Podcast over Zoom

Outline:

Final Project for EDCI 338 – Social Media & Personalized Learning EDCI 

Instructor: Jesse Miller

Group Participants: Sree Vyshnavi Tejovath, Isabella Zhu, Jianuo Xu and Mahi Moghaddasi

Project discussion

  1. Introduction
  2. Key characteristics of any discussed social media platforms.
  3. Features & characteristics of existing media technologies that make them effective 
  4. Strengths and weaknesses of the privacy and security policies for the social media
  5. Development of digital identity/reputation by using of social media
  6. Social considerations in a PLN
  7. Technology tracks and uses of data and its benefit to a PLN
  8. Successful PLN
  9. The notable individual usage of a PLN and their presence on the platform
  10. Building reputation/presence in a PLN by notable individuals
  11. Conclusion
  12. References

Group participants contributed to each written section:

Sree : 1,2 ,3 and 4 

Isabella: 5 and 6

Jianuo : 7 and 8

Mahi: 9, 10, 11 and outline

1. Introduction

A Personal Learning Network is a way of describing the group of people that you connect with to learn their ideas, their questions, their reflections, and their references (Teachthought, 2018).In this modern era, PLNs have been playing a key role in our daily lives. There are different kinds of learning networks, informal and formal learning. We also started using social media for a personalized way of learning. 

Social media and PLN go hand-in-hand. Social media acts as a big platform for Personal learning networks. It helps people to connect from different parts of the world and also amplifies the ability to form good relationships with people. We come across different cultures and different backgrounds. We can also learn about seeing a situation from different perspectives as each person has a distinct opinion on it. We can share our ideas, represent ourselves, and make connections with a certain group of people that we are interested in. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube etc., play a major role in it. Social media helps us in maintaining our networks and relationships personally or professionally.  We will discuss more about the usage of PLN in the upcoming sections. 

2Describe the key characteristics of any discussed social media platforms. 

As years passed, the communication approach we use has been different from time to time. For a decade, Facebook and Instagram have been the most used social media platforms. But Facebook on the other hand, along with the messenger,  has been on the top for a while now. It has a user-friendly nature i.e., it’s the easiest website to use. It also has a lot of ways of presenting ourselves in different aspects. We can post stories, maintain a timeline, post comments, our active location, etc. We can share our ideas with the world at a fast pace and receive feedback on them, critical or positive ones, where we can update ourselves with the opinions they post. Facebook can even be used as a learning tool to see the consequences and causes of failed communication (Jeremy,2018). 

Instagram, similarly, has also been acting a major role in people’s lives, especially teenagers. It is a photo-sharing app, where we can post pictures of ourselves and share them with a particular group we have or in the public as well. It reflects who you are as a person (Heidy,2018). You can also use it to explore the education sector, clothing, luxury brands and many more.

Both of the platforms can also be used to buy products from small-scale businesses to the biggest brands in the world. It makes you feel confident when you put yourself on the platform and express yourself to discover your talents.

3. What features & characteristics of existing media technologies make them effective for personal learning?

Social media has many features which make them useful for personal learning. It is capable of making people understand all the complex ideas in a simple way and in a short period of time. It gives us a stage to discuss our ideas, arouses discussion, evaluates one’s values and we can get to know more about ourselves. It keeps everyone connected, not only students but also teachers, entrepreneurs, celebrities and so on. All the content which was taught in theory in the past is now being implemented in a visualized and practical way, which helps learners to retain the concepts and ideas. It can also be used to create digital content, review and share critiques and it can also be used as a tool for assessment of a certain group. For example, I used youtube is used as a platform to learn the theories and concepts in real. The use of media in the classroom enables students to see concepts and new examples when they are watching television, listening to music, or are at the movies with friends(Serc,2018).

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the privacy, security and acceptable use policies for the social media platforms?

Most social media platforms provide security and privacy settings to ensure that personal information and payment methods should be protected from unauthorized access by strangers or applications. They make sure that the media is shielded against spammers, duplicate profiles and many other different risks. It also gives us a facility to report users whose accounts have been hacked and also call out forms of comments or posts which are abusive, aggressive and sensitive. For instance, when I used Facebook, I modified my setting accordingly and specified my audiences for them to my pictures, tags and other sensitive information.

But, on the contrary, social media also opens the door for viruses, hacking, and breaches. Our sensitive information might be sold to other organizations. Someone might post a picture and tag us which might be inappropriate and disturb our privacy. When scrolling, if we click on a link accidentally, it might take us to sites which are improper and  weakens the security and leads the hackers to hack our devices.

The social media platforms must apply some policies, such as defining what exactly that particular platform does. The policy should be clear and communicated with the user before actually using social media. Notify that the inappropriate posting will be removed and restricted if posted. The users should also be responsible for the things they post on social media. And having good relations and being nice will be helpful for a safe and healthy environment on the platform.

