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 →
ALT has produced a series of short films to give you an inside view of who we are (learning Technologists), who they are (ALT), what we do, and why members enjoy being part of our community. Announced on the ALT website earlier this week the videos are of, from, and about the ALT membership who are “making innovative use of learning technology in education about what it means to be part of the community.”
The three videos, embedded below, are:
Using Augmented Reality to Enhance Learning and Teaching
The Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning (ocTEL)
Seeing the Connections: Twitter Community Exploration with TAGSExplorer 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 →
I am pleased to be involved in a project with Geraldine Murphy and Rachel Challen from Loughborough College which looks to explore the identity of a Learning Technologist through the “analysis of language”.
Project outline According to the Association of Learning Technology the definition of Learning Technology is defined as this; “Learning technology is the broad range of communication, information and related technologies that can be used to support learning, teaching, and assessment.” Learning Technologists are then “the people who are actively involved in managing, researching, supporting or enabling learning with the use of learning technology.”(ALT 2010)
However, to those working in eLearning, on a daily or ad hoc basis, the explanation doesn’t seem to be as clear cut and there has to be a continual explanation of the job role and the skills, experience and knowledge the role of a Learning Technologist demands. Continue reading →
I have been on Twitter for nearly 5 years now, using my @hopkinsdavid handle/username.
In this time I’ve amassed nearly 6700 followers and am currently following just over 1300 accounts – I don’t call them people as some are ‘corporate’ or ‘organisational’ accounts. Many of those I do follow are individuals who are like me and are working in some form of education, as either learning technologists, instructional designers, etc. or are thought leaders, provokers, or game-changers who investigate and challenge the educational establishments to improve ourselves and the world we’re leaving the next generation.
“In the future, e-books will act just like social networks. We’ll use them on our phones, share and comment right inside e-reader apps, and publishers will use our data to help them make better marketing decisions. If you think digital reading is exploding now, just wait.”
“In the future, e-books are going to explode beyond just containing stories, becoming niche social networks where we discuss our favorite passages with other readers and even authors and publishers buy our data to make more informed decisions. So hold on tight, book lovers. Reading as we know it will soon change, forever.” 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.”
Last night I read the excellent post by Simon Finch – “Privacy is gone, live with it” – (@simfin) in which he considers the “complex and changing nature of identity, perception and consequences of naive digital citizenship” and outlines three possible groupings:
“I’ve not got time for Twitter and Facebook, I’m too busy doing real work and besides the internet is full of liars, thieves and weirdos.”
Harder to define but it’s more about the “spectrum on which we travel, rather than somewhere we are firmly placed.”
“Not the Top Group. Not the Best group. This isn’t a competition”
What strikes me about Simon’s post is the well articulated way in which he highlights and describes his online presence and that it’s not only what we post and share is what defines us, but what we’re associated to (whether we know it or not).
“… if you post nothing anywhere then your identity will simply be references by others about the places you’ve been and the things you’ve said and done - ‘This is the worst conference ever (with Simon Finch)’. If I make no contribution, then it appears we are like minded and negative individuals.”
As with Simon I am known as much for my (prolific?) tweeting and blogging as for sharing photos of family, friends, days-out, home/work life, etc. Continue reading →