At the beginning of the semester Katia made mention that for our final post we would be asked to touch base on the contributions we had made to the learnings of others throughout the course. It was mentioned that we will likely act surprised at the end, when asked to do this but that we were forewarned. My main contributions to my classmates learnings were in class, through blog comments, the Sask. Ed Chat on Twitter and a couple of remarks made in the discord community. Keeping things 100% transparent, I’m well aware that I did not keep my contributions consistent or daily but made them in large chunks at one time. Although I have had Twitter for many years and have tried to get into it over the years, I still am not a lover of it and remain slightly confused by the platform. I have learned a lot throughout this course but the biggest thing that I have learned is I’m definitely not an everyday blogger and although I have a social media presence, I’m not much of an active contributor. My favourite platforms are those which I can see a picture and then decide if I want to read the post and I’m still not likely to “like” or “comment”.
I did not keep track of my contributions within class time but I did try to contribute at least once per class or whenever asked to participate. I have never been someone to hesitate about sharing on behalf of a group I was assigned to, so I definitely took this opportunity, when it was available. No one likes the over-zealous-sharer though, so of course I did try to give others the opportunity to share as well. In any breakout group I was in this semester, I often led discussions, contributed, asked questions and made sure to make my group members feel comfortable to share. I did not always have my camera on during class, as I wasn’t always in the easiest sharing location, but I was always present and active with any conversation or lecture had.
Let’s talk Twitter. I’ll be honest, I had such a hard time getting into this platform that my contributions were less than what was expected. This is of no surprise to me and something I have accounted for in my personal rating within our final mark submission form. As mentioned, I have been a member on Twitter for years but I just could not bring myself to engage 100% with the platform. Every time I went to open the app on my phone, I often ended up closing it back down again after getting confused and frustrated with what I was supposed to do. I did take the time to like a number of posts and I also shared a few posts but I did not know where to find information to share or what information would make sense to share. These are questions I’m sure I could have taken the time to ask in our Discord community but I simply felt overwhelmed with this quick semester and my personal life. I chose to focus my attention to the other areas of this course which I knew I would be able to better contribute in a more authentic-to-me way. I did participate in the Sask Ed Chat and actually quite enjoyed this once I knew what was going on and how to contribute. Screenshots from the Sask Ed Chat are what I chose to share for my Twitter contributions.
The Discord community was neat but again was not something I related well with. I asked a few questions within this community but I mostly found that I read the contributions of others. Discord was something completely new to me, it was not something I had ever even heard of before. I found it to be quite user friendly to operate and appreciated how there were different pages for different class topics. The use of Discord might actually be neat in a classroom setting where students could discuss assignments they have on the go or ask questions to their teacher and peers outside of class time. Although I’m not fully versed on what the original idea behind discord is, it would concern me if I had a young child chatting with strangers. It would be interesting to know if school divisions would allow the use of Discord and if there are any controls that can be placed to avoid unwanted conversation with complete strangers?
My largest contribution to my classmates learnings were through comments on the blog pages. Although I mentioned I might not be much of a blogger myself, I really enjoyed reading other peoples blogs. It was neat to see what people were up to and their creative ways of sharing their learnings. I did my best to comment on a number my classmates pages, although there were a handful, I did not appear to be able to comment on. I did not do a fantastic job of reading and commenting a bit each week but I found I was better at setting a larger chunk of time aside to be able to accomplish more at one time. I realize the ask was to comment weekly but my personal life ended up being way busier than I accounted for over the last month and a half, limiting me to condensed chunks of time.
All in all, I loved the course and found it very interesting. My favourite parts were actually those where we dove into some of the complexities of the internet and consequences that can be out there. I genuinely enjoyed learning about real people and the horrors that ensued for some due to some grave mistakes that they had made. I found this to be relatable to what could very well happen in a future classroom and it gave insight as to how to try and avoid these same mistakes. I honestly believe all educators, both up and coming and practicing should be taking this course to stay current with a world relied so much on in our field. Thank you for a quick but wonderful semester Katia and classmates, until our paths cross again!