The Provincial Instructor’s Diploma is designed to provide both new and experienced instructors with the tools and knowledge to provide their students with an up to date and relevant education. PIDP course 3240(Social Media as a Learning Tool) is a course that taps into a growing societal trend and focuses its uses on education and social connections. The tools are everywhere and the current generation of student is familiar with them, so this course is an excellent introduction to enable the educator to take advantage of an added dimension to their students learning.
It would be an understatement on my part to say that one month ago the thought of blogging, twittering, or even using Skype was a source of stress to me. I was one of those people who had virtually no online presence, and used my computer mainly for web surfing and e-mailing only. So having to accomplish all of these tasks for a class seemed impossible at first. Social Media appears on the surface to be mainly a purely superficial, individual focused medium. When explored on a deeper level this is far from the whole picture. Social Media has proven to be a reliable real time news source, a medium that fosters debate and conversation, and has the capacity to benefit both educators and students alike.
Before PIDP 3240, I had no idea the amount of reading, research, and sheer time would be spent using Twitter, WikiSpaces, Word press, and Skype to study a medium I had little respect or use for previously. But as days and weeks passed, I slowly began to see that my biases and preconceptions had kept me from adding to my repertoire of educational options. My students were the losers in the war I waged with Social Media, and that would be one of the main reasons I fought exhaustion, deadlines and a little bit of SADS (Seasonal Affective Disorder) to finish this course and improve my teaching abilities.
I end this course a changed person and educator. While I don’t see myself Twittering with my students anytime soon, I have found a new and interesting direction for my teaching to take. Blogs are now a tool that I will encourage my students to explore and expand their educational growth with. Nursing is a course that is best face to face, and Social Media has ways to go before it will be my number one medium of choice for daily integrated use in my classes and labs. I will however, keep my mind open and use what I feel is appropriate and beneficial.