5. How does the technology allow you to enhance/develop your digital identity/reputation?

The technology applies scientific knowledge in solving day-to-day challenges especially the barriers to effective learning (Krutka et al., 2017). Technology makes the world to be connected and hence they can share information easily through social media posts. This is achieved through several interactive platforms provided by the internet and they include the use of social media platforms and other special learning tools such as Google Classroom, Canva, Learning Management Systems (LMS), and Zoom (Trust et al., 2017). One can be connected with online tutors and see their posts on various topics of interest. Commenting on social media and seeking clarification on various topics on social media is helpful and makes us be educated through the online platforms. It is necessary to appreciate the efforts that people make to educate through digital platforms and the information to impact others positively while adding value to it.

    Social media is a potential invention that can be utilized for professional and personal learning goals. For example, one needs to create a Twitter account and then use it to follow people of interest in the area of learning and the other organizations that can be of importance to the field of study (Kumar & Sharma, 2021). This helps us be informed about course material and new developments, especially from communities that are engaged in upgrading new knowledge on various topics. Some people through Twitter can decide to offer free training by providing links to platforms where interested people can join for learning sessions. Facebook and WhatsApp groups that are tailored towards certain learning goals can help one create networks with professionals in the various fields of study. People can share through chats using messaging apps for consultation purposes. Such groups are important since one gets personal touch with individuals available locally and internationally thus, gaining knowledge that is based on various experiences from different backgrounds (Dhawan, 2020). There are technology tools that can use to foster identity and quality learning engagements over the internet. 

    One of my internship jobs was to help some online bloggers to run their accounts. The main tasks were to maintain the number of followers, the number of video plays, the play data, the copywriting of the account, etc. I believed that the knowledge and skills I learned would be helpful to many people operating their accounts, so I have created my own account and shared my internship experience. This has brought me some attention, and I have gained a lot from helping others as well as communicating with more peers. I believe this will help me improve my digital identity and will be beneficial to my account.

6. What are social considerations that should be accounted for?

    Social considerations to be looked at during technology use may involve understanding various levels of engagements made and the need to keep the ethical principles while using digital platforms for learning purposes (Kumar & Sharma, 2021). Appropriate PLN should look into serious social considerations to help one develop maximum value out of them (Krutka et al., 2017). Integrity and trust are required when one is keep on creating a reputable PLN.  Correct and accurate commentaries are necessary to ensure learners are not misled and that people create trust in knowledge sharing. One should understand the professional levels of individuals engaged and how to associate with them to create good interpersonal engagements and create robust bonds for information sharing. Digital platforms should be tailored towards community needs or the general wellbeing. Hence, the need to have an inclusivity aspect for PLN to be more effective and consistent (Apoki et al., 2019). One needs to understand the level of expertise and knowledge when creating PLN, the reason for this is to ensure the people in the network are experienced and hence helpful to the goal targeted (Apoki et al., 2019). When interacting with such people it is important to maintain decorum and ethics throughout the engagements. The aim of this is to promote trust and professionalism by ensuring only accurate information is shared over the digital platforms.

7. What are the ways the technology tracks and uses your data – how can this be used to benefit a PLN?

Social media is always hoping to collect more data to better understand its users, so they can provide better services to users. Different users expect the system to provide rich feedback on different levels of information to help them reflect on their state. During the reflection process, users are able to assess their state and make appropriate adjustments.

Unlike the traditional workplace learning, PLN is way cheaper. Continuing employment can become expensive. While most companies schedule formal learning activities on a regular basis, cost is often a barrier to continuing learning in the workplace. (Andriotis, 2017) PLN allows you to get the sources you want at barely cost.

In addition, PLN is more efficient. Every time a formal study meeting or other corporate social event is held, it interferes with normal work meetings. While executives understood the importance of these events, they tried to keep them to a minimum because of their disruptive nature. If employees want to benefit from frequent socializing and meetings, they must find a non-destructive alternative. (Andriotis, 2017) 

8. How will you know that your PLN is a success?

In my opinion, if I can find what I need easily and quickly in my PLN, then my PLN is successful. For example, if there is a particular workplace challenge to overcome, you no longer have to wait for training. By leveraging your personal learning network to get the information you need, you can become instantly productive.

Students have many ways to build their PLN. Facebook, Nings, Google+ communities, and more offer for “connected” students to “think, create, share, and grow.” Determine what best fits your learning needs and your schedule. Get involved. Post your comments in response to blog posts and use Twitter hashtags to build connections, community and your PLN. Share your new knowledge with students, classroom teachers, colleagues, and administrators. Be a “connected” lifelong learner school librarian leader. (Moreillon, 2006) Only a full reflective process can motivate students to change their behaviour and thinking. When you’re connected to the community, you know it’s been a success.

 9. Provide examples of individuals who have used a PLN to become leaders in a field of interest,and discuss their presence on the platform?

In week 5 of our course about public PLN, media literacy, and public discourse, we discussed notable individuals’ use of social media and the benefits of being in the public eye.   In the interview with Sophie Lui, a well-known journalist and news anchor at Globalbc, she explained her presence on the Instagram and Twitter platforms. She mentioned that she appears more laid-back on her Instagram account and more professional on her Twitter account. Despite these differences, her usage of either platform, Twitter or Instagram, is to expand her horizons outside of everyday content and colleagues. These social networks enabled her to come across people that otherwise she would not know and read interesting comments and posts. They led her to other people and helped her build a large network to support her. She is a leader in her field and social media worked to her advantage. Her PLN allowed her to find people in her career field or somebody who influences or inspires her.

