more Octel musings – social media and e-learning

So as usual with all things, i start really keen enthuasiastic and motivated and already I am falling behind, having only just got back on track with continuing my octel work!

Its been interesting however to use social media in  capacity for communicating with collegees, its not something i’ve done before. Coming from a FE background, a couple of colleges i’ve work with have been guarded in engaging with social media, some even to the extent of blocking its use on campus.

I can see merits to the argument that students don’t like their social areas intruded on by staff, but surely a balance has to be stuck between allowing the students the freedom to explore and engaging with them in new and unusal enviroments for staff. Its not just students who need to be taken out of their comfort zone.

I have find following the #octel hashtag on twitter has identified some interesting looking articles which are now sat on my favourites tab to read on my next tea break and do feel that it makes it a way to find out ideas and perspectives i may not normally come across in my day to day browsing of the web.

In terms of Blogs, i have a love hate relationship with blogs. I have used blogs for fundraising purposes and to document my journey on said fundraising. It sometimes would be so easy to blog and map my journey but other times i’d stare at the scream for hours and the words wouldn’t flow. Blogs can give you a voice, if you have something to say, if you don’t it can be a way to waffle aimlessly about nothing.

That said, having done my last blog its useful to come back to it and get a snap shot of my train of thought from a week ago and see whay has changed or to reflect or comments people have left. Whilst promoting E-portfolios its something important to highlight to students. Self-reflection is a good thing, its not always easy, but looking back on your thoughts, beliefs and what you have learnt does challenge you. It makes you question what you said, has what you believed changed, were you right, have you grown? All of this adds to the education cycle and allows you to reflect. For me if education does not challenge or stretch you, whats its purpose. Doing a blog has certainly already made me look at some of my views on e-learning and identify areas to develop.

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