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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

You Have a New Friend Request...

As a recent addition to the AllofE team, I thought I'd introduce myself. My name is Rachel and I am in my first year of a PhD program at the University of Kansas in Rhetoric & Composition. This past year I received my undergraduate degrees in English & Spanish and I hope to teach at a University in the future.

I know it sounds like a different profile than you might have expected of a person writing to you from AllofE, but I am confident that my personal style and varied interests bring something unique to the already exciting direction we're going right now.

And, well the truth is, I feel that I am a lot like the people AllofE Solutions works with, so let's connect! This past year I made a promise to myself that I would actively seek out knowledge about social media, technology, and ways to be a better connected teacher in the future. When I found the opportunity to work with AllofE Solutions and continue working toward my graduate degree, I knew it was the perfect fit. I represent many of the people directly affected and influenced by ContentM systems, higher education, and of course, social media. I want to learn outside of the classroom over the next few years and stay ahead of my colleagues. I hope ultimately I'll be more marketable as a teacher and socially connected as a person with this knowledge and experience that is necessary for success today in the U.S. I want to be connected: with other teachers, administrators, and most of all - my students.

Who am I?
I am a student. My weekly agenda, both academic and social, are run by these systems - I communicate, receive information, research, and spend every day working with social media and higher education curriculum management systems.
I am a future teacher. As early as next year I will be teaching my own classes, and as late as five years from now, I will be done taking classes and ready to be a full-time teacher. I need to know what is going on with these systems, how easily accessible they are to teachers, and how I can keep up with technology at the pace my students will be in their lives.
I research Language and Writing. Just last week, the professor of one of my classes stated that technology is changing the way language works in society, and the current generation (oh, that's me...and you!) needs to evolve with it in order to understand and work with it in the future. I'm here to keep evolving with this language. Too many times I have heard teachers concerned about holding onto the way they learned about language & books, assuming they cannot keep up with the changes in technology today. Why not learn how to "keep up" with it and use it to my advantage? If my students write differently because they communicate more via Twitter, Facebook, and texting, I won't turn my nose up and act as if it's not legitimate, because most likely it's the most legitimate language in their lives! I want to study and collaborate with them to see what writing can and will be in the future.
I am an alumna. Not only have I now entered a huge network of graduates from undergrad, I am also an alumna of a sorority, service fraternity, and a number of other social networks. Why wouldn't I want to keep up with those people, learn from others who have been out of school longer than me, and know how to utilize social media to connect in ways my parents couldn't have even imagined when they graduated from the same school almost 30 years before? That's just exciting. I can keep in touch with friends, connect with new colleagues, and continue to expand my social "network" exponentially each year.

So here I am. I love to write, I love challenges, and I love connecting with others. You may hear from me quite a bit about the exciting things that we have going on here at AllofE: about what I'm learning and how we can connect and evolve together. Survival of the fittest isn't so threatening when you know there are people like AllofE to make sure you come out on top.

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