Introductions – Social Media and Open Education

As it turns out, I am two hours ahead of the University of Regina, so I chose to view the Elluminate session recording the following morning, instead of attending the live session. My first impressions were related to how well organized the whole course is, even for non-credit students. I saw announcements on Twitter and then was able to review a page in the course’s wikispace that included the slides, a written agenda/outline for the meeting, links to some of the tools that were mentioned, and assignments for the coming week.

How did it go?

I thought the instructor did a great job of addressing a pretty large group mot of whom were non-credit students. (There was a “for-credit only” student session the previous week.) Since I am not taking the course for credit, and there are no expectations for me, other than I should get what I can from the experience and share what I can along the way, it seems only right that the for-credit students have their own thing going on.

The session itself was well-run on Elluminate. There was another moderator, besides the instructor, there to continuously react to student questions in the chat and to provide all of us with URLs throughout as references for the many topics covered. A pretty great “intro session” as they go – no going down the list to ask where everyone was from, etc. (thank you). The course was outlined as far as the tools go and Alec provided his rationale for the course and vision for where we are going.

What did I learn?

There were some nifty things going on:

  • Tweetdeck – I had heard of it but not used it…. until putting my name on the roster for this course. Now I am truly addicted.
  • “The Back Channel” – all of the chatter, passing notes, off line (and maybe online) discussion going on behind the formal instruction.
  • The thought of a “Network Sherpa” leading the way (I like this eversomuch more than the digital native lingo).
  • Greasemonkey – what is this? It was mentioned several times. I need to investigate.
  • And…Wordle was used to display where everyone was from (thanks, again). Over 200 participants overall and 50 or so in the Elluminate session.

Why stick around?

There are a lot of talented, creative, passionate, and curious people in this group. I tend to lurk more than actually engage in this sort of thing, but perhaps I’ll be motivated to jump in a little deeper. The idea that Knowledge is a river, as opposed to a reservoir, was included in this presentation. It’s moving. We can’t take it all in at once. We are going to miss a lot, but we’ll find a lot, too – if we jump in.

I have some reading to do for next week…

4 thoughts on “Introductions – Social Media and Open Education

  1. Betsy

    So you’re on Twitter now? Gotta be more careful what I tweet ;) I’m surprised to hear your love for Tweetdeck. I haven’t used it, but I haven’t really liked any of the Twitter clients I’ve tried, except for the very minimalist Twitterfox Firefox extension.

    Speaking of Firefox extensions, that’s what Greasemonkey is. It allows you to install other user scripts that are not exactly full-fledged Firefox extensions, but do more or less the same thing.

    Thanks for the summary – looking forward to more!


    1. Melissa Venable Post author

      Interesting response to Twitter – that was mentioned in the latest session: “does the audience matter” when you are writing for your blog, twitter, etc. I do feel I censor my own writing a bit … more to follow! (thanks for the Greasemonkey info ;))


    1. Melissa Venable Post author

      Thanks, Will! I agree – the Twitter experience in this course has been really interesting so far. Looking forward to more as we move through the course.



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