Author Archives: kalynhumeniuk

Summary Of Learning

 

I used Powtoon to create my Summary of Learning.  I really like Powtoon.  Once you get used to using it, you can create professional looking presentations fairly quickly.  I paid for a student account so that I could have access to the Pro level animations and it allows you to create a 10-minute video rather than a 3-minute video. The student account also provides scenes that can be easily edited to fit your needs.  To me, this was definitely worth paying for rather than using the free account.

Social Media Activism

Activist by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

Social media activism brings awareness about topics to a huge audience.  But the big question is, does it bring about meaningful change or does it just lead to Slacktivism? Slacktivism is “the practice of supporting a political or social cause by means such as social media or online petitions, characterized as involving very little effort or commitment.”1

Slacktivism is a problem for social media activism, but if a campaign goes viral on social media it can have a positive effect and make a difference.  People that would never have been exposed to a topic are suddenly seeing posts and learning about a movement.   Three examples of social media movements that have had a serious impact are the ALS Challenge, #BlackLivesMatter, and #MeToo.

ALS

The ALS Challenge involved filming yourself while you pledged to donate money to ALS, nominating other people for the challenge and then pouring a bucket of ice-cold water over your head.  This is probably one of the most successful social media campaigns ever!  The challenge spread very quickly through social media and it raised $115 million for ALS!  It increased awareness about ALS, but it also saw lots of people participating that just wanted to be a part of something that was trending.  It is doubtful that everyone who participated donated or cared about the cause.

ALS Association

 

#BlackLivesMatter

Flickr – Demilitarize the Police, Black Lives Matter by Johnny Silvercloud

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a movement that is raising awareness about police brutality and killings of black people in the United States.  They want people to recognize the inequalities of how people are treated by police, depending on their race.  “BLM regularly holds protests speaking out against police killings of black people, and broader issues such as racial profilingpolice brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.[1]2  The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter began to trend in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of the unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin.

#meToo

Tarana Burke founded the #MeToo movement, she is a civil rights activist who created the hashtag in 2006 to address the fact that a large number of women have been sexually harassed or assaulted in their lifetime, but most don’t report the assault or share their stories

But it wasn’t until the actress Alyssa Milano tweeted the hashtag, and it began being used in reference to the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations, that the movement really took off.3

This movement has started tough conversations around sexual assault and harassment.  Even though it has raised awareness around sexual harassment in the workforce it has also led to backlash.  According to the article, Me Too Backlash Is Getting Worse, “Some men also like to claim that women are fabricating claims. Those fears are largely unfounded… the same myth surrounds sexual assault. False accusations make up a very low percentage of reported rapes.”  This has led to men feeling uncomfortable working one-on-one with women and therefore excluding them from meetings and social interactions.

Another negative aspect of social media activism is the call-out or cancellation culture.  The call-out culture is the act of publically calling out or shaming someone on social media for perceived wrongs.  This then leads for calls of boycotting either people or companies and that is the cancel culture.  One of the worst aspects of call-out/ cancel culture is that it prevents conversations from happening.  If someone’s views are considered offensive and boycotts are called for, this prevents further discussions from happening.4  When maybe the solution would be to have a dialogue, to see and learn from each others point of view.  This trend began in 2015, but it really started to take off in 2018.  Some notable instances of cancellation are when Roseanne Barr was fired from Roseanne after she tweeted racist comments, James Gunn was fired from directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 when inappropriate jokes he tweeted in 2008 and 2012 resurfaced, and Kevin Hart was fired from hosting the Oscars when old homophobic tweets were uncovered.

Even though there are some negative aspects to social media activism, I agree with what Alex Guardado says in Hashtag Activism: The Benefits and Limitations of #Activism.  Guardado says that hashtag activism can bring about change, but it is gradual. It is easy for people to share or like a post, and even easier for Slacktivism to occur and for nothing to actually change.  The good thing is that people are much more informed and it is easier to organize movements because of the large audience a movement has access too through social media.

People use social media every day and spend a significant amount of time on it.  It would be foolish to not try to harness that time spent to bring awareness towards something important.  Even if it just starts a conversation, that is better than nothing.  Change definitely won’t take place if people aren’t aware there is a problem.

