Over the past year I have had the opportunity to collaborate, learn, laugh, complain, praise, and teach with my wonderful mentor, Dr. Terri Schmitt, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC (also known as @onlinenursing) in the BSN Nursing Informatics course at Southwest Baptist University (SBU), also known as #NUR3563 on Twitter . The cool thing about Terri is I was once her student along with many other students at SBU. Terri’s morals, compassion, leadership, quality, love for social media and online learning gleams in every component of her day. It has a privilege and joy to teach beside her this past year. I am sad to say Terri will be leaving SBU this fall but her presence will not be forgotten. The impact she has made on students, peers, coworkers, and educators across the country will continue with her amazing nursing education profession. The amazing thing about Terri she does not leave people behind her, she pulls them up to stand with her and then pushes them in front of her. Terri’s witty and creative blogging assignment has required students semester after semester to step out of their comfort zone and begin to develop their professional appearance on the World Wide Web (WWW). This webliography assignment is dedicated to Terri.
Now, as Terri says, remember students are learning and we teach them that Wikipedia is not an academically sound reference, and should not be used – some of the webliographies may contain this information.
In the past year I have had the privilege of teaching the BSN Informatics course, previously taught by the intelligent, witty, and super amazing, Mac loving mentor, Dr. Terri Schmitt. I have to admit when I had initially took over the course I was thinking I would instantly be removing the Twitter assignment.
As a novice, non-believer in Twitter, I didn’t want to be pushed out of my comfort zone. Yes, I admit, very closed minding thinking on my part. I selfishly didn’t want to take the time to learn something new. Now, what kind of Informatics educator would I be if I didn’t take on the initiative to learn something new, outside of my comfort zone, and in the world of social media? I pretty narrow minded and boring one. With that said, I read the Twitter course assignment and I decided to put on my student shoes. I was going to learn to Twitter through the same process as the students. I created my profile, my Twitter name (@techynurse), learned what Tweet Deck, hashtags and live chats were, all at the mercy of my wonderful mentor.
Shamelessly, I will admit, within 24 hours I ate my words and converted to a social media believer. I cannot begin to tell you how many opportunities Twitter has opened up for me. A relationship established through Dr. Terri Schmitt (@onlinenursing) and the Journal of Dermatology in Nursing, Lisa Bonnall (@NursingCenter) has lead to my first two publications in nursing journals. All achieved through the use of social media. The Twitter assignments still exist today and I can’t tell you how much fun I am having teaching social media. I have students of all ages, from the novices to the experts. This semester I have had more than a handful of the non-believers that I continue to push outside of their comfort zone. After all if we stay in our comfort zone how will we ever realize the awesome things that are out there?
Over the past three weeks my students have had to create a blog, e-portfolio, create a podcast, and now I’m torturing them with advanced Excel exercises. The cool part, if they are following me on Twitter they will be getting some cool tips to help out with their homework. So check out the amazing work my students are doing, listen to their views on social media before the class started two weeks ago and where they are at today. Find them and follow them on Twitter as well! Cool!
Technology is changing every aspect of education. The way it is developed, the way it is delivered, and the ways it has evolved. Challenges have accommodated this evolution as educators are faced with numerous forms of change. While many educational institutions move into the “technology-rich” arena, educators have found it difficult to follow and use such environments to their advantage. Technology-rich learning environments offer the potential to take teaching and learning beyond the four walls of the classroom to where learning is based on real-world problems and learners become active participants in constructing their own learning.
Have you ever heard of a voice Voki? A voice Voki is a voice activated Avatar where you can add your own voice or a computer generated voice to your customized Voki. A voice Voki adds a personal touch to your course and allows students to hear your voice. Have you ever considered creating a Voki? It is as simple as one-two-three. These simple yet creative mini announcements or mini clips add a nice personal touch to your online classroom. I have used these for a quick introduction, as a weekly announcement, and even requested students to post their course introductions and bios as a Voki. Students love Vokis! It is also a great way to have students create an assignment using a Voki.
Along with technology comes the inevitable change factor.
Resistance to Change
One thing I have discovered over the years especially in my years of experience in management, many individuals are resistance and avoid change at every opportunity. Some theories believe it is not necessarily the change itself, but the control of the change. Many times it is not the fear of change itself it is the individuals not have the tools, training, and equipment to be prepared for the change. There is no difference in education. Over the past ten years online education has evolved a great deal and educators are still struggling to keep up with the technological advances. It is as much as being able to keep up with your students. If your students are more knowledgable than you, then embrace it as an opportunity to learn from them, or even consider obtaining more training. I value input I receive from my students and with an open mind I learn something from them every day. Just remember, when change occurs, it is important to decrease the amount of stress associated with the change.
In efforts to keep up with the ever-changing world of healthcare. I have decided to delve into the world of blogging. I have found the most wonderful information at the click of a mouse in some of the greatest blogs out there. My love for technology, technology teaching tools, social media, and of course my phenomenal and wonderful peers were my motivation for creating my blog. I hope you enjoy.