TOP 10 – #10: Power of Social Networking Tools

TOP 10 COUNTDOWN – Summary of ECI831 Learnings

It is with this post, I begin my TOP 10 Countdown as a summary of learnings in our ECI831 class.  This Top 10 inspired the creation of my “Future of education?” video for our final reflection project.  And the countdown begins…

AT NUMBER 10:  Power of Social Networking Tools


Through our ECI831 weekly sychronous sessions and communications via various mediums such as email, blogs, wikis, Twitter, etc, I have come to witness the power of social networking tools.  The use of these tools can allow for unique communities to form allowing people to collaborate and communicate in new and interesting ways.  In reflecting on our course, I feel this happened throught the demonstration, modelling, experimentation, collaboration, and sharing that took place as our course progressed.

The fact that Dr. Couros was able to lead synchronous sessions from locations such as Shanghai, China and and cities in Ontario and Alberta, etc. was representative of the use of technology in making professional development and learning possible from anywhere at anytime.  We were joined by guest presenters from various parts of Canada and the US who engaged us in interactive discussions and I was fortunate to benefit from the viewpoints of classmates with various backgrounds and experiences.  It was particularly interesting to hear perspectives from classmates located in various geographic regions including California, Egypt, and Nunavut.  I found this whole concept of being able to connect with other educators from around the globe quite amazing.  I get very excited telling others about this experience as it is something that, until recently, I never imagined possible.  This course has allowed me to experience, first-hand, the concept of global connectedness. 

I appreciated the course content and structure.  In particular, I enjoyed delving further into the “Content that might be relevant to this week’s presentation” and “Media to get you thinking” sections.  These sections included links to various TedTalks, YouTube videos, printed resources, creations by teachers and students, etc.  Investigating these links provided me with additional background and context around our weekly discussions.  Adding to my experience, I spent some time ‘playing’ with web tools such as Google Reader, Delicious, Glogster, Twitter, Tweet Deck, etc.  All of these investigations expanded my knowledge-base and pushed my boundaries in terms of comfort and stage of readiness.  It was wonderful to be able to tap into such a wealth of ideas, information, and experiences from the comfort of my own home.

As much as I think web 2.0 tools are cool, I pause to reflect regularly on what Danah Boyd had to say about educators, students, and social media…

“Educators have a critical role when it comes to helping youth navigate social media. You can help them understand how to make sense of what they’re seeing. We can call this “media literacy” or “digital literacy” or simply learning to live in a modern society. Youth need to know more than just how to use the tools – they need to understand the structures around them.”    (Dana Boyd, 2009,

How do we do this?

“We start by opening up a dialogue. We start talking to youth about what they are doing and why they are doing it. We ask them to teach us about the technology while we guide them with the knowledge that we have through experience. We start co-operating and engaging with the shifting nature of everyday life…At the end of the day, the biggest disruption brought on by technology has nothing to do with the youth themselves, but with the way in which it forces us to reconsider our position of power as adults. We cannot simply tell it like it is; we need to re-learn how to learn and how to evolve with the changes all around us.”   (Dana Boyd, 2009,


~ by lewisv on November 29, 2010.

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