Categories
conference

SAAHE 2016 conference

I usually post my notes after a conference but this year at SAAHE I mainly used Twitter to keep track of my thoughts during the sessions, which was great because we probably saw more activity on Twitter in PE than ever before. Here is the conference feed using the #saahe2016 hashtag.

Note : While it’s great that Twitter gives you the ability to embed a conference feed in a post like this, I always wonder what will happen when Twitter goes away?


Categories
ethics pht402 social media technology

PHT402 Ethics course: Developing an online professional identity

This post was written for the participants of the #pht402 Professional Ethics course. For many of our participants working online has been a new and interesting experience but for most it will probably won’t progress much more than that. This post is intended to highlight how the blogs that have been created as part of the course can form the foundation of an online professional identity that can be carried forward as evidence of learning in a variety of contexts.

digital_identityIn an increasingly connected and digital world, it often seems that too much is happening, too quickly. Every week another online service, app or device is competing for your time and it can be overwhelming to decide where to focus your attention. Even in our professional lives as clinicians or academics, there’s an increasing sense that “being” online is important, even if we don’t know exactly “how” to be, or “where” to be. There is a move towards the sharing of clinical experiences and resources that can add value to your professional life, if the available services and tools are used effectively. The clinical context is so dynamic, complex and challenging that we owe it to ourselves, our colleagues and our professions to share what we know.

The Internet offers a perfect platform for this professional interaction, particularly through the use of social media. “Social media” is an umbrella term for a range of online services that facilitate the creation, curation and sharing of user-generated content. It is increasingly being tied in to mobile devices (i.e. smartphones and tablets) that make it easy to share many aspects of our personal and professional lives. Some examples of the types of technologies that come under this term are: blogs (like we’re seeing in this course), microblogs (e.g. Twitter), wikis (e.g. Wikipedia, Physiopedia), podcasts, discussion forums, virtual social worlds (e.g. Second Life), gaming worlds (e.g. World of Warcraft) and social networks (e.g. Google+ and Facebook). As you can see, the term “social media” covers a lot of ground, which is why it’s sometimes difficult to figure out what exactly someone means when they talk mention it.

While the main theme of this post is to highlight the benefits of creating and maintaining an online professional presence, bear in mind that it’s not enough to simply “be” online. The main advantage of having an online professional identity is that it allows you to interact and engage with others in your field. Twenty years ago, academics and clinicians could only rely on the (very slow) process of publication and citation to learn about changes in the field. Now, with the affordances that the web provides, crafting a professional online identity can happen very quickly. However, it’s the interaction and engagement through conversation and discussion that builds reputation and a sense of presence, rather than simply “being there”.

You might be feeling that this is all a bit overwhelming and that you don’t have possibly have the time to get involved with all of these services. And you’d be right. Try to think of this as a developmental process, one that is going to take time to evolve. You didn’t emerge from university as a fully-formed, well-rounded clinical practitioner or researcher. It took time for you to develop the confidence to engage with colleagues, to share your ideas and to contribute to professional dialogue. Establishing an online identity is no different.

Whether you decide to continue updating your blog, or to start tweeting, the point is that you start somewhere, and start small. As your confidence grows, you’ll want to begin experimenting with other services, integrating them with each other and building them into your workflow. This is the most crucial part because if you think of this as just another thing you have to do, or another place you have to go, you’ll find yourself resenting it. Build a foundation in one space at a time, and only use services and applications that you feel provide you with value.

In the beginning, you may feel more comfortable “lurking” on social media sites, listening to the conversation without really contributing. This is OK and is likened to a form of Wenger’s concept of legitimate peripheral participation. Over time, as you gain confidence you may begin to feel that you have something to say. This may be as simple as posting your own content (e.g. a tweet, a blog post, a status update), sharing the content of others, or agreeing / disagreeing with something that someone else has said. Whatever it is, don’t feel pressured to say something profound or clever. Just give your sincere input to the conversation.

In case you’re wondering if there are any rules or regulations in terms of using social media as a health care professional, that’s hard to say. Many organisations and institutions do have a set of policies that can inform practice when it comes to employees using social media, although it’s hard to say if these are rules or guidelines. One of the biggest difficulties is that as a health care professional, the public often perceives you as always being “on duty”. A physio is always a physio, whether you’re working or not, which makes it difficult to determine what is appropriate to share, and when. The following list of health-related social media policies may help you to tread the fine line between your personal and professional online identities.

Developing an online professional identity and presence is an essential aspect of modern scholarship and increasingly, clinical practice. Not only does it allow you to connect and engage with researchers, academics and other clinicians in your field of interest, but it helps to develop your professional reputation by giving you an international platform to share your work and your ideas.

