My first unconference reflection #1: managing your online presence

 

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I was thrilled to see @kevupnorth leading a session on this, as I’d seen his prezi from the Learning and Teaching Olympics two weeks ago & was sad to have missed his session.

 

I was initially surprised at the beginning of the session to find the same prezi being used and to realise it this was going to be a more traditional ‘talk from the front’ session, as opposed to the more discussion based sessions I’d attended earlier in the day.

It is a really interesting presentation, and I recall reading through it at the Rose Bowl and start to consider how I could include aspects of this into the L4 Learning Technologies course. It was the first time I’d really considered the importance of monitoring your online presence, and i think this is the key strength to the session.

 

Discussions earlier in the day, had further highlighted to me the initial barriers people have to engaging in emerging technologies (even those keen enough to attend an unconference on e-learning). What this session addressed for me was the why and how to manage your online presence & I can see how this can be reassuring for people who are fearful of engaging in social networking due to some of the high profile negative cases that have appeared in the tabloid press.

 

However, what I feel the session lacked was a ‘why’ teachers should engage in social media in the first place. There was a summary on ‘how’ to engage (but even this I felt was quite vague and wouldn’t address the issues I’d heard raised earlier on just how to get started) but as the session was personalised to Kevin himself at times it felt a little like being seen to be using social media was a means in itself.

 

With the syllabus for the Technology in Learning course I’m currently writing having a heavy focus on web 2.0 & communicative technologies I feel that social media services are going to play quite a sizeable role in the course. As such, how to support the students on the course with setting up and managing their own online presence and what would be the selling point in doing this? Is it for personal use? Professional Development? In order to support their own students in being safe online? Is it possible to do this without having practical experience of it yourself?

 

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