I apprehensively enrolled into ONL 192 course given my immigrant status. After my fourth session the apprehension levels decreased. Reasons being that the facilitators and group members created an environment that is so conducive to teaching and learning. I guess one can attribute that to the professions that we do belong to. Since social media tools are around, we have changed ways of learning. Blogs, Twitter, MOOCs and an array of other tools are either complementing and/or replacing face to face interactions.
Using the problem-solving strategy as a teaching tool as part of learning communities can be daunting at best. Vost (2015) advises the use of three C’s – to create, curate and contribute as a way to ease into the world of social media. Create meaningful content- write regularly-select tools carefully. Curate i.e. be diligent in selecting and organising the content you are sharing. Contribute new knowledge by adding your individual understanding and perspective to ideas of others. I thought this to be useful spin on not only discovery of the various online tools available but how to use them with the intention to learn.
In this course the introduction of the FISH document as a problem-solving strategy, I found very useful. I clearly liked the structure it provided in solving problems. The scenario presented also added to the mental image of the problem. Overall, I found the structure of the course very meaningful and well conceptualised.
I disagree with the using ‘age’ as a factor to gage the status of technology involvement of individuals. We discussed this extensively and I believe the argument around the level of motivation and interest influences the use of technology. Students may be ‘natives’ to use of technology in their personal capacity but hardly use it for the purpose of learning.
It was also interesting to note that social media meant different things to different people in the group. We had discussions around the vast array of tools available for use. It was agreed that one needs to choose wisely in terms of which tool fits the purpose it is to be used for. Group members used different tools for personal use and others in their professional capacity. The question that came to the fore was how do we protect our private lives from students on social media? The dangers of openness and the misuse of information is a reality.
In conclusion, by the end of Topic 1 I felt very proud and my confidence levels sky rocketed as I developed my own blog using WordPress and developed a twitter account. My anxiety levels dropped, and I was ready to conquer the rest of the ONL course. HOORAY!!!!
Vora, T. (2015) 3 C’s for Learning and Leading on Social Media. http://qaspire.com/2015/01/23/3-cs-for-learning-and-leading-on-social-media/
White, D. & Le Cornu, A. (2011) Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9). Available here