EC&I 832, Major Project

Am I the last one?

Hello everyone.  My name is Regan and I am in my fifth Masters class in Curriculum and Instruction, so only about half way.  I have decided that I am going to switch to the thesis route, so this will be my last class before I begin that work…I can’t decide if that makes me a bit crazy or not!  This is my first online class, but I am not feeling that uncomfortable (so far) with the technology aspects of the course.  That may be “famous last words” as I get into some of these projects!  As I have been reading the blogs of my classmates, I think I might be in a bit of a different situation as I am not currently in the classroom.  I am a curriculum consultant, so I support teachers in the areas of libraries, literacy and social studies.

For the final project, it took me awhile to decide what to do.  I was pretty sure I wanted to do a personal journey into media, but which apps?  As Brooke said in her blog I am probably more of a consumer of social media than a contributor.

I have decided on two social media apps used commonly by students and two used “for school stuff”.  The two social media ones are Snapchat (which many are doing) and Instagram.  I think I may be one of the last people on planet earth who is not on either of these – especially Instagram!  I just don’t document my life in pictures usually, and my kids are old enough to have their own social media lives, so I don’t document theirs.  But…it is time!  When I told my daughters I was getting these accounts, they were thrilled!  They couldn’t wait to sign me up and start giving me tutorials!  I feel like I am so behind and that I may have slipped down the rabbit hole, folks!

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When it comes to Snapchat and Instagram, I am definitely going to look at the implications of how they are used – positively and negatively – including privacy concerns, bullying, sense of belonging, competition…  However, I also want to look at them from a media literacy perspective.  There are an entirely different set of literacy skills being used to communicate and comprehend the world using these two apps, and I would like to investigate that aspect as well.

The two educational-use apps are ones that I chose based on opinions I got when asking teenagers which apps they found most useful for doing their assignments and helping them with work.  There were quite a few – some really specific for particular subjects – but two that came up quite often were Duolingo (which surprised me) and PicCollage.  As a former Core French teacher for 15 years, Duolingo interests me, but most said they use PicCollage ALL the time for jazzing up assignments or for visual components of their work.  Does it have any educational merit, or is it just for show? I don’t have a classroom of students I can use apps with over the semester, so I needed to choose ones students (and I) would use independently.

Ok – time to jump in, get my feet wet and get this party started!


via GIPHY

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6 thoughts on “Am I the last one?”

  1. Wow good for you choosing the thesis route. That scared me a little too much. This is also my last class but I did the class route so this is number 10 for me. This is my second class with Alec and I promise he is good at scaffolding to help everyone be successful. I like your idea for your project I would be interested in seeing how those apps can be used for school purposed. I struggle with using some social media with my students. I think it has great potential but I worry that it could go wrong with students not using it properly. I look forward to hearing how everything works out.

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    1. Thanks! Not sure I would use Snapchat in a classroom either, truthfully. But I do think they are depending on a whole new set of literacy skills to communicate using these platforms, so that is what I want to dig into. We’ll see!

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  2. Moving to the thesis route – good for you! That’s incredibly inspiring! I am looking forward to seeing what you learn about Instagram and Snapchat as I find your focus on privacy and media literacy to be especially intriguing. I have many conversations over the last week with my students about the identity they choose to portray on social media and how they use many different accounts in order to present different identities to the world. Also, having taken Fatima’s course and discussing much about how literacy comes in many forms, I am curious to see what you learn regarding literacy and these social media sites.

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    1. Thank you. I am curious to see what I learn as well! Literacy is the focus of my Masters and will be for my thesis, so I tend to look at things through that lens. I like your idea of linking different identities with different accounts – very true. Thank you for the feedback!

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