The attached document is a final assignment for KIN 710. This assignment directed me to select a technology of interest and use it in a setting and in a way that I would use it. Last year I was appointed to be a part of the Wellness Team at Sage Hill School. One area that was lacking and that interests me is an Employee Wellness program. The attached document entails the development of such a program and how the technology of Fitness Trackers, specifically a Fitbit Flex, can be used to promote employee wellness.
Here is another installment to my blog! Again, this blog post is mainly dedicated to the Technology course I am enrolled in. Although it may not be of extreme interest to all of my student athletes and members of the Sage Hill community, I do hope that someone reads this.
I am learning a lot throughout my Masters degree coursework and hope that if you do stumble across these postings, that you may learn something you didn't know about before!
Alright, here is the educational portion of this post....
Apps, Professional Networking, Wikis and LinkedIn
Apps in Education
Educational apps are definitely a tool that will continue to be developed and used increasingly over time. When you search the iTunes App store, a variety of interesting apps show up. There is everything from apps for young children to help them learn colors as well as study tools for college students. The applications that are available as teaching tools are also in abundance.
It’s hard to grasp the full breath and use of all the available apps in just a week of time, especially as new apps are added every day. I am thankful for various sites and blogs that break down the best of and top 100 of these apps; otherwise I would feel completely overwhelmed! In the future I believe these apps will continue to grow and become more user friendly as well as more multi-use. For example an app that helps you make recordings of lectures that can be posted online will also be able to be used as a testing and or study aid tool. When it comes to technology in education the limits are truly endless and will reach as far as the educators imaginations!
I really enjoyed the prezi presentation on 60 apps in 60 Minutes (https://prezi.com/swceiv2g3bbt/60-educational-apps-in-60-minutes/ ) This presentation was filled with so much information I literally went back and forth through the parts that interested me twice!
Using PWP to Improve Profile
One suggestion that was listed in the class Wiki document on what should be in a PWP was posting a link to social media pages. I had not previously considered doing this, but I am now strongly thinking about doing just that. I work very hard to maintain a very professional presence in my social media postings so I do think that they would be a positive reflection of myself as a professional. This may also show that I have the skills and ability to be a contributing member to the entire community.
Facebook vs LinkedIn
I view Facebook and LinkedIn as two very different social media domains. Facebook for me is a bit more personal as I am ‘friends’ only with people I know well from my childhood, through college, and into early adulthood. LinkedIn is a part of my professional life and I only connect with individuals I have worked with or know through professional networking. I believe it is appropriate to keep the two aspects of my life separate. It can be a difficult balance but I do know that it is important to have a professional only social media profile. When I applied for a position several years ago I saw that within days of receiving my application and resume, the person hiring the position viewed my LinkedIn profile. I take precautions to keep my personal life private by only being friends with people I truly know on Facebook and putting security settings on my account as well.
Wikis in Education
I have recently been exposed to the use of Google Docs and file sharing through the use of a Goolge Drive in the workplace. This type of shared document is the only type of wiki I have ever used before. I feel silly to admit but I did not even know that this type of file sharing was used or available. Now that I have been using this type of technology I think it is amazing and a great option for efficient and collaborative team work even if you are not working in the same office or in my case at the same time of day. Most recently, my school asked the school Learning Specialist, and myself, to draft a school policy in the event of a concussion injury to a student. This policy is known as our Return to Learn Concussion Policy. This document was drafted and edited by several people before it was adopted as a school policy and published in the Student Handbook. All communication and edits regarding this policy were done without ever meeting in person, which is quite amazing.
Professional Networking Strategies - Using Technology or Not
Business and networking are changing with technology; there is no doubt about that. I think the question here is whether professional networking in-person is still as applicable and important as having a solid online profile. I believe that an online presence is extremely important but being able to act professional and be a good employee/colleague is just as important.
Having a good online presence is a good start. In the busy multi-tasking world we live in anyone who knows a persons name, can look up information about him or her and search their job history in a matter of seconds. These are permanent and public details of a person’s life. If someone’s social media profiles are also easily accessible then, based on the visible information, a lot of information can be assumed about that person. Although a lot can be assumed from an online profile or portfolio, there is still something to be said about an individuals ability to do well meeting or conversing with others in person.
I have found that the professional relationships I have fostered through in-person networking have helped me and been more important than relationships I have only associated with through other contacts. To be honest, if I have not met or worked with an individual I don’t feel as if they will greatly contribute to my ‘network’. I could be completely wrong in this thinking, and I may change my mind in the future. For now I am planning on keeping my professional online network to include only people I know or have worked with. I think I would definitely include some of my classmates from this program in my network as I feel we have begun to get to know one another throughout our courses.
