I've been having a think about the emphasis of my blog and my motivation for using it, and decided it's time for an overhaul and to refocus my reflections. Whilst I started this as a foray into social media, this stems from a wider interest in all things to do with online learning. I'm suffering from a little social media fatigue, perhaps due to a deliberate attempt to fully immerse myelf in the medium to better understand it. Whilst I've learned a lot from the experience, and about myself and my learning preferences, it has to be part of the bigger picture.
I'm studying education to complement my role at work, and I've come across the idea that social presence is needed for effective learning to take place, online or offline. We cannot learn effectively in complete isolation, we have to contextualise the learning. For much of my life I tended towards being a solitary learner, and I think I suffered from having insufficient experience to develop my learning into professional expertise, and also had no safety net when things didn't work according to plan. With my current studies, I'm able to relate pretty much everything to my professional practice, accessing course materials and continuing online discussions in the workplace where this furthers business goals, and shaping course projects around the needs of our business. Reintegrating work and learning in this way is a win-win situation for me and my employer, because I'm boosting my own learning and contributing directly to departmental objectives. My reflections from this point will look more generally at my experiences with online learning, and will also be a foundation for my Masters dissertation.