Social Media 543 – First Blog post. Thoughts and reflections

I have to say that I am honestly very positive and relaxed about joining the four social networks. I have been using Twitter for about a year and have had a personal Facebook page since 2007. I have experimented with blogging a couple of times using Blogger but never WordPress. Diigo was new to me and after figuring out the basics, I like it. I have already shared it with my Leadership team and will set up a group for our elementary team and lead some training on it later in the year.  We use a lot of internet resources and it is a simple way to share, annotate and get staff involved across our school.

My only reservations and biases were with Facebook, which I think is in decline in a number of ways. Their heavy advertising, profiling and the constant battle with privacy issues makes me more wary of how relevant it will be in a few years. Young people are already drifting away. That said, I do check it daily and post family pics on my personal page to share so I am a little inconsistent. I’m looking forward to having my biases challenged.

My experiences with social media for my own professional development have changed markedly in the last 12 months. I thought Twitter was for following celebrities –  so I stayed away. As an elementary teacher, Facebook is not really an option as all pupils are under 13 and our school has a system for parental communication in place. To be honest until 12 months ago Social Media to me was Facebook. I was lucky enough to attend a local training session and one of the speakers was Will Richardson, who was inspirational. The other educators there were more switched on than I was and I got fired up. I signed up for Twitter that afternoon and have embraced it. I have learned so much from so many people sharing their ideas and links. I organized and led a session with my staff on the use of twitter and it was successful. Staff embraced it and I saw ideas in their classes that came directly from connections they had made on Twitter.  However, I have realized how many other things are out there that I am clueless about and am excited to expand my understanding. I don’t believe the world will, ‘unconnect’ and so social media in all it’s ever changing and emerging forms is going to be pivotal in my professional life.

I have not used social media as an instructional strategy with pupils in my environment. As I mentioned above, I have embraced Twitter  and encouraged other staff to do the same but that is really the limit of my experience. I am looking forward to that changing.

My expectations for the course are really simple, I want to learn, to develop new knowledge, skills and understanding. I hope to be able to share, connect, share some more and hopefully laugh along the way.

One thought on “Social Media 543 – First Blog post. Thoughts and reflections

  1. Andrew,

    Your analysis of Facebook is very interesting. I remember when MySpace was all the rage, and MocoSpace was a big hit where I work. Seems that social sites are cyclical in nature.

    I agree with the privacy issues being problematic, and I truly despise the game invites that can flood a page. My students were having a difficult time grasping the concept of blogging, so I likened it to Facebook – without the drama and was promptly informed by a student “that is the purpose of Facebook.” In a nutshell, I think that is why many educational entities have blocked or not used Facebook as a portal – too much drama associated with it. It is a similar issue with Twitter, celebrity gossip seems to be the only way it is mentioned. I didn’t realized until I took 537 Blogging that Twitter actually had a purpose besides gossip and inane postings about who had what for breakfast.

    I found the intro presentation on social media very informative. I have only used Facebook as a social portal to keep up with family and friends, I didn’t realize how much of an educational tool it could be.

    Liked by 1 person

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