child eventually died from starvation(Tran, 2010). I see the effects it has on people and personally, I don’t like it.


I agree that going forward we are leaning towards a more electronic future-but is it for good? As stated above, I see more issues with controlling people and having them become more introverted. By this I mean that people become less social face to face. How will people react or deal with real life situations in person? A computer lets you hide behind it-faceless or fantasy-like. After the initial viewing of the video, I looked into a better understanding of this game layer. What I did find was another video on Tedx by someone called Jane McGonigal, a game designer and Berkley graduate. Her presentation was more about the qualities gamers possess (they are inspired to collaborate, stick with a problem, get up after failing and they try again). She also goes on to say that gamers like goals and if directed, the outcomes could be great and world changing. Having said all that, I’m not so clear on how she is going to make that happen.


I have thought about the use of a game layer in dentistry, but to my knowledge (and internet search), none exists. I could say that the progression dynamic exits in dentistry when children are asked to brush their teeth daily and then they get a sticker on the calendar and then a reward at the end of the month-but even that is a stretch. I don’t like the manipulation of people. All I say to our patients is “floss the teeth you want to keep.” It’s the truth. If you don’t floss, you’ll lose your teeth due to periodontal issues and decay. It is that simple and it is their choice. I think that is what people like-to be validated, motivated, heard and respected. We are all unique in our own ways. If we are controlled, we will all be the same living in different spaces of the world. To me that sounds like we are robots, not humans. This whole thought provoking process will make me think twice next time I fill out something online and look at the progress bar. For every action is a reaction-it is our choice what we do with it.


Diablo 3 Death: Teen dies after playing game for 40 hours straight. (2012). In The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 20, 2012, from

McGonigal, J. (2010). Gaming can make a better world. [Video]. Retrieved on October 17, 2012, from

Priebatsch, S. (2010). The game layer on top of the the world. [Video]. Retrieved on October 12, 2012,

Tran, M. (2010). Girl starved to death while parents raised virtual child in online game. In The Guardian. Retrieved October, 20, 2012, from