During the summer of 2010, I began to try and understand social media and its relevance to online and distance learning.  More specifically, I wanted to learn more about Twitter and what it can do for me.  That sounds selfish but I think we need to be selfish when it comes to literacy.  That’s where social “ME”dia can help.

In March 2010, I was fortunate enough to attend the CNIE 2010 Conference in Saint John, New Brunswick.  There was a lot of discussion talking about personal learning networks (PLNs), specifically using Twitter.  I wasn’t 100% sold on how “socializing” in Twitter could meet my personal learning needs at work.  There I was focussed on me again.

So I began to play around and started following some Tweeters.  Sure enough, I come across ABC Life Literacy Canada on Twitter.

“ABC Life Literacy Canada is a non-profit organization that inspires Canadians to increase their literacy skills. We connect and mobilize business, unions, government, communities and individuals to support lifelong learning and achieve our goals through leadership in programs, communications and partnerships. ABC Life Literacy Canada envisions a Canada where everyone has the skills they need to live a fully engaged life.” http://abclifeliteracy.ca/en/about-us

As I was reading many of their tweets and others, I quickly began to learn how social media was going to help me learn more about adult literacy.  I was reading about strategies to incorporate into an online classroom, understanding how adult learners learn, learning about which cool web 2.0 technologies I could incorporate into an online classroom, and realizing the literacy challenges that lie ahead for us and so forth.  This is great information for me. 

Then I began to think about Alec Couros, the keynote speaker from CNIE 2010, and his theories on open education and networked learning.  It’s all about sharing knowledge and learning from each other.   This makes sense to me.  I can relate this type of learning back to our learners at Good Learning Anywhere.  Aboriginal cultures are deeply rooted in sharing and I think we should take this approach to learning regardless of culture or education level.

So, I am still going to be selfish and do whatever I can to continue to improve my literacy but I am committed to sharing what I have learned along the way.  Social “ME”dia is not all about me, but it’s also about sharing knowledge, similar to Aboriginal culture.  Maybe there should be a new term for social “ME”dia?  Or is Twitter really a form of social media?

With that being said, I would like to share with you the 20 Top Life-Long Learning Tips, compliments of ABC Life Literacy Canada.  These are probably all things we have heard about before, but maybe it’s worthwhile taking a moment to re-visit them one at a time during the month of September.

If I could add one to make the list 21 Top Life-Learning Tips, it would have to be to consider taking an interactive online learning course with Good Learning Anywhere and Sioux Hudson Literacy Council.  Click here to see our current Fall course schedule.

As we move through Life Literacy Month this September, I encourage you to find out how social media can help support your learning.  For those of you who don’t have a Twitter account I suggest you try it out and see how you can build your own PLN.  Take a closer look at how Alec Couros and ABC Life Literacy Canada are using social media to re-think open education, networked learning and literacy and basic skills in Canada.  And if you would like to see what I am tweeting about, you can find me here.