Journal 4 – Social Media’s Role on Education


Social Media’s role on education is one that will continue to grow in my opinion.  With the use tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, just to name a few, people are feeling more and more connected each day.  As more and more people connect using these facets, a number of educational institutes are also trying to combine these types of social media tools to help benefit their students.  Whether or not this is being successful is still yet to be determined I feel.


After completing this course, I feel that the use of social media in a classroom can definitely have some benefits for both student and teacher.  For instance, the use of wiki’s was a great way to collaborate with other students to get group work done.  In addition, creating a blog was an interesting area to learn about as I had never explored that area of social media.  Although I feel that this course has enriched my knowledge base of what and how to use some different types of social media tools, I feel that there may be some draw backs for students who may not be familiar with such areas with technology.


                I feel fortunate to have grown up in an era where basic computer skills were taught in high school.  I think that for many people, through no fault of their own, who grew up in a different era or perhaps different country where these skills were not yet available or perhaps so readily available may unfortunately struggle with grasping the concepts of not only using technologies such as computers but also social media in education.  For this reason I think that in some cases it may not be fair for educational institutions to use social media as a primary method of communication or teaching their students.


This course was definitely an eye-opener for me as it made me explore areas of social media I have never put much thought towards.  I can see how social media in education can be appealing to many educators and students alike.  Through the more and more prevalently available ways to complete courses for diplomas, degrees and even high education on-line is very attractive to many students.  However, I’m still not certain it the use of Twitter, Facebook and other social media is the best way to engage student learning.  I suppose that a part of me still thinks that the term ‘social media’ itself means to mingle amongst friends in some form of cyber world instead of a way to import knowledge amongst peers and strangers.  I do think that this view will change eventually for me, as I do see the potential of social media in education.



Journal 3- Twitter in Education


In the video blog “The growing use of Twitter by today’s educators,” an emerging trends article entitled “100 Ways to Teach with Twitter” is discussed.  Like Facebook and YouTube, Twitter has become a well know social media site that has over 500 million active users as of 2012 (Twitter, 2012).  Along with the average Joe, celebrities, politicians, and athletes all participate in the tweeting world, posting updates of new events, what they had for lunch, and where they are going next!  Simply put, Twitter has connected millions of people and has allowed these same people to connect to someone they may not have been able to in the past and vice versa.  Politicians can reach their supporters or potential supporters via Twitter and similarly celebrities and athletes now have a quick and simple way to connect to their fans.  The use of this form of communication is often questioned in the use of classroom setting as more and more teachers and students alike are interacting amongst one another in the Twitter world.


I have been using Twitter for a couple of years now.  I find that I receive the majority of any breaking news or information regarding my profession via Twitter by following well known organizations such as CNN and the CDHA (Canadian Dental Hygiene Association).  I do like the fact that I can pick and choose my areas of interest and favorite idols and receive information only on these areas/people.  With that said I often find that like Facebook and YouTube, one can get lost in the Twittering world as there can be a lot of information presented at once and more often than not I have spent half an hour or more reading links or articles posted by the people I follow.  A great way to procrastinate if one is not careful!  I haven’t used Twitter much in any sense of formal education per say, asides from linking my account to my blog for this course.  I can see why many teachers may be hesitant by using Twitter in their classroom and also why many encourage its use.


By using Twitter in the classroom, students are able to interact with their peers and instructor outside of the classroom as well.  The instructor can share any pertinent information or changes regarding their course to the students through Twitter by posting a simple tweet.  Students in turn can share their thoughts or options regarding a subject or issue by interacting with the instructors and their fellow classmates.  This may make life easier for those students who may be a bit intimidated to share their opinions within a classroom setting.  On the same note, the use of Twitter in a classroom could pose a major distraction for the students.  If Facebook wasn’t a big enough distraction already, now by using Twitter in a classroom, students can drift off from their classroom discussion and begin to explore other twitter users tweets.  Again, a great way to get sidetracked from what was originally intended.  In addition, the use of Twitter is said to inhibit confidence in face-to-face communication.  This may result in poor social skills and interactions with peers in the classroom and perhaps eventually with work colleagues.


