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.
Facebook Fan Page
A few years ago it became apparent that I needed a form of media to connect with my community. As I was already a Facebook user, and Sage Hill has a policy against faculty/staff 'friending' current students I decided to create a fan page. You can always see whats happening up on The Hill at www.facebook.com/athletictrainermeaghan
This site has been very popular over the years. Whenever I pull my phone out to snap a quick picture, the students almost always ask, "Is this going to go up on your Facebook page?" You never know what might show up there....but you can bet it will be something that is worth knowing about!