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Thing #3 – Online communities

January 14, 2012

I am a big believer in online communities.  I have participated in various communities way before Facebook or Twitter were even thought of (over 10 years), starting with discussion boards on iVillage, them migrating to various platforms.  As a young mother living in rural areas and moving 5 times in 10 years, the online communities I joined were lifelines for me.  I have made friends that I will hae forever.  In more recent years, I have joined Facebook, Twitter and other resources, which are great ways to stay in touch with people, reconnect with old friends & family, and build a PLN.

Although I haven’t yet implemented either Facebook or Twitter into my library program, I would love to use either one.  I had the opportunity to facilitate one of our weekly discussions for a grad class, and used a Facebook group for that.  I liked the fact that our group discussions were private, but took place using a medium that everyone in the class was already using.  There was no learning curve, and participation was very high.  I think these advantages would translate into the 7-12 class setting as well.  One barrier I have is that Facebook is one of the few websites currently blocked at my school, so I would really have to make a very good case for getting it unblocked in order to use it.

Admittedly, while I’ve been using Twitter for a few years now, I have to shake the dust off my account and be a better tweeter.  I love Twitter as a professional tool, but the uses of it in the classroom are not quite as apparent to me.  I am teaching information literacy skills in collaboration with our Current Events teacher, and I will be doing a lesson on Twitter and Facebook, but I’m not quite sure about other uses of it.  I am eagerly checking out the resources in the Thing#3 post though, and hope to get more use out of my account.

Just curious if anyone here has tried Google+ yet.  I have had an account there for awhile, but I found it hard, since most people I keep in touch with are on Facebook and it got really old checking two places.  Between moving this past summer and starting a new job, I just haven’t kept it up.  Just wondering what other people’s opinions are….

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2012 5:05 am

    I did join Google+ but haven’t done much with it. I like the ease with which you can organize your groups of friends and colleagues, but beyond that I haven’t explored it as much as I’d like to. Like you, so many friends, family and colleagues are still on Facebook, so that’s where I end up the most. And twitter too.

  2. January 25, 2012 2:01 pm

    Maureen, I’ve enjoyed reading your comments and agree with you with many of the issues. Making a good educational case for social media such as Twitter and Facebook to be used in schools will open the eyes of those who control filters and hopefully open the filters.
    Keep up the good work!

  3. Jennifer permalink
    March 6, 2012 2:41 pm

    Facebook is blocked in my district as well but I certainly see the usefullness of such a tool in the classroom! Unfortunately, I don’t see that opening up for us any time soon. I have used GoodReads with my student book club and that has been going very well.
    I have not been able to get into Twitter…I signed up for an account but always feel behind the eight ball as far as keeping up with it. I love Google+ but everyone I am in contact with use Facebook so it ends of being just another thing to check. I’m having enough issues keeping up with email & facebook. I would love to see Facebook open up an educational portal….or more of a professional component. It is such a great forum but I’m sure people in the educational setting don’t want to see pictures of my daughter’s 9th birthday last weekend. LOL

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