I used to joke with my friend that I was “web-proof”. I was never the person who would take an interest in trying out new web tools like facebook, blogs, and twitter when they were launched. Till today, I still prefer paper books to nook or kindle. However, the power bestowed by internet has forced me to realize that if I don’t progress with time, I am going to be tided out!
The only online social network that I have kept updating since I was a sophomore is called RenRen, the Chinese version of Facebook. Originally, I used it to find my classmates and old friends whom I have lost contact. Later on, it also became a platform to make new friends. As the number of old friends and new friends begun to accumulate, I started sharing some pictures or writing some posts on it. It was not until I started my career as a university teacher that I realize RenRen could also be used to socialize with my students and even share some education resources with them. My first Master degree which I got in China is about interpretation and cross-cultural communication. Thus one of the courses I taught is “The Basics of Interpretation”. As is shown in the picture below, I sometimes would post summary about a recent press
conference which my students could refer to if they need. They could like it or share it if they find it useful or interesting. In this way, my post could be viewed by more people, even if they are not my students.
On reflection, this could be called the fledging form of what is described in the Networked Students video. The social media revolution is on its full swing right now. Yet, education in China still remains on the edge of all these powerful web tools. The majority teachers in China still think that locking students in a classroom with an adult for several hours a day is still the best way to learn. However, if we don’t grasp what the internet could offer us, we are going to miss a whole world of education resources (From Educational Change Challenge)