Resources

  1. Dictionary.com. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/slacktivism?s=t 
  2. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Lives_Matter
  3. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_Too_movement
  4. Cross Country Checkup (2019, Nov 3). When it comes to boycotting opinions, ‘cancel culture’ is preventing dialogue from occurring: psychologist. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/checkup/has-cancel-culture-gone-too-far-1.5344590/when-it-comes-to-boycotting-opinions-cancel-culture-is-preventing-dialogue-from-occurring-expert-says-1.5345798

BCcampus OpenEd, A Great Resource

“Open Educational Resources” flickr photo by Eugene Open Educational Resources shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

Working on online courses in a post-secondary institution, I am very interested in OERs.  Some online classes don’t require textbooks, but lots do.  I think it would be amazing if we could use more open textbooks, and reduce the cost of taking classes for students.

I decided to explore and review the BCcampus OpenEd site to see what resources are available and how easy they are to find and use.  This collection of OERs fits my needs perfectly because its focus is on open textbooks for the most popular first and second-year classes in post-secondary education.

The first thing I noticed about BCcampus OpenEd is that the whole site is about educating people about open education and answering any questions they might have about why or how they should use open textbooks.  It answers the questions, what is open education, how to use open textbooks, how to create open textbooks and how to advocate for open education.

Once you are ready to discover the resources that are available, there 304 open textbooks to choose from. On the Browse Our Collection tab, there is a large search bar with filter options.  On this page, it clearly lists all of the filter options with descriptions, so you know exactly what each term means.

Filter options include:

  • Faculty Reviewed – choose open textbooks that have been reviewed and approved by instructors and faculty from B.C. and other provinces
  • Adopted – find open textbooks that have been selected by instructors and added to their curriculum
  • Accessible – open textbooks that meet the accessibility requirements outlined in the BCcampus Open Education Accessibility Toolkit
  • Ancillary Resources – open textbooks with additional components, which could include quizzes, case studies, simulations, multi-media content, and other tools to help the learning process

One thing that encourages instructors to use publisher textbooks is the additional resources that are available when they use that textbook.  Such as question banks, lesson plans, and learning activities.  So I was happy to see that there are 149 textbooks with ancillary resources on BCcampus OpenEd.  This is a great start to making open textbooks more appealing to instructors.

Another way to search the catalogue is by using the accordion menu on the left hand of the search bar.  I really like the accordion menu because it allows you to easily browse through the collection of textbooks and resources if you aren’t sure what you are looking for.  Or if you just want to see what is available.

BCcampus OpenEd

Once you find a textbook you are interested in, you can then choose from multiple formats to download it in for reading, editing or printing.

BCcampus did a great job when they created the OpenEd website.  It is very clearly laid out, and it highlights why open textbooks are important.  It explains how to adopt an open textbook and has lots of resources if you would like to create your own.  There are two different ways to search for a textbook and both were easy to navigate.  The one thing I would recommend is allowing users to rate textbooks.  That wasn’t available, but you were able to filter your search based on whether or not a textbook is Faculty Reviewed, which is a similar feature.  There also aren’t a huge number of resources available, but it is currently focusing on popular first and second-year classes and trades for post-secondary education.  If that is the area that you are in, this is a great resource and I would recommend it highly.

OERs Are Amazing, But Require Funding

“Books HD” flickr photo by Abee5 https://flickr.com/photos/abee5/8314929977 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

The first time I learned about Open Education Resources was years ago when I was attending the WASSA Conference (Western Association of Summer Session Administrators).  I was surprised that free textbooks existed and I wondered why everyone wasn’t using them!  To me, it was the next best thing since sliced bread.  I couldn’t wait to share the knowledge when I got back from the conference.  I then found out that OERs are not a new concept, but they aren’t widely used.

