Look for the Possibilities!

One of the things that I love about the teaching and learning with technology track is how it has challenged so many of my prior notions on the use of social media in learning.  It was not as though I could not see any benefit of its use, but rather that much of what I have been exposed to previously and/or much of my personal impressions of the use of social media up to this point have been less than positive.  To say the least, I wasn’t a big fan.  I’m beginning to change my mind.

It is not as though social media in and of itself is negative, but rather that the medium has the potential to be used in ways that foster and enhance learning or in ways which impede and devalue learning.  It is becoming more and more apparent that one of the great challenges for adult educators is teaching adult learners how to utilize the features and applications of social media in ways which promote their personal learning and enhance and contribute to that of others.

James Levine, the famous American Maestro, is credited with saying, “Everybody blames the culture without taking responsibility.”  As I read this quote, it dawned on me how relevant it was to my attitudes on social media.  I can sit back and criticize what sometimes appears as a trivial and inappropriate use of digital media or I can take responsibility for learning more about the possibilities of utilizing the medium of social media in more positive ways.  Instead of focusing on the liabilities, I can choose to look for the possibilities of creating a culture that is truly collaborative, enriching and rewarding.


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6 Responses to Look for the Possibilities!

  1. MelKoch says:

    Great blog, Wally! I love that you’re trying to see the positives in social media. I can’t wait til you join us on Twitter, it’s a party.

    • Lindsey says:

      I too wasn’t a fan of social media because my idea of “socializing” was in person and without any media. However, I now realize I was jaded by my bias of what I thought social media was, not what it can actually do. I judged it before I really understood its capabilities-Shame on me!!
      SM exploration and this week’s readings has definitely shifted my thinking 🙂

  2. Debbie Stewart says:

    I agree with many of your thoughts on using digital media and how you choose to look at it, and what you choose to do with it. Learning demands reaching out, scattering the seeds so that it can take root in others. A comments I read a little bit ago said,”You don’t get to choose how you are going to die, or when. You can only decide how you are going to live, right now.” — Joan Baez

    Every day is a new chance to choose. Choose to change your perspective. Choose to flip the switch in your mind from negative to positive . . .

    I too am happy for the awareness and exposure to digital media and the possibility of taking it and exploring it further.

  3. Jeff Nugent says:

    Cool insights here, Wally. Digital technology / social media in and of themselves do very little…it is their use (praxis) that often determines personal value, meaning or lack thereof. At the same time, these tools have been designed with specific functionality in mind…there is an embedded / intentional message conveyed in the design…they are not neutral. Your skepticism and measured engagement are both wise and warranted…but uninformed rejection seems to be mostly missed opportunity.

  4. J Even says:

    I feel as if I’m too eager to try, adopt, and become addicted to social media… which is why I’m purposely choosing a project for this semester that I think will present my beloved social media in a new light. You are right to think there is a dark underbelly. Two sides to every coin.

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