Sunday, November 11, 2012

I'm "Facebooking"

"Facebook" - to many of those born in my "era" - is something quite distant... and often, people asked, "Why Facebook?"

Well, the word "Facebook" is no longer just a noun, but it has become so tuned into human activity that the word is also used as an adjective... just like "Google" that started off as a search engine, and now people simply say that "Let's google for the ..."

I guess, this 'humanisation' comes about because it has become part of our lives - in one way or another, inevitably, we'll cross path with it - because of the "human activity chain". For instance, one of my brother does not believe spending time in Facebook, and he therefore insisted that such an account is irrelevant, and it's a time-consumer. However, with members in the family (as young as the baby) started posting stuff in the social network, he has, eventually created an account, so that he could keep in touch what's happening :) OK, in a way, he was 'forced' by circumstances; and I'm the main culprit.

Now, back to the question at the opening paragraph - "Why Facebook?"

I guess many of us, without second thought might offer the following responses:
  • To touch base with friends
  • To let others know what we are doing
  • To share what we think is good/ interesting/ useful with others
  • To subscribe to a range of services so that updates will be 'pushed down' automatically... all at one place! (for convenience)
  • To seek attention!!! (because the size of "Friends" we have become our audience!)
  • and... To stalk people! (hahah... this is what some people do... especially those who have some "idols" to  that they follow very closely
  • Basically, that's home to my cyber-self!
Haha... those are the more common ones (from the individuals).

Of course, apart from the above, Facebook has features that support educational purposes, when these features are creatively tapped on, and coupled with teaching and learning strategies.

One day, someone commented that I'm a regular to Facebook... based on my postings, I guess! (Though sometimes I do comment, but not that often).

Indeed, to look back, my reasons for visiting Facebook has evolved over the past few years. It got start because of work, when I was still in ETD, that we had to explore platforms that enable us to deliver our professional development when we ran training sessions where digital materials were to be disseminated to participants; at the same time, we wanted to promote interactivity. OK, it was about 5 years ago.
There were already some great "features" that we started to ride on - Groups and pages; and I vaguely remember there was some kind of circles, too :)

The "next" change was when first joined my current context, where I had a couple of colleagues who were looking at leveraging social network to promote programmes and activities of our new entity. It was exciting, when we started to create groups/ pages to invite 'strangers' (ok, those were people who were keen to find out more about the school and were potentially parents sending kids to our school).

Facebook 'walked' into my classroom when I realised that it's where I could get quick responses from students (though today, I still firmly believe that Blog is a better way to manage learning activities). I started a group called Mathematics in Real Life, which was in line with the teaching approach we adopted in the school. It kicked start well... and it's an open group which was only publicised amongst my classes. Well, the group size grew pretty slowly as it's exclusive - in terms of who has the 'power' to post here :)

Of course, with students came into the picture, that's where I started to maintain a different account to draw a line between my private life and the 'public (to students)' life :)

Most of the time, it was about work... but eventually I realised that its presence and features could help me organise and document my personal journey too... as I started to discover there pretty useful "facilities" like photo albums that allow me to organise photos and images in a pretty structured manner. Of course, I also like the "comments" features that the album comes with. It has made sharing very much hassle free too, as long as we manage the access rights carefully :)

I blog pretty regularly... however, blogs is where I would spend more time to craft the story. It takes more effort and really requires some quiet time to work on.

On the other hand, Facebook, because of its 'short-and-quick' posting nature, it's where it would capture our immediate responses and even reactions to things happening around us. I think that's where Facebook becomes a very convenient tool to capture the "attitude-at-that moment". It, indeed, is a good tool to document our 'growing up'. If we get the time to sit down and revisit the entire journey, we would learn not just what he/she does and where he/she has gone to, but through the way one expresses his/her view points and the choice of words and reaction, we could see how one matures over time... the whole life story unfolds :)

Isn't this beautiful? Isn't this going to be the most detailed biography?

Facebook what I did Today: Facebook - what I did in the Yester-Year x

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