Elon Universities’ article “Generation Always-On,” explored how people born during the early 1990’s will transform the world we live in. Technology experts around the world are essentially split down the middle on positive and negative outlooks for our future as a society. However, they agree that human brains are being rewired as a result of advancements in technology and reliance on the internet acting as an external brain. The article highlights many pros associated with students in this generation. Dave Rogers, from Yahoo.com agrees “It’s still early, but I believe we will see significant, positive, and even astounding improvements in the cognitive abilities of young people within the next five years” (Anderson, 2012). Kids from this generation were raised having complete and total access to the internet and social media from the time they were old enough to understand it. They have had instant access to the entirety of human knowledge along with opportunities to connect, create, and collaborate. On the contrary, critics argue that dependence on technology will be problematic. Cybersecurity expert Richard Formo worries that “Society is becoming conditioned into dependence on technology in ways that, if that technology suddenly disappears or breaks down, will render people functionally useless” (Anderson, 2012). Many experts believe that technology will have a negative impact because of people’s inability to concentrate, lack of patience, and absence of critical thinking. I believe we must find a balance between how much we incorporate technology into our lives. We should use it to our advantage in regards to education and job growth, but we should not forget about the importance of genuine human interaction and social skills.
The journal article “Social Networking in Undergraduate Education” by Nicole A. Buzzetto-More focused on the increase of use with social networking sites for teaching and learning. Services such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are being utilized to supplement traditional classroom environments, as they provide opportunities for an enriched curriculum. This study found that social networking services “have been shown to foster social learning while engaging students in a complex array of communicative and creative endeavors including new literacy practices” (Buzzetto-More, 2012, p.87). Through this course, students developed positive perceptions and considered using Facebook as a valuable instructional tool in their education. Participants concluded that Facebook helped strengthen relationships, build learning communities, and kept students engaged. Trends in education continue to increase towards a computer and technology based curriculum.
I could relate to this study as a result of the format and structure of this masters program, and this course in particular. My experience with discussion forums, blogs, and networking has been extremely rewarding and meaningful. The available resources allow me to successfully interact with my classmates in a personal manner. Since many of us share the same goals and attitudes, we can support and learn from one another. Reading and commenting on my peer’s PWP’s will be beneficial to my professional development as well. As a current educator, I believe that Facebook and other social networking sites have many advantages for quality learning if used appropriately. In this study, “60% of students responded that Facebook can make classes more interesting” (Buzzetto-More, 2012, p. 77). From personal experience, I know that most students are basically addicted to social media. It allows them to stay up to date on current events, along with staying connected easier. I believe that teachers should embrace social media and allow for academic purposes with technology within their classes. This supports opportunities for social learning, student centered learning, and relevant and authentic instruction. If educators are concerned Facebook is a distraction, Learning Management Systems (LMN’s) such as Blackboard can be utilized as a more effective academic source. Overall, social networking sites facilitate student learning through collaboration and building students’ communication and technology skills.
Buzzetto-More, N. A. (2012). Social networking in undergraduate education. Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management, 7, 63-90. Retrieved from http://www.ijikm.org/Volume7/IJIKMv7p063-090Buzzetto611.pdf
Flickr- Coaching Pictures
For my entire life, three things have made me who I am: family, faith, and education. My name is Ryan Gaedele, and my passion is teaching and coaching. I am a middle school teacher, and a baseball and basketball coach at the high school level. Every day I strive to be a positive role model and make a difference in my student-athlete’s lives.
I graduated from Illinois State University in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in English Education. Go Redbirds! After four years of teaching and coaching, I decided I wanted to further my education, which brings me to where I am today. I am currently a graduate student at Fresno Pacific University, working to achieve a master’s degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Physical Education. My goal is to become a Physical Education teacher, in which I can promote and provide my students with opportunities in health-related fitness and lifelong physical activity.
Personal Learning Networks (PLN) are a collection of people with whom I engage and exchange information with, typically online. These networks gather, or “curate” relevant information on a specific topic into one place. With daily advancements in internet technology especially when it comes to social media and search engines, PLNs help facilitate relationships with people around the world. Anyone that I interact with is apart of my PLN, and being able to communicate online makes it easier to share information and ideas. It also allows for opportunities to provide insight and feedback on similar interests. PLNs are extremely valuable in a sense that they help organize pertinent information that relates to my career. I am able to efficiently collaborate with my peers in areas of professional development, with the intention to learn and then educate my students successfully.
