Friday, August 4, 2017

Social Networking & Faculty: A Plan to Build More PLNs

Now that we’ve come the last day of the course, I’ve been thinking a lot about the approaches I am going to take to implement some of the great ideas we’ve shared. Since I work directly with faculty, the process is a little different than if I were building a course. In some ways, I think the students would be much more accepting of the use of these tools, but I look forward to forming a network of faculty who are interested in ways to incorporate more Web 2.0 into their classes.  

In a few weeks, we’ll be opening up a faculty development course on education technology. The course is an elective and tends to be one of the most popular. Since those faculty are actively choosing to learn more about ed tech, I’ll be able to show them several of the tools over the eight-week course. Many of them, I believe, will be most interested in blogging, maybe Twitter, and some of the curation resources.

One of the approaches I am going to take will shift the focus onto the faculty. I’ve built in an activity that asks them to implement one of these Web 2.0 tools (or one of their choosing) and reflect on the process. This idea is a modification of my produsage project, which I will also be launching as a collaborative learning course, and I think it will work well with ed tech participants.

Another way I plan to leverage some of these tools is with our “Tips” plan that we’ve been developing. Working alongside my team, we will be sharing “Teaching with Tech Tips” that will be disseminated to our faculty. The idea came out of our need to promote some of the resources that are available, but underused, by faculty. By incorporating much of the work I’ve done in this class, I’ll be able to create mini-sessions on what a tool is and how it can be effectively incorporated into classes, from both a technology and teaching perspective.  

We’ll undoubtedly have early adopters and faculty who are already using Web 2.0 on a regular basis, so I plan to rely on their knowledge and enthusiasm as well. Much like Web 2.0, faculty development works best when you have supporters who are willing to share their experiences with those who are in their PLNs.

I’m tremendously excited about the potential to incorporate so many of the things we’ve learned in this class into bite-sized sessions for the faculty. And just maybe, I can even collect some data on how they are being used. J

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