To Twitter to Woo: Harnessing the power of social media (SoMe) in nurse education to enhance the student’s experience – An Article Summary

office-605503_1280I am working with some of my nursing students (and learners in general) on using Twitter as extra credit to promote professional development and presence, and suggested this article as a wonderful study for how to use Twitter within nursing education. Thus, today’s #5Papers:

1/ I read Sinclair, McLoughlin, & Warne (2015) To Twitter to Woo: Harnessing the power of social media (SoMe) in nurse education… #NURS761 #NURS840

2/ … to enhance the student’s experience http://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2015.06.002 Continue reading “To Twitter to Woo: Harnessing the power of social media (SoMe) in nurse education to enhance the student’s experience – An Article Summary”

What Does a Qualitative Researcher Do With Quantitative Twitter Followers?

keys-525732_1280I received a notice this morning from Twitter congratulating me that I reached 3,000 followers.

Congratulations!

Congratulations? For what? 3,000?

Granted, I am flattered that this many accounts would see some value in following me on Twitter, but like all numbers, it is only a number. Numbers have no meaning in themselves, not even existing until we call them into existence, giving them some meaning in the process. As soon as that purpose fades, so does the number. Do you remember losing your 6th tooth? How about your 8th first date? 10th homework assignment? 13th paycheck? How about 23rd birthday? Surely your 31st paycheck? 45th time at the supermarket? 51st time you went into a vehicle?

Shall I go on?

Numbers are numbers, not even existing until we make them and then assign them value, losing it as quickly as our interest. After all, 5% unemployment only matters depending on which side you are on. So to speak.

Twitter seems to find this valuable, though like most numbers, I am suspicious.

What does it mean? Is it good? Bad? Part of the club? A wannabe? Something to celebrate? Reflect upon? Lament it is too little? Too much? Does it make me happier? More money? A better retirement (ha!)? More original teeth? A fan club? Haters? I have little context for it, and thus am not sure how I am expected to make meaning out of it. They must find something useful there or I would not have received an automatic message about it.

Perhaps that is the key–how valuable is it really when it gets sent based on pre-existing coding?

Makes me wonder, why does somebody else have to make meaning for me? I am somewhat capable of making meaning on my own, and as such find value only in conversations, shared ideas, challenges, support, suggestions, and the like. Perhaps I am being negative, though while I am getting a blog post out of it, in an odd way it did evoke a reaction in me. Hmm, there you have it.

That could as easily happen with 300 as 3000, and is more likely closer to 30 with those who I engage with on a regular basis, those who celebrate ideas like #ds106 or #dLRN15 or #5Papers or even #moocmooc (with all its paradigm-bending pesky questions). Alas, numbers don’t matter for those of us who are not selling things or reliant on them to prove something to someone about something.

My ideas and constant inquiry has me interested, and if 3,000 adds to it, then wonderful! If it doesn’t, like Klout scores, I am not worse for the wear.

I am much more interested in making meaning than counting, as often the counted is meaningless until those of us who inquire more deeply come along. Long live our interest and passions, none of which are readily reducible to a number.

Goodness, did I just say that? Perhaps there is something about this 3,000 after all . . .

Reading in 2016?

analyzing-scholarly-articlesI want like to read more.

Most people I know, work with, and engage in with my online communities want to read more.

After all, where else can we get new ideas to explore and engage in with our colleagues?

No wonder I have become intrigued by the #SixtyBooks challenge! I have a pile of books taller than me that I want to read, though that many books (even novels and the like) are still a bit Continue reading “Reading in 2016?”

Goals and Intentions for 2014

intentionNew Year’s is a great time to consider . . . time, and how well we live our lives while we have it.

As a did in 2013, I developed some goals and intentions for the upcoming year. I moved this to the top of my site up here, both to keep me honest and to help me easily recall what I hope to focus upon.

I would not mention these and share them publicly if these were not valuable, doable, and within reach (with some stretching). While I will hope for help and support and positive intentions, these are the things I hope to accomplish in 2014:

1. Engage in Timely Communication

I want to engage in communication, such as via Inbox ZERO (delete, delegate, respond, defer, or do) and Social Media (Twitter replies, Facebook replies, etc.), in a more timely way to better engage in and maintain conversations with networks.

