Online Communities

The community that I am most excited about joining for my Multimedia Montage Project is the Google + community “Elementary and Primary School Tech” which can be found here:

Although my focus is on middle school (6th-8th grade) language arts education, I chose this community because it is incredibly active, has over 600 members, and I’ve already found some great resources that could be used in any classroom just from scrolling through the page. Because I love bouncing ideas off of other people, the most frustrating thing about searching for a community that I could use to help me with this project was that many of the groups I looked into did not communicate or leave comments for one another. This group, however, is great! People leave many comments on each other’s posts and have conversations about digital tools they are familiar with.

As Elizabeth Daley points out, “Interactivity as a core factor in multimedia is in some ways closely related to performance and can enable the reader/viewer/user to participate directly in the construction of meaning”. In this case, I will be using interaction with my colleagues to help construct the meaning of various digital tools and how they can fit within the context of my project. I hope to inquire about other teachers’ experiences creating their own multimedia design projects and what worked best for them.

The other community that I will be actively participating is the EdTech hashtag on twitter. Although some people dismiss Twitter as a trivial social media platform, “#EdTech” is shared by major public figures, companies and education blogs such as Edutopia and MindShift. I originally discovered this hashtag after watching Jose Vilson’s keynote speech at the NJEA convention and following his twitter account. Even though users can only share 140 characters, they often share links to great articles and websites that contain the latest educational technology.twitterbirf

I also plan to share the actual design of my project periodically using this hashtag to get feedback. Rune Petterson emphasizes in a 2009 edition of TechTrend that message design is a complex discipline that involves “producing, transmitting and interpreting messages of various kinds”. Receiving feedback means that I can better understand how my message is being interpreted by the consumers of the multimedia design, and then eventually my students. Teachers on this platform may also be able to give insight into how a student might perceive certain aspects of the project. Overall, I’m really looking forward to using these communities to help me develop the Multimedia Montage Project.



4 thoughts on “Online Communities

  1. Jessica,

    I think you picked some very productive groups. I hope your collaborations help you in your project. I really liked the point that you brought up about feedback. I think that although the collaboration online can give you some good ideas for your project, you emphasized asking for feedback. I think that this will really help you in designing your project. As I’m reading our classes blog and google+ posts I’m hearing about all these great ideas. I think our collaboration with our classmates is going to be a big help in developing our projects and the additional online communities we join will even add to it. Good luck with your MMP.



  2. Hi Jessica,
    The communities you chose seem very interesting and I plan to take a look at them myself (especially the Elementary and Primary School Tech!). The criteria in which you chose these communities is also very thoughtful. Some communities may have a lot of memebers, but they don’t really intereact with one another. To me, the whole point of a community is to be collaborative and share ideas. Otherwise, why be a part of one? Your detailed discussion about why interactivity between members is essential for learning was very accurate. Educational technology is such as big field and there are numerous ways to use multimedia in classroom. I also believe it is important to get feedback. It is really hard to know what others think about your ideas, unless they give some sort of feedback on it. By joining these communities, It looks like you will learn a lot about others’ experiences using multimedia in the classroom. Good luck!


  3. Jessica,

    That Google+ community looks really interesting! I wasn’t able to find that when I was searching, but I am definitely going to join and hopefully we’ll both find some really great information to help us become better teachers. I agree…Interactivity is so important because even though you might be reading a comment from someone that is completely off topic from what you were looking for, it can help us to spark ideas and take us somewhere we never imagined. It’s funny, because I never really thought of a hashtag on twitter being an online community, but I suppose it really is. What I like about it, is that virtually (no pun intended) anyone can join. I believe that everyone might have something valuable to say about a topic. I was at Jose Vilson’s keynote speech as well. I found it moving and inspirational, but I wish I had remembered about this hashtag! I’m glad you reminded me.


  4. Hi Jessica!

    I can tell from the comments above, that your community selection has definitely inspired others to join that Google+ group as well! The fact that it’s “incredibly active” is GREAT to hear — there’s no use in joining a dead/abandoned community group — so nice job in scouting out active groups ahead of time!

    I am a HUGE advocate of using Twitter and hashtags to form your own PLN of sorts. You can find plenty of people interested in the same content as you are via hashtags, as well as Tweet chats where live educator discussions can lead to lots of thought-provoking dialogue in addition to the sharing of terrific resources (at least in my experience anyway 🙂

    I’m also going to throw out Edutopia as another place you can look for community groups specific to your content area and/or MMP design. There are TONS of groups on there with thousands of educators who actively post blogs regularly that have terrific ideas to share!

    I look forward to hearing how, if at all, participation in the groups you’ve selected impacts the development of your MMP this semester!

    Prof L


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