Srinivasved’s Weblog


Social Networks- Effective channel for Education and Green awareness?
September 14, 2008, 5:22 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

This week in my radio show (AlternativeEnergy.com sponsored show on BlogTalkradio) I chose the above mentioned topic.

The reason why I chose this topic- obvious. I am a member of many social and business networks and except for Linked In and Ecademy where I spend most of my networking time, I could not find enough time to network on other sites. Being active in a social network means you have to be visible- this visibility happens by actively participating in knowledge share / debates / discussions / question and answers sections. I joined many green groups in these networks and was surprised that many of these groups had members in excess of 2000+. