So, what do I think of the Social Web for Social Change class now that it’s complete? I think that it is a necessary course in a world where were are sharing information faster and easier than ever before—technically. I feel the ability to be able to share your voice and not get lost in the noise is a crucial skill that anyone who wants to be able to influence others must intimately understand. That being said, I think there is some work that must be done in order to transform this course into a “graduate level” class…
- Introduction to Social Web: Christopher Allen did a great job introducing us to the social web. By taking the mixed media approach to deliver content (videos, books, blog posts, academic articles, interviews, etc.) there was something for everyone. I think the class succeeded in bringing everybody to a basic level of understanding in this area.
- Basic Competence: Many people came into the class never having made a video, written a blog, or posted on a social media site. By the end of the class, there was not a single person who couldn’t put together a compelling story, edit it, and have it ready for public consumption within four hours. Not too shabby.
- Many found their voice: One of the biggest concerns I kept hearing early on was that people didn’t know what they wanted to say, how to say it, or where to share it. Many were concerned with the types of feedback they would receive. Now there’s a greater understanding that a conversation is just that—a conversation. We must be open to share, receive, and grow.
- More critical analysis: Most of class centered around synthesizing the material assigned from homework. Although it was good to see other perspectives, I would have enjoyed spending more time discussing how the material has been applied in the past, how it’s being applied now, and discovering new ways to push the envelope.
- How/Why did you do that: I saw a lot of work where I thought to myself, “how did they do that?” and, “why did they do that?” What I mean by this is that I was often impressed by the way somebody decided to deliver a message. Why did they choose that specific medium? What were some of their challenges? How could this be done elsewhere?
- Blogging isn’t for everybody: To put it plainly, blogging just isn’t for everybody. Not everybody has a desire to blog. In many cases, blogging may be an inferior way for them to share their knowledge with the rest of the room. I have a friend who struggles to put together 300 word blog posts, but can produce in-depth scholarly works with ease. I would like to see the space made available for other outlets. Although I think blogging is a skill we all need, I don’t think that the amount of blogging required for class is suitable for everyone.
Advice For New Students:
- Be fearless: Don’t be ashamed or afraid to discover your voice and be your authentic self. What you have to share is worth sharing. Get over yourself and allow room to experiment, and yes, even fail.
- Be open: Not everyone will share the same perspectives, ideas, thoughts, and interests as you. Follow your colleagues blogs and other works to expand your own frame of reference.
- Be you