The Internet has impacted my personal learning, communication, and sense of community immeasurably. I got a master’s degree primarily online: Skyping with my advisor, researching in online libraries provided by the university, submitting and discussing my work.
I use social media for fun (Facebook), for keeping in touch with my students (Facebook and Twitter), and for creating cohorts for collaborative assignments (Google+). The media can be an incredible time sink, so you just have to watch out for that. No flame wars, limit your posts of cat videos to one per year, and so on.
I discuss big and little topics with my co-workers through a Facebook group operated by district teachers. We whine and brag and survey at all hours. The screenshot shows a discussion I initiated about a cheating incident.
I expect my students’ responses to the questions about distraction and usefulness to be about the same as my own. I can help them stay focused by giving them guidelines, telling them I’m watching, and giving them concrete assignments, such as those we receive in our online classes (e.g., one original post and two replies).
Posted for assignment 4.3 Reflection: Social & Professional Networks