Thursday, 27 October 2011

Social Media: Personal Learning: Practical guidance on how to do this - Planning/Brainstorming a session idea

In the post Social Media Supporting teacher CPD - 2 I talked about an idea for a session designed to give educators practical guidance on how to use social media for their learning. It would sit alongside 21st century tools for teaching and learning which I run about internet-based tools for use in teaching and learning. The rationale is that if educators start using social media for themselves and find value in this process they will naturally start thinking about how to use it within their teaching. It's a logical train of thought. It's difficult for educators to use tools in their teaching which have no relation to everyday practice. Part of this is to do with the dominance of sterile VLE features which look like they belong in 1995. But it's more about the concept of communicating in a fashion alien to them.
I've fleshed this out a bit more in the above mindmap and divided it into personal and collaborative. The key with this type of session is making sense of these tools, stating clearly what they offer in their context and talking about it in types of activity rather than tool names. The aim is to reach those who don't have a clue, don't know where to start. The great mass of educators who are left behind and annoyed that no one is telling how to make sense of it all in easy to understand terms. Papers like tweeting for teachers won't have an impact without sustained initiatives of this type. I guess I'm trying to fill this gap albeit in a very small way.
Under personal I've got:

Aggregation
Knowledge seeking - micro-blog searching, browsing, slideshare - this is about the process of finding relevant information. Once you have your twitter people nicely followed and RSS feeds set up, it's just a matter of tweaking. However, if you start from scratch it's difficult to know where to start. I'll have to think about how best to advice on this because learning technology information flies out and grabs you. Other subject matter might well be different. There'll be information here on browsing too.
Knowledge storing - rss, twitter, social bookmarking - about storing the stuff you find by twitter following, rss and bookmarking. I could also talk about cloud storage here but this might not fit very well.

Sense-making/learning
Note taking and highlighting - the various social media options for this activity which many would do by pen or word processing. So this would include tools like evernote, bounce, diigo, also I'll need to check out stand alone highligher tools. I used to use awesome highlighter but I'm sure there are better examples. I'm looking at website notetaking and dedicated notes tools like evernote which I use and like.
Brainstorming - This one's easy - mindmapping tools principally but I could also do drawing tools and things like thoughtbox and other task management tools.
Written Reflection - The culmination of everything for me is to blog and reflect.

I could take participants on a journey by creating an account in google and then proceed to create and practice using areas for all the aggregation and sense making areas. It might be that a half day session on the personal side of things would be enough for one learning experience.

However, if I wanted to go further and teach about collaborative learning in relationship to educator peer communication/collaboration, I would cover:

Synchronous Discussion: chat tools like titanpad or sync.in
Aynchronous Discussion: I'm not clear yet how this could run. I want to teach educators that, by engaging in discussion with peers they can learn lots. So it's about finding peer networks and having those discussions. More thinking to be done here on how best to teach this.
Collaborative document/text creation: Wikis and tools like google docs. Combination tools like google hangout need to be investigated.
Sharing: Sharing is one of those activities which don't seem valuable until you do it. So talking about the sharing ethos via twitter/slideshare/blogging with focus on twitter.
• Group creation: Covering the ability to create private social network for groups using tools like google sites, ning, grouply etc.

That's enough detail for talking about it to my colleagues (and specifically my boss). I would only need to prepare properly if it were to run. No doubt I'll reflect on it here if that's occurs.

No comments:

Post a Comment