I approached the Tweet Tutorial as an experiment in self-abandonment with some sense of a veneer of safety and protection within the realm of the #EDC circle. This was actually self-delusion, as there was no such protection, and all the tweets were out there on the net and are now forever part of my ‘digital traces.’ It was not my intention nor aspiration to achieve any level of notoriety, and if anything, I am embarrassed to be disclosed as a top poster. A first observation with this exercise is that it confirms that ‘quantity is not always quality.’
My recent personal rise of ‘influence’ is likely to be fleeting, analogous to Andy Warhol’s maxim about 15 minutes of fame. A maxim that I carry forward from my professional life is “don’t confuse enthusiasm with capability.” I believe that the Block 3 Summary provides an accurate representation of my ‘engagement’ during the Tweet Tutorial, but ‘engagement’ should not be confused with learning. As Siemens (p. 1387) alludes to, we should be circumspect about the ‘scope of data capture’ and bear in mind that the ‘quality’ of data needs to be considered.
I think that some of my ‘better’ Tweets were actually ‘snippets’ (Dr. Baynes’ Inaugural talk, 35:10-25) from our academic readings. I used Twitter as a learning device to capture key points from the readings which I felt summarized interesting concepts. I did, I hope, provide attribution to all the authors. But, now, was that educative, instructive and ethical, or just clever, unoriginal and self-serving? I did not tweet them to increase my numbers, more hoping to stimulate dialogue, of which there was some occasional Twitterverse interest (e.g., ‘engagements,’ ‘impressions’ and ‘mentions’).
An extended time span of #EDC highlighting the ‘spike’ of activity during the Tweet Tutorial.
Data visualizations can be deceptive because they are ‘reifications’ of assumed objective realities, when they are really ‘chimeras’ of separate realities; for example, online students and teachers engaging asynchronously across time and space. It is more illuminating to look at trends over time. Also, the challenge with online learning with teachers and students that are physically separated by time and space, is how are assessments conducted to measure ‘authentic learning?’ Is learning measured by the teacher, the student, learning analytics, and some combination?
For example, regrettably, I failed to complete the Coursera ‘Scandinavian Film and TV Culture’ MOOC which was the focus on my Block 2 micro-ethnography because I did not not take time to complete the final 800-word written assignment on the popularity of contemporary Danish TV programmes and four peer assessments. I completed all the quizzes and learned a lot from the micro-ethnography, but that work was not visible to the course organizers. By objective measures of performance, I ‘failed’ the course. Ironically, I remained in the top 10 discussion forum posters despite the fact that I stopped posting comments halfway through the course and only posted 13 discussion forum comments.
In sum, by ‘exposing’ myself during the Tweetorial, I learned more about my own ‘comfort levels’ with this social networking service. There is an instant gratification appeal, but for educative purposes, I think we need to learn to be more reflective; again, not to gain ‘influence,’ but to understand how to contribute in meaningful ways to elevating the level of discourse for education and learning.