Hello SMiELTworld!

Signed up for an online course on ELT and social media.  This blog, one of the assignments will be the hardest for me.  I’m not a stranger to social media, am a member of too many Ning networks, active in a couple, use twitter and delicious regularly, voice thread for a multitude of purposes and various other services and tools as the need arises.   But a blog, that’s a whole ‘nother ball game.  It’s not that I don’t blog, I do, if you could call what I do “blogging”.  But it seems that blogging to order or rather as an assignment is not something I can easily put my mind to. 

I’m thinking if I paste the assignment here it may be easier for me to focus:

  1. What have you noticed about the various platforms that you have opened accounts on? What do they have in common? How do they differ?
  2. Are these environments different from LMS (like Blackboard, WebCT, Moodle and others)? How?
  3. What does “social media” mean for you? Which social media have you used already and what are your feelings about it?

Maybe I’ll start from the part of question 3 which I didn’t yet answer in my opening paragraph.  What does “social media” mean for me?  What are my feelings about it.

 “Social media” is my chosen tool for learning, my PLE if you will.  Not usually as part of a course but as a day to day activity.  Social media has also become the staff room of my choice, the place I go to meet colleagues and share events, ideas, thoughts, questions, plans, recommendations, projects etc etc.  Slowly it is also becoming a “place” where I meet friends, see familiar faces, get to know new people.   However social media is a part of my professional life, it is not a place where I usually carry out my personal life.  There is a little overlapping at the moment as my daughter and her friends decided to join facebook and befriend me, this has added a new angle and I’m not sure I like it, but then I don’t like fbook anyway… 

Social Media is is also something that I am introducing my students to slowly.  It’s not easy as most of the applications are a little difficult for the average Israeli elementary student.  Just signing up for a site and learning the interface is an exercise in EFL.  Participating in written online conversations in English is difficult for them.  We are using Voicethread and Ning and many of them use Youtube regularly as a source of entertainment.   

As to question 1 – The various platforms are easy to sign up for, adding content is quite simple and most of them provide some kind of comment and befriending system.  All the platforms are web based services, some offer RSS feeds (possibly all I can’t remember) Many offer widgets of different kinds to embed in other websites and blogs.  Many of the platforms include ads of some kind.  Differences obviously content type and privacy features.  Some of the sites seem not to have any content moderation eg: 43people  Most of these sites would be very difficult for my EFL elementary school students to use, and some of them are less than appropriate.

Are these platforms different to LMS systems?  While I haven’t actually experience of an LMS  if I look at the words, Learning Management System, they hint at a place where my learning would be managed, by whom? 

I think that most of the LMS systems are hosted on an institutions own servers, I may be wrong, however if true this would make setting up such a system more difficult.  It would however probably mean that the institution has more control over content and privacy of members and I’m sure no ads.

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6 Responses to “Hello SMiELTworld!”

  1. illya arnet-clark Says:

    Hi Susan
    great start to your blog. Now all you need is to edit or delete the first post and start writing 🙂
    I’m looking forward to reading about your reflections here!

  2. suzant Says:

    Commenting on my own blog – just realized that when I search in 43 people the search is automatically added to my profile page and appears in the sites update – don’t like that – I should be asked first…

  3. suzant Says:

    Commenting to self yet again, added assignments I still have left to do to 43 things and set a reminder for 2 days time.

  4. Nancy Says:

    I think your idea of posting the assignment is a good one! I often forget half of what I am supposed to be writing about! Oh well…

  5. Ann F Says:

    “Some of the sites seem not to have any content moderation eg: 43people Most of these sites would be very difficult for my EFL elementary school students to use, and some of them are less than appropriate.” I identify with what you say here. I work a lot for the British Council which frowns on us using many social networking sites, unless they have been set up by the BC itself. Just put a comment on Illya’s blog posting http://illyasoet.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/social-media-open-media/ and Sarah’s http://2pointwhat.wordpress.com/2008/01/22/getting-started/ about this.

  6. Patricia Glogowski (SMiELT Moderator) Says:

    I really like how you defined social media as “the staff room of my choice” in this entry: “Social media has also become the staff room of my choice, the place I go to meet colleagues and share events, ideas, thoughts, questions, plans, recommendations, projects etc etc. Slowly it is also becoming a “place” where I meet friends, see familiar faces, get to know new people.”

    Although I introduce various social platforms to my students as part of their research project (content-based learning) so that they can explore “the world out there”, I personally rarely participate in most of the social media platforms unless my participation is geared toward developing my professional knowledge. I like your name for it, “the staff room of my choice” because it indicates the shift in professional development we are experiencing right know on the web as well as it implies more control “of my choice” that we as educators have over our professional contacts, knowledge, and interests. Well put, Susan!

    Patricia

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