Reflecting back on my development as a social networker in this subject took me back to the beginning of the tasks involved in setting up this OLJ.  When describing what I expected to learn from the subject, I wanted to be able to use social networking to my advantage for private, work and study use.  I also wanted to get over the fear of putting my thoughts and contributions “out there” and perhaps teach any knowledge gained to my family and colleagues.

Using a Facebook Group, instead of the forum space on Interact, as our interactive learning space for this subject allowed participation from invited group members only. Facebook is now used by schools as an Information provider page and in a classroom setting.  A Wikipedia article on the subject of Web 2.0 in education informed us that “students, in a Web 2.0 classroom, are expected to collaborate with their peers”. I think the Facebook Group did this; sharing ideas, asking for advice, having discussions and a bit of fun as well.  It was more interesting following the Facebook page than it would have been using the forum (which is more like email) with the use of photos, videos and links. It also showed participants’ personalities.

I enjoyed the blogging aspect of this subject.  I must admit it is a lot more fun to be assessed on blog posts rather than formal assignments, as well as being more colourful.  I found posting on the blog to be just like public speaking – very nervous at first but as you do it more and more it becomes that bit easier.  I am now more into reading blogs and find them especially useful for research purposes within libraries.  Farkas’s presentation on Building Academic Library 2.0 really connected with me and I am now a regularly reader of her blog.  This presentation brought together the use and uses of Web 2.0 tools and social media in libraries and many must be interested as the YouTube video has had 26,038 visits to date.

The introduction to this subject informed that “we have been involved in social networking and community building processes and practices for centuries”.  I was pleasantly surprised to get a reply to one of my posts from a student in Arkansas.  Suddenly I was an author with an international readership, and I realised how immediate social media could be.  The reply came from outside of the group I was enrolled in and I suspect that the person used the tag of RSS to find my blog, highlighting the importance of using Tags.

In 2011 I completed the “How 2 with Web 2.0”, a professional development session run by the School Libraries Association of Victoria (SLAV).  Re-exploring social media tools in this subject has been more useful as it has shown me many ways to use these tools in a library setting.  The course was only an introduction into the tools but didn’t go as far a developing ways to use them in your workplace.

In my About section on this blog I commented that “Between students and my own kids I feel like I have been playing chasey keeping up with Social Networking”.  I think that, given rate at which new technologies are being implemented, I will continue to play chasey.  No sooner had I begun to come to grips with RSS, installed a client and begun to subscribe, (OLJ post 20/1/13), one of my feeds announced that Google (2013) is retiring its “Reader” product.  The following day, Stephen Abram (2013) posted an article on his blog (14 March) explaining what alternatives are available.  I read it carefully, started assessing my options and all of a sudden Pheed appears – a new tool to tackle.  This is also the problem that libraries face as the range of tools increases. While people and organisations are moving to Twitter, and a number of public libraries are using it (Central Highlands, Yarra Plenty, State Library of Victoria), the challenge for libraries will be it make strategically smart decisions about what platforms to adopt.

I have learnt quite a bit in this subject but know there is so much more to learn and blog and tweet and Pheed and Slideshare and Summly and Vine and Flayvr and Chirp and … will I need to Weibo?

References:

Abram, Stephen. (2013, March 14). Google reader retires July 1st: Options for when Google sucks. Stephen’s Lighthouse. Retrieved from http://stephenslighthouse.com/2013/03/14/google-reader-retires-july-1st-options-for-when-google-sucks/

Google (2013, March 13). A second spring of cleaning. Google Official Blog. Retrieved from http://googleblog.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/a-second-spring-of-cleaning.html

Web 2.0. (n.d.). Web 2.0 in education. Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0

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