This post includes my first every 'podcast'. Creating a podcast was very tricky for me and I'm still not sure I did it correctly! Below you can click on the audio file where I give a brief description of Sage Hill School and my position there. If there are any topics that you, fans from my community, would like for me to talk about let me know! This is just another interesting way for me to share information.
Click below for a link to where I've also posted this podcast on an audio sharing platform called SoundCloud.
Podcast on SoundCloud
This class has so far shown me that there are a lot of tools out there to disseminate information to my 'community'. I am currently not at teacher, but I feel like I do have an educational role as it pertains to my student athletes and their health and well being. By experiencing different ways that I can share information I'm learning what is user friendly to me and what is not. I'm also learning what formats may be useful to me and what formats may not be so useful.
Having a Facebook fan page, a twitter account, and now an Instagram account has proven to be a good way for me to continue to reach out to my community. When I debuted this blog I had a few students comment to me that they thought this might be 'kind of cool'. They expressed that they would like for me to post info about scores and highlights as well as about various injuries and things that are happening to our athletes at Sage Hill. I think I will continue a bi-monthly posting on this blog of various information after the conclusion of this class.
I think one of the biggest things I've learned throughout this class is that I'm not nearly as technologically savvy as I thought I was. I easily get flustered by things I have to do, things I have to download and sometimes I feel like I'm just clicking and opening at random! I am aware of various technologies but I really didn't know how all of them worked and how I could use them for my benefit. Sure, social media is something I've used, but not to its fullest capabilities. I'm looking forward to learning a lot more over the next few weeks that I can extend outside of this class.
Web 2.0 tools in Education
Web 2.0 in education can be tricky at times. At Sage Hill we recognize that as coaches, faculty, and staff members we are 'automatic reporters' as required by law. This means that if we 'see', witness, overhear, or are disclosed to any information that negatively or illegally involves a child and their wellbeing that we are required to report that information to the proper authorities. When young people post so much about themselves online it puts us, the educators, in a position to know more about their lives than ever before. At Sage Hill we have a policy that prohibits us (coaches, ATs, teachers, staff members) from 'friending' or 'following' our current students online. I think this is a good policy. It is also the main reason why Trainer Meaghan has a fan page and not a personal Facebook page.
On the other hand I believe that Web 2.0 can have a positive impact on education as there are so many other ways of receiving information. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. all have ways of sharing and providing links to information that students can use to further understand concepts as well as to make them relatable to them in this day and age.
Top 100 Tools for Learning
Looking through the Top 100 Tools for Learning was eye opening. So many of the sites such as Google Search, YouTube, Facebook, and Linked In do not instantly come to mind when I think of educational or ‘learning tools’. Other tools such as Word, PowerPoint, and Google Scholar are what I think of as more traditional learning tools. I was surprised at how many of the top 100 tools that I use on a daily and weekly basis. Before I began this masters degree program I was a regular user of 26 of the various tools. Now as a student once again, I am frequently using 35-40 of the tools every week. This has made me realize how much more I could be doing as an educator and to think of creative ways to use these tools that already exist.
I feel as if the concept of education has stayed the same since I was in a traditional educational setting but the main difference is the ease of finding information and the versatility of the tools to help facilitate the learning process. I think as a educator it will be important to know what tools are out there so that I can experiment with different ways of finding and sharing information with my student community.
YouTube is a great tool that I have had the experience of using as an instructor as well as as a student. Several years ago I co-taught a couple of lab courses at Chapman University. During one of the courses we created an assignment where our students had to create a video showing how to properly complete a first aid proficiency. They had a lot of fun making their videos and I enjoyed grading them because of the entertainment value.
Below is a video that I found on YouTube that does a good job talking about the profession of Athletic Training while still being entertaining. It also has a Michael Jackson song....so how could you possibly go wrong with that?
Trainer Meaghan has now joined the Instagram craze! Here is my first photo!
Note to student-athletes who steal T-Meg's phone and take awkward selfies...I now have a place to post, and the knowledge of making funny images for everyone to see. You have been warned!
