Social Networking–Cautiously Getting Started

December 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm 10 comments

It’s been a long hard path but my colleagues have finally ‘shamed’ me into participating in the ‘other side of the web.’  I’m referring to connecting, communicating and networking with others around the globe.  What has taken me soooo long?  Well, it has less to do with  resistance to change and more to do with practicality.  Let me explain.

I’m not one who is ‘wowed’ or sucked into the glitz and glimmer of new toys or processes.  In fact, I’m barely even an observer initially.  Until I see how something new allows me to be more efficient, or it allows me to do things that aren’t possible without embracing the ‘new’ processes or tools, I’m not terribly interested.  Additionally, I have to admit that I’m not totally enamored with the idea that the written word lives forever.  You can retract what you write, but I understand it never really goes away.

However, the day has come.  I’ve finally had to admit that social networking on the web is no longer an option.  Rather, it is a ‘must’ in this global economy.  I’ve always appreciated the power of networking, but I’ve finally had to admit that if limit ourselves to face-to-face connections, our potential will likely be greatly diminished.  So gone are the days when I’ve played the role of a supporting cast member behind a curtain of anonymity.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t weave in a word about education with my first official blog post.  As I stated before, the idea of the permanency of what is posted on the web is a bit disconcerting to me.  I realize that kids, in many ways,  have lead the way with social networking online, but I fear many may not fully appreciate the potential downside of what they choose to share–not just from a safety standpoint but also from the perspective that they are creating a ‘picture’ of who they are, which could serve or hurt them in the future.  Unfortunately, there are probably too few educators versed enough in this social medium to help guide students in their decision making in this social medium.

Nonetheless, I’m onboard now–jumping in with both feet.  Maybe more educators will take the plunge too.

Coming soon…….. Deb Haneke on Facebook, Twitter, Plurk etc.  Is there no end?

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tim Holt  |  December 22, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Welcome to your Professional Learning Network! I have learned so much from blogging that I consider it the best education I have gotten in Education!

    I hope you find the experience just as powerful. Come to my site and see what I have done in 3 years…and mine is nothing compared to what many others have done.

    Welcome. If you stick to it, it will change the way you do everything!

    Tim Holt
    El Paso Texas

    Reply
  • 2. Kevin Honeycutt  |  December 22, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Deb,
    I am so proud of you! Jumping in and blogging is a great step into a bigger, meaningful world. I am here if you need me. Once people know you, they are going to love you…in big numbers.

    Reply
  • 3. Brian Beaver  |  December 22, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Welcome to the interactive side. As Kevin can explain in great detail, your concern about kids posting just about anything on social networking sites is a serious one. Kevin spoke at ARKSTE earlier this month, and did a great job of expounding how to explain this to our students in a way that they will instantly grasp.

    🙂

    Reply
  • 4. Tammy Worcester  |  December 22, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Hey Deb! Good to see you here. Very well-written post. Am looking forward to reading more…

    Reply
  • 5. Alison Bullock  |  December 22, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Welcome to the blog world! I’m a recent joiner too, not having had any clue that this social networking thing was even going on. This is a great place to share ideas, and learn from colleagues about staying current and using best practice.
    Enjoy!

    Alison,
    Kitchener, Ontario

    Reply
  • 6. --David  |  December 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I also too a log time before jumping into Facebook, Twitter and the like, though I have been blogging before there was such a thing. I think the essential phrase is “Professional Learning Community.” Facebook is not solely one, not to me. It’s a place to hang out with friends, talk about whatever, though there are professional organizations on there for sure.

    I’m sure there are folks on Plurk that are not educators, but I haven’t found them yet. And that is what I love about it. I not only choose whom I follow, but who can follow me. Yes, sometimes we get into the ‘banalities’ of life, but more often we have amazing discussions about education, technology, blending the two and more.

    As you said, the key is always (or at least often) remember that everything is added together to build a picture of oneself. I tend to be the class clown with nuggets of (hopefully) useful tidbits thrown in.

    The biggest ‘bonus’ for me about PLC (or PLN, if you will) is that I can toss out a question and generall within minutes have suggestions from around the world, all from people *I* trust…

    Welcome to the big show. 🙂

    Reply
  • 7. Beth Knittle  |  December 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I understand your reluctance, I was there once myself. But I must say I have learned more in my last few years connecting with others then I did in my last master’s program. If you participate, take on some challenges and challenge others in their thinking you will come away a much richer learner. Looking forward to learning with you.

    Reply
  • 8. Steve  |  December 23, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Luddites all over the world are gasping!!!!!! 😉

    Reply
  • 9. Jodi  |  December 28, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    You are walking the talk!! All of us are following your fearless lead!! It is an untraveled road for me as well. Jumping in with both feet is an understatement!!

    Reply
  • 10. Jane  |  December 29, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    You and I began communicating f2f by occupying adjoining desks in the same pod. Then you moved across the office and we emailed. With you leading me to the interactive side the boundaries just became endless. You mentioned “gone are the days” and I’ll add “gone are some of our ways!”

    Reply

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