I’ve had the opportunity to observe and mentor a cohort of learners who’ve been assigned a reflective task using blogging as the medium and it’s been interesting to observe how the participants are unpacking their experiences. This group has also used threaded discussions and wikis in their course, and for some, it’s really all pretty new. As could be expected, there is both confusion and “aha” moments.
They are living the theory. It’s one thing to read about how a wiki generates a type of collaboration that is different from a blog or a forum, but it’s another thing to actually experience it. It’s a lot to take in and we don’t know the final verdict yet: Will these adult educators be inspired to continue using social media and form a broad Personal Learning Network, or will they feel overwhelmed and abandon this as soon as the course ends?
The range of social media tools has come into existence because each has it’s own strengths and weaknesses and it’s really interesting to watch how these play out. And it’s hard to structure a gradual entry into this world because everything is so interconnected. We deliberately didn’t add Twitter, and yet I feel that without it, there’s something very important missing — Twitter would have allowed an easy broadcasting of new blog posts and perhaps prevented folks from having to “go look”. RSS is used in what’s sort of a “central-organizer” blog which hopefully everyone goes to. We’re about halfway through, so…. more to come.