According to Wikipedia, OERs have been around since the late 1990s and they originated from developments in distance and online learning.  I used to think that OERs referred to just textbooks, but I now realize that textbooks are just a small subset of OERs. According to BCcampus’s Open Ed, “there are many types of OER available, such as:

  • Online courses
  • Videos
  • Audio
  • Presentation slides
  • Syllabi
  • Course outlines
  • Supplementary materials, such as quizzes and assignments”

Knowing how long OERs have been around, I was surprised that they aren’t more popular in post-secondary education.  I slowly started to realize that some faculty members and instructors don’t support OERs for a couple of different reasons and without instructor support, they won’t be used.  I attended a presentation about OERs and faculty members brought up concerns they have about them.  Faculty members normally publish their research and then their research would be peer-reviewed.  They felt this wouldn’t be possible with OERs.  The faculty members stated that the quality of the work would decrease because it wasn’t being peer-reviewed and they wouldn’t be recognized for the work that they had done.  I am not a faculty member, so I am unsure how accurate this view is.  To me, it seems that research could be published to an open source, rather than a closed journal and still be peer-reviewed.  I do not know the process well enough to know if this is true though.

There are lots of advantages to using OERs and some disadvantages.  Below is a list according to OERs Wikipedia site:

Advantages of using OER include:

  • Expanded access to learning – can be accessed anywhere at anytime
  • Ability to modify course materials – can be narrowed down to topics that are relevant to course
  • Enhancement of course material – texts, images and videos can be used to support different learning styles
  • Rapid dissemination of information – textbooks can be put forword quicker online than publishing a textbook
  • Cost saving for students – all readings are available online, which saves students hundreds of dollars[38]

Disadvantages of using OER include:

  • Quality/reliability concerns – some online material can be edited by anyone at anytime, which results in irrelevant or inaccurate information
  • Limitation of copyright property protection – OER licenses change “All rights reserved.” into “Some rights reserved.”[39], so that content creators must be careful about what materials they make available
  • Technology issues – some students may have difficulty accessing online resources because of slow internet connection, or may not have access to the software required to use the materials[40]

I have found that while working with instructors creating online classes, they are fairly open to the idea of using OERs.  When talking to instructors about using OERs the most common concern is that there are no OER textbooks available that would work for their content.  This is sometimes true, but other times the instructor doesn’t know where to look.

When the instructors don’t know where to find OER’s, there are a couple of key sites that are great resources: Merlot, OER Commons and SOL*R.

Merlot – “The MERLOT system provides access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers.”

OER Commons – “OER Commons is a public digital library of open educational resources. Explore, create, and collaborate with educators around the world to improve curriculum.”

SOL*R – “a repository service provided by BCcampus that allows educators to access FREE online learning resources. It facilitates sharing, discovery, reuse, and remixing of a growing collection of content created by BC post-secondary educators.

SOL*R includes learning resources from a wide variety of disciplines and subject areas. Resources range from open textbooks, individual learning activities and tools, all the way to full programs.”

When the instructor can’t find an OER textbook that is appropriate for their class, they can adapt and modify an existing one.  I have found the biggest resistance to this is finding the time and resources to modify an existing OER textbook.  An instructor has to be very motivated to use OERs for that to happen.  Also, if an instructor finds a textbook they like through a publisher, there are lots of other resources that come with that textbook.  Such as question banks, learning activities, quizzes, presentations.  There is some funding available in Saskatchewan to encourage adapting and modifying OERs, but it isn’t a large amount.

 

A place that is doing a great job with creating OERs is BCcampus.  In 2012 they received funding from the government to develop 40 open textbooks, which would cover the most common courses for first and second year university students.  In 2014 they received additional funding to create 20 open textbooks for the trades and skills sector.  In April of 2019, they received $3.26M towards Open Education in BC.  According to an article posted on the BCcampus website, $3.26M pledged to OER to enable student savings throughout the province, they plan to put that money towards many things that will vastly improve OERs available to all post-secondary students in Canada.  Here is what they plan to put the money towards:

 

“With the $3 million+ investment, we will work with stakeholders, advisory groups, and industry professionals to:

  1. Create/adapt/adopt an open homework software system (or systems) to replace commercially published systems.
  2. Develop an entire suite of freely available resources, including textbooks, test banks, homework assignments and ancillary tools to replace costly commercial products in the following program areas:
    • STEM
    • Business
    • Health
    • ECE
    • Trades
  3. Build capacity in the institutions to assist instructors in the use/integration and development of OER and Open Pedagogy.
  4. Create collaborative relationships with smaller institutions in the northern and interior regions of B.C., establishing an open education network/infrastructure while building capacity for open education: hiring two regional representatives for these underserved areas.
  5. Create a more robust searchability infrastructure so educators can find appropriate curriculum for their courses through an easy-to-use search tool.
  6. Conduct research on and with administrators to measure and evaluate the return on investment of open education.”

