Monday, 20 August 2012
I like it social
Since then, I've been here and there in different forums about my different passions. I definitely think a forum is the perfect place to exchange ideas. I like it better than the chat - too fast and too ephemeral for me :)
What I like in forums is that they are like rooms with a door constantly open - which means that you can come and go as you like, that you'll hopefully find "old friends" and also new faces (= new ideas), that you'll be free to leave for good if you feel so (but please, do it without drama!).
Now, can you see what a great resource a forum can be in education?
It took a while for me to realize it, but once I did, I got involved in all kind of communities about school / education / edu tech / professional development... you name it. Most educational websites provide a forum for professionals of the sector, and it can be very useful when you're dealing with specific needs.
Of course, if you're planning to create your own forum, there are lots of free forum hosts that can be useful. Just google it, and you'll find plenty. Anyway, remember it can be hard work, both for the setting up and the moderating. What's more, lots of free forum hosts keep your data from you, so if you grow and want to move, you'll have to start anew.
So, for working with students, I suggest either creating a simple blog (blogger and wordpress are excellent) or exploiting the eTwinning platform, setting a project and using the pupils' corner (nice forum & chat tools there).
True, blog and forum are two completely different philosophies: but you'll have to try for yourself and find out!
And if you're really brave (or a bit crazy, just like me), you may want to have a look at the new growing socials, like LetsLunch, the social dining, where you set up a profile explaining what you do, what fields and people you're interested in and when you are free to get together... and you eventually arrange a meal I suppose! Or you can try Pinterest , a virtual pinboard where you can organize and share images, videos and other web materials, or travel with CouchSurfing or... well, you should just explore the web on your own, you'll have much fun. What's for sure, is that lots of websites are widening today their "social" aspect. Getting together online is something we appearently like a lot.
Bottom line: believe it or not, I still have time for going out with friends & family and enjoying quality face2face time with those I love !!!