# LU Social Media MOOC Week 5

Week 5:

Before this course, I had noticed that some of the major universities offered free courses especially in the Technology field but I really did not understand what a MOOC was.  Now I know that a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) embraces the connectivism learning model.  To better understand connectivism, here is a quote shared by Dr. Abernathy from Downes S. in his 2012 Connectivism and connective knowledge: Essays on meaning and learning networks. National Research Council Canada. Retrieved from http://www. downes. ca/files/books/Connective_Knowledge-19 May2012. pdf.  Downes states that:

The idea that there is some body of content to be acquired or remembered is explicitly rejected; to learn in a connectivist course is to grow and develop, to form a network of connections in one’s own self. The model of learning that is based on instruction and memory, especially insofar as that model depends on a theory of knowledge as hypothesis formation and confirmation, is observably inaccurate and incorrect when applied to learning. Connectivist

learning is a process of immersion in an environment, discovery and communication – a process of pattern recognition rather than hypothesis and theory-formation. Learning is not a matter of transferring knowledge from a teacher to a learner, but is rather the product of the learner focusing and repeating creative acts, of practicing something that is important and reflecting on this practice.

With this learning model, not only is learning meaningful but every participant is encouraged to contribute and is engaged in the process of learning.  Students’ opinions count and can lead to the beginning of new discussions or conversations as they share their point of view.  Although I have attended a lot of web seminars, the participants were given very little opportunity to reflect and contribute to the topic at hand.  Learning was still focused on the teacher being the source of all information and the participants were just consuming the information provided.  I think what makes connectivism a great learning model is the fact that participants get to choose what information to consume for knowledge, process the information and then reflect on their knowledge in order to share it with others through blogs or social media.  I attended and completed a Professional Learning Communities course and although this was very informative and enabled teachers to create excellent lesson plans, none of the input towards the development stage came from the students we teach.  Since I am a technology teacher, I am using a lot of technology tools to ensure that my students get their 21st century communication tools.  One thing I am determined to do is to ensure that students get to collaborate, contribute and share knowledge with others especially those with a diverse point of view.  I plan to ensure that students expand their digital footprint in a responsible way.


Now that I have taken this MOOC course and fully understand what the connectivism learning model involves, I can not wait to promote what I have learned to other professionals in my field.  I can not wait to increase my Professional Learning Network and I believe that the more we learn about the benefits of social media, the better off we are in promoting and encouraging others to increase their knowledge at a more accelerated rate than ever before.
My classes are currently using social media from youtube but this access is limited to the educational channel.  Students are given a chance to comment but can not initiate any activity.  However, I have found some social applications where students can begin to create their digital footprint while showcasing their work.  I recently had my students create LinkedIn accounts and encouraged them to create a class related personal network where they can endorse each other’s skills and communicate with their peers.  They learned how to develop and perhaps grow their personal learning network.  They are now communicating a lot more and growing together. They can also correspond with peers in Blackboard as they discuss and share their point of view.  Of course this is limited to the class but it is a start.  These are baby steps towards building a personal learning network and beginning their life long learning journey.  Hopefully we can get a lot more access to more social media tools.  I am hoping that this non-threatening online podium will encourage so many to endorse connectivism learning model and more young voices and opinions will be shared.  The fact that the public chooses what material to consume and whatever is consumed dominates ensures that the internet is now a level playing field where people are free to create in a non-threatening environment.  I believe we will become better communicators when we continue to grow in our learning experiences. One of the articles I consumed earlier in the course stated that if you give a first year teacher a blog and ask them to blog regularly, they will become better communicators as they will process and review and reflect on each class, each lesson and their students’ reactions to their teachings.  When these teachers blog, they will get feedback from their peers and will learn to better handle situations and I believe get a lot of “aha” moments that they would never have been exposed to.  Their learning curve will be incredibly accelerated.  We all need each other and no man is an island.  The more we learn, the more we want to know and the higher the possibility of sharing our experiences.  In the past, people told stories to their friends and family but these days we are so busy BUT find it easier to communicate online.  Those that need knowledge will seek it out and reblog or share their experiences with others.  I l learned a lot and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

Assignment File:

Week 5 Final

Resources Used:






http://www. downes. ca/files/books/Connective_Knowledge-19 May2012. pdf


LU Social Media for MOOC Creating a video communication tool for policy makers

Step 1:

There is a lot of money in each public school for Special Education.  Autistic students needs should be met either with additional manpower or resources.  Students that are on the spectrum are affected by the day to day operations in a school environment but no one seems to care enough to accommodate their special requirements.  Policy makers need to address these issues.

