Prompt: Reflect on your experience performing one of the required collection activities. What did you find most challenging? What questions remain? Why do you think I required it? What advice would you give a student if you could travel into the future and give them advice?
This assignment tasked us with setting up a Twitter account (if we didn’t already have one), posting a tweet, following the instructor, and using the direct message feature. I can’t exactly reflect on my learning for this assignment because I don’t believe I learned anything. The closest thing to it is that I became more familiar with using the direct messaging feature of Twitter, a feature I very rarely use. I just went through the steps as I have done before because I am a frequent Twitter user. I experienced no challenges.
I think the assignment is required because Twitter is a powerful tool for educators in making valuable connections, keeping abreast with research and trends, and getting ideas for improving their teaching. Twitter also serves an important role in creating teacher presence and social presence within this online course. If the assignment were optional, some students would choose not to sign up for Twitter and would miss out on the rich conversations that can happen there within the cohort and beyond. On yet another level, this assignment helps students to develop their web presence and provides an opportunity for us to be “digital citizens” engaging with others online.
Based on my experience with Twitter, my advice to a future student would be to not only complete the minimums of the assignment but to fully embrace and dive into Twitter in this class. Use this as an opportunity to see the power of Twitter in your professional life by going beyond the nousion hashtag to explore other topics of interest to you. Find posts that interest you, see what other things that person has posted, follow them if they post things you want to see, and explore the tweets of the people they follow, and so on. Reserve your judgement of its value until you have completed the course and decided only then whether you want to keep using it.