This is a very exciting development for OERs in post-secondary education.  The more OERs that are available, the more they will be adopted and adapted.  Since the time and resources that instructors need to put into adopting an OER can be a deterrent, I am hoping this new funding will help ease that.  Saskatchewan currently does provide some funding for OERs, but hopefully, in the future, the funding will increase.  Then there will be more OERs created and their use will become more widespread.  Post-secondary education is expensive and stressful and eliminating the stress of buying expensive textbooks that sometimes aren’t used, would be amazing.

Time to Podcast

I chose Anchor as the podcasting tool I wanted to review. There are many benefits to using podcasts in the classroom and Anchor has lots of interesting features.  According to Anchor’s website  it “is an all-in-one platform where you can create, distribute, and monetize your podcast from any device, for free.”  It allows you to easily create and enhance your podcast to make it sound very professional.

I used Anchor to create a podcast with my son.  I interviewed my son and asked him to assess my French pronunciation while I read the book “Dans L’Arbre”.  The podcast is available on my blog, The Start of My Learning Journey.  I was shocked by how easy it was to create a professional sounding podcast, while hanging out in my home!  The features that I liked were, you can record from anywhere, build episodes, edit your audio, and add background music and sound effects.

The fact that you can record anywhere using the microphone on your phone and the app, is amazing. When I first heard this, I imagined the podcast would sound similar to a phone call.  But if you listen to my podcast, it sounds like my son and I were in a recording studio, not hanging out in a quiet room in our house!  The superior sound quality was very surprising and the convenience of being able to record from anywhere with my phone is a huge plus.  This is also great for students because not all students have access to a computer, but nearly all students have access to a smartphone

The next feature I liked was the episode builder.  It allowed you to easily combine different audio clips, transition sounds and sound effects to create a cohesive podcast.

There is also an editing tool built into the app that allows you to easily trim the beginning/end of the audio, or cut parts out of the middle, right on your phone.  I experimented with Audacity to try to edit audio.  It is amazing all the things that you can do with Audacity, but it is also complicated if you have no experience editing audio.  That is what I liked about the Anchor editing tool.  It was simple enough that most people can easily use it.

The final feature of Anchor that I really liked was the ability to easily add background music and sound effects.  I feel that the addition of these things is what changes a recording of two people talking, to something that sounds like a professional podcast.  I was a little worried about adding background music to my podcast.  I have had experience with other software, where the background music was either too loud for the voices or just distracting.  When I added background music with Anchor, it automatically added a couple of seconds of the music to the beginning of our recording.  Once we started talking, the background music’s volume automatically decreased, so we could easily be heard.  Once we were done talking, the background music volume increased and played it for a couple more seconds at the end.  It did all of this with a single click.

I would recommend Anchor to anyone, for ease of use and the professional-sounding podcasts that it creates.

There are so many ways that podcasts could be used within the classroom.  In the blog, Using Podcasts in the Classroom,  the author discusses the main benefits of podcasts in the classroom and I think she really nailed why they are important and a great tool to use.  Here are the benefits that were mentioned:

Student Engagement– this is HUGE! When students love what they’re doing in your classroom they are instantly engaged. Plus the topics they get to choose from to listen to are so interesting!
Listening Skills– this might be my favorite benefit yet. Listening skills are SO important, and it can be hard to find ways to foster those with our students. Podcasts are a perfect solution to this!
Student Independence-You knew I was going to incorporate that somehow right?! I mean.. letting them choose what to listen to is such GOLD!
Reflective Thinking– Not only are they listening out of interest and engagement, but then we take it a step further and reflect on what we listened to. This involves thinking, writing, and even using our reading skills like summarizing, comparing and contrasting, and more!