Step 2:

Identify the research or resources I plan to use to emphasize my point of view.

Step 3:

Review sources and examples of digital storytelling.

Step 4:

Design graphics, and statements that I plan to use in my communique to policy makers.  Use Photoshop.

Step 5:

Create video using Sony Vegas Pro software.

My audience is policy makers at the federal level, state level, the school district level, administrators in schools, the department of education and anyone that determine funding for the special education department.

A case for Autism

Reflective Blog on Your Experiences with the Educational Communique for Policy Makers:

This was an incredible and extremely personal experience.  At the age of two and a half, my son was diagnosed with autism and we were reassured that schools are well equipped to handle autistic students and address their needs. Boy were we in for a surprise!  For six months, he had worked with experts from Easter Seals and we were very pleased with his improvement.  Although he spoke very few words for his age, his vocabulary was steadily increasing.  He could draw or scribble on his sketcho-pad all the time.  When we enrolled him in public school (one of the best schools in our town), he lost his steady increase in vocabulary, would not write anything at all and was crying the whole time (sometimes for four hours straight).  The teacher repeatedly informed us that she was not equipped to handle his situation.  She did not have any books designed for three year olds, any writing material and the helpers she had were not reading to the students. Although we repeatedly told them that my son was interested in swinging, running and climbing, they never let him play when he got to the gym.  They claimed that the other kids would run him over!  I wondered why he was not taken to the gym at a different time when it was not packed with students!  I voiced my concerns about the EXTREMELY loud music at the gym and how that affected all autistic children and the teachers just ignored my concerns.  After five months, we had had enough and enrolled him into a private therapeutic school.  This started my investigation into other public schools.  I wondered whether this was the only “bad” school but I was surprised to learn that all public schools are ill-equipped to handle autistic students.  It may be due to lack of training but there is a shortage in professional manpower. During this project, I figured the best way to display my concerns was to let policy makers know what autistic students need based on results achieved by private therapeutic schools.  The examples provided are based on information obtained from the therapeutic school that my son attends.  This is a call to all policy makers for schools to realize that the needs of special education students are not being adequately met and parents are extremely frustrated.  It is to show the department of education that there is need for change since we do have an epidemic.  The CDC reported last year that 1 in every 68 children in 2014 has autism.  While working on this project, I wonder what will happen to all these children as they become adults. Is the government prepared to take care of all of them?

The digital divide for autistic students is real.  Many of them are extremely smart and can perform so well with digital tools but the schools that have these resources are the same schools that fail to appropriately address the students’ other needs. Private schools are not as well equipped with modern technology and depend on grants from the public or religious establishments to ensure that the students get all the necessary digital tools like IPADs, Computers, playground equipment like rock climbing walls and many more.  The reason for creating this video is to hopefully get public schools to embrace the system established by therapeutic schools and adequately meet the needs of autistic children.  In addition to that, we can have policy makers decide to allocate the funds for special instruction to therapeutic schools based on merit.  Result oriented schools.  Policy makers should be able to apply the same policy making process that is reserved for public schools and similar establishments.

Resources used:


 Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop Elements

Sony Vegas Pro 10

 Web Resources:

 My video, “Don’t Forget Me! A Case for Autism”, is focused on changing the approach to Special Education in the United States as it relates to autistic children and public schools.  For creating my video, I looked at the online digital story telling examples and videos like the Bryan Independent School district testimony at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epCGyT7iXps or the Searching for Sugar Man video at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie_fWmZ3gFM or the Tunnel of oppression – I am different video at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7p9jSm21rE.  There are a number of resources that we were given at

For autism statistics I used http://www.autismspeaks.org/

Center for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 68 children is autistic http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0327-autism-spectrum-disorder.html

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/10/autisms-first-child/308227/ Donald T FIRST DIAGNOSIS 1943

Epidemic of autism.


Link to the video created:



#LU Social Media for Communication MOOC – Newsletter

Week 3 LU Social Media MOOC Self Reflection:

This week, I feel very comfortable with the assignment.  I have really enjoyed creating the first communique for a club that so badly needs it.  I have been communicating with parents and students that are members of the Technology Students Association for three years now.  This has not been as effective as I thought it would be.  Besides that, I have been sending numerous updates, information and deadline notices every week.  The idea of creating a communique that clearly communicates all messages in one publications seems to be an incredible and appropriate choice.  I do not have to spend lots of time sending numerous emails. Lots of information is shared at once.