I chose to utilize Scoop.it to create my PLN. My emphasis was on Physical Education and Coaching, since that is what my personal website focuses on. Scoop.it locates primary sources from the web, and generates a home page of appropriate information. The information is then organized into sub-headings depending on the desired material. I decided to find related topics on physical education, baseball, basketball, strength and conditioning, and weight training. I decided to follow these particular resources because they directly relate to knowledge I need to grow as a professional. Snoop.it uses these key words to find articles and information to post on my topic’s feed. Once I find an article I am interested in, I can publish it and also share it through my blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. I published a few articles on baseball and basketball coaching, why schools need a powerful Physical Education policy, and even an article on technology in Physical Education. My topics relate to my career and my interests as a professional, in which I can incorporate into my personal web page.
As a physical education teacher and coach, it is my responsibility to ensure that students are physically active and understand the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. It is also my job to help direct, guide, and motivate students in the direction of participating in lifelong physical activity. I was inspired by Marcus Buckingham’s video and his views on playing to my strengths. I believe I was blessed with the gift of being able to help others overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. I have the ability to relate to all different kinds of people, and I can adjust accordingly to support them in maximizing their ultimate potential. I feel fortunate that I am able to utilize my strengths on a daily basis with my students and athletes inside and out of the classroom. I believe that I am currently in my “sweetspot” of my career, and Physical Education will only take me to a more advanced level. I truly enjoy being a leader, and serving as a role model for my students and players. Encouraging and supporting kids to follow their dreams while staying physically active and healthy is an ideal situation to be in. Being able to relate to kids of all different diverse backgrounds and motivating them to succeed is what I take pride in. I strive to be a positive influence in my student-athlete’s lives, and my passion to do so plays to my strengths. As I grow as an individual and a professional, I intend to channel my strengths, but contrary to Buckingham, I do not expect to ignore my weaknesses. I always stress the importance of getting better every day, in every new opportunity that presents itself. I believe all people, especially kids, have incredible and unique talents. Some are more advanced than others, but we should continue to improve on areas of weakness to become more well rounded and truly reach our greatest potential.
Microbogging is defined as “blogging done with severe space or size constraints typically by posting frequent brief messages about personal activities.” With a constant demand for advancements in technology and increasing student popularity, microblogging in athletics and education plays a significant role. The majority of my students and athletes have social media pages such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. As a result, I feel microblogging serves a meaningful purpose as an effective means of communication. It is truly an amazing tool that not only facilitates discussion, but also spreads news to numerous people with the click of a button. For example, I can send my entire team a group message on important information. I can provide fans with game updates, final scores, statistics, and relevant team news. My players can share, re-tweet, or like specific messages and promote athletic events on their own. This creates a sense of belonging and can improve team chemistry and encourages a positive attitude towards competing.
Physical Education teachers are advocates for living a physically active and healthy lifestyle. With my personal experience inside and out of the classroom, I understand that students appreciate and value social media. Microblogging is a great way to establish and build relationships with student-athletes and surrounding communities. As an educator, it is my job and goal to communicate relevant and credible information to my students. The hope is that they can take this new knowledge and apply it on their own beneficial terms. If physical educators can influence students to make better decisions regarding a healthy and active lifestyle by linking websites together, I’m all for it.
Having a personal web presence is an outstanding way to showcase my strengths and credentials to anyone interested. A PWP is extremely accessible to any future employer, colleague, or student wanting to learn more about me, who I am, and what I believe in. With advancements in technology in education and in our world, it is important to create and maintain a professional appearance online. Many educators and coaches are beginning to discover the significance a PWP can have on running a successful classroom or program. The main emphasis of a PWP is to highlight professional goals, achievements, and development. As a result of the professional structure, it eliminates any negative stereotype that a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter may hold.
A personal web presence is an effective tool in which I will be able to demonstrate that I am an aspiring educator in the field of Physical Education and coaching. Since it is personal, it is more meaningful, and is a phenomenal way to market myself as an individual. A PWP will help me with potential networking, while keeping track of my growth as a teacher and a coach. Furthermore, the resources I include on my page will allow for additional teaching and learning opportunities for my students. I will be able to efficiently communicate with anyone about any questions, concerns, or ideas at any time. I look forward to increasing my presence online through this course and beyond.