Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Selecting meaningful #socialmedia tools for a #MOOC or #PLN

A big part of setting up an open, online course (e.g. MOOC), or gearing up for a Personal Learning Network (PLN) is the selection of meaning social media tools. In order to get an overview of the big families in social media, I started to make a list for my own comprehension and future selection. A added some examples to each group, but those are just the ones that immediately came to mind.

If you see that I have missed a group or set of social media tools, feel free to let me know. 

Social Media Tool
Why use it + implementation
Example with possible extra
Idea and content sharing
Microblogging

Twitter allows the learner group to share short messages with one another, linking it to more content.

Real life: educators have twitter meetings where they discuss a particular educational issue (#lrnchat)

Extra: using a hashtag (#) to keep on track of specific topics. Look here for all tweets regarding mLearning (updated life).

Social Networking
Building a network of people that can add to the knowledge creation of the learner.

Real life: people with mutual interest in management joining up in a group to discuss strategies (LinkedIn)

Extra: LinkedIn has a nice feature enabling you to send Q/A to your professional network. A nice way to meaningfully stay in touch.
Social bookmarking

Social bookmarking allows the learner group to find bookmarked items related to the topic at hand gathered in one place.

Real life: organizing online resources relevant to your learner group (e.g. augmented learning).

Multimedia sharing
Sharing visuals, audio and/or movies to give others an in-depth view on what is happening.

Real life: health care workers sharing X-ray pictures and how they diagnosed it (Telemedicine).
Video (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo).

Audio (e.g. Skype)

Pictures (e.g. Flickr)

Extra: make sure you choose a good copyright, you might want to look at Creative Commons licenses.

Extra: geotagging, sharing the location of the object of the video, audio or picture that is shared. This metadata can later be used for additional learning tracks or research.

Blogs
To reflect on what is learned, or what the learner thinks is of importance.
Keeping a learning archive or personal learning environment (PLE).

Real life: engineers keeping track of complex issues they encounter in the field and how they solve it. These accounts can later be used in similar situations.


A special mention must be made about Posterous. This great blogging tool enables you and any group member to e-mail content to a variety of social media tools: Flickr, Facebook, twitter… Try it out, it is fun AND easy!.
Virtual meetings

Virtual meeting tools allow synchronous communication to take place. Great for collaborative discussions/brainstorming.

Real life: sales protocols are provided asynchronously and learners need to go through them. Afterwards virtual meetings are set-up to roll play what is learned and discuss the protocols.

Big Blue Button (open source project)

Wiziq(free for basic use)


Sharing presentations

Sharing presentations offer an immediate way of enhancing knowledge on a certain subject.

Real life: this can be used for assignments. Where learners are asked to build a presentation, share it and discuss each other’s work (constructively).



Collaborative reference managers

For those learners interested in research or formal accreditation,

Real life: easily access citations, building reference lists, creating literature reviews.



Collaborative mindmapping

Planning or structuring thoughts, future steps, content.

Real life: teachers coming together to set up a new curriculum, collaboratively building the course architecture.
Augmented reality additions

Great for adding authentic information to geo-located spaces.

Real life: seeing archeological history unfold itself over centuries, simply by looking at your mobile device.