This is a guest post written by Tom Preskett. Tom works as a Learning Technologist for London Center for Leadership in Learning, Institute of Education in London, England where he facilitates the use of learning technologies. He has a special interest in using social media for learning and blogs. You can read his thoughts on his blog called Learning Technology Learning.
We are learning all the time. Structuring and directing this learning doesn’t need to be confined to courses and formal education. For an individual learner, it is possible to construct their own personal learning environment, utilising different online tools for different purposes. With social media coming in, this has become far easier, defined and exhaustive, than ever before.
How teachers can use social media for learning
I have conceptualized some of the possibilities in this mindmap: (click to enlarge)
About the mindmap:
I have divided it into two categories: Personal Learning and Collaborative Learning. However, because social media is inherently “social” there are opportunities for communication and collaboration throughout. It is important to think about the type of learning activity a particular tool ‘affords’. I find affordance a useful concept when thinking about technology and learning. It basically means what a tool lends itself towards doing or in simple words, what can a tool do.
When I look at social media, I like to think about what each social media tool affords in terms of learning. So, in the above mindmap, I don’t just say blogging, I say written reflection; because this is the part of the learning process that this social media tool affords.
I could sum up the personal learning side of the mindmap by saying:
You can use different social media tools to seek out knowledge and content, aggregate it so that you can store it and find it later in an organised fashion, reflect on this knowledge perhaps using visualisation tools and articulate it in writing.
Read further thoughts on the above in the post on his blog in a post called Social Media: Personal Learning: Practical guidance on how to do this-Planning/Brainstorming a session idea.