On Tuesday we started by talking about how we organize ourselves online and how we connect with other people both online and offline. I sometimes feel that I have more contact with people online than offline, something that I struggle with. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. seem to fill the social void when I don’t take the time for offline relationships. It’s just not the same though. Overtime I have realized that the most important relationships I have developed are those offline.
Echo Chamber. We tend follow people who think like we do. As a result, there is a chance that we may become echo chambers, because we fully believe what other people say (because we agree with them). This can be dangerous. We should always be aware of people’s point of view who may differ from ours and be up for the challenge of entertaining different ideas. “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” -Aristotle. As difficult as it may be sometimes, I learn a lot from some of the people I disagree with the most. I feel that it’s important for us to teach our students to respectfully challenge ideas they don’t agree with, and not to be afraid to change their own perceptions about something.
Piktochart. Why have I not heard of this website before?! This is an infographic design app that requires very little effort to produce beautiful, high quality graphics such as posters and signs. This can be a great tool in our classroom, not just for ourselves but for our students as well. They can be given the opportunity to design their own infographics. (I hated drawing and colouring my own pictures in school!)
Alec Couros. What an incredible person to listen to! I have seen few people as comfortable online as he is. His presentation was very engaging. He spoke quickly. Had great slides. And most of all engaging ideas. One thing he touched on was the concept of ‘Do we need to teach kids stuff they can find on google?’ I struggle with that one. Yes, kids can learn long division on YouTube, but will they? We cannot rely that they will, because every topic in math (and school in general) is based on previous knowledge. Every year it just gets built upon. So if we rely on students to research concepts themselves, and they don’t, what then?
Another interesting thing about Alec was his comfort level of people creating fake accounts with his information (photos, name, etc.) What I took away from that is that we should always be aware that it is going on. It could be happening to us. It could be happening for our students. We have to teach students about it, and what to do when we find out about it. (Albeit, I doubt there are many fake accounts being made with my photos 🙂 ) it’s still something to think about.
I definitely hope to keep in touch with Alec through Twitter and his blog. Great guest speaker!