It’s Friday, the the end of the week as we know it, and yes, we have another Friday Follow Interview. ^_^ This week our special guest hails all the way from Canada. Our special guest is Adrienne and she has embraced our regular questions with vigour and depth. Adrienne has had the excellent fortune to teach across the world. Please read on to learn more about Adrienne and her views on education, technology and social media. And, of course do not forget to follow Adrienne.
1. Please share a little about yourself with the readers.
Hi! My name is Adrienne Michetti (that surname is pronounced mih-KET-tee) and I’m a Canadian currently living in New York, NY, USA. I recently finished my M.A. in Educational Communication and Technology at New York University. Prior to that, I was teaching English Language Arts in international schools in England, Qatar, and Vietnam. I live in a very tiny apartment in Manhattan with my cat, Flower, and have just been hired as an educational consultant with a non-profit organization called Teaching Matters.
You can find out more about me here.
2. Describe the role played by social media in education.
Funny you should ask, as I just attended a panel on this topic as part of Social Media Week. I think social media plays several roles, and that these roles are different from learner to teacher to administrator, and even from learner to learner. Ultimately, social media comes down to communication and relationship-building: two of the key elements of any collaborative learning environment. Our students are just beginning to see the power of social media, and I’m not sure they really understand that power, nor how to handle it. That’s where we come in, in my opinion. It starts with us, as educators, modeling use of social media in ways that are appropriate, and this is highly dependent on context and audience. However, we usually want our students to be good communicators and build relationships with their peers in order to foster their learning, and I believe this is the heart of social media. From this basic philosophy and vision, we can springboard into the finer nuts and bolts of how to use Twitter, blogs, newspaper article comments, YouTube, and anything else so that our students reach their learning goals.
3. Tell me about your relationship with social media. How do you feel about social media?
To me, media has almost always been social. I have been involved in online communities since 1995, when my parents bought me a CompuServe membership because they were moving out of the country and I was still at university and they wanted to stay in touch. To me, the way you’ve phrased this question in fact answers it perfectly: social media is about relationships. The reason I joined online communities on CompuServe in the ‘90s it the same reason I’m active on Twitter today: I feel it is important to my personal and professional development to connect with other human beings, and present technology affords this more than it ever has before. Before the Internet, I was an avid fan of having pen-pals and receiving chain letters (the real, paper kind). Why? Because I wanted to connect, share, and learn. Various social networking and other media tools today offer us the same ability, and this is why I embrace them. In many ways, these tools allow me to be myself more fully.
4. What do you feel are you strengths?
I’m (obviously!) very sociable. I’m a great conversationalist and am good at getting discussions going. I’ve been told by many that I’m very organized, though most days I admit I really don’t feel that way — maybe others see something I don’t? I think I’m also very good at finding resources. I’ll admit that my recent time in graduate school has helped me become much better at finding and vetting resources. My research skills have really become heightened, and I think this is a good thing.
5. What advice do you like to share with people?
Be flexible. This is such hard advice — even for me, I recognize that as I’m saying it here, I’m often whispering it to myself under my breath! It’s my mantra. I think the key trait of any excellent educator is his/her ability to adapt and change and grow. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we planned, that’s just a fact of life. But in education how we respond to that is even more important. If we stick to a rigid plan, we leave very little room for growth. I don’t profess to being the most flexible person around, but I do think that I’ve learned over the years to lean into the curveballs life throws me rather than resist them.
6. Are there any questions you would like to ask?
I have several, but I’ll try to keep them to a minimum:
What role does assessment have in social media? Or does it belong there at all?
What advice do you give to a teacher who really doesn’t know where to begin when it comes to using social media for his/her learning and that of his/her students? Where to start without intimidating or overwhelming?
Thank you Adrienne! I agree with about social media and the relationships that form. Assessment and social media? That is a telling question. I feel it has a place in terms of expression and storytelling… Thank you for participating Adrienne and see you on Twitter.
Remember, you can connect with Adrienne here via:
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