1. Blogging and 2. Commenting: I felt that these should be separate yet connected topics. Not only did I expand my learning throughout the semester by taking the time to post about various things happening in my school and social life, but I realized the power of commenting! It is extremely motivational to receive comments on your blog posts. There were a few periods where I did not receive any comments and wondered why I was posting at all, but there were other times when I did receive a few comments and that inspired me to write even more. I tried my best throughout the semester to comment on every blog post that I could. You can see this in my mentorship where I commented on over 250 blog posts, but I also tried to comment on my classmates' blogs to give them the motivation that they give me through their comments. I wish I had kept track of all the learning I've done through commenting, but here are a few:
- Teaching Dionne how to align images in blog posts
- Collaborating via comments to create a poem/rap song
- Learning about political and mental issues by reading comments
- Learning how to embed YouTube videos
- How to prevent computers from getting viruses
- Feedback for other class projects
- Learning about the U-Pass
- Passing on cool stuff learned from other's blogs
3. Delicious is another form of social learning that I maximized during this class. I had a delicious account before ECMP355 started, but our lesson in Elluminate taught me about the importance of tagging, adding friends, and using RSS feeds in delicious to gather reliable URLs on any tag. I was able to pass on my knowledge of delicious through a Skype session with my mentorship, and talking to my friends about it.
4. Elluminate/Instant Messaging. Elluminate was a great tool to host our weekly online class. Yes, it had it's occasional faults in chipmunking sound and 'kicking people out', but overall each online class was very smooth. I am also glad that Dean recommended purchasing a microphone, as I have used it more than I ever thought I would through Elluminate, Skype, and podcasting. Nicole and I also spent a few minutes after class a couple weeks ago chatting and talking through the microphone about how to change the Look and Feel of her final project wikispace:
5. Google Reader. What an immense tool. There is no way that I would be able to keep up with all my classmates' blogs, teacher blogs, and mentorship blogs without my lurvely Google Reader. Subscribing to RSS feeds is super-easy and saves hours and hours of searching through blogs and websites. THANK YOU Dean, for introducing us to this tool. Other tools, such as spreadsheets and documents are things that I would like to explore more indepth in the future - I just chose to focus on other topics this semester.
6. Email might seem too obvious, but it is definitely a prominent form of social learning. Whenever an Elluminate link didn't work, what saved us? Email. Sure, a few people got the link from Twitter or Skype, but the majority of us went to our email accounts first. I also exchanged a couple emails with Dionne(? I think!) about using wikispaces.
7. Face to Face. Several Thursdays as we sat waiting for KHS to start, several of us ECMP355ers would talk about the Elluminate session we had attended the previous night. Some days the discussions were "That's so cool! I'm so going to use that in my classroom!", some days it was "I fell asleep and don't want to listen to the recording. What happened?", others consisted of ":S!!?!?! Help!" and me calming re-explaining some concepts to panicked faces. Other dicussions weren't directly related to Elluminate sessions, such as the convo I had with Marcy about saving her podcast:
8. Skype is also a new tool that I hadn't even heard about until this class. An online phone call seems pretty basic, but wait. You can call anywhere in the world, FREE? Whoa. As if that wasn't enough, there is an instant messaging feature, webcam options, and a program called Pamela that records Skype calls!
9. Twitter. Calm down Dionne, I mentioned it ;) The main reason I use Twitter is for resources. I twittered asking about ways to incorporate technology in a music classroom for my final project, and almost all of my ideas came from help on Twitter. Instead of writing a lengthy paragraph, I'll just direct you to Dionne's lengthy blog posts about other benefits of Twitter here, here, here, here and here!
I think that overall, I did a ton of teaching and learning in this class. I catch on to this technology deal pretty easily, but my learning was really maximized when I could teach others to use the tools or read neat things that other people discovered about tools that I did not.