There are many services and platforms already available, with more becoming available all the time. While it’s not necessary to have a presence and to participate in all possible online spaces, it helps to be aware of what is available and how the different services can be used in the development of your own professional identity. Finally, while developing a professional presence is advisable, be aware that what you share and how you share will have as much of an impact on whether your share or not. There are some guidelines that are particularly relevant for health care professionals and researchers, but even then, the area is under such rapid development that it’s difficult for institutional social media policies to keep up. If in doubt, always check with your employer and colleagues.

Categories
social media technology

Social media and professional identity: Part 2 (blogs & microblogs)

Welcome to Part 2 of my series on using social media to create and develop an online professional identity. Here is the full list of topics that I’m going to cover:

  • Part 1: Introduction to the internet and social media
  • Part 2: Social media, online identity and engagement (blogs and microblogs)
  • Part 3: Academic social networks (Mendeley)
  • Part 4: Academic social networks (ResearchGate)
  • Part 5: Academic social networks (Academia.edu)
  • Part 6: Getting started with social media
  • Part 7: Privacy and sharing: social media policies in healthcare

Social media, online identity and engagement

You probably have a Facebook page that you use to share family pictures and catch up with old friends. You may even use it to connect with a group of like-minded professionals, sharing experiences, resources and challenges in your work. This section will hopefully introduce you to a range of other online, social services that you may find useful. The idea is that you explore these options and play around with establishing a profile in one area or another. In each of the following sections, I’ve tried to explain in general what the service or technology is, and then give a few examples of ways in which I’ve used them in a professional context.

While the main theme of this article is to share ideas for creating and maintaining an online professional presence, bear in mind that it’s not enough to simply “be” online. The main advantage of having an online professional presence is that it allows you to interact and engage with others in your professional field. Twenty years ago, academics could only rely on the (very slow) process of publication and subsequent citation to establish an academic reputation. Now, with the affordances that the web provides, crafting a professional online identity can happen relatively quickly. However, it’s the interaction and engagement through conversation and discussion that builds credibility, rather than just “being there”. This section will discuss two of the main ways that people are engaging with each other; blogs and microblogs.

Blogs

A blog is a personal online space in which entries (called “posts”) are published in reverse chronological order (i.e. newest posts appear first) and is a combination of the words “web” and “log”. WordPress is probably the biggest blogging platform at the moment, although Blogger is another commonly used service. Prior to blogging platforms, it was challenging for individuals to post content online, as it required a knowledge of HTML and basic coding skills. With the advent of blogging tools and free content hosting, it became possible for anyone with an internet connection to post information to the web, essentially allowing anyone to be a publisher. Most modern blogging platforms allow for integration with other online services. For example, sidebar widgets can be used to display your latest tweets (see Microblogging below), your shared images on Flickr or Picasa, your LinkedIn profile, or your most recent conference presentations via Slideshare or Prezi.

I started blogging a few years ago and after a few false starts (a normal part of trying to find your own voice) I created /usr/space, where I continue to blog today. My blog is where I share my experiences of and research into clinical education. In the past, it might have taken many years – sometimes decades – to build up a reputation through publication in international journals. Now, while that aspect of developing an academic reputation is still important, you can begin a conversation with others in your field almost immediately.

A blog is often the place that professionals use to establish a first online presence, which you can think of as a space to develop a digital representation of who you are (or who you would like to be). But, some people seem to think that they should share everything they are, or everything they want the world to think they are. When you first begin blogging try to do the following:

  • Write regularly. Google gives greater relevance to blogs that are updated more frequently.
  • Be yourself and write about what is important to you.
  • Include images or embed videos. Blogs are visual mediums and good use of images help grab readers’ attention.
  • Use links to external content so that your post could be a resource for someone else.
  • Respond to comments left on your blog.
  • Write comments on the blogs of others. Blogging is about engaging in a conversation with others.
  • Use an RSS reader, like Google Reader, to keep up to date with other bloggers in your field.

One of the things that might take some getting used to is the idea of being public. Sharing with the world can be intimidating (“What if I’m not funny / smart / clever / [whatever] enough?”). My advice is to keep your posts authentic. Be honest with yourself and your audience and you’ll find that there are others out there who are experiencing the same challenges that you are, and will respond to your writing. Write for yourself, but be mindful of the fact that others will be reading it.

Here are some of the blogs that I subscribe to. Most of these are about teaching and learning, but there are some by clinical educators as well. Have a look at the last few posts from each of these bloggers, and if it looks like they’re sharing ideas that you might enjoy reading about, subscribe to them. Even better, comment on what they’ve written and share your own ideas. Remember that the whole point of blogging is to engage in a conversation with colleagues who have similar interests, and that the list below is a tiny fraction of the full conversation that is happening.

