Why Social Networking is Good for You and Your Students
It’s incredibly privileged for me to have had education be such an important and present part of my life. I am a lifelong learner and have continuously studied from school. I don’t see this changing any time soon. I am passionate about technology enhnanced learning (TEL) and how it can help people to develop skills for life and reach their full potential. I also feel privileged to live in a time where my environment has grown to the size of the world thanks to the internet.
I joined the education community because I want to share my passion for learning. My career has always been focused on empowering individuals and organisations develop their knowledge and skills to realise their full potential and take full control of their future. In my work, I help people make informed decisions regarding technology enhanced learning, training, business and management, in readiness to respond to change and competition.
The act of creating learning resources using technology is always teaching me new skills in both physical and practical ways. I’m always looking for new and interesting ways for my students to learn, collaborate and contribute. I like to talk to them to find out their passions and help them build on their strengths and capabilities to develop new skills. I’m always thinking about how I can help them reach where they need to go on their next study journey. At the same time as helping students I also get to exercise my own mind using new techniques.
I also like that what I do might provide inspiration or help someone else in the education community and so I follow a few basic rules for social networking:
Share the Journey
This can be one of the hardest things to do and note I say ‘journey’ rather than ‘finished object’. I always want to improve and adapt what I create or work on with students, but it is important to reach a point where what you have worked on is good enough to share with your community. Once I do, I find that others will shape and build on what I’ve done to transform it again.
Share your Work in Progress
I share my work in the education community through social networking because things improve through others contributing. Others share their designs and share their experiences on what has worked or not worked. I think there is nothing better than sharing something on a social networking site and then seeing someone else taking something you have created and using it and perhaps improving on it with their own students.
One of the many benefits of social networking is feedback. If someone takes the time to provide feedback, you may agree, you may disagree, it may not be relevant to your particular situation, but it is always important and often is useful to consider and apply in a future project.
Keep the Momentum
Social Networking is great for keeping the momentum going for you. Once you’ve shared a project, keep the momentum going and progress straight onto the next project. Storyboard your ideas and keep going project to project.
Blog about it
Blogging about what you have done or created is a great way to share and receive feedback. It also often provides you with more inspiration and ideas on how to improve or develop your work for the next project.
Katharine is the Digital Learning Fellow at PROCAT & works as a Management & Education Consultant.She is a University Lecturer in The Department of Engineering, Technology & Design & The Centre for Inclusion & Collaborative Partnerships. Katharine is Chair of ELESIG, an international e-learning special interest group & completing a PhD at The University of Glasgow, researching 3D Technology.