Stalking? No, just interested.

My 15 y.o (oops, just turned 16) has been in Italy for the last 3 months on a student exchange program. Missed her so my soul felt stretched. So, Facebook. I was keen, stalking? no, just interested. I contributed regularly, and found new ways of keeping up with 20 somethings!, checked it daily to see the landscape.

She’s been home 5 days, haven’t been near it. I’m really interested in the potentials of social learning and social software ( had BIG conversation/discussion with family and friends last night), but I guess at this stage, with Facebook at least, I’m totally motivated by personal need. Big conversation went a bit like this: 

Sister: Why don’t people just talk to each other? They’ll lose the capacity to interact f2f.

Others: murmurs of assent, dissidence

Me: Well, I’ve been learning all these groovy things, what about the social impact… equity, opportunity, lack of divide, Africa, poverty, access…????

Sister: We have video of wonderful people in PNG – really talented, …

Me; Youtube?

Simplistic of course, but you get the gist. We embrace as we need? Want? 

Twitter? Kids at school certainly unfamiliar, (too young?? is it for uni +?) trying it out, interested in stalking potential. Or, interested in connection? 

At my husband’s school, a student took a 4 day suspension over surrendering her phone. Talk about feeling the connectedness of the social community. 

What’s it all about Alfie?

Maybe, I don’t recognise the potentials. Too, I’m a little distracted by the myriad of ‘social opportunities’ afforded by web 2.0. (Will there be a 2.1? Like apple updates?) 

Task 1.2 completed!

Have completed the task, and am now interested to read peers’ responses. I’m particularly interested in the contributing, and hindering factors that facilitate participation and learning. It was difficult to narrow the focus, I primarily used Saunders, but referred to and was drawn to other writers and theorists. I’m looking forward to finding other models to consider and examine. 

Publi/c publi/shing

I was thinking about the process we went through for the first task. Publishing our assignment, rather than the ‘old fashioned’ way –  creeping in to slip our work into the assignment box – no correspondence entered into. A little traumatising first time around. But, it got me thinking. Art students, drama students, music, woodwork… they all ‘publish’ their work in progress/process. Practical subjects. Lots of potential input on the way. A practical response to learning.

Raises questions about assessment for and of learning. I’m really interested in the potential of applying this at school – after all – we work in a standards based framework, the kids are not competing against each other so there is no ‘marks’ reason for them not to help each other. This would of course require a lot of rethinking and the establishment of a different learning culture, but one that could capitalise on very positive learning climates already in place, and that could be incredibly enriching and rewarding and could help deepen their learning.  

Bad press

My learning community is English Companion – predominantly US. One of the discussions was in regards to running a paperless classroom and the teacher was inquiring what platforms others had used. Lots of people responded with criticism re edublogs: that it is often ‘down’, disappointment there are ads and so on. Finally, someone commented that you can easily avoid the ads by becoming a subscriber, and that it really is effective. I like it, its clean and easy to use – almost intuitive. 

Models, mentors and e things

Like most, reading the Saunders article resonated well. It affirmed much of what we know as teachers, both instinctively/intuitively and through more formal means. I’m interested in some of the comments made in others blogs re how we are operating in the ning, and how our mentoring is working. For me, its all been (and is) a very steep learning curve so I definitely need models and mentors. It is easy to feel completely overwhelmed by how much is out there – resources, information, scope for investigation, and, how ‘groovy’ you can make your interfaces etc. Looking at each others work on the ning and blogs, I’m learning a lot! I do counsel myself not to take on too much at once, but am certainly growing in confidence. I am certainly finding many mentors who model excellent practice and from whom I can learn. ‘Adults learn selectively from their chosen models.’ Example, today, I’ll tag this – hadn’t really noticed/ realised that aspect prior to reading ‘mollybob’s’ entries via netvibes. I won’t though, explore the advanced options today!

Further thoughts on Saunders, one thing I loved about the article was the manner in which it was written. The summative comments were succinct and penetrating. 

I do think though that as adult learners we are also intimidated. This is evident even in my other class, Research Perspectives, where when called upon to comment on an article, there is a resounding silence in the room. From a teaching point of view, this is of course in part relational to classroom dynamics, trust, and so on. I always thought of myself as a f2f learner, but find in this course I have a greater sense of trust. As someone else commented though (sorry I forget who) the nature of disclosure on the ning etc has been relational to our common learning goals.

The e -verse is all a bit of a vortex though. I find I’m drawn to the computer all the time, just want to check what’s happening, read what’s going on, others thoughts. Time disappears.