There is an interesting post What is a Learning Technologist (part 9): Ignorance is bliss? which makes a good argument for social media. The author of this blog post, David Hopkins states that regardless of whether anyone comments on his blog, regardless of whether anyone even reads the blog, just by publishing, by contributing to Twitter or Google+ or LinkedIn or Facebook, or some form of public platform you are thinking and learning more than if you operate in a vacuum, all alone. He quotes Semple, 2011, from “Organizations Don’t Tweet, People Do: a Manager’s Guide to the Social Web” stating:
“There is something about the process of blogging that makes you more self-aware. You become more thoughtful about yourself and your place in the world. In the reactions of others to your writing you get a different perspective, possibly for the first time, on how others see you.”
I think David is right. When we share out with our colleagues and when our colleagues respond with comments or links or photos, we’re engaged thinkers. We begin to establish our personal learning environment, our connections to others that help shape our thinking, revise our opinions, and shape our ideas.
I’d love to hear from you– what are the tools in your personal learning environment that make you a better learner, that engage you, and make you question and think, or as David puts it, more “self-aware”?