The use Twitter is undoubtedly changing the way people are interacting with each other across the globe.  Its use as a social media tool has clearly been adapted by many.  As for its uses within classroom setting, I am still a bit uncertain if there are enough positive traits for an effective means of teaching.  I feel that Twitter is a great tool to use in terms of seeing what is happening across the world (Trends).  For example last night when the earthquake hit the coastal region of Haida Gwaii, many people flocked to their Twitter to post where they were and what had happened.  Before the news media even got wind of the earthquake, the general public were already tweeting about what had happened.  This is a great example of one of the many positive elements of twitter I find.  If a teacher were to adapt the use of twitter in their classroom they would have to be careful in how they would want to approach this tool.  For example if many students were already using twitter they may already follow a lot of other Twitter users.  If the instructor planned to use Twitter as a way of making announcements or changes within their course, their tweet may become lost in numerous other tweets the students are already reading.  Thus, an easy way to miss important information.  Although I am an avid twitter user, I feel that there should be some separation between using it in education and using it for general knowledge at this time.


EmergingEdTech. (2010). The growing use of Twitter by today’s educators. [Video file].   Retrieved from!

Lederer, K. (2012). Pros and Cons of Social Media in the Classroom. [Web article].  Retrieved from

Twitter. (2012). Retrieved from

Week 1 Journal- Social Media

Clay Shirky: How social media can make history


In the video entitled “How social media can make history,” Shirky discusses the impact social media via online technology/websites have become and are continuously becoming a paramount form of communication that is rapidly transforming how people choose their sources of discovering information. Significant events in the recent past, such as the 2008 US presidential election and the earthquake in China, are shared as examples of ways social media and technologies impacted how other people felt or were informed about such happenings. In particular, websites such as Facebook and Twitter have come to the forefront in breaking new information whereas in the past this was primarily done through newspapers, telephone and of course television. Although the previous methods still continue to relay information to the public, social media via technologies is allowing the public to relay information instantly through their own methods of communication such as e-mailing, texting, or tweeting. Now by just pushing a few buttons on your phone you can be completely caught up with current affairs and issues globally literally within seconds. This in itself is most definitely an era that is transforming history as we are moving towards receiving news/information by what other people are posting on websites instead of waiting to read a newspaper or to watch the 6 o’clock news on TV.

I definitely agree that social media has and will continue to make/shape history. It seems inevitable that until some new form of communication whether it is still through social media or through a completely new method, technologies will continue to progress into areas that may no longer need to be perused. For example video cassette tapes and DVD’s have become a thing of the past now that movies and TV shows are readily available on-line. Similarly, more colleges and universities are beginning to incorporate eTextbooks within their curriculum’s therefore reducing the amount of heavy textbooks needed to be carried around by students! Many magazines and newspapers are also publishing on websites or have some form of eMagazine or eNewspaper for their consumers. With the vast amount of information available to the public through social media, it does however create the need for people to critically think more and to recognize false stories or issues that have been exaggerated far too much as anyone can post anything, anywhere, at any time and make it very believable.

Shirky’s question at the end of his presentation “How can we make best use of this media? Even though it means changing the way we’ve always done it” is something to be seriously considered. With so much information available through social media, caution and critical thinking should be used at all times. It can be all too easy for many people who are not very familiar with technologies to fall for scams and believe stories that may not be true. I suppose even people who are fairly up to date with the current trends of social media can also fall victim to such unfortunate situations. For instance if we look at the campaign KONY 2012, many including myself were drawn to the situation and without any thorough research shared the story among family and friends by posting the video on to our facebook pages or tweeting about it because it seemed so believable. However, as time went on, more and more information began to come forth and it was found out that many issues presented in the video were either exaggerated or simply not true. Such situations truly show the impact social media can have these days and how the public can be drawn into it all very easily.

I believe that social media has come a long way especially within the past 10 years or so. With so many social websites, staying in touch with loved ones, friends, colleagues, and even celebrities and idols and keeping informed with current event around the world have never been made easier. With that said caution has to be taken. As Shirky discusses, with so much available to us these day via social media, we need to make the best use of it. I definitely believe social media will continue to be a part of my life through a variety of means. As technologies progress so does our knowledge. It will be interesting to see what the next form of social media will consist of in the next 10 to 20 years as it seems we have already come such a long way but yet there is still so much to be discovered.

