A class with Sugata Mitra, a well known researcher in the field of educational technology- I was expecting something different from the traditional classes when I decided to take this module. And yes, that was totally different!
When I first knew that we were going to use twitter and blogging for the class, I was really challenged, mainly because I am not a ‘social media’ type of person. I have never felt comfortable at using social networks. Secondly, I simply could not imagine how we would use twitter for learning. We tweeted for taking notes for the classes, and it turned into a ‘social’ note-taking; people in the class, as well as those outside the class began commenting on one another’s notes and thoughts. I personally had discussions on twitter with some people that I did not even know, and the exchange of views was quite interesting and engaging. I liked the idea of taking notes on twitter as a whole group, and thus, decreasing the chances for students to miss the things discussed in the class. Also, some attempts have been made by some of my classmates to bring all the tweets together by using Storify, but I think it was not enough to organize the notes and ideas that were discussed in the class. Overall, I did not find tweeting for class more beneficial (in terms of learning outcomes or understanding) or more engaging than the traditional classes and traditional note-taking.
Another tool was blogging after each session of the module, which was meant to be reflections of the sessions and a general answer to the questions (provocations) asked in the class. It was my first time to use a blog and I found it very useful. As we were a lot of people in the class, not everyone could have the chance to speak and share their thoughts during the sessions. Moreover, there were some language and social barriers for some people, since the majority of the students (including me) were international students, for whom English was a foreign language. For these reasons, sharing thoughts via personal blogs opened a new (and equal) ground for everyone. Blogging was also helpful not only for writing my own reflections, but also for reading classmates’ thoughts. Since we were doing different tasks (listening to audios, tweeting our notes, responding other people’s tweets etc.) at the same time in the class, it was completely possible to miss certain points of the discussions. By reading other people’s blog posts, I could place the things that I missed in the class.
To conclude, it was a great experience to use social media sites for the classes, and I would definitely take the module again.