Speak for Yourself: Playground instead of echo chamber
A creative way of having your first audience
Getting good at anything means doing it. Doing anything a lot is a chore – unless it’s fun. Talking out loud in an empty room is not fun, but talking to another person is just fine, isn’t it?
That’s how my thinking around teaching online literacy started, and it evolved into Speak for Yourself. Having a safe space, a kind of playground, where you and others can try things out without fear of criticism, instead supporting each other, can be an incredible experience.
The first step if you want to do this for yourself is finding a group of people. Anything from 3 to 10 is good. The obvious choice would be a team of people who work together, but that’s not always ideal. The main things are enthusiasm and a generally supportive atmosphere. Some work teams have more of these than others. Make sure everyone is on board and think twice before forcing this on anyone.
Once you are all agreed that you will try things out together, make sure you have the basics sorted. Unless you are physically in the same space, and while you’re getting to grips with the new platforms, you need a way to all be in touch. Most likely this will be email.
I’m assuming everyone has email by now. I would generally use a non-work email account to connect to personal social media profiles. If needed, free gmail accounts are easy to set up.
And now: let’s get everyone on Twitter. It’s not everything but it provides many functionalities to create groups around a subject. It is completely open, but unless someone is extremely nervous, this shouldn’t matter. There are on average 350,000 tweets sent every minute globally. You don’t need to sign up with your real name and there will be no way for people not in your group to discover you.
How you do discover each other however, and how you keep conversations going, will be half the learning objective fulfilled already.