Shirky, C. (2009, Jun). How social media can make history. [Video file]. Retrieved from


Journal 2 – Building on the Social Layer

The game layer on top of the world


In the video entitled “The game layer on top of the world,” Priebatsch discusses how the use of technology and social media is steadily evolving from the social layer to more of a game layer.   The merger between elements of everyday situations in life and the use of some form of a game to achieve a reward is the fundamental idea here.  Priebatsch discusses four elements that are key for the success of this continued movement towards a game layer in society.  The first consists of the Appointment dynamic.  This dynamic relays the importance of time and commitment.  An example of Farmville is used to describe the influence time has on an individual’s psyche in the sense that if they are committed to something and will be rewarded they will most likely always be punctual.  A similar form of Appointment dynamic could be used in the real world when there is a need for people to have a reminder to take medications.  The second element includes Influence and Status. This is an interesting but oddly essential element as it plays into our human need of constantly wanting to be better or to be the best at something. Third, the Progression dynamic plays into the need to be moving forward to a goal or achievement which will ultimately give us a greater satisfaction.  And finally the forth element in which Priebatsch places emphasis upon is Communal discovery.  This element encourages people to work together in order to achieve a goal.


Many of the elements described by Priebatsch are used in my day to day life.  I think even prior to incorporating the game layer aspect into technology, human nature is always inclined to continue using products, shop, and interact in areas that may give them a slight advantage or more rewards.  For example if we look at Shoppers Drug Mart or Save on Foods, both store have a system where you can earn points and certain levels.  Once a certain amount of points or a level has been achieved you are entitled to some form of reward or discount!  Inevitably we are now seeing this combined with technology.  Foursquare is an example of an App that can be used on your phone in which people can connect with their friends and earn points for checking-in to various locations/businesses.  Now not only does the business get some free advertising but the individual will also ear points and even discounts from the business.


There are many positive aspects that can come about by combining technology and the game layer.  As Priebatsch already mentions, rewarding individuals by taking their medications on time by utilizing some form of an appointment dynamic would be beneficial for many around the globe.  Also use of Influence and Status could encourage students to stay motivated and to keep on top of their school work if it would mean they would achieve extra credit or yet an even better mark as a reward.  On the contrary I think it is also important to be cautious about the many potential “games” that are already out there and perhaps the many more to come.  It is so easy to get sucked into certain gimmicks and habits these days.  What happens when the game itself gets too competitive itself?  Everyone likes to receive a reward or some level of satisfaction now and then, but once the novelty of these forms of gratifications wear off or if the ultimate reward is achieved then what?


The use of the game layer within technology is definitely something that more and more individuals will be familiar with as time goes on if they already have not participated in some form or another.  I find that with the constant emergence of new types of these technologies we are constantly looking for the best deals we can get in these tough economic times.  The communal discovery dynamic is important as it does encourage us to work together and in turn connect through fining or achieving a common goal.  I think this is instrumental in order for the game layer aspect of technology to be successful.  With that said it is also important to be cautious about what forms of games you partake in.  In order to avoid scams or unfair game playing so to speak, individuals should take the time and really read and critically think about what they are about to sign up for as it can be all too easy to fall victim to an unfortunate situation.  Hopefully, as Priebatsch discusses, the four game layer dynamics (Appointment, Influence and Status, Progression, and Communal), can all be used to create something positive and continue to evolve into another technological layer in the near future.


Priebatsch, S. (2010, Jul).  The game layer on top of the world. [Video file].  Retrieved from

Social Media: Assignment #2- Technology and Trends in Education

The following is a summary of two articles regarding the use of social media in education along with a web 2.0 tool that can be incorporated into the classroom.

Article 1

The article “Go Ahead…Be Social Using Social Media to Enhance the Twenty-First Century Classroom” discusses the realities educators now have to endure in practically any educational setting.  Not only is it the responsibility of educators to teach students on how to read and write but now also how to function responsibly in a digital world. Scott (2012) provides a good definition of the term social media itself and the characteristics it can encompass by describing it as: “Social Media integrates technology, social interaction, and content creation using the ‘wisdom of crowds’ to collaboratively connect

On-line information. Through social media, people or groups can create, organize, edit, comment on, combine, and share content.”  This can be achieved by sharing most or all of the following characteristics:

  1. Participation
  2. Openness
  3. Conversation
  4. Community
  5. Connectedness

The author also explains how “students from the Net Generation, also known as Net Geners, are definitely different from students of past generations” (Scott, 2012). She goes on to describe how this generation “assume continual constant access to computers, the Internet and each other, via phone, text or some other still-emerging technology” (Scott, 2012).  It is because of the consistent access to technology that has hardwired many students to learn in a way that connects them with other people and the greatest body of knowledge, the Internet.  The main question that educators should consider when re-evaluating their courses or classroom is whether or not current teaching methods align with the social perspective on learning that social media tools offer (Scott, 2012).

