Contrary to some perceptions, social networks aren’t just about what you ate for lunch or staying in touch with old friends. Social networks can provide a space for you to explore, learn, share, promote your work, and connect with geographically dispersed colleagues. Using a social network in these ways first requires you to be comfortable using the technology and understanding the communities’ norms.
Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have distinct cultures. They have their own language (“friend”, “RT”, “hashtag”, “OH”). They have their own rules for communication (140-character limit). They even have their own system for what is valued (“likes”, “favorites”, “shares”, “retweets”). Using traditional training presentations to prepare someone to use social tools is like showing someone vacation slides from Italy and expecting them to feel as though they went there and engaged in the culture.
The Twitter Cohort, a free learning experience presented by the eXtension Network Literacy Community of Practice, takes a new approach to introducing people to the social network Twitter by:
• Immersing participants in the culture to build a sense of social comfort
• Creating a community of learners to build a sense of social presence and promote social learning
• Providing “guides” to help learners find their way
In the Twitter Cohort, you will learn by doing. Over the course of 4 weeks:
• You’ll build your Twitter personal learning network centered around your interests.
• You’ll engage in conversations with a Twitter community that starts with your fellow cohort members and reaches across the world.
• You’ll start online relationships that will last into the future.
• You’ll begin to see how Twitter can be used for teaching, learning, and connecting.
Our “guides” and your fellow cohort participants will provide support throughout those four weeks.
Each Monday (Oct. 21 – Nov. 18) at 1 p.m. (ET) (note that the third session will meet Tuesday 11/12/13 to avoid Veterans Day conflicts), the Cohort will meet via web conference to ask questions, review material and discuss their experiences. If you can’t make one of the Monday 1 p.m. sessions, there will be a “catch up” session each Monday at 9 p.m. (ET).
Once you’ve registered for the Twitter Cohort, you’ll have access to “Guide Time,” designated times when our “guides” will be available to answer your questions and provide help via web conference.