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!