Another individual who has used a PLN to become a leader in his professional field is my therapist. I found his account on Instagram 8 years ago. His office was located in a different province. If he were not active on social media, I would not have known him. At the time, he had 3k followers on Instagram. I was lucky to get a virtual appointment with him via What’s app. Now he has more than 40k followers, and it is impossible to book an appointment with him.

10. How do they use social media platforms to build their reputation/presence?

As a journalist, Sophie gets faster widespread coverage of her content. She can Instantly share information with a global audience and directly engage in user conversations online. As she mentioned, she follows “Ian Young “and gets insight into current events in Asia. These connections empower her with faster access to a reliable network and give her a trusted, verified source that can build her reputation. Despite some negativity and arguments, she appreciates having access to this wider intellectual world because she can continue to learn. By interacting with media outlets, journalists, influences, and others in her industry, she can build media connections that extend the professional relationship beyond the initial press release pitch.

Social media gave my therapist visibility in the public eye. He posted short stories about the anonymous patient and asked for feedback from his followers. By reading those short stories, I felt related and could see how helpful his advice was. I shared his posts and stories like an ambassador. After a while, my followers started to follow him. He took his followers behind the scenes of his sessions and talked about his personal life, and it kept him relatable to his followers. His activities on Social media built his reputation and public trust. He used the platform to its full potential.

11. Conclusion:

Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Google+ communities can be used for educational purposes to support learning. Every personal learning network is different. We can personalize our network and shape our learning community based on our needs.To create or maintain a personal learning network we should practice the following rules:

As users, we should analyze the media and understand the reason and purpose of the messages. Also, recognize that the Internet is not a neutral or equal space for everyone.

We have to Identify privacy issues and practice online behaviors that are legal, consensual, and ethical.

When creating, sharing, or using resources online, recognize data ownership and licensing as a core practice. Lastly, Engagement and collaboration are key when deciding to create or maintain a personal learning network.

12. References:

  • Krutka, D. G., Carpenter, J. P., & Trust, T. (2017). Enriching professional learning networks: A framework for identification, reflection, and intention. TechTrends, 61(3), 246-252.
  • Trust, T., Carpenter, J. P., & Krutka, D. G. (2017). Moving beyond silos: Professional learning networks in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 35, 1-11.
  • Orabona, F. (2019). A modern introduction to online learning. arXiv preprint arXiv:1912.13213.
  • Dhawan, S. (2020). Online learning: A panacea in the time of COVID-19 crisis. Journal of educational technology systems, 49(1), 5-22.
  • Apoki, U. C., Al-Chalabi, H. K. M., & Crisan, G. C. (2019, October). From digital learning resources to adaptive learning objects: an overview. In International Conference on Modelling and Development of Intelligent Systems (pp. 18-32). Springer, Cham.
  • Kumar, V., & Sharma, D. (2021). E-learning theories, components, and cloud computing-based learning platforms. International Journal of Web-Based Learning and Teaching Technologies (IJWLTT), 16(3), 1-16.
  • Moreillon, J. (01/01/2016). Building your personal learning network [PLN]: 21st-century school librarians seek self-regulated professional development online American Library Association.
  • Andriotis. (2017, October 23). Why and how to create successful Personal Learning Networks in the Workplace. Talentlms. https://www.talentlms.com/blog/why-and-how-to-create-a-personal-learning-network-in-the-workplace/
  • http://www.facebook.com/teachthought. (2018, October). What Is A Personal Learning Network? TeachThought. https://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/what-is-a-personal-learning-network/
  • ‌Jain, A. K., Sahoo, S. R., & Kaubiyal, J. (2021). Online social networks security and privacy: comprehensive review and analysis. Complex & Intelligent Systems. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40747-021-00409-7
  • What are the pros and cons of using social media in the workplace? What should we include in a policy? (2019, August 27). SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-qa/pages/socialnetworkingsitespolicy.aspx
  • How Facebook has changed the way we socialize – Scientific Scribbles. (n.d.). https://blogs.unimelb.edu.au/sciencecommunication/2018/09/07/how-facebook-has-changed-the-way-we-socialize/
  • 4 Tips for Using Instagram to Network. (n.d.). Firsthand. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from https://firsthand.co/blogs/networking/4-tips-for-using-instagram-to-network
  • What are some unique characteristics makes “Facebook” as Successful? (n.d.). Quora. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-unique-characteristics-makes-Facebook-as-Successful
  • Why Use Media to Enhance Teaching and Learning. (2018, May 7). Using Media to Enhance Teaching and Learning. https://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/media/why.html
  • ‌RJ Frometa. (2018, February 11). Social Media Vs. Privacy – Can You Maintain Privacy on Social Media? Vents Magazine; Vents Magazine. https://ventsmagazine.com/2018/02/11/social-media-vs-privacy-can-maintain-privacy-social-medi