This editorial was recently published (online first). It will be available on print in the next issue of TechTrends introducing the articles that showcase “innovation in research methodology in the instructional design & technology field.”
Earlier this summer, I was invited to share my thoughts on online education in an interview hosted by Dr. Will Deyamport, III as part of his podcast series [The Dr. Will Show Podcast]. It was a really neat experience. Some of the questions and topics address include:
- Where does online learning come into play (when looking at different models, school missions, and varying ways to delivery instruction)?
- How does teaching and learning change when the classroom can be accessed via any device connected to the internet?
- What is the learning curve for teachers in learning how to design and deliver instruction via a Learning Management System?
- What are some of the skills needed to be an effective instructional designer of online learning?
- Where do you see online education going within the next 5 to 10 years?
- What do you say to those educators or individuals who believe online education is a fad or doesn’t deliver on providing the same quality of education as face-to-face instruction?
Here is a link to audio podcast:
Title of Study: Social Media: An Analysis of Syllabuses
Description:The purpose of this syllabus analysis is to explore and describe the structure of courses on “social media as a collaborative learning tool” within instructional design (educational technology, instructional technology, or learning design) programs. The analysis of this structure provides information about the core curriculum taught to graduate students in these courses. This syllabus analysis also serves to extract and recognize the tasks and learning opportunities, used in these courses, in a more systematic and direct manner. Overall, this research serves to understand how learning with social media is seen through syllabuses in instructional design graduate programs.
In order to conduct the syllabus analysis, I am inviting instructors who have taught (during the 2017–2018 academic year) or will be teaching (in the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year) courses related to “social media as a collaborative learning tool” in instructional design (educational technology, instructional technology, or learning design) graduate programs (master or doctoral) to consider sharing their syllabus with me. Sample titles of courses related to social media as a collaborative learning tool include:
- Social Media and Beyond
- Learning with Social Media and Mobiles
- Social Media and Collaboration Technology in Organizations
- Social Media for Professional Learning
- and other course titles
Study URL: Social Media: An Analysis of Syllabuses
Contact Name: Enilda Romero-Hall, Ph.D.
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I feel like I have neglected my blog a bit this summer but I have to be honest it has been a busy summer (just like every summer — this is starting be a trend in my life). Anywho, this post in going to be nice, sweet, and short post because its going live today (enough of neglecting my blog).
I attended the Hong Kong AECT conference a few weeks ago. It was amazing! I mean this very honestly. I like learning from others and connecting with different people. I know for a fact that I will experience this (learning from others and connecting with colleagues) at the conferences that I attend regularly, AERA and AECT (this is why I go back to those conferences every year). But I also like to put myself in uncomfortable situations that force me to talk and meet people who I have never connected with in the past. So I made a promise to myself that I would aim to attend a conference that I have never attended before because: a) I want to know what others, who are outside my network, are researching and b) because I think it will expose me to topics that are new to me.
With this in mind, last year I attended the Social Media and Society conference in Toronto which by the way was an absolutely fantastic experience (if I had the budget, the time, and the energy, I would have gone to Copenhagen this year — where the conference was held — and then to Hong Kong to attend HKAECT). This year, I decided to attend HKAECT18 conference. I saw that a friend and colleague attended last year (Dr. Ana Paula Correia) so I reached out to her to ask about her experience. I also saw that the theme of the conference which aligned well with my research interested so I submitted a conference proposal. It was accepted and a few months later I was on a plane to Hong Kong.
I wish I could put into this blog everything that I experienced and the topics we discussed but since I have other things I should be writing, I am instead going to share the link to conference program: http://www.hkaect.org/hkaect2018/programme.html (some
A few things I do want to mention:
- All sessions were well attended and we had some really good discussions about the topics presented
- Presenters were prepared, addressed questions, and engaged with the audience
- There were several social aspects to the conference that allowed us to continue conversations outside the presentation rooms in a more informal manner (coffee breaks, lunch, and dinner)
I saw that the call for proposals for HKAECT19 was posted today: https://www.aect.org/docs/HKAECT2019-Call_for_Papers.pdf. If you are considering attending and have questions, please feel free to reach out.
Almost exactly two-months ago I gave this talk at the TEDxUTampa event hosted and organized by undergraduate University of Tampa students. The video is now uploaded to the TEDx Talks YouTube channel. I am excited to share this in my blog and I welcome constructive feedback (keyword: “constructive”). Also, please feel free to share it with others if you believe in my message:
“Instead of solely focusing on the ‘bad’ or ‘thinking of social media as a waste of time’ it is imperative that we find innovative ways to use and repurpose this online social environments in a manner that is safe, ethical, and beneficial to us.”
