After much deliberation, I decided to use chapter 7 from Hicks's book, "Crafting Social Media," as inspiration for the assignment I created. I decided to include social media because all of my students use social media everyday; using it in the classroom will simulate a familiar space for students to create in so it doesn't feel like "work." Another reason I chose social media is because it is such an integral part of society today. Teaching my students how to think about and use social media smartly and effectively will benefit them in many ways: "It is quickly becoming our duty as educators in the twenty-first century to guide our students toward responsible use of social media" (Hicks, 2013, p. 138). Think of the possibilities! Imagine a world where this generation uses social media as a positive platform to intelligently discuss current events, post information about their lives, and even apply for jobs. Students need to learn that crafting in social media is much more than a simple picture with a caption. Most students do not view social networking and even texting as writing. Hicks (2013) advises, "we can help students be more intentional in the ways they employ these tools to link to online resources, comment on others' status messages, and contribute to the wider discourse on what they value in their lives" (p. 139). Finally, I chose social media because I am as familiar with it as my students. Creating this space is fun for me and incorporating social media into the classroom matches my personality.
Overall, I am quite pleased with the results of the assignment. Most students were excited to have a ‘class snap story,’ and were eager to share their opinions of the novel so far (we’ve only read chapter one, but I wanted them to reflect mostly on the characters Fitzgerald creates). This assignment was much less daunting to my students than a written reflection; however, some of my students were intimidated by recording themselves, knowing that the whole class could see what they’re saying. I will present it in a less stressful way when I do this assignment again, telling them that a) this is a judgement free space and b) it is hardly any different from their experiences posting on social media. I will also have students respond to each other if I do this assignment again, so I know they are using the activity as a social platform (that’s the whole point of social media, right?). I want to continue using flipgrid as a way for the class to communicate with me and with each other about what we are reading in class. I plan to use this not only throughout the rest of this semester, but also in my future teaching career when I am on my own. It is a quick and easy way to communicate while incorporating social media and technology in the classroom; students will not only have the chance to reflect on class or other things, but also have the chance to practice using technology and social media smartly.