As I come to the end of the Spring 2017 semester, the final semester of my masters degree, it is nice to reflect back in what I’ve learned this semester as well as what I’ve learned over the last two years. It feels like just yesterday I was applying for the program and worrying that I wouldn’t be accepted. Since then, I have taken so many courses that have made me better as a person and as a librarian. Overall though, I can honestly say that this has been the most challenging, stressful, and fulfilling semester. I have taken courses that challenge me in the past, but this semester just seems different somehow. Between family illnesses, travel, wedding planning (for a friend), and stresses within my job, I have struggled more than I have in a very long time! The great thing is that at the of this semester, I can be confident knowing that I worked extremely hard and that I have been able to apply aspects of all three of my courses to my own library.
Being introduced to new technology can be intimidating, and I need to remember that as I train and work with teachers on my campus. If I can be frustrated with something as simple as Flipagram (which I am not a fan of), then some teachers on my campus will be overwhelmed when I introduce new tools too. While I can see the use for most of the technology I encountered in this course, there are a few tools that didn’t do anything for me. Flipagram, as stated above, didn’t feel very useful to me. I can’t pinpoint why, but I just didn’t like it! Of all the infographic programs we used, Infogr.am was my least favorite. I can imagine students and teachers struggling to use it as well. Lastly the program from this semester that I despise is VideoNot.es. I know that we didn’t use this program in this course, but I just need to voice how much I dislike this program. It is inefficient, loses your work, and as of today, seems to not be working at all!!
Now let’s get to the good stuff. . .
- Social Media
- Twitter is one of my favorite tools as an educator. Not only am I able to share my blogs with world, but I am able to find information regarding everything education/library/educational; technology.
- I have really enjoyed blogging this semester on WordPress, and I plan to continue blogging for my school community. I have been able to share by blogs with teachers and students, and it is nice to see them use the products I describe. Feedly was also a revelation to me! I love being able to keep up with many different blogs in such a user friendly way.
- Screencastify and Youtube are both a part of my daily library life. If a teacher needs help with a program, make a screencast to send to and discuss with him/her. I promise the teacher will be appreciative. The possibilities on Youtube are endless. Book trailers for promotions, movie scores for ambiance, video editing for teachers and students, etc.
- Cartoons and Comics
- How fun!! Just this week, I worked with an English II teacher who was looking for a new way to have students analyze certain aspects of Animal Farm. After we discussed her ideas for the project, I suggested StoryboardThat, We worked together to create a few examples for students, and I uploaded all needed information and links to Google Classroom for her students. They had so much fun using the program that they asked if they could create comics for other novels they read this year! They completed their presentations on Friday, and they did a great job and truly were able to analyze the literary elements in a new way.
- Besides the fact that I am still have problems using Podomatic with our school filter, I LOVE podcasting! My students are enjoyed being able to review books and chat with their friends for the Curran’s Corner Podcast. I hope be able to convince our tech team of the benefits to podcasting so that my sites can be unblocked. Until then, I will take the fifteen steps needed to get it done.
As I said above, this semester has been extremely rewarding in so many ways. I hope to continue to use the skills and products that I’ve learned about in this course and to continue to learn new and exciting ways to use digital media in the library and classroom. I hope you continue to follow my journey, and I look forward to following the journeys of my classmates in all of their future endeavors.