As my final learning project I used MovieMaker to create a song and video parody of We Didn’t Start the Fire, entitled We Know ‘Bout Social Media. I also added a sketch-up at the end to get more in-depth about the learning that had the greatest impact on me.
Here are some links where you can also read the lyrics and see the Image Credits. I apologize in advance for the quality of the audio recording and the vocals!! (Especially the chorus – it’s not an easy song! Also, I haven’t had much time to work on my singing career as I’ve been too busy teaching!)
For fun check out this 1990-2012 version of We Didn’t Start the Fire by Jaiethemusicman.
Creating this song and video was definitely a fun experience. This is absolutely something I think students could have fun with! I realize it does not get into much depth about what we learned. So I will go into more detail in this blog entry as well as the sketch-up. I will write about the concepts and ideas that had the most impact on me personally and professionally. I will also explain my most important “take-aways” from this class as a teacher, a parent and an individual.
The sketch-up was also an interesting experience. It is the first time I had done one of these. These are also great ways for students to document their learning.
Which concepts had the most impact on me?
First of all, Michael Wesch‘s ideas about students being Knowledge-Able was really important. It seems like common sense to me that we should always be making learning relevant. And that we should see students as active participants in their learning, not just as vessels to fill full of knowlege. We need to be teaching students to follow their interests as well as where and how to find information.
Another article that I found really useful was John Seely-Brown and Richard Adler’s Minds on Fire. They also talk about the importance of students being active participants in their learning. Obviously this is an important concept of this class and education in general. The Circle of Knowledge (Create-Use-Remix) is a very useful idea that educators can use as they plan for student learning.
Howard Rheingold’s Attention and Other 21st Century Social Media Literacies was another memorable read for me, and provides further direction for teacher planning. The literacies of Attention, Participation, Collaboration, Network Awareness and Critical Consumption (“crap detection”) are all critical elements of what students need to know and be able to do now. And again, these literacies intertwine perfectly with Seely-Brown&Adler and Wesch’s research.
George Siemens article on Connectivism also had a huge impact on me. His ideas about small world, weak ties are interesting. The idea that connections to strangers anywhere in the world might have a greater impact on certain aspects of our lives than our family and closest friends makes sense to me and is, I think, important when we think about our passions and what we want to achieve in life. Also, Siemens ideas about making sense of chaos are significant because that is honestly what we are doing in schools, and let’s face it, in life, all the time. I believe this is a critical skill that we need to be consciously working on every day; for ourselves and along with our students and our children.
Rhizomatic Learning (the idea that learning should be allowed to evolve organically) also relates to these ideas. As teachers we need to let go of some of the control, guide our students, but allow the learning to happen as naturally as possible. In my experiences, I have always been pleasantly surprised at what my students can do when I take this approach. And they are happier and much more excited about learning as a result!
Clive Thomson’s Why Even The Worst Bloggers are Making us Smarter: How Successful Networks Nurture Good Ideas was another critical piece for me. The idea that when we have an audience we think more deeply about a topic and are forced to refine our thinking is a really important one. As educators, this means we need to help our students find an audience. I also find The Theory of Multiples fascinating. The idea that many people might make the same discovery or invention at the same time simply because technology and knowledge are ready for it AND that these people may benefit from interacting with one another is truly important for development and innovation in our world. Open source learning and connections are vital.
Laurence Lessig‘s work and the development of the Creative Commons is some of the most important work of our era, in my opinion. The story of Aaron Swartz had a real impact on me. Without people like Aaron and Lawrence who are willing to take risks and challenge the status quo we won’t move forward as a society or world-wide.
Of course the ideas of Net neutrality, equality for all, online activism and safety have all been important topics in class as well. I have learned so much about these topics and as a result I can make more informed decisions and contribute to the conversation about these topics. I still have much to learn, but at least I have a stronger foundation now.
Also I have really enjoyed the John Oliver videos! I love how he can take an important topic or point, make sense of it and make it humorous at the same time. I will keep watching John!
I’m sure that I have missed some important ideas, as there was so much we have learned. Please add your most important learning in the comments below.
So what are my most important personal and professional “take-aways” from this class?
As a learning resource teacher my ability to directly apply my learning to the classroom is somewhat limited. However, I will do what I can within my role and as a colleague to encourage fellow teachers. As an educator, an individual and as a parent there are many ways this class has affected me.
Through the course of this class I have gained skills and knowledge about blogging. I really wasn’t sure what to expect. But I have found blogging has given me a new outlet where I can voice my opinions and concerns and connect with others who have similar interests and concerns as me. I have developed greater confidence in sharing my opinions both online and in person. I will continue to blog and will encourage other teachers to use blogging with their students. Of course, if I go back to teaching in a classroom I will definitely be blogging with my students.
I have also gained a greater knowledge of how to use twitter and voice my opinions in tweet-ups. I had been using twitter for about 4 years prior. But my understanding of the potential uses of twitter has definitely increased as a result of this class.
As a parent, I have learned even more about why it is important to be aware of what my children are doing online. I have a responsibility to keep communication open with them and to guide them as intelligent, positive digital citizens; to keep them safe and to help them use technology and social media in beneficial ways as they grow into adults.
The ideas about teaching and learning have really confirmed and furthered my prior beliefs. I have a larger repertoire of ideas about planning for active student learning and using technology in the classroom. I also have added to my knowledge of teaching about social justice and activism, and allowing for students to follow their interests and passions.
Since the day I began teaching I have felt that we need to revolutionize education. That belief has been reconfirmed for me time and time again. The more I read and learn about the research, the more eager I am to see educational change. It is way too slow for me. I find it very frustrating. I can only do so much as one person. So I am glad to have connected with so many educators and other professionals who see the need for an educational revolution as well as overall societal change. It helps us all to keep going, moving forward, taking small steps (or big steps) as we are able. We need to stick together, continue to communicate and connect. We can do so much more together.
Thanks to everyone for a fantastic learning experience!