In this day and age, most people have access to some form of social media. From Facebook to Twitter to WordPress to Blogspot, there are countless ways for people to put opinions, ideas, and most importantly, information onto the internet for all to see and learn from. Although these social media sites can pose problems from identity theft to cyber bullying, the majority of blog posts and status updates are harmless, and some are quite informative.
When the Age of Exploration blog was originally constructed a couple of months ago, I was a bit skeptical. I didn’t think that anybody would be interested enough about what a few high school students had to say about learning to read our posts. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Between October 29th and December 6th, our blog has been visited 1,316 times from people in 45 different countries, including Pakistan, Japan, Germany, and Brazil. If you would like to see the complete list of countries, click Here. Our blog has also received attention from a well know blogger, who complimented our blog and the class’ unique learning styles in a blog that can be found Here. I feel like we have really been able to make an impact so far by doing this blogging ourselves and letting the world learn from us.
Quit counting fans, followers and blog subscribers like bottle caps. Think, instead, about what you’re hoping to achieve with and through the community that actually cares about what you’re doing. Amber Naslund
Clearly, blogging is a great way to share information and knowledge. Besides students in our class reading and commenting on other Age of Exer’s Blog posts, we have also had some experience learning from blogs of students across the country. We recently read and learned from Noel Middle school students’ blogs. Noel is a rural town in Missouri and we enjoyed learning from these students and being able to share our knowledge with them. We also recently collaborated with tenth graders in a Modern World Class from Baltimore Friends School in Maryland and read their blog posts on Quakerism, part of a unit which Age of Exploration is beginning soon. Their blog, which I highly recommend, can be found Here. I can honestly say that collaborating with students from across the country and with completely different perspectives than us is a truly helpful tool in learning. As you can see in the image below, our blog is also being shared using Twitter, a social media site that is just another way for us to get information out into the world.
Overall, Social media such as Twitter and Blogs can act as great tools in learning. Not only is social media helpful as a supplement for learning done inside the classroom, but it is also a good tool for people seeking to learn from people with different perspectives. Although a lot has changed from the days when Collaboration was done only through Pen Pals, the power of collaboration to teach is astounding. Using social media to teach is the ultimate, instant collaboration and it is a great way to learn and teach.
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