Lessons in Social Networking

30 04 2011

Okay, so I’m new to the world of blogging, but not new to the teaching or writing worlds.  I think the biggest adjustment for me will be the fact that my writing is shared with the world instantly.  There is no time for me to reflect on my writing and no time to revise and rethink before the world can read my work.  But, that’s a huge learning piece for everyone who uses any on-line social forum.  We try to teach kids that “once you put it out there, you can’t take it back”.  That’s so true!

Here’s how one of my students learned that very lesson.  In a recent on-line collaboration project, students were posting media presentations and asking for feedback from their peers.  One of my students posted a response that was highly critical.  While it was not inappropriate in content, it did not convey a voice of respect, support and genuine concern.  The problem was that by the time I saw the post, it was too late to delete it because the other student had already read responded to it.  From the tone of the response, it was clear that their feelings had been hurt.  There was no way to “take back” the hurtful post.  The only way to proceed was to post another response, to apologize for the first one and share feedback in a more supportive way.

Why did I share this?  Believe it or not, that was one of the most powerful lessons about social networking for my students.  Too often we all lose track of the fact that there are real people on the other end of our digital messages.  Once something is posted it has real consequences, real effects on real people. 

So, as I dive headfirst into the world of blogging, I hope to always remember….that once you put it out there, you can’t take it back.

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2 responses

30 04 2011
Farhana

Looks like I’m the first to comment! You’re absolutely correct about how social networking teaches the importance of being cautious about what you write and realizing that the audience you are sharing with is often larger than you expect. The instantaneous nature of most social network sites forces us to think twice before clicking “send”. Same goes for e-mail. However, fortunately most blog sites provide an opportunity for the blogger to edit/revise their posts after publishing (WordPress does for sure), so feel too much pressure as you enter the blogosphere! Comments that are posted (like this one), can not be retracted though.

So, let me read this over again…

double check…

ok, I’m good. Post.

2 05 2011
Heather Durnin

Congratulations on your new blog! It was great to meet you and your group on Friday at the Learning Connections conference. I’ve been thinking that the work you presented on learning skills is something I’d like to start my class off with in the fall.
The importance of the collaborative learning skill is mirrored in your post – leaving an appropriate comment. I spent the good part of a month this year guiding my students on what a good comment looks and sounds like, but like you, I found these lessons need constant revisiting.
Looking forward to reading your next post!
Heather

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