If you have 13 minutes to spare, here is the video:
Last week we all learned about Facebook breach of data. It sucked. But to be honest, it was not surprising to me at all as a user. I never really had expectations that Facebook would keep our data safe, protected, that they would use it ethically, or that they were really thinking about providing us healthy ways to use the platform. I wish they did. But they are greedy.
Many friends, family, and colleagues have discussed their discontent and are considering doing without a Facebook account. I am not here to encourage you to continue using Facebook. I think it is a personal decision. I have quit Facebook in the past (I do not mean deactivated my account. I mean, that I took the time to delete every single post and photo, unfriend every single person, wipe my account clean, and made the request to Facebook to completely delete my account) and it was hard. Three years of “social connections from my undergraduate years” gone! However, at the same time it was exactly what I needed to do then.
I returned to Facebook two and half years after my hiatus with a completely different mindset. That time apart (from Facebook) really made me realize the benefits and disadvantages it has. I should also say that the context of my situation made it very unique: during the time I quit Facebook I ended a five year romantic relationship, moved from my little college town in Kansas to a city where I knew no one, and started a doctoral program (I talk a bit about this in my TEDxUTampa talk). Last, I should add, this all happened before “smartphones” and apps like WhatsApp, FaceTime, and others where a thing.
Again, I am really not here to convince anyone to keep their Facebook account or to delete it. I am here to say that for me it would be difficult to quit again. I was born and raised in Panama. I did all of my elementary, middle, and secondary school there. Unlike most people who attend different school during the K-12 years, I spend most of my years (since grade 4th) in the same institution with the same classmates (yes, there are people that I know since I was in 4th grade). I am connected with most of them through Facebook, which in Panama is almost the equivalent of text messaging (the only App that is more popular in Panama is probably WhatsApp). No one really writes emails there anymore. Seriously, I cannot even remember the last time anyone from Panama wrote me an email (now that I think about it).
I have lived in three different countries: Panama, Canada, and the United States (six different cities total). Ain’t nobody got time to be emailing to keep up with people (I already have enough with all the emails I get and have to send for work).
Another reason it would be difficult to quit, is my constant connection to professional organizations and support groups. Connections to the groups that are created as part of my professional organizations, truly helps me stay connect to colleagues throughout the year. It helps me know what they are up to professionally. Also, sometimes there are beneficial conversations that occur (in professional circles and support groups). I may not be a participant in the conversation (just a lurker) but the resources that are shared help me in one way or another. Sometimes I participate, if I know something about a topic or have resources to share. This is something I learned during my time away from Facebook: use the platform to your advantage.
I know some people are thinking: it is an echo chamber, people just use it to post their perfect pictures, others are just nosy about your business, all those political post are annoying, etc. Maybe it is because I am at different point in my life, but I enjoy seeing updates from my FB friends (no I do not get offended because I did not get a personalized text message from them letting me know about something special that happened to them). Also, I am very intentional about who I connect with. If I cannot be “me” with you, then I will not accept your request OR I will simply delete you as a friend. If I feel that what you post is toxic, then “delete.” BTW, I am also like this offline. This is who I am, you can take it or leave.
During my time away from Facebook, I learned that it is really hard to keep up with people. Relationships require time and it is easy to neglect them. Again, this was all before smartphones and the development of all those other social platforms. I know what you are thinking: a centralized friendship “hub” is evil. Yes, it sucks that in order to keep up we have use this evil thing call Facebook but I personally do not have time to do it differently.
That is all I have for now. BTW, I am human. I may have a different opinion tomorrow. I also want to leave you with three personal quotes:
“So to some extend it is true. Social media can be harmful (and affect our mental well being), difficult to manage and overwhelming, too public, distracting, and influence and miss inform us.”
“Instead of solely focusing on the “bad” or “thinking of social media as a waste of time” it is imperative that we find innovative ways to use and repurpose this online social environments in a manner that is safe, ethical, and beneficial to us.”
“I am also not saying that we need to overlook the challenges that social media present for our social, mental, and physical well-being. We absolutely need to find ways to deal with this challenges.”
Our publication titled “Social Media Use by Instructional Design Departments” was recently published under ‘early release’ by the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology #openaccess
Romero-Hall, E., Kimmons, R., & Veletsianos, G. (2018). Social media use by instructional design departments. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 34(5), 86-98. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.3817