As my time in ECMP 455 comes to a close, I am now tasked to look back on the past three months and review what I had accomplished in this class in a variety of areas. One of the major areas in this class was named Networked Professional Learning. Looking back on the semester, I feel that this was one of my strongest areas. The goal of this section was to create personal learning networks and engage in the online community. In many ways, I feel that I successfully completed this assignment.
Throughout the duration of this class, Twitter was definitely my most useful tool. Using Twitter not only allowed me to connect with my classmates, but also with many blogs. Blogs such as edutopia and Huffington Post Education allowed me to find articles which we very thought provoking. Since this class was a focus on technology, I also followed tech blogs like Gizmodo, Engadget, and CNET to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in technology and consider how they may be used in my classroom. If I came across an article that I found interesting and worth sharing, I would tweet it out on my own account and hope that my classmates would read and share it, as well. This would often lead to engaging conversation between myself and classmates. By using hashtags such as #edchat, #techchat, and many others, I was able to connect with a large community to have some of my questions answered. There were many times when I was working on assignments for other classes and would have a question that I needed answered. Asking a question on Twitter with #edchat was a great way to collect a variety of opinions on whatever my question was. This was something I had never explored previously.
Interacting with my classmates was primarily done through blog commenting. On a regular basis, I would go to the ECMP 455 Class Blog Aggregate Site and read my classmates’ posts. This was a great way for me to consider different perspectives on a variety of topics that my colleagues felt like sharing. On a vast majority of the blog posts that I would read, I would also leave a comment to let the blogger know what I thought of their work. I felt that this was a great way to show appreciation for the hard work they put into their post.
My blog was a great way for me to share my thoughts and opinions with my classmates and the world. With the rough guideline of “1-2 blog posts a week,” I would ensure to meet this goal and occasionally exceed it. I believe that I found a healthy balanced between class-centered content and personal musings. I would often try to make a blog post about something of personal interest to me, such as my movie review of Her or my conversation with my basketball team about the dangers of selfies and head lice. One goal that I tried to accomplish was to acknowledge all comments being made on my blog posts. Whenever one of my classmates took the time to comment on my blog, I would attempt to respond to the post as a thank-you for taking the time to read my writing and as a way to potentially further the conversation.
Finally, I used my blog as a way to share what I have learned in terms of new technologies. One of my best posts about this was when I broke down my impressions of Evernote and If This, Then That. In hindsight, if I were to take this class again, I would have taken more time to explore new technologies that I am not familiar with. I feel that this would not only benefit me by expanding my repertoire of applications and programs, but I could also help share these with others.
Overall, I believe that when it comes to networking in the class, I did a pretty great job. I genuinely enjoyed blogging and was always excited to share my thoughts and opinions with others through my own work and comments!