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Martha Richmond

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Strangers in a strange land: making the familiar strange and expanding edu-scapes through social media

Posted by Martha Richmond

7/1/14 1:46 PM

When I returned from Finland I was invited to lead a faculty workshop on insights I gained through our trip. Using technology such as social media offered an authentic voice to the ideas I wanted to share with colleagues and fellow administrators. Technology offered the group the chance to “hear” ideas and novel stances that in other formats would have been regarded with suspicion of hidden agendas. Instead, using social media and hearing the voices of Finnish teachers as well as some of my fellow travelers, my colleagues found themselves hearing, thinking and then examining ideas about our practice in a novel way. Topics of inclusion, action research and team teaching tainted in the past as politically loaded, were reframed and now on the table with new understandings, non-stereotypical thinking and new voices. As a result of the presentation, our faculty discussion seemed unbounded by previous institutional prejudices and commitments. The familiar had become strange.

Thus, I found myself pondering some essential questions:

  • How can looking at technology through the lens of the

    sociology of the “stranger” change percepti

    ons of the role of technology in the classroom?

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Topics: Innovation, technology integration, social media,