23 Things for Digital Knowledge – Getting Started

23 Things for Digital Knowledge – Getting Started

January 2, 2019 0 By JR

Working on the 9x9x25 challenge issued by Terry Greene at the end of 2018 got me blogging more than I had since I was a blogger for Helsinki Summer School back in 2012. Blogging tends to be one of those things where I have a lot of trouble building the habit and keeping up with it. That’s why I liked the challenge so much, I had other stuff to read and it set a relatively easy goal of 25 sentences a week to write about things I’m working on. Coming into 2019 I thought I might stop blogging as much, until I saw a post by John Stewart which encouraged me to sign up for this  open, online class called 23 Things for Digital Knowledge offered out of the University of Edinburgh.

The list of topics looks pretty interesting, even though I feel quite comfortable with most of them. My goal for participating in the program is to keep up my blogging habit so that I might keep it up independent of courses and events. I also hope to formalize in some way, my thinking around digital tools and hopefully am introduced to new ideas or activities that will help me to critique and implement them in instructional contexts. I completed the Privacy Paradox activities by the creators of the Note to Self podcast and really liked the way it was structured. Perhaps one day I’ll have a chance to work on a course that can draw on the ideas presented in the articles and short courses I participate in online.

Off the cuff I’d say I’m most looking forward to the following Things in this course:

As I stated previously, I feel pretty comfortable with all 23 things, but I feel like I have the most amount of room to grow in these areas.

I am aware that most organizations now have social media guidelines of some kind. I do recall a time before this, especially during my undergraduate in the College of Education. I also was pretty aware of guidelines as I worked on an eProfessionalism module for medical education. What I found about the early days was all of the scary stories that were told about the bad things that happen when professionals participate in social media. In some cases, yes the outcome was pretty expected such as the case studies I found for the MedEd module involving emergency physicians who took pictures of patients (who they knew) and sent them out to their friend group. In other cases, the stories told omitted key details, obfuscating the connection between actions and consequences. The drunken pirate teacher candidate story comes to mind there; following the class where we were “taught” about social media as teachers I researched the stories and found key additional details that completely changed the moral of the story so to speak.

I do my best to follow the guidelines laid out by organizations, most of which are pretty clear and obvious. I try to avoid names unless I’m able to point to public facing sites or I have permission. I do my best to represent what I write as my observations and experience, not a be all end all account of fact. Regardless of where I am I try to establish that my writing is my thoughts and not on behalf of others, including the organization.

As for guidelines for students, why should there be separate standards for students, staff, and researchers? Of course there are scenarios that researchers will encounter that students are unlikely to encounter, but does that mean a whole separate policy is needed as opposed to more specificity in the one policy? I find these kinds of distinctions a bit odd, as should we not operate similarly as possible? A non-social media example I can use is that of academic integrity. A lot of effort is put into ensuring students aren’t plagiarizing work, in some cases likely too much effort (as there are probably underlying issues that could solve the problem rather than policing). Yet, if you work in Instructional Design, you’ve likely seen more often than you’d expect, SMEs, instructors, faculty, etc. ripping off content to create course materials. Why are the standards so different? Shouldn’t we lead by example? I’m sure there is a much deeper post in there somewhere, but this post is not the place for it exactly.

Overall I see why organizations make handbooks and guidelines for social media use, but I think having only those stops way short of what we could do for both our staff and students.


Week One: Introduction and Blogging flickr photo by interactive.content shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license