Microblogs

Microblogging is about sharing content in a very limited format. The most famous example of a microblog is probably Twitter, although Tumblr is another good example. For the purposes of this article, I’ll stick to Twitter, just because it’s what I’m most comfortable with. Twitter allows users to post “tweets” of 140 characters, and was originally designed to be used as an alternative to SMS, hence the 140 character limit. When you first start tweeting you might find yourself trying to decide what to say. It’s OK to begin by watching to see what others are talking about, but know that if you’re not actively sharing, people will be hesitant to follow you.

Some of the things that you may want to share include your own experiences of “being” whatever it is that you are. Share the challenges you face in your professional context, or the things you see in the people around you. Tell your followers about a particular insight that just came to you, or a link to a really useful / interesting / engaging / thoughtful / inspiring online resource. Take a photo of something beautiful and share it with everyone. The whole point of being on Twitter is to engage in a public space, so be careful with what you tweet. A future employer might end up reading it.

There are several desktop and mobile Twitter clients that extend the functionality of the standard web-based experience (e.g. being able to send and receive tweets from multiple accounts), and you should play around with a few until you find one that you like. Some of the more popular clients include Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Echofon and the default Twitter client for most smartphones.

Conventions that you should be familiar with when using Twitter:

  • Stream – The feed of tweets that come from the people you follow.
  • Follow – When you “follow” someone, it means that their tweets show up in your stream. You should follow people who are interesting to you, otherwise your stream very quickly becomes polluted with content that has little value for you.
  • RT – “Retweeting” is when you see a post from someone you follow and share it with everyone who follows you.
  • DM – “Direct messages” are a bit like email. They’re private and can only be sent between people who follow each other.
  • @replies – When someone addresses you or mentions you in public. Everyone can see what’s been said and you get a notification that you’ve been mentioned. The message usually begins with “@yourusername”
  • # (hashtags) – Adding a hashtag allows others to perform a search on that word or phrase, which can be really useful during conferences. In addition, you can follow ongoing conversations like #phdchat, a collection of PhD researchers who share their experiences, stories, resources and tips for staying sane.

You can sign up for a Twitter account here, and here are a few users who I think are interesting to follow, just to get you started: @thesiswhisperer, @mashable, @courosa, @danariely, @opencontent, @pgsimoes, @presentationzen, @drtonybates, @sapinker, @coolcatteacher, @giustini, @bryanalexander, @amcunningham, @cameronneylon, @francesbell, @nlafferty, @gsiemens, @sebschmoller, @downes, @jamesclay, @ryantracey, @rachaellowe

The next part of the series on using social media to develop an online professional identity will review Mendeley, one of my favourite applications on the desktop, iPad, phone and web.

Categories
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-05-21

  • @RonaldArendse nice, who made it? #
  • RT @engadget: Neuroscientists develop game for stroke rehabilitation, give the Wii a run for its money http://t.co/TX6Un7bB #
  • Giving iPad PowerPoint Presentations Just Got a Lot Better http://t.co/YLBI0WLM via @zite #
  • Knowledge Graph A Great New Service from Google http://t.co/EskrzxDU via @zite #
  • @RonaldArendse congrats on your mention in the paper. Good work with cellphones for T&L in large classes 🙂 #
  • @RonaldArendse where’s the link? #
  • TED: Brené Brown: Listening to shame (2012) http://t.co/Amo1VBwm. Great follow up to the 2010 talk #
  • @HENNAWP U can export the map as an image & embed it / link to it, u can also link to the Cmap file & allow others to download it #checet #
  • “Information” is fragmented, “knowledge” is integrated. Concept mapping helps to turn information into knowledge #checet #
  • @sam_a19 initially it would take some time but thereafter it only requires refinement #checet #
  • @AatikaValentyn The Cmap file can be emailed. It only needs the software to be installed on the machine you use to open the file #checet #
  • Using concept maps to articulate & externalise conceptual understanding can also improve essay writing #checet #
  • Here is the presentation i gave this morning on PLEs http://t.co/TBDrR8ke #checet #
  • @KarienJooste you can embed a twitter feed (from a person, hashtag, or search) into a wiki #checet #
  • David Gelernter: Time to start taking the Internet seriously http://t.co/lDR62M5K. Great piece that changed my thinking #checet #
  • @dgachago17 “getting the story out there” also a process, no emphasis on product. If product is “poor”, has learning happened? #checet #
  • @dgachago17 the “purpose is to give students a voice”…isn’t that a process…the “giving” of the voice? #checet #
  • @IvalaEunice The devices are mobile, and because it’s wireless the students can respond from anywhere? #checet #
  • @waldoweimers Switch to pencil & paper. It’ll save on the “battery” concern, but cost you time #checet #
  • @jpbosman talks about using cellphones & wireless for audience response systems, instead of clickers which are expensive #checet #
  • @AatikaValentyn U can argue that digital literacy is as NB as reading & writing. And, they are an aspect of digital communication #checet #
  • Ethical aspects of recording and sharing encounters, while relevant, are not prohibitive. Obtain informed consent from participants #checet #
  • @dgachago17 I think that “process” is way more valuable than “product” 🙂 #checet #
  • @JonathanMarks3 “Learning the technology” should be an essential component of learning in a connected society #checet #
  • Vodcasting requires students to draw on / develop multiple skillsets that are not necessarily a formal part of the curriculum #checet #
  • @Phudsical backchannels are easier if you have an assistant who is familiar with the course to manage the background conversation #checet #
  • @waldoweimers Twitter constrains you by limiting the message to 140 characters. So, shorter, more concise expressions than blogging #checet #
  • @drekpo Thank you, hopefully today will also be useful 🙂 #
  • Students using vodcasts at Pollsmoor Prison to document their fieldwork skills and submit for assessment in Social Work degree #checet #
  • Neal Henderson talks about his students using video podcasts: visual experience / communication adds value to the assessment #checet #
  • RT @NicSpaull: When I read CS Lewis quotes I imagine him sitting in an old armchair smiling, and chuckling lightly just before he says it… #
  • RT @NatGeo: What makes us human? http://t.co/QEa9e2hn (via @NatGeoEducation) #
  • “Lurking” = listening to the background conversation without actively contributing = a form of legitimate peripheral participation #checet #
  • Think of a hashtag as a record of the background thoughts and feelings of an event like #checet #
  • @dgachago17 kicks it off at #checet integrating Twitter into practice, “the distance between people becomes smaller” #
Categories
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-04-02

