I think that I may be a technology diystopian’ist’. I have to admit that the idea of communicating in a social media based world, is a complicated proposal. I think that I put myself in this category (if there is such a thing) because of the temporary nature that I see social media existing in. To me communication is deep and meaningful. something to be mulled over and contemplated. In most of the media formats that I am aware of are limited in the amount you can actually say at any given time.
I have been fortunate enough to have taken an intern this semester, and he is a social media denizen. He communicates through social media in a way that truly confounds me. I hate the idea that I am a traditionalist in my practice, however, in watching the way that my intern navigates and participates in social media. Tweets fly rife with symbols and, although I hate to admit it, meaning.
It is this meaning and the purpose of communicating in this way that escapes me…or currently escapes me. What is the purpose of this medium? Do kids really use this as a means of communication? Can social media enhance my teaching? I cant yet answer this question for my personal practice but, I can definitely see how social media does these things for the practice of my intern. He has been exposed and formed, well his practice anyway, in the context of this medium. My intern does not see technology as a tool, but rather an environment. This is where we differ. I must admit it does seem more a chasm than a gap, however, with a bit of learning I can at least see the benefit of social media as a community rather than an activity.
I am fortunate to have an interpreter on this particular journey, and believe that I am not the only one to benefit from a move towards an online forum to explore and share ideas and understandings. I think that my students also need to see this as an environment for more than just entertainment, but also one of sharing and engagement.
We have started, and in traditional style, created table top ‘communities’ leaving ‘messages’ on our desks and moving around the room ‘visiting’ others sites. This was a great way to demonstrate the way in which we can not only interact but also’ share’ ideas. A discussion on how this is effective will follow. Moving to an online collaboration using Google Docs to share ideas with others in the school. I admit this is as much me learning the environment as it is them. Yet maybe this is the best part of internet learning. Maybe the ability to participate in an environment without feeling out of place, is technically having that environment not be a… place?