February 18, 2015 psweeze

Social Media & Connected Learning on #EastCoastEd

Some of the ideas that came out of the discussion (a cross section of which can be seen below) have given me reason to reflect on my own practice of social media use. The varied perspective of last night’s contributors has encouraged me to find new platforms like Zaption, as well as to identify how the various stakeholders value these tools. Parents, students, teachers or administrators can leverage the advantages of these devices to their advantage. However the one group that always stands out to me are students. So what did we learn last night?

Students can use these platforms to create peer and distributed learning networks. They can leverage these networks to co-construct knowledge as part of a collective and can contribute to a larger discourse around content that matters to them. These networks are valuable resources – especially for those going into post secondary institutions – however, I wonder how many students know how to establish and maintain these on their own?

The theme of the night was about the redefining nature of communication. This led me to find a favourite quote of mine from a notorious Canadian philosopher of communication, Marshall McLuhan. 

Any medium has the power of imposing its own assumption on the unwary – Marshall McLuhan


Our students are the unwary. They take residency on these sites and use these platforms without guidance. My hope comes from teachers that joined in the conversation last night. These are the frontline educators that deal with this on a daily basis, and are the ones dedicated to providing their students with relevant guidance to navigate this new age of communication.


Also published on Medium.