Social Networking in Undergraduate Education
Although I am enrolled in an online master’s degree program I have not had much experience with social networking in my previous educational experiences. At the end of my first undergraduate degree Blackboard, an online Learning Management System, was slowly being used for the first time. At the time I did not find it more helpful than how my professors disseminated information originally. There was also a little bit push-back from the instructors at the time who didn’t know how exactly the system could assist them in their process of educating. Now, a decade later I am again introduced to an online Learning Management System, Canvas. The students at Sage Hill use Canvas to receive information, assignments, and view their grades. The faculty uses Canvas to send out information, post quizzes and assignments as well as to collect assignments. As a member of the wellness team, I have seen the implementation of an online wellness class for tenth graders. There have been some initial issues and miscommunication with the rollout of the program, but I believe in time, it will become a staple part of the curriculum.
It’s frustrating for me to walk into a full athletic training room (4-5 people in my ATR haha!) and see everyone with their face buried in their phone or laptop. I can’t believe sometimes how close teenagers can be to each other but so disconnected at the same time. Unfortunately, I know I’m not much better than my student-athletes sometimes. It’s so easy to check email, respond to texts, review social media, and read various articles, news stories, and seek information on the Internet.
The concept of Being Always-On describes teens-to-20’s age group that were born since the turn of the century who have grown up in a world that allows them to be instantly connected to all recorded human knowledge. As I am outside of that age range I believe I have a grasp and understanding of the importance of disconnecting from time to time as it allows me to fully absorb the moment and take in what I am learning/experiencing and developing my own opinion of it. I feel that one main disadvantage of being Always-On is that the discovery and interpretation of information is largely represented and students don’t always formulate their own opinions. Why do we have to accept what Google gives us as the answer to a question? Why can’t we search and find our own answers? I remember struggling through an English project on The Scarlet Letter in High School and reading the ‘for dummies’ short version. I thought I was so smart for finding a way to finish the project without actually putting the work in. In the end I didn’t really have a better understanding of the novel, I simply regurgitated someone else’s interpretation of it. My fear is that the current generation will lack some critical thinking skills when it comes to their education.
Although I intend to continue this blog as an online web presence for my students and community to connect with me, over the next several weeks I will also be using it to post my reflections on various topics for KIN 710, Technology in Kinesiology.
A Personal Web Presence, or PWP can be likened to an online portfolio or resume. As technology is further implemented in education and school curriculum, I believe that it is important for educators to remain as professional as possible in their presence. The President of Sage Hill School, Gordon McNeil periodically posts to a blog hosted on the Sage Hill School website (http://www.sagehillschool.org/Blog?rc=0). This blog is a good example of a professional web presence that represents Mr. McNeill very well. I very much enjoy the wide array of subject matter that he discusses and how it affects the Sage Hill Community. I too would like to copy a variety of events and issues that affect the Sage Hill Campus but I will focus mainly on athletics issues and events. I also plan on posting a fair amount of pictures to accompany my posts.
Microblogging by using a tool such as twitter has been an interesting for me participate in, and I still have a lot to learn. Last spring I created the twitter account for @TrainerMeaghan. I use it along with a Facebook fan page to share scores, events, and funny things that happen in and around the Athletic Training Room (ATR). It has taken me some time to start using regularly and I hope to use it more in the future. I do have a few students and parents who ‘follow’ me.
I feel that emergency and very stressful injury situations are when I am in my “sweet spot.” I know that this role is where I am very strong and capable and am thankful that my employers recognize this in me. Fortunately I don’t have to be in emergency or stressful situations very often. People always ask me if I look forward to injuries happening? The short answer to this question is, no. Although I am at my best in those situations I never hope for a player to get hurt and feel pain.
If emergency/stressful situations are where I am at my best, I will admit that slow days where I should be getting ahead on tasks such as paperwork, I find that I am not as productive as I could be. This is where I need to work on my time management. Things are always going to come up but I need to work on staying on task with administrative tasks.
The Internet has had a strong impact on my own personal learning. There are so many tools available via the Internet to tell you how to do most anything. I will often times seek out taping procedures or rehabilitation protocols on YouTube to make sure that I am preforming a skill appropriately. I often check sites that apply to my vocation such as the rule books for CIF, the county board of health, and the NATA website. Personally I follow a few dozen blogs that have to do with cooking and food, I haven’t made a habit like this professionally yet as I find too much information seeking can be a distraction. If I have time to work on my computer at work, I generally need to be getting something done and not searching the Internet. Occasionally I will eat my lunch at my desk and will spend that time browsing the web for information on current issues I am facing. Overall I think technology enhances the learning experiences and has great benefits. I do think that the learner has to use caution because not all sources on the Internet are credible or share correct information.
I have recently opened a Pearltree account to organize information that I find interesting and necessary for this blog to be successful. I have not yet created a lot of branches, but need to immerse myself further into the technology to have a better understanding of how it works and how it can further benefit me.