Blog entries with the category “ONL 192” will be a place where I post reflections that are part of my participation in the Open Network Learning course (ONL 192), October – December 2019.

Topic 1: Digital literacy

Starting this course, I am intrigued by the usage of social media for teaching, really intersted in learning exciting tools that I can then utilise for creating great examination forms and inspiring learning environments for my students (e.g. instagram, twitter, blogs, padlet, prezzi, etc.).

Yet, the new way of teaching online is also guided by a seemingly self evident understanding of social media literacy as the new normal. For me, personally and professionally as a lecturer in Gender Studies, this is not the case. Personally, I have a lot of anxieties when it comes to participating in social media spaces, facebook or even twitter. I stopped commenting on my facebook shares all together. This mostly just leaves me sleepless the night after, pondering whether or not I should have formulated my comment differently. Now, thinking that this is what I will be exposing my students to, as a requirment in my future online courses, makes me doubtful whether it will live up to my idea of feminist and norm-critical pedagogy. Included in this pedagoy is a strong sense of ethics, of accounting for student vulnerability, of different social challenges and it is driven by the aim to make the learning environment as inviting as possible to different students. A social media driven classroom, that, e.g. requires students to write blogs or tweets, might not be appropriate for everyone.

Looking briefly through the web with the search word “social media angst” I came across this post. Despite its slightly confusing and patronising reference to “girls” it is informative on how little is know regarding the fear of social media and how rarely it is accounted for. I wonder how we, as teachers and online facilitators can accommodate these fears in our prospective students (if not in ourselves as well ?

Image by David Clode, Unsplash

Digital literacy and social media phobia