2. Use a Thoughtful, Evidence-Based Approach to How I Use My Time

I completed my PhD in Educational Research in 2013, and as a result I tend to observe things around me in researcher-mode, questioning and seeking to find evidence to guide my actions and beliefs. All this takes time, and I hope to make the best use of it.

3. Approach Nature through Principles of Somatic Experiencing

I feel in many ways I am too removed from nature — food, living, breathing, exercise, living in New York City, etc. I will plan to spend more time directly interacting with the Great Outdoors.

4. Maintain Financial Balance

I want to be more aware of what I spend, and where, in an effort to help me move forward toward meeting my goals.

Let the new year proceed, and may we live in interesting times.

2013 Has Come and Gone; How Did I Do?

The end of 2013 has come and gone, and no better time than the present to consider how I did with my 2013 Intentions for the year. I posted these on the top of my site so they would always be at the ready.

Let’s review what I intended and how well I did.

  1. I Will Finish My Doctoral Thesis (Dissertation) — I passed and was awarded my PhD forthwith on March 25, 2013. I then walked in the graduation ceremony on December 11, 2013.
  2. I will Publish an Article — I have it drafted and am planning to submit it within 2 weeks. Fingers crossed!
  3. I will Build a Consistent Online Presence [Twitter, LinkedIn, Academia.edu, ResearchGate and my own professional website — I have revised 75% of my site (most of it on the back-end with template and hosting), and am 80% completed with being consistent across my online life. Once the website is completed, I will take that consistency and apply it to the other social media and networking sites.
  4. I will drink 2 liters of Water Each Day — my dislike of measuring and numbers-without-context means that I have successfully increased my daily water consumption.

Given all this, my verdict is that I am happy with my progress, though not fully satisfied. Perhaps in this the notion of onward and upward, making progress along the way and keeping focused on moving forward is what is most important? To be fair, I am not sure I could ever be fully satisfied, even if I did complete each of the goals / intentions I set. I believe that is the point with these things, they give us something to strive toward.

Some progress is better than none at all!

Where Have I Been Recently?

fish tank to computer

While I have not been formally writing here on my blog recently, don’t by any chance think silence = nothing happening. Far from it! In fact, I am more active on Twitter than I have ever been (if you doubt it, just look at my Twitter archive!) and have otherwise been engaging in work with #AdjunctChat and #RNadjunct (both related to needs, supports, and sharing resources related to higher education adjunct / part-time / sessional / temporary higher education teaching assignments), and the Networked Learning Conference 2014 Hot Seats.

All this is in additional to my full-time work as a project manager in clinical education / quality management and my teaching Research Process and Methodology at NYU SCPS.

At this rate, moss will never grow on me, and that is a good thing!!

A Model for Using Twitter as a PLN

I had a request to break out my Using Twitter as a PLN (Personal Learning Network) model from my Using Twitter for Personal & Professional Development workshop, so here it is. I added a cc license for it as well in case anybody wants to use it and try it out.

This is how I use Twitter and find it to be a rewarding experience for developing my personal learning network. It is like Karma — give so you can get.  The best way I have found to get suggestions, answers, resources, help, and support is to offer the same first. Why should somebody spend any time replying to my Tweets if I have not shown myself willing to share and give the same? Give encouragement and answers and offers of whatever is needed, and that initial discussion and trust and acknowledgement that I exist online and want to be a member of a community of sharing will then build online credibility and a sense of presence. Share first and it is more likely somebody will then want to share back, at least in the world where I find most of my support, namely via Twitter.

Using Twitter as a PLN

While I am especially considering this use of Karma on Twitter as a guide for a personal learning network, i comes from my experiences “offline” as well–the time to ask for help or a job or resources is not when nobody knows who I am, being an unknown quantity, but only after I have developed a reason for people to want to help. Think of when you are moving; that is not the time to make friends who will help–that all has to come first before you need anything. Give so you can get.

This means, in effect, that conversations do not simply happen–they require effort. If I create a profile and follow a few people and then nothing more, it is unlikely that anything will come of it. I have to first give people a reason to want to talk. That is why a personal learning network is not magic, and indeed does not come without a price–I have to work on it and constantly develop it, otherwise I will not be able to rely on it when needed. This may be easier for some people than others, but for those of us who love process issues, few things beat the experience of sharing and helping others as its own reward while engaging in social media. Let the discussions and ultimate learning then follow.