When I signed up for this course I didn’t really have pre-conceived notions in terms of how we would be using social media. As far as tools I suspected that Twitter, Facebook, Diigo and some other tools I had heard of or used briefly in past courses or own life would likely be covered. When it came to how they would be used or their potential for educating others my mind was a completely blank slate, which I think was helpful when completing our assignments. I am honestly not a person who has naturally taken to social media in its meteoric rise over the last 10 years. I have enjoyed having a personal Facebook account but even my use of that has waned significantly over the last few years.
The most beneficial assignment in this course for me ended up being the Social Media Policies because I work more at an administrative level and its content includes items that impact me personally. I will still use Facebook and Twitter going forward to communicate static messages to those I need to reach so these policies are something I need developed/followed.
A PLN is a great idea and I think that the virtual think tank aspect of it is something which excites me the most. Having different people to bounce my personal ideas off of is nice as someone undertaking several entrepreneurial endeavors, but I also wonder why I would choose to use a social media platform instead of something more confidential at its core like Email.
Being part of the creation of a MOOC with my PLN was a great eye opener to how future learning environments will be shaped. While I do not anticipate myself participating in MOOCS to a large degree it is definitely a potential to see what my nieces or nephews learning experiences might look like in 10 years.
In the end, while this class has opened up my mind to the potential social media offers to real world education it is not something I see myself ever falling in love with or embracing entirely. Since I am not someone who formally teaches younger students I am OK with taking this personal stance. While a younger generation may live and breathe social media to a large extent, the majority of people I have to disseminate information to or educate are adults who aren’t adopting or using these tools outside of LinkedIn at any meaningful level. I know there are more adults using social media every day and having meaningful/powerful experiences. However, I just can’t see myself using something on a large scale that I am not personally bought into.
Don’t get me wrong I do see the power social media holds, lying in wait to help educate a new generation for those who choose to use it. I felt the addicting and powerful draw of social media when Facebook first reared its head. I think this was a novelty based on being offered a virtual window into the lives of others. As my appreciation for Facebook has dwindled I always wondered if I would feel that sort of addiction and draw from social networking ever again. When we started this course and using Twitter I was hoping that it would be the tool to suck me back in. Thanks to this course I used it enough and learned enough about it to see why others appreciate the utility of it, but ultimately it was not going to be the gateway to draw me back into social networking. While the core Twitter function is powerful I am someone who doesn’t want to juggle multiple third party extensions or apps in order to make using Twitter an easily manageable and seamless experience.
I am a naturally introverted person and no matter how much I force myself I don’t see social media ever truly hooking me beyond the level of brief novelty. I know I am a minority, but I have come to recognize that I learn best alone, searching out and reflecting on information and ideas all by my lonesome. If information is what I seek I know where to look for it. If I look at how social media benefits me it’s for things I can’t or don’t find on my own but that other people who do use social media aggregate for me to some degree. I tend to get my up-to-date news and discover new things through one of the two main Discussion Forums I read. I largely don’t find it important for me to be on social-networking for my personal gain when others are going to do the work for me.
If anything this course led me to ponder a time when every single person on the planet (or at least those who matter in my sphere of existence) is on a social network. When everyone is on the same network is it still special and beneficial without any level of exclusivity? When we get the point that an Ai can search the world’s social networks and curate me anything I want why would I need to participate?
All in all this class made me think hard about the current state of education, social media, and the continually developing intersections of technology and learning as a whole. In my book anything that makes me think of new ideas, question old ones, or look at myself in a new light is a positive experience. If proposing a grade for my blogging during this course I would rate myself a 70/75. I think it ended up not focused entirely on my professional practice and self-assessment, but also also offered me a good place for self reflection.