Every so often I’ll have a discussion with an academic around “this facebook thing” or “what’s the point of Twitter”. Each time it’s for a different reason or coming from a different perspective or background. But each time it also comes down to two main areas of interest: time and effort. How long will it take or how much effort will they need to put into it for it to become a worthwhile enterprise.
I always say it will come down to what they want to get from the experience. Do they want to get hits or recognition, do they want to build a social profile and/or ‘digital footprint’? Do they want to manage or improve an existing profile or footprint, or eradicate a negative one? Is it to be able to connect with colleagues and peers through LinkedIn or Google+, or to increase conference speaking requests? Is the reason for signing up to Facebook or Twitter for student engagement or because you can only really understand how the students use it if you use it yourself? Is their need to be ‘there’ one of inclusion or monitoring? Often the reason is just one where they see someone else using it, probably successfully, and therefore “want some of that”.
In most cases it is nearly always ‘some of the above’, and in very few cases ‘all of the above’ (even if it’s not acknowledged to be this). I can’t say “you should start here … ” as each person should start where it is more appropriate: LinkedIn for professional reputation, SlideShare for conference and/or learning resources, Google+ or Twitter for networks and Personal Learning Networks (PLN), etc. Continue reading →
This is the twelfth part in my series of ‘What is a Learning Technologist?’ I have collected the series to date in a downloadable eBook – an update will be submitted to the online stores very shortly.
CMALT – The beginning
I joined Bournemouth University (BU) in 2007, fresh into the role of a Learning Technologist (LT) from 10 years as a commercial web designer. In all honesty I didn’t really know much of what I’d be expected to do but I knew my experience with online communities and techniques in developing and fostering them was key to my appointment. It just goes to show the faith and vision my interviewers had to see me for my potential and offer me the job! I joined ALT shortly after starting, which is where I first heard about CMALT. Continue reading →
An excellent introduction for Twitter and teachers or educators, from Alec Couros:
“Since then  I’ve seen this huge growth of teachers really adopting Twitter and using it for amazing purposes. For the most part when you see good practice on Twitter you’re seeing, first of all, teachers develop a personal learning network (PLN) over a long period of time, so they find people who are interesting, who are leaders, whether they are admin people, whether they are subject area specialists, whether they are teachers from a broad spectrum. And it’s not just teachers who are located close, it is teachers from all aspects of the world.”
“Through the use of Twitter teachers are able to connect, see better practice, see what other teachers are doing and share lesson plans, and teachers are doing it in a lot of different ways.”
Thanks to Sue Beckingham (again) I now have a natty shortened URL for my Google+ account. Using GPlus.to website you can create a nickname and have a shortened web address for what is, let’s face it, a fairly unfriendly and unmemorable G+ web address.
Which would you rather use / show on a profile page or business card?
But what was the question? Simple … when someone questions your activity on blogs, Twitter, Google+, etc., how do you respond?
“It’s actually really valuable to me, and it is only a reflection of how it has progressed. It was not always like that … it rather evolved to become what it is today!”
Cristina notes that it’s about the journey from nowhere to here, it’a about changing the way we work to get the most and best out of what is available. Whether it’s online, in the office, in the queue for a cuppa in the morning, in a meeting, etc. It’s all about making sure you have access tot the best of what’s on offer.
“[It's] important to remember that working and participating online requires you to change the way you work… or at least, to acknowledge that the way you work is not the way your mother imagines you work. Working from 9 to 5 in academia is just unrealistic. Concentrating for long periods of time just doesn’t work for me.” [emphasis is mine]
Yes. We haven’t always been online tweeting and ‘liking’ what we read or post. Continue reading →
Regular readers will know I’ve been writing about what I think it is to be a Learning Technologist in a series of posts I’ve been calling ‘What is a Learning Technologist?’. Welcome to part 10 in that series.
Part of my journey is the continuing exploration of the technology and of the role itself, and how it is received and perceived by people I come into contact with (academic, administrative, etc.). I made it clear in 2011, once I completed my PG Cert course, that I wanted to take my learning and teaching more seriously and gain a qualification that would reflect my abilities.
I have considered several Masters level courses since then but have finally settled on the MSc in Learning Innovation from the Institute of Learning Innovation here, at the University of Leicester.
One of the best examples I’ve come across, when looking at how you can utilise social media to form and develop a personal learning network is from my friends Sue Beckingham (@suebecks) and David Walker (@drdjwalker). Their presentation at the TEL-themed SEDA Conference in 2011 on “Using social media to develop your own personal learning network” is one I have referred to before, but surprisingly never blogged about.
We need to think about social media and networks in a way that removes the actual ‘tool’ from the mindset and introduces an ‘ecology’, a system for “enabling a system of people, practices, values and technologies in a particular local environment” (Suter et al, 2005). By thinking in this way we can introduce a ‘reason’ and a ‘purpose’ to it’s use that is not tied to any platform or time, that is able to be flexible and engaging (and easier to understand) so it is more readily available and adopted. Continue reading →
The more I think, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I question. The more I question, the more I find I don’t know. The more I want to know, the more I question, well, everything, and the unhappier I become.
Why is this? Shouldn’t I be happier with more knowledge, more detail, a better understanding of who I am and the world I live in? Shouldn’t this mean I am better placed to affect and effect change in my life, my family, my work, my finances, my home, my health, etc.?
This is part 9 in my series of ‘What is a Learning Technologist?’ Read Part 8 here, and follow the links on my About page to the other parts.
I was never ‘encouraged’ to think at school – we had our notes dictated to us and we were told what to learn for the tests. I was ‘average’ in exams (and that’s being generous), and just about scraped in to and through University. Even after 4 years there I never really thought much about what I was doing, I just went with the flow, just happy to pass and move on. It wasn’t until 2007 and working at Bournemouth University that I started to question what I wanted to be, who I wanted to be, and how I wanted to get there. It wasn’t some profound personal journey, it was just the environment I worked in .. Continue reading →