Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn
Oakland, CA

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Updates, Posts, Comments - Oh My!
By Barbara Bray    October 30, 2009 -- 02:57 PM

I have been following different social media trying to determine what works for the learning environment and to build your personal learning network. Actually - each of the different types of social media work, but they have specific purposes.

Facebook works for personal and professional purposes depending on how you connect with others and what you post.

 Audience Purpose
 Activities% of participation
Family and Close Friends
Connect and catch up with only people you know
Share life and travel experiences
Post pictures
Participate in programs like Farmville
50% of family
Work Related
Promote services/products/events
Build Personal Learning Network (PLN) with colleagues and friends of colleagues
Find resources
Share links and resources
Post pictures about events
Set up fan pages
Repost other posts
20% of colleagues

Most of the time teachers new to Facebook use it for personal reasons and not to build their network. Where tech savvy teachers and students may set up a side business and try to promote it to their friends. When you combine the two audiences, you end up sharing life experiences with people you donít know. Young people (ages 16-25) donít mind sharing everything about their lives including events that should really be personal and kept behind closed doors. Don't think teachers or people 30+ feel as comfortable doing that.

What Iím seeing now is that teachers, students, family, and friends are sharing their lives with each other and people who do or donít know them are commenting on their posts. However, this was not the intended purpose they had in mind when they added themselves to Facebook. Maybe joining an online community like Facebook is a great introduction for teachers who are intimidated by sharing anything online. They just need someone to hold their hand as they dip their feet into this new world.

They could go slow and upload a picture or two. Then someone may comment on their album. Another person may tag them in a picture. I tried looking at what was happening in other social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn.

Twitter was not as obvious to me on which group is using it more, because most of my network is for professional reasons. Very few of my family or close friends use Twitter. I found it to be more of a learning environment for me. I have a large and diverse enough network to follow interesting tweets. I still find that less than 20% of those Iím following are posting a tweet. Some people are getting more comfortable by retweeting a post. I learn something new every day on Twitter but thatís because of my network: who Iím following and whoís following me.

Whatever I find that is new, I either try to retweet it, share it on
Facebook on our Fan page, and/or in My eCoach either as a tip, posted in a blog, or added to the eLibrary. The whole idea about social networks are the connections you make and what you do with the information you pull out of that network.

LinkedIn is to build your professional learning network and to promote your products and services. Building the right connections matter most there. Receiving and posting recommendations look good. New features include some of the social tools like what you read, links, groups, etc. If you join specific groups that focus on your profession will help you build your network.

My eCoach is where you take some of your network to do your work. You can set up a team, compile resources that you collected from the other sites, and collaborate on projects. This is a place to co-author websites, surveys, and more and integrating ideas and tools you have found from your PLN.

Iím impressed with how much people share. Yet up to now, it seems to be less than 20% of my network that are posting and sharing. It will be interesting to see how soon the percentage of my network participating grows when the Facebook crowd gets more comfortable with the tools.

Categories: "Personal Learning Network" "Pln" "Social Networks" "Twitter" "Facebook"

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Comments: Add New Comments
By Wendy Gallegos      November 22, 2009 -- 02:03 PM

This is very interesting

Reply to Wendy Gallegos


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