Article 2:

The article “Adult Education and the Social Media Revolution” offers insight on how the use of social software can enhance the design and delivery of digitally-mediated education in addition to how these emerging technologies may eventually alter some basic principles of adult education.  The authors discuss the importance of digitally mediated learning (DML) as the main form of education for those individuals that are life-long learners.  One of the main advancements of DML has been with many post-secondary education facilities offering a mixture of options (classroom, on-line, or both) on how their potential students can receive their education. This evolving movement in learning has called for expansion of the views of andragogy as learners are now becoming more and more in charge of how and what they learn as opposed to passive consumption of knowledge fed by an instructor.

Web 2.0 Tool:

Prezi is a 2.0 website that allows educators and students alike to create engaging presentations. Unlike the traditional Microsoft PowerPoint, Prezi gives presenters intuitive tools to make their presentations stand out, the trademark feature being a canvas format. This makes it easy for presenters to manipulate how their information is portrayed.  Prezi is also known for is for its ability to zoom into various areas of the presentation allowing for greater emphasis on detail and results in a more dynamic appearance. The main strength of utilizing Prezi within an educational setting include the ability to present both linear and nonlinear information by connecting concepts or ideas through text, pictures, and diagrams. As Prezi is still fairly new there are still some areas that can be improved.  Using the zoom in features too often can create a confusing presentation and may be difficult for learners to follow.  Also unlike PowerPoint, printed copies are not so simple because of the nonlinear format.    By being aware of some of Perzi’s limitations in addition to its capabilities, when used correctly it can offer a great deal to any course or educational setting.

Integration of Culture Differences in Dental Hygiene Care

Canada is a nation of profound cultural diversity. Heavy immigration over the past two centuries has made Canada one of the most multicultural of all industrial nations.  Every year 200,000 immigrants from all parts of the globe continue to choose Canada as their home (Canadian Heritage, 2008).  In a nation as large and diverse as Canada, of course, few cultural values and beliefs are shared by everyone. Thus, cultural values can be inconsistent and even conflicting, leading to miscommunication and the formation of barriers. Communication is an essential aspect of our profession; thus, it is important to embrace diversity of people and educate ourselves in order to serve the client to the best of our abilities (Rayman, 2007).  To establish a good rapport and to ensure client compliance we must be proactive in learning about how different cultures view health and health care in general, their beliefs, values, and the unique aspects of nonverbal communication. By respecting these elements we can come up with strategies so that we can accommodate these clients in a professional manner.

Medicine is the practice of healing that has developed from the cultural perception about mind, body and health.  In Canada, health professionals use principles of Western medicine to assess, diagnose, and treat clients based on the scientific research. The vast majority of the world’s population do not use Western methods (Darby, 2003). Thus, we as health care professionals should familiarize ourselves with aspects of other healthcare methods.  In Asian cultures most principle assessments are derived from extended conversations.  Asian, Arab, and African societies are some of the many cultures utilize traditional herbal remedies to cure illness.  Health care professionals must, therefore, consider interactions between prescribed medication and herbal remedies the client may already be taking. Many Arabs place high value on Western medicine since much of it originated from Arabic medicine.  They place high value in hygiene, especially in oral cleanliness (HRSA, 2005).  To honour their religious beliefs, Arabs fast for one month every year.  Thus, a health professional must take this into consideration while prescribing medications, or administering dental injections (HRSA, 2005). European and African cultures avoid health care until there is an emergency, indicating that they place low value on oral health maintenance. In Hispanic culture disease is viewed as an imbalance between hot and cold principles; health is maintained by balancing the temperatures. Cultures not only differ in their aspects of medicine and health, but also in their communication styles.

