By Thomas Ho
… Why not get them to tell us the story of their learning?
Since Facebook announced its Timeline feature last fall, some of us have been waiting anxiously for them to deploy it to its users. Now that the process has begun, we ought to be considering the implications of this development for teaching and learning!
Three years ago, I was already experimenting in a college information technology course with the concept of a course “lifestream,” which I subsequently renamed to LearnStream. I aggregated the social media identity of that course at a Netvibes site.
I have continued to develop those original ideas into a framework for encouraging their adoption in the school district in which my daughter is currently enrolled. For that reason, I was especially excited when Facebook announced its Timeline feature because I recognized the opportunity for these ideas to enter the mainstream of social media.
I published my own Timeline shortly after the Facebook announcement. Subsequently, I began publishing my own lifestream to my Timeline using techniques which I’ll describe later. I had been hopeful of using my Timeline to suggest how students might craft their digital identity by publishing their LearnStreams to their Facebook Timeline, but it’s been pointed out to me that students would be likely to resent doing that on Facebook because of the “creepy treehouse” effect!
Therefore, I am merely suggesting that the acceptance of socially sharing one’s musical tastes via Spotify or one’s reading habits via the Washington Post Social Reader may motivate students to socially share their learning. If they’d be willing to do that on their Facebook Timeline, imagine the possibilities if a service such as Diigo social bookmarking would use Facebook’s Open Graph to enable us to publish our bookmarks to our Timeline? Or imagine the possibilities if we used Friendfeed to publish our lifestreams to Timeline? That’s how I did it, by publishing my Friendfeed RSS feed with RSS Graffiti. Remember, Facebook owns Friendfeed!
Is it time for social media to be taken seriously by those who don’t “get” its implications for learning?
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