Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Engaging on-line - #engageMOOC

I signed up a couple of weeks ago to participate in this two week on-line course titled "Engagement in a time of Polarization", and my Twitter feed gave me some reminders today.

So I looked at a video, read an article, added comments via Hypothesis, then saw this tweet by Christina Hendricks.

After reading I posted some thoughts. As I was finishing, I decided to also post those thoughts here;

Hi Christina. I think we first connected via ETMOOC a few years ago. I'm on Mastodon, too and I've seen some of your posts there.

I agree with your comment about the potential of blogs to support deeper learning. I've been writing mine for over 10 years, with the same overall goal of connecting people and ideas that support the growth of non-school tutor, mentor, learning programs in high poverty areas.

I see three levels of engagement.

1. Current social media, or the stream and flow (Clay Shirky wrote about this). We dip in and out of the stream. We add to it. We draw from it. We ignore much of it. We miss the majority of what's there due to limited time on-line and limited connections in our networks. It may be that we're now missing much due to how social media platform algorithms determine who sees our posts and who we see.

2. Blog posts - these enable anyone to comment in greater depth about what they are seeing on social media, traditional media as well as from events and meetings they host or participate in. They allow us to share work we're doing in real life, in schools, non-school, programs, feeding the hungry, resisting, etc.  Using hyperlinks, they enable us to connect our readers to a much deeper and extensive library of information.

3. The world wide library - curated collections. This to me is critically important. While a Google search can lead you to information posted anywhere in the world, you need to know what you're looking for to find it in the first 10 to 20 links that show up as a search result.  Many people may now know what they are looking for. Thus if someone is building a web library with information related to a topic (such as the references posted on articles with the #engageMOOC), then anyone can be pointed to that library at any time via hyperlinks in a blog article or via hypelinks attached to a post on one of the social media platforms.

This means anyone can pick out a video, article, piece of research, blog post, etc. and gather friends, co-workers, etc. to read, reflect, discuss, and over time integrate into their understanding of a situation and ways they might respond to it.

As you wrote above, fewer people seem to be commenting on blog posts. From my Google Analytics, fewer people are viewing these. It may be that no one likes what I'm writing, but I think it's more the result of so many people posting on different platforms and much fewer people taking time to read and reflect on what other people are writing.

Thus, as we go through #engageMOOC and beyond I look forward to finding ways to draw more people from the stream and into the deep end of learning, and to how that helps us understand and try to solve some of the many complex problems we face in our local-global lives.

Note: I invite you to review eLearning goals that the Tutor/Mentor Connection first posted in 2004 when we worked with IUPUI on our first on-line conference. I was never able to find funding, or partners, to fully develop this strategy.

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