Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Habits and Attitudes of Being Public Online - Teacher 2.0

  • What are the emotional barriers to building a PWP and contributing online?
  • What are the "habitudes" you (and your students) need to develop to feel comfortable contributing online? (For example, is "courage" needed to contribute online?)
  • As you look at how youth interact in the online world, what "habitudes" will you need to help them learn participate well? (Thoughtfulness? Sensitivity to others?)
Emotional Barriers? Probably the biggest is the fear that no-one will find my posts interesting.  I maintain 4 blogs and a wikispace - I have Guest Books or provision for comments on all - yet I have received no guest book entries, very few comments on my blog posts, and apart from a few members on my Genealogy Blog, no members to my blogs.  I have received a couple of queries related to my family history thanks to the wiki but although my visitor counters tell me that people are looking at all of my sites I'm not getting much feedback so I sort of feel I'm the only person really taking any interest in my on-line efforts.  But that isn't such a bad thing I guess, as I still get immense pleasure from keeping the sites updated, and it is good for self reflection - especially my 'Reflections' blog where I reminisce about things and people from my childhood.
Habitudes?  I am slowly learning to use some cyberspeak in my online communications, especially text messages and the occasional twitters I share.  But my blogs demand proper English, good grammar and punctuation.  I just can't help it, and I cringe when I see some of the efforts of some people.  The teacher in me wants to correct errors!  Another habitude which I think I have developed is to define the purpose of my on-line presence - primarily it is for me!  If others find it interesting, or benefit from it in some way, then that is a bonus - so I shouldn't worry about whether or not I get feedback from others.
Youth Interaction?  I think they need to learn the differences required in different forums.  i.e. when the message is for a small group of close friends, then perhaps cyberspeak is acceptable, but anything for broader  publication should contain proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.
I would also like to teach them caution - what they publicly broadcast now might seem like a bit of a lark, but in time it may (will?) come back to haunt them.  They need to be aware of the image of themselves they are painting with all aspects of their on-line presence.

1 comment:

  1. Jan, I agree! I think it's very important to set a purpose for blogging -- or for any other online activity, for that matter -- and then pursue that purpose whether or not others *appear* to be watching. I also love your thoughts about leading students to think about (1) the different requirements of different venues and (2) the self-portrait that they paint for themselves.