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Social Networking in the Classroom Transcript
This semester, Dr. Mark Dressman, a professor in the department of Curriculum and Instruction, has integrated social media into the required Community Experience Project in the first professional development course in the secondary English education program. Social media can create international communities within the classroom that expand the audience for assignments outside of the traditional teacher. My name is Chris Hidaka, and as a Master’s student in the Curriculum and Instruction department, I have had the privilege of assisting in these projects with Dr. Dressman. In this upcoming seminar, we will provide presentations from current undergraduate James Scholars participating in this Community Experience Project. As part of the project, the class has used Ning websites and social tools like Facebook to connect and collaborate with students across the world in countries like Morocco and Colombia. While one group of students has tutored others in English using Skype and Facebook, others have collaboratively worked to create a Global English Teacher’s Network and a WebQuest with students in the university classroom of a recent College of Education graduate, Raul Mora, in Colombia. We will also discuss plans for future collaboration with an English classroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to create a comprehensive unit around the memoir, Black Boy, by Richard Wright. The class will develop lessons that integrate reading strategies that the classroom teacher will use and reflect upon with the class via Skype. In our presentation we will also discuss the challenges that inevitably arise when connecting with teachers and students in other cultures and contexts very different from our own.