Some ways podcasts can be incorporated into a classroom are:

  1. Create a podcast to demonstrate language skills.  If students are learning a new language, they can create a podcast to record a conversation between themselves to demonstrate what they have learned.
  2. Accommodate different learning styles. Some students are audio learners, so they could find a podcast that relates to the subject being taught.  Or rather than writing a report, they can create a podcast on the subject.
  3. Interview someone that is an expert on a subject matter.  Students can help create the questions for the interview and it can be used for current and future students.
  4. Create a radio show.  Students can create a radio show discussing current events or any topic they find interesting.
  5. Communication with parents.  Students can create a podcast with the teacher to communicate with parents about what is happening in the classroom.

The number of ways that podcasts can be incorporated into a classroom seems endless.  How do you think you could use podcasts in your classroom?

                —

How Learning is Changing

“Empty classroom” flickr photo by dharder9475 https://flickr.com/photos/dharder9475/5396413821 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

The way that I learn has changed drastically since I was a child.  When I was in elementary and high school and needed to research something, I would walk over to our bookshelf and try to find the information in our Britannica Encyclopedia set.  Once I was in university, the library was still the main source of knowledge.  The internet was still fairly new, all of the websites were a bunch of text pages and there wasn’t a lot of useful information available yet.  If I want to learn a new skill now, I immediately Google it. This is exactly how our children learn as well.

When I start researching a new skill, I Google it and watch a ridiculous number of videos on YouTube about the topic.  The more articles or blogs I read and videos I watch, I start to realize that half the people posting are like me and have no idea what they are doing.  But it is because of the information that I have gathered that I am able to tell this.   This makes me think of James Surowiecki’s book, The Wisdom of Crowds.  I am able to gather information from different people and sources.  Some of it is good and some of it isn’t, but by having access to so much different information, I am able to decide who has the best information to help me gain the knowledge I need to learn the skill.

On a side note, a fascinating documentary to watch that really embraces the wisdom of the crowd is Diagnosis on Netflix.  A doctor uses the power of crowdsourcing to diagnose mysterious and rare illnesses.

As was mentioned in Michael Wesch’s TEDx talk, From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-Able, the way we gain knowledge has changed drastically. Knowledge used to be spread by radio, books, televisions, and newspaper and that was one-way communication. Now, with social media, communication is two-way. This has made it easy to connect, collaborate and share information and ideas with people all around the world.

What is interesting is, that even though the way we gain knowledge has drastically changed, the organization of schools and classrooms remains very similar to the past. Students still sit in rows of desks while the teacher is at the front of the classroom teaching a lesson.  That is understandable when you think about the large class sizes and behavioural issues that teachers have to deal with now.

*Disclaimer: I am not a teacher. My views on classrooms are based on my memories of school and the information I have gathered by talking to my children and friends. If my views of the classroom are completely inaccurate, please let me know!

An example of how classrooms have remained similar to the past is spelling exams. Each week my son is sent home a list of words to memorize. Every night, we sit down together to practice the words and he hates it! I recently discovered the app Scribblenauts, and it is amazing. This is a game that helps kids learn to spell by getting them to type in words to solve a puzzle. This app had my son sounding out words and trying to spell things he would never attempt to read. It was so interactive, that he didn’t even think about the fact that he was learning while he was doing it.

In Pavan Arrora’s TEDx talk, Knowledge is Obsolete, there were great ideas on how to change the classroom and learning. The information that we teach our kids now, some of it will be obsolete by the time they graduate. Arrora said it is more important that we teach our kids how to access, assess and apply knowledge. There is so much knowledge available through social media and the internet, that it is more important that we teach our kids how to deal with that, than to teach them information that will probably be irrelevant later in life. I thought that was very interesting, because how many people do you know that aren’t working in the profession that they got their degree in? I graduated from university with a Computer Science degree, but now I work as an Instructional Designer for online classes. The degree I got is now irrelevant, but it did teach me how to learn and apply the knowledge that I learned.  All of the skills that I have for my current job, I gained by attending conferences, taking classes, webinars and talking to other instructional designers.

What I liked best about Arrora’s TEDx talk was when he talked about how learning can be improved with some tools that are already available.  Those tools were adaptive learning, interactive textbooks and augmented reality.

