Wow! What a busy couple of weeks we have had in ECI831.
I just have to say I am SO impressed with my student’s level of engagement and the positive results I have seen as a result of the social media integration in my classroom! Out of all 54 students that have been along this journey, only 4 have not yet handed in a scrapbook which is a HUGE win!
Although we have not concluded this unit yet, we are tying up some loose ends for the sake of the ECI831 timeline.
A few items to note:
- We have not finished reading the novel yet, as I wanted to allow students enough time between chapters to complete the reading response chapter questions.
- I had to adjust Blog #5 as the first prompt was an update on their scrapbook endeavours, but due to time constraints, division assessments, and other subjects to teach, the blog posts took longer than the scrapbooks did; thus, the new Blog #5 post became a reflection about the creation of the hardcopy or digital scrapbooks. You can see the reflections and images of their work (paper copies), or screen shots of their work on social media here
- When I do this assignment again, I will pace out the “culminating” activity (the scrapbooks) and be finished reading the novel with students. The rush and pressure to have examples produced for the class definitely changed our timeline of events.
- Privacy was still a concern for some students, but they felt comfortable posting their screen shots or pictures to their blogs for their peers to see, which also allows for better moderation of comments and criticisms from their peers, all located on one neutral platform.
- One Student really surprised me with the amount and quality of work that he completed. This assignment really excited him and motivated him to accomplish quality work on time!
Discussion of Mental Health, Wellness, and Digital Citizenship:
Throughout the unit, we have been discussing the importance of Digital Citizenship/Stewardship. There have been a few instances of inappropriate conduct online, but by and large, I have been very fortunate to have students that understand the uniqueness of the assignment and have shown the utmost respect for the opportunity provided to them.
Yesterday, we looked at Facebook’s Whistleblower and the call to address mental health & wellness among users. We had a great discussion about government censorship over social media, and in contrast, analyzed who Mark Zuckerberg is and asked whether he should have as much power and influence as he does. Students had some great input and so I gave them a concise writing piece to be critical of social media and its effects on their well-being.
In a Persuasive Paragraph, using concise writing requirements, (250 words +/- 10%), please discuss your standpoint on control and regulations of social media and social media platforms (must use at least two different platforms in your discussion such as TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat etc.)
Some suggestions might be, but are not limited to:
- Corporations have too much control over society (i.e. The Social Dilemma) with no checks and balances
- Governments should/should not dictate and control social media
Be sure to include your findings regarding mental health and wellness in your discussion (such topics as anxiety, depression, bullying etc.)
We also watched a few news clips about Peng Shuai’s disappearance and what government control over the media can look like, again in contrast to the control that a single person and/or corporation can also have over a society or population.
Behind the scenes, my co-teacher and I have been motivated and inspired by Jarche’s image. This has been a driving force in the curation to sharing of students’ blogs and a variety of social media platform presentations.
Going forward with Critical Thought regarding the pedagogy of the assignment:
- As previously stated, the timeline would have to be adjusted to be more authentic to the nature of the assignment
- I would like to create a better means of collecting the students’ @’s from the wide range of social media platforms to help with locating and marking purposes
- The social media integration into the classroom overall was a success, with minor issues regarding what students were using their phones for, or inappropriate conduct within the blog site and their own chosen form of social media expression
- There was great value in this type of assessment and the data/responses are clear that students took away valuable information regarding the (Holocaust) content, digital stewardship, and understanding of mental health and wellness.
Thank you for reading and following along on this journey! My students and I greatly enjoyed this learning opportunity, and I cannot wait to try this process again while being able to change and adapt based on what worked and what did not over the course of our journey!