Which Social Network should I join?
So, now you know what Social Networking is, and you want to get in on the action, but there are so many Social Networking sites and so many ways to network with people online, so which do I think are the best, or most appropriate?
Let’s start by looking at questions below.
- How should I network?
- Why am I joining this network? Is it to collaborate with colleagues or students?
- What are my students using and why?
- What do I have to contribute, can I add value to this network?
- Do I have time to contribute?
- Am I ready to have a go at this?
Here are some of my thoughts;
- I want to connect with students in their space – myspace
- I want to connect with students and colleagues in a structured manner – facebook
- I am time poor but want to connect with people via image sharing – flickr
- I am time poor but want to connect with people visually by videos – YouTube
- I am time poor but want to share presentations – slideshare
- I am time poor and want to keep in touch, in the loop and determine my own involvement – Twitter
- I want to collaborate and contribute to my community – Ning, edubloggers
If you are thinking about joining a Social Network to collaborate with colleagues, then perhaps an edu specific space like EduBloggerWorld could be appropriate. If you are in DET, you might already use Edna. Many educators in my Social Networks have a presence in at least one and usually up to six or seven networks.
If it’s students you want to engage and connect with, then I think it’s a good idea to use one of the spaces they are already in, like myspace or Facebook. The Del.icio.us online bookmarking is a good tool for sharing links and you can join networks or groups already in these spaces.
Facebook is could be good for both because you can specify what some readers/ friends you add see, you can allow students to see your ‘limited profile’ for example. Facebook was created for college students. There are also lots of educational groups in Facebook. Here are some of the groups I’m in;
As at today, there are 409 ‘categorised’ educational applications to use on your Facebook profile.
If you just want to network by sharing something of yours or favourite things, things you are interested in, like photo’s or video’s, then consider YouTube or Flickr.
Word of warning; these networks can demand quite a bit of your time, so before you commit to one, consider if you have time to check in once or twice a week to read and contribute.
Educational Social Networks
There are a number of social networks that have been created specifically for educators.
Ning based communities
Readers, please comment…
This is a call to all educational readers of this blog and in my networks to post a comment and share what you think, where you network, or suggest a good space you have found that has been beneficial. What have been the advantages of becoming a member of an educational network? What have been some of the challenges?