Friday, September 07, 2007

This Facebook thing part 4

I think I'll make this the last in the series.

In the light of the fact that some companies have recently blocked access to Facebook on the grounds that some of their staff are spending all their time facebooking and neglecting their responsibilities. Apparently it is increasingly being recognised as an addiction.

Our IT manager hinted that our company might follow suit. I can understand his position, but I’m just at the early stages of exploring the potential of Facebook as a professional development tool, and have seen some early signs of potential.

For example, one of my Facebook friends’ employers recently went into administration. I discovered someone was recruiting and was able to send her a message via Facebook and connect the two of them.

Later this month, I am attending my first Facebook event, namely Teachmeet2007. I have no idea what to expect, and am trying very hard not to form any preconceptions.

I have joined several groups related to my professional sphere and have been able to follow discussions around issues that face us all. Not, I hasten to add, that we have yet been able to overcome the challenges or solve the mysteries, but it’s really encouraging to know that, in spite of the fact that most of my colleagues think I’m somewhere between pretentious and daft, there is a whole host of learning professionals out there with the same drivers, the same passions and the same longings.

What’s even more encouraging is the spread of those like-minded learning professionals across the range of:

  • corporate and academic institutions
  • formal and informal provision
  • face-to-face and online delivery media
  • early years, through school and higher ed to adult audiences
Now more than ever, we are in a position to bring down those wretched walls between these various facets of this vast field. At the end of the day – we’re all a bunch of learning geeks, passionate about learning and eager to find a way to provide learning that will empower the learner and transform the conscripts and PoWs to volunteers. It may be just a pipe dream, but FB is a place where we can experience an ongoing, asynchronous barcamp, stubbornly humming the theme tune from Man from La Mancha.

Now, if you'll excuse me, the unbeatable foe just hove into view...

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