Adaptive learning is personalizing learning for the individual student.  Adaptive learning tools can recognize how you prefer to learn, such as videos over text and then that is what it provides for you.  There is already software available that does that.  For example, Facebook, which changes your feed and advertisements based on what you have previously viewed or clicked on.

Interactive textbooks change the student from a passive learner to an active learner, by adding activities in the text-based content.  A great tool to use to add interactive content to a class is H5P’s.  At the university, we add H5P’s to online classes to increase the student’s engagement.

Augmented reality uses technology to overlay relevant content over whatever environment the student is in.  This is another tool that we have begun to use in online classes, that students have responded very positively too.

There are two things that I feel would be good changes in the classroom.  The first is adding adaptive learning, interactive textbooks and augmented reality to classrooms.   This would change how students are learning and is hopefully where  future classrooms are heading.  It allows students to begin to enjoy learning, rather than dreading having to do homework and memorize information. It adds some gamification to learning, that really appeals to students.  I think that access to technology and resources will restrict whether this is possible and how successful it is.  But as long as some tools are being introduced into the classroom, it will be a positive change.

The second thing is, teaching students to handle the amount of information they are bombarded with on the internet and social media.  As Arrora said, it is very important to teach them now how to access, assess and apply the knowledge that they get while on social media.  Social media isn’t going away and if we don’t teach them how to be safe and use all the information at their disposal, they will be missing out on an incredible resource.

I have already noticed interactive activities and gamification being added into the classroom.  I can’t wait to see how learning changes in my children’s and my lifetime!

 

Parlez-vous francais? No

For my project in EC & I 831, I am planning on creating a Personal Learning Network (PLN) and improving my spoken and written French. I would like to improve my french because both of my children are currently enrolled in French Immersion.  They are in grades 1 and 3.  The most common question my husband and I get when people hear that our kids are in french immersion is, which one of you speaks french?  Our answer is, neither of us!  That usually raises some eyebrows.  Growing up, french immersion wasn’t an option for me and I feel that attending a french immersion school is a huge opportunity.   It is definitely an opportunity I don’t want my children to miss.

I took french in high school, but that was a while ago… more years than I would like to admit!  As my children are going through school and I help them with their homework, the french I learned in high school has been slowly coming back to me.  Any mistakes I make, my kids are very quick to correct me.  They love showing that they are better at french than me, which they definitely are!  I feel like this is a great opportunity to learn with my kids and to share with them the excitement and difficulty of learning a new language.  I also hope that as they get older, I will still be able to help them with their homework, if I improve my french.

How am I going to learn french?  There are a lot of courses available that I can pay for to learn french.  That is not my plan though.  I am going to try to find as many free french resources as possible to help me learn.  With the current schedule I have, I don’t have the time to add a synchronous french class to it.  I am looking for something that is flexible and allows me to work on it when I have time.  I am also curious to see if it is possible to find quality resources that are free.  Here is how I plan on improving my french on my own:

  1.  PLN
    I am going to spread the word that I am trying to learn french.  I will connect with people on Slack, Facebook, and Twitter for any suggestions on how to learn french.  I have been following my 1st grader’s Seesaw account.  From the videos posted there, I have already learned so much about pronunciation!I will also talk to fellow french immersion parents, to see if they have attempted to improve their french and what tools they used.  One parent I talked to said that they improved their french by watching Netflix shows, changing the language to french and adding french subtitles.  They suggested watching a simpler show, that doesn’t have complex conversations. That sounds fun! Binge watching Friends in french, here I come!
  2. MOOCS
    There are so many MOOCS available now and lots of them are really high quality.  I am hoping I will be able to find some good ones for learning french.  I will look on Udemy or EdX.  I also found this blog, Never Run Out of French MOOC Course with These 5 Sites,  which will be very useful.There are lots of websites that claim to be free, but actually aren’t.  They provide a very limited trail offer for free, but you don’t get much content.  FrenchPod101.com, looked very promising, but I’m not sure how much content I will actually be able to access without paying.
  3. Social Media
    Youtube is going to be one of my biggest sources of learning, I think.  This French months of the year song, was stuck in my head for days after I heard it! I am also going to look for blogs and articles that will help direct me. The article, 6 Ways to Use Social Media to Improve Your French, has some interesting tips, like using Pinterest for visual learning.  And the blog, Fluent in 3 Months looks like it will be really useful!