Categories
diigo

Posted to Diigo 07/06/2011

    • three forces at play when it comes to education and social media
    • first is a lack of force
    • second is the force of fear
    • third force is that of more and more educators who are embracing social media and advocating its use on- and off-campus – for student learning and for teacher professional development alike
    • a lot of potential with Google+: better student collaboration through Circles, opportunities for blended learning (a combination of offline and online instruction) with Hangouts, project research with Sparks, and easier school public relations with targeted photo-sharing, updates, and messaging
    • granular level of privacy afforded by Google+ that is the key to making this a successful tool for schools
    • while Twitter has been embraced by many educators – for both professional development and for back-channeling in the classroom – there’s still that “always public” element of Twitter that makes many nervous
    • sharing online isn’t simply about weighing privacy concerns; it’s also about sharing with the right people
    • many teachers are already talking about the possibility of not just face-to-face video conversation but the potential for integration of whiteboards, screen-sharing, Google Docs, and other collaborative tools
Categories
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-05-09

  • Moving beyond self-directed learning: Network-directed learning http://ow.ly/1sNcAH #
  • The Daily Papert http://bit.ly/l9xMFA. “Kids never say that school is too hard; they say it’s boring. Yet we insist on making it easier” #
Categories
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-04-18

Categories
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-04-11

  • Twitter, Teaching, & Impersonality – http://bit.ly/eWDgur. Sharing some “personal” information with students creates a trusting environment #
  • eLearn: Opinions – Academic Honesty in the Online Environment http://bit.ly/gYQfHk #
  • The Daily Papert http://bit.ly/i2Shy7. Video games can be “…fast-paced, immensely compelling, and rewarding” forms of learning #
  • Professors With Personal Tweets Get High Credibility Marks http://ow.ly/1snR57 #
  • E-portfolios – taking learning out of the shoebox: a reply to Donald Clark http://ow.ly/1snR1D #
  • Don’t Wait for Permission to Innovate http://ow.ly/1snOel. If you don’t ask, they can’t say “no” #
  • IRRODL call for papers on Emergent Learning, Connections, and Design for Learning http://bit.ly/hQJawp #
  • @sarah_blc I think it’s hard to acknowledge non-institutional learning, mainly because our curricula / assessments don’t value it #
  • How To Use An Apostrophe – The Oatmeal http://bit.ly/fCUE8g. Should be required reading for everyone #
  • The Politics of Queering Anything http://ow.ly/1smRO2 #
Categories
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-04-04

  • The Daily Papert http://bit.ly/f03fXV “…openness and flexibility…is necessary to keep inquiry interesting, stimulating and exciting” #
  • @sarah_blc I’ve been wondering about the usefulness of splitting learning into “formal” and “informal”. Shouldn’t it just be “learning”? #
  • The Daily Papert http://bit.ly/gJ24NL. “Much of what the child learns we don’t even notice” #