Several non-verbal aspects of communication we should be aware about such as: types of greetings, handshake, eye contact and gestures. When it comes to greetings, Asian client may bow in greeting; however, the bows are different.  Cambodian and Laotian cultures bow with both hands together in front of their chest like they are praying.  People from Japan will also bow, and the depth of the bow indicates the level of respect they have for the other person.  Koreans usually bow as well, but if they shake hands, the left hand supports the wrist of the other person’s right hand to show respect.  Instead of bowing, Taiwanese usually nod their head in acknowledgement.  It is important to note that most of the world does not greet by shaking hands (Dunn, 2004).  A smile may not indicate a friendly greeting to everyone.  In the Japanese culture, people may smile when they are confused or angry.  In other Asian cultures, it is an indication of embarrassment.  It is important to not judge clients as unfriendly because they do not smile, or smile at seemingly inappropriate times (Haynes, 2004).  Eye contact is another cultural difference that dental team should be aware about. In North America, not making eye contact makes one appear untrustworthy, Arab cultures consider too little eye contact as disrespectful, while South Asian cultures, direct eye contact is considered as rude and aggressive. As hygienists, we need to be respectful of our clients’ comfort level regarding eye contact, in order to avoid an unintentional message (Bibikova, 2008).

In addition, to eye contact very few gestures are understood and interpreted in the same way.   For instance, the gesture symbolizing “OK” in North America means “money” in Japan, “zero” or “worthless” in France and Russia, and is an insult in Brazil and Germany (Bibikova, 2008).  Pointing with the index finger is impolite in the Middle and Far Eastern cultures; it is better to use the thumb or open hand instead. Making a “V” with the index and middle finger to indicate “two” will mean “shove it” to most people from Europe if the palm if facing away from the client.  In Bulgaria, a nod means “no” and shaking the head means “yes” (Haynes, 2004).

Passing a Japanese client a toothbrush with one hand is seen as very rude—it must be passed with two hands.  Similarly, in many Middle and Far Eastern cultures it is rude to pass something with the left hand since it is regarded as “unclean” (Haynes, 2004).

As a health professional, there are many strategies that can be used to better deal with a clientele of different cultures.  For instance, displaying an accepting, nonjudgmental demeanor when presented with a client of diverse beliefs and practices is essential to build trust in a respectful manner (Darby, 2003).  In a culture full of technology, it is very easy to attain numerous sources of educational information to provide our clients with at dental appointments.  These sources could prove to be very valuable in times when language is a barrier.  Lastly, it is essential to become a lifelong student of other cultures, particularly the cultures in your community (Darby, 2003).  As dental hygienists living in a multicultural society we are fortunate enough to be able to work with clients of diverse backgrounds. Becoming aware and knowledgeable of these diverse cultures allows us to effectively manage differing practices, perceptions, and beliefs of oral health (Donate-Bartfield, 2002).

In the end, cultural sensitivity proves to be both advantageous to both the oral health care professionals and client; cultural competence allows health care professionals to feel that they have accomplished bettering the oral health of individuals to the best of their abilities, plus it allows the client to obtain the full benefits of receiving optimal oral health care.  As author, Brian Dyson aptly wrote, “It is because we are different that each of us is special.”


Bibikova , A. & Kotelnikov, V. (2008).  Managing Cross-Cultural Differences. Retrieved June 29, 2008, from

Canadian Heritage (2008).Multiculturalism-Canadian diversity: Respecting our diversity.Retrieved July, 01, 2008 from

Darby, M. L., & Walsh, M. M. (2003). Dental Hygiene: Theory and Practice. St. Louis: Saunders.

Donate-Bartfield, E. & Lausten, L. (2002). Why Practice Culturally Sensitive Care? Integrating Ethics and Behavioral Science. Journal of Dental Education, 66(9), 1006-1010.

Dunn, S. (2004).  10 multicultural differences in greetings you can learn from.  Retrieved June 29, 2008, from

Haynes, J. (2004).  Communicating with gestures.  Retrieved June 29, 2008, from

HRSA Office of Minority Health and Bureau of Primary Health Care (2005).Providers   guide to the Quality and Culture. Retrieved June 20, 2008, from

Rayman, S. & Almas, K. (2007).  Transcultural Barriers and Cultural Competence in Dental Hygiene Practice.  Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice,8(4), 1-9. St. ThomasUniversity. (2005). International Students.  Retrieved June 13, 2008, from


Secret to a Longer Life

Want to know how to live a longer, healthier, and low stressed life?  Well look no further, just SMILE :)!  According to Ron Gutman’s TED Talk video, smiling not only can improve your health but also increase your life expectancy.  Several studies found that smiling is contagious and that kids smile more than adults.  Another study found that the wider your smile is the longer you will live. Smiling has also been shown to reduce stress levels.  So turn that frown upside down and smile! 🙂