I am excited to get started my learning journey.  I’m also curious to see how my path to learning changes as I receive information from others and start to learn.  My first step will be assessing my current level of french.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could assess my french?  I will be tracking my progress on a blog.  Please follow my achievements and failures on  My Learning Journey blog.

Social Media and the Introvert

Photo credit: @respres on Flickr

Hello, my name is Kalyn Humeniuk. I am an introvert and I do not love social media.  I don’t think it is evil or bad, but I don’t really enjoy it.  As I mentioned in my Flipgrid introductory video, I’m not active on social media in my day-to-day life, but I use it to follow others. Currently I only use social media for my personal life, but the more I hear about Twitter, I am looking forward to expanding it to using it in my professional life as well.  One of my goals for this class is learning more about social media and hopefully becoming more comfortable with posting.

My social media interactions for the most part have been positive.  Probably because I am fairly selective about who I follow and I don’t post any content!

The negative aspect of social media for me, is the idea putting thoughts or ideas out their to be judged by the world.  I like to say to my friends that Twitter is an introvert’s worst nightmare!

giphy

Twitter, an introvert’s nightmare!

The idea of posting something that the entire world can see, terrifies me!  Then I remember that I only have 18 followers.  Really, my post would need to go viral for the whole world to see it.  I would need to post something incredibly controversial or ridiculous in order for that to happen.  When ever I think about tweets going viral, the Twitter post that comes to mind is the one by Justine Sacco.

Justine-Sacco-twitter-post

Photograph: Twitter

Justine Sacco tweeted this, right before she jumped on a plane to South Africa.  According to the New York Times article, How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life, by the time she had landed, the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet was trending worldwide and she had been fired from her job. She had 170 followers.  And people seemed to really enjoy publicly shaming her.  Which was very shocking and sad to me.

Logically, I realize that the chances of this happening to me are very low.  But, in my day to day life, occasionally things come out of my mouth, that I later think, why did I say that?!?  My worry is that the same thing will happen on Twitter.  So, I therefore spend 20 to 40 minutes thinking about each thing I post.  That means it takes me a couple of hours to make one post and comment on a few other posts.  I don’t have time for that!  I need to conquer my fear of posting!

Conquer my fear of posting!

I started wondering if my introversion causes my fear of posting or if it is just an excuse.  Does this happen to anyone else?  I read an interesting article, 5 Ways Introverts And Extroverts Use Facebook Much Differently.  This article really resonated with me because it does represent how I interact on social media.  Here are some examples of the differences between introverts and extroverts from the article:

“Introverts: Only friend their actual friends.
Extroverts: Take a “the more the merrier” approach and friend everybody.”

“Introverts: Keep their profile fairly private.
Extroverts: Have nothing to hide.”

“Introverts: Aren’t in it for the likes.
Extroverts: Counting on the validation.”

“Introverts: May ignore your friend request.
Extroverts: Don’t even try to place where they know you from.”

The article was written from an introverts point of view, and I feel that it paints the extroverts interactions in a negative light, which I don’t agree with. Extroverts interactions are very different from introverts, but they don’t overthink social media interactions and that is what I am going to strive for.  Do you want to be my friend? Sure, why not? Should I share this post? Why wouldn’t I?  I can learn a lot from extroverts.

In the article, How to Crush Social Media as an Introvert, it mentioned that “Social media can be as draining as a noisy get-together for many introverts.”  That is me exactly!  The article suggests creating a persona, that is still genuine, but one that likes and is comfortable with social media.  This made me realize that I had created a persona at work because I had to do public speaking.  I used to feel exhausted and uncomfortable in situations where there were large groups of people.  But, because of my job, I was forced to stand in front of a crowd and interact with strangers.  The introvert in me wanted to run the other way, but I started pretended like it didn’t bother me.  Now, in large groups of people, I am able to easily put on my, “I’m an extrovert!” persona.  I now just need to apply that persona to social media!

I realize it will take some time and practice, to get over my fear of posting and to create my online persona, but that is one of my goals for this class.  Now, I am going to go tweet about my blog and try not to spend 20 minutes deciding what to say about my blog, when I do it.