There are so many options for social learning all providing unique communication and collaboration opportunities. So which tool will work best for your educational setting? Let me share some of my experiences as a social learner and the different tools which have been used and had a great impact on my learning!
While studying Digital Media I was exposed to Google Drive, Google Hangouts and Google+. I loved learning and working using these social tools. The focus in this particular design subject was sharing ideas, concepts, processes, learning journeys and the outcomes of our creations. Google Drive allowed us to access lesson materials in order to complete Photoshop activities. We then submitted our work to Google Drive and shared the outcomes of our design and projects. I loved working so openly as it exposed me to different ways of thinking and peer collaboration. This collaboration happened in Google Hangouts. It was a great way to catch-up with classmates and the teacher. Finally we established Google Circles to remain connected and complete group work such as analyzing the design of webpages or creating a particular group project. What made it so easy was that everything happened in the one place. I could access the space nearly anywhere. I downloaded the Google Drive, Gmail, Google Hangouts and Google+ apps on my iPhone and iPad which helped me stay connected on the move. It so was simple!
While completing a MOOC about ePortfolio’s a Facebook group was established and you had the choice of joining the group and collaborating with an audience on broader topics than that of the course. It was nice using a tool other than the Wiki the course was based on. Although I didn’t focus on the Facebook group largely while doing the course I have connected heavily with it after the course. I feel it has maintained my currency in the subject area.
I have particularly liked participating in Twitter feeds and using hashtags when learning at conferences. Nearly every conference that I can remember has had a dedicated hashtag. Having the Twitter feed open leading up to and during the conference on my iPad or iPhone has enriched my learning at the event. I have also enjoyed referencing a Twitter feed established with the hashtag #nvels while completing a social learning course online in Edmodo recently. It has provided the opportunity for collaboration and great links to information.