My reflections on the first week

Looking back on this past week, I’m happy to report that I am not completely lost and that I’m not quite totally confused. Here is to small victories !

At first, I was a bit overwhelmed: so many people, so many different tools! Now, I’m just impatient to get to know the other members of Group 13 (can we find another name already?) and the tools, well as it turns out I already know most of them and I use them on a regular basis.

It’s funny actually: right before the course started, I agreed with two students that their course report would take the form of a blog. Then I realised that since I never held a blog myself, I might be unaware of some challenges or limitations my students might face. And there you go, a few days later I end up opening a blog and learning about the different features in WordPress. I must say that I love the idea of being able to express myself on the different topics of the course in a non academic format. To me, it makes reporting less of a chore and more of a pleasurable part of the learning process.

I am less enthusiastic about our Google+ group pages. I think what bothers me is that I enjoy things to be linear and chronological. Seeing so many posts randomly (?) covering the screen easily brings me to a state of “information overload”. I also get anxious that I might miss some important piece of information. I wonder if I’m the only one feeling like that.

As a matter of fact, I am a no-Facebook, no-Twitter, no-Instagram kind of person. I do have a Facebook account but I rarely visit it and almost never post anything there. I recently created an Instagram account, but only so I could see one of my friends’ photographic work. Because of that, I litterally cringed when I saw that a Twitter account was required to participate in this course. Then I wondered: is there any research available on Twitter as a learning tool? A very quick Google search showed me that yes, indeed there is. The two points I find most interesting in this article are the use of Twitter as a “push” technology, allowing additional, illustrative or simply fun content to be forwarded as soon as it is available, and the possibility for students to get immediate support and guidance both from the intructor and from their peers. I am now considering testing Twitter as a way to draw my students attention to French news items they wouldn’t normally notice.

 

Reference: Ying Tang, Khe Foon Hew. Using Twitter for education: Beneficial or simply a waste of time? Computers & Education (2017)