Late yesterday night I received my 10,000th wordpress view. This is well timed as the semester has just come to an end. Friday was the last day of classes, from what I heard during the week quite a large number of students were planning on seeing the Avengers movie at the cinema once they were finished. I am sure all the honours project students have been busy over the weekend as they are due to submit their final reports and implementation tomorrow (Monday 30th April). I am supervising five honours projects this year & have received quite a few emails late Saturday night & into the early morning – 03:30, with yet another batch between 08:00 and 10:00. They seem to have been quite for the afternoon so far. I have a few MSc’s who will be submitting reports on Tuesday, with some having already submitted this past Friday. Looks like next week is shaping up to be a series of Honours Project presentations, meetings & marking of about 250 courseworks. We will then be into exam season the following week.
I started blogging on Saturday 7th January this year with the first month varying between 100 to 200 views per week. This more or less doubled for the following two months, with the month of April generating the most views. As it presently stands, I have 265 Blog post followers, 19 comment, & 91 twitter followers, giving a total of 375 followers. There may of course be a little overlap between twitter and wordpress followers.
I posted my 1000th Tweet just a short while ago “The 1000th Tweet, Best of luck to all the @RGUComputing Honours Project Students who will be submitting their reports within the next 24hrs”, so this weekend has seen two milestones – 10,000 wordpress views & my 1000th tweet. This post will automatically be posted to twitter creating my 1001st post (or 9th if you think in binary). Views of my youtube channel are moving along as well, presently at 8,411 and 17 subscribers. Can’t really say how much of an influence / number of embedded plays I have received from the wordpress site.
My dive into the world of social media began with the setting up of a wordpress, twitter and youtube sites. Over the intervening 17 weeks I have gradually added other social media elements such as last.fm, klout, google+ and about.me about the only thing that is missing is a Facebook account!
Who knows what the forthcoming weeks and months will hold in store. What is the future of social media, will it become the main mode in which we communicate with students. It does certainly seem that they don’t read their email that much. I guess they prefer to opt for a more mobile means of keeping in touch.
I have seen many articles of late saying that the average attention span is about ten minutes. This is something I find quite strange as when I was in school the general norm for the duration of attention span was considered to be between 45mins and an hour, hence the holding of 45 minute classes in secondary school. Is this reduction of attention span an inherent component of the hyper-stimulated “digital age” in which we live.
As people become accustomed to multitasking – watching TV, while playing a game on a mobile / sending a text & studying on a laptop all concurrently, have we lost the ability to just sit down and concentrate on a single task for a substantial amount of time? From a health and safety view point its recommended to take a break from VDU work every ten minutes or so (I know many don’t actually do this), but is this perhaps adding to our shifting attentions.
Should we rethink the concept of the traditional one / two hour lecture. Do students more readily engage with videos than real people – as seems to be the case with the Kahn Academy – where people can pause, rewind, and replay segments of a lecture / tutorial and learn at their own pace. Is the future of learning self paced learning, and if so should we all become proficient video editors embracing youtube for the presentation of lectures and tutorials, make use of twitter to communicate with our students and use wordpress to bring it all together? What will the future years of the “digital age” bring especially in terms of education and engagement. One needs to just open the door and step through to see what’s on the other side.
Have added a few photographs to this post just for that extra splash of colour, enjoy.