The Importance of Social Media In Education

I started this post in late October and was interrupted in the middle by a phone call from my sister. That phone call has altered my life. The news was not good, her husband’s trip to the doctor’s office revealed he has brain cancer. His prognosis is not good. We are searching for answers and working against time. This post reveals how after deep  personal reflection the need to write and reflect helps us learn. Please read on to understand my story.

Time is a very important commodity. I now cherish it in many ways. One way is because I have very little time to do what I love doing. I have not been able to stay connected and I am sad about that because I feel I was just beginning to get my voice. I am involved in a mooc as a  mentor in this amazing grad course #eci 831. The course is now ending and I did not get to share as much as I liked but what I feel is more important is that I made some connections. These connections have been added to my growing PLN. One such connection you should check out is onepercentyellow She is one creative individual! So in time I know in time I will be back doing the things I love to do-learning and sharing with others!

I am spending more time connecting with my family. This is another example of cherished time.  Although they are miles away, we are in constant communication everyday. Having a family and staying in contact with my family (sisters, brother, nieces, nephews) is a tough juggling act but it is what needs to come first. Weekends are now spent on the road. This news has changed all of us but it also made me realize something I knew all along.  We are a close family and we draw strength from each other. We are there for each other. When I started thinking about this I realized it is similar to twitter and forming a PLN. That brought me back here.

So below you will see the draft that I started before the phone call.  The original title was called Introducing Twitter to Friends but when I came back to write a post I noticed this draft was the last time I was on my blog. That made me stop and think-what should I do with this draft? Should I scrap it or make use of what I felt was important? I feel it is important to post it now because for me it was a reminder of what is important and why I feel social media is important in education.  So here is the post:

Recently I met up with some friends who I haven’t seen in over a year. They were in town for a conference and I enjoy going out to dinner and catching up. Our common bond is that we are all educators. One of the highlights of our get together is that we share what we are doing professionally. I being the techie of the group, thrive on developing my PLN and encouraging my friends who do not use social media to try it. So this post goes out to Val & Emily and anyone else who is a little hesitant on how to get started using twitter.

Getting Started

To start you will need to go to twitter and create an account. They will ask you to create a username, password, and ask you for an email account. Once you have an account you can change the look of your account in the settings tab.

In the Beginning

Twitter is different than blogging because you only get 140 characters to use to write your message. This may seem hard but after reading twitter for a while you will notice there are shortcuts to writing. One of my biggest suggestions to someone who is just starting out is to find people you have similar interests with and follow them. To find people with similar interests check out this list twitter chat schedules. Here is another post I came across. The title grabbed my attention  What Do I Wish I Knew Before I Got Started? This is when my phone rang and the post ended.

So now I sit here in the present and I do not have time to finish this long explanation of how to use twitter for my friends who are not familiar with twitter. So this is what I did- I went to my twitter account and found an excellent explanation. I knew there were others who had written on this topic. It was a matter of finding one and sharing it since I do not have the time to finish this explanation. Here it is Twitter for Beginners by @cybraryman1.  This is a great post and covers a lot of ground. I recommend following @cybraryman1 on twitter. There you have it my original intention (introducing my friends to twitter) is now complete.

In closing, I want to add a few other mentions. I want to acknowledge @intrepidteacher Jabiz Raisdana for his video Life as an Open Book that helped me with this post.  Another person I would like to thank is Dean Shareski.  Thank you for sharing your work. Seeing your work The Moral Imperative and more recently Who Is Your Teacher has inspired me and reminded me that sharing is part of learning.   Finally to Alec Couros who I will be forever grateful to. You have transformed my thinking. Your views on openness and the importance of social media in education have helped me in my struggle to define myself. Your an amazing educator! Thank you for believing in open education and willing to share your teaching with the world. The best way that I know how to repay you is to follow in your footsteps.

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2 Responses to The Importance of Social Media In Education

  1. Hi Cathy,

    Thanks for the shout out, but more importantly for sharing your vulnerability and personal life. Since I made that made a few years ago, I have learned that we connect most authentically when we share more honestly. Like all relationships, the ones we foster online develop over time and with trust. Piece by piece we become closer. Things like this post are a great example.

    We were connected by Twitter, but now, after reading your words, I understand our bond better. Thank you. Looking forward to what happens next….

  2. Cathy,

    Thanks for letting me know my work made a difference. Continued success.

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