Comment More

“Comment More” by mrkrndvs is licensed under CC BY-SA

It is that time of year again when everyone starts making promises to be more connected, less connected or just connected differently. What is interesting are all the ideas that get floated around. Here is a collection of some of the new year opportunities:

  • EDUBLOGS CLUB: Edublogs have long supported teachers and students with blogging through their courses, however this year they have started a club involving weekly prompts. These posts are brought together around the hashtag #edublogsclub. I participated in #youredustory in 2015, which was similar, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
  • 30 DAYS OF BLOGGING CHALLENGE: AJ Juiliani  put together a month long challenge designed to get a jump start into blogging in 2017. What makes this different to past iterations is that it is personal. Whereas challenges, such as #28daysofwriting, focused on time spent writing and posting regularly, Juiliani’s interest is on committing yourself to a set amount of words per day and a number posts per week. This reminds me in part of the #750words challenge.
  • COMMENT MORE AND “LIKE” LESS: Not so much a defined challenge or course, instead something of a personal personal. In response to 2016, Bill Ferriter sets forth the plan to invest more in comments in order to build deeper connections which can work together bring about change for a better world. This reminds me of a post by Steve Brophy from a few years ago. My only concern is whether such calls limit themselves by deciding what does and does not constitute a comment.
  • THREE STEPS TO IDENTIFY AND DEVELOP YOUR DIGITAL IDENTITY: I get the feeling that this is probably incidental and not necessarily a part of the new year rush, but Ian O’Byrne has developed a guide for those wanting to take more control of their online presence. Along with his post on cyberinfrastructure they provide a good beginning or a useful reminder. I too have written something similar in the past.

Each of these ideas offers something to support educators in developing a more deliberate practice.  However, none of them are necessarily new. More often than not they peter out. The question that we are left with is how might we habit that personal to each and every one of us? A part of me thinks that maybe this involves some sort of coaching, but what does that actually look like? As always, comments welcome.

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flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

Looking Back on a Week as @EduTweetOz

This week, I took control of the EduTweetOz rotation curation account. Like many, @edutweetoz provided some of my first education connections with those like Jason Borton (the first week I ever followed) and TER Podcast. For so long I had thought that it was for somebody else, those in positions of responsibility, those with something important to say. Of course, this was my own misgiving. However, I always found a reason why now was not the right time.

So even though many encouraged me, it was only this year that I finally got around to putting my hat in the ring. It really hit home when more and more people were curating for the second time. So I signed up.

I must admit that the experience was not what I necessarily expected. In part I think because I did not know what to expect, but really because it is something rather unique. I once had a run at curating the short-lived @vicpln account, but it was something of a non-event as it did not have much of following and the account never really got beyond infancy.

So here are my three takeaways from the week that was:

Finding Your Voice: Some people seem to come into the week with a real agenda. They treat it like some sort of perpetual edchat, posting nightly questions around specific themes. Others approach the week as a means of telling a particular story linked with an association or edu-organisation. This methodical manner is not mine. My intent was simply to continue the conversation. After running through various approaches, such as providing some sort of quasi-episode of This is Your Life, I decided to simply do what I usually do within my own account and respond accordingly. I was mindful of sharing too many of my own posts, I, therefore, made a concerted effort to highlight other voices in the village.

Other People’s ideas and Arguments: An odd thing that I had to deal with early on was responding to replies to past posts. This was brought to the fore when one of the account administrators posted a piece on low literacy and forgot to include [admin] in the tweet. This did not really worry me until it escalated into something akin to a tribal dance with both sides applying war paint and sharpening their spears. I am all for debates and discussions, but usually when they are mine to have and to own. I neither felt compelled or comfortable, so I just killed the conversation, quietly.

Public Notice Board: Just as it is confusing as to what voice to use with the account, I was intrigued with the number of tweets shared with the account for no clear reason. I got the impression after a few days that there are some  who use the account as something of a public noticeboard to amplify their own voice. Fine, I had the choice to retweet, but it just seems to me like bad faith. This reminds me of the lesson I learned from Alec Couros in regards to Twitter and spamming.

So what about you? Have you ever taken control of a rotation curation account? What was your experience? Did you find any challenges? As always, comments welcome.

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