Monday, October 18, 2010

Friday Reflection

reflection One of the things I want to achieve with our student social portfolios is for them to move beyond a resource-sharing community and become a useful socially-constructed reflection tool. It's early days, but the first signs this year are encouraging. To scaffold reflection, each Friday I ask a question to try to start discussions. On a good week, themes emerge, and hopefully problems get addressed, if not solved.

Last week, I asked two questions, one for the new students and one for the second year online mentors. Following on from the THE article, the question I asked the mentors on Friday was: Do you spend too much time on social media?

I've been thinking about this over the weekend. My knee jerk reaction is to go down the professional research tool route, and while there is some truth in this, in my reflection I felt I needed to go beyond this. One of the major criteria I am unable to escape in my professional life are considerations of effectiveness. This is the reason I find it so difficult to participate in the whole, rotten, grant submission process, which has done more to harm academia over the last decade than anything else. So is my use of social media in a professional context effective? To address that, I considered frequency and purpose. I'm entirely happy with purpose - professional research tool and community builder for students (and to a lesser extent colleagues). But what about frequency? Thinking about this has decided me to try to change my practice and go for less frequent in an attempt to increase effectiveness. Will it work and will I be able to stick to it?

Like any addict, acknowledging the problem is the start of the process of recovery.