There have been numerous time when I have advised TSA members to inform their parents about important dates competitions  and without fail, one or more students forget.  Most of the regional competitions run until 9:00 pm and parents have to pick up their children.  I have had to sit and wait for more than half an hour waiting for parents to pick up their children because the student forgot to convey the necessary information.  With a monthly newsletter, parents and students will be well informed.

As a parent and teacher, I know that most of us are busy and are probably not comfortable utilizing the same facebook account that the students subscribe to.  Students feel like they cannot act natural under the watchful eye of their parents and teachers.  As a result, all parents and advisors for the clubs are not invited to the students’ personal network.

However, using email, I can now communicate the same message to all parents and students with one newsletter.

Layout and Appearance:

Although there is so much to recognize, appreciate and emphasize, I decided to keep the newsletter to one page.  I figured most people would only have time to peruse or read one page.

Social Networking Tools:

This newsletter will be sent out using email on students’ record.  It will go to both the student’s email and their parents’ email.

This newsletter will be posted on the facebook page for MedHigh TSA.

This newsletter will be sent to the MedHigh TSA website and will be uploaded to my facebook account as well as my wordpress account.


#LU Social Media MOOC – Week Two

This week, with the help of various reading and video resources, I was able to understand what professional learning networks are and the role they play in the acceleration of professional learning.  At first, I felt PLNs were very similar to Professional Learning Communities.  However, I quickly realized that it extends way beyond the knowledge of my PLC members and extends beyond seeking for expert knowledge from only the PLC circle within my school.  My PLN journey started by creating a twitter account and seeking educational PLNs to follow.  Technology is constantly changing and social media makes it a lot faster for professionals to witness and apply these changes.  I have started creating my personal learning network based on the value of the information I have read from various blogs.  What I am really seeking for is learning all the best practices that ensure that my students are engaged, innovative and creative. I spent a lot of time figuring out what resource to use, follow or comment about. I found a lot of experts but I have had to narrow it down to a few local and international ones based on their blogs.  I found some interesting articles by international bloggers such as this one http://videoformyclassroom.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/six-steps-to-setting-up-your-flipped.html

Although I have started building a PLN, I am still seriously searching for more knowledge and find myself to be more of a consumer than a creator at this time.  I have left a few comments and have re-tweeted a lot of information.

I will definitely continue to build my PLN and will keep refining my contacts as I read more of their posts.

Click on the link below for my Personal Learning Network.

PLN List


#LU Social Media MOOC (First Post)

It is obvious from the research done about connectivism, the new form of learning, that gaining knowledge in this digital age is mainly possible due to the extensive use of technology and access to the internet. Connectivism allows participants from all over the world with a wider point of view, to express their opinions and share them with others via social network so many more people are able to gain knowledge in a non conventional way. This form of teaching allows all involved to contribute to the final thought process. In the #LU Social Media MOOC class, we have been exposed to how we can become contributors and comment about topics of interest in very effective ways.

In my opinion, educators should utilize social media to obtain and expand opinions from students, parents and concerned citizens.  This non threatening way of sharing information would enable all school community members to contribute and celebrate the success of their students. When two of my students and I were published in the local paper (hard copy and online) we witnessed a lot of community support for my students.  Many people recognized the effort students made developing mobile apps addressing various needs in the community. The community recognized us at fast food restaurants and left online comments excited and celebrating my students’ work. As a result, students became more engaged in the process of developing mobile apps.  Students were willing to use social media like facebook to discuss their success and comment on each other’s work.


Connectivism – Shawn Burke


Digitally Speaking / Using Social Media to Reach Your Community


Carl Hooker, Eanes ISD, Texas, shares his 21-Day Challenge on Using Twitter.


MOOCs and Beyond – Updated to 7 Things You Should Know About MOOCs, June 2013.


#LU Social Media MOOC

Hello Everyone:

#LU Social Media MOOC

I am very excited about the Social Media class.  Already I have found a couple of tools that my students can use from the list of accounts we have to create.  Unfortunately, anything that requires a java plugin is being blocked by the school technology department.  We have a long way to go before our school system can implement all we need for the social media to work in our classes.  I currently teach technology to high school students.