Late Bloomer…

I feel like I was a late bloomer into the world of social media, at least what we think social media is in today’s society.  I found the breakout sessions of our class last week very interesting.  All three times that we were split into the breakout rooms I was in the room that discussed the pre-commercial internet, which happened before 1991.  It quickly became clear that many of the fellow students in the breakout rooms had not even been born yet, which made me feel really old, but was also a great opportunity to reminisce and really examine how the world has changed.  Communication had to be much more direct when I was growing up.  To connect with friends I had to phone their house or go over to their house to knock on the door.  It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that I joined Hotmail (and yes, I know that shows my age) and would use MSN Messenger to communicate with friends.  At this time there was only one computer in my house and it was in the dining room, which meant that everyone that came into the dining room could see my messenger chats.  My students often are shocked that I was well into my twenties before I had a cell phone of my own.  Then they can’t believe that the first cell phone I had was basically only good for making phone calls.  Cell phones have become so much more than just phones and allow us to connect in ways that I never thought would be possible.  In my personal life I use social media to stay in touch with family and friends.  On my dad’s side of the family there are 25 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.  The family is spread out all over Canada and social media allows us to keep in touch and be part of their life in a way that wasn’t possible 25 plus years ago.  I just signed up for Twitter when this class started and I still find it overwhelming, but I am enjoying reading posts from people, groups and teams that I am following.  I also see how using social media in my classroom could be beneficial for my students.  I really like how Alec talks about using social media as a way for students to learn how to write for a global audience and about what their digital footprint is.  I use Seesaw in my classroom, as it is approved by the division and it makes messaging parents/guardians very easy.  I know that there are many different ways to use the app, but I haven’t really experimented with it too much.  There has been a lot of discussions within the division and STF lately regarding confidentiality and social media, so I think at times I am a little hesitant to really delve into using social media as a tool in my class.  I am hoping that after this class I will feel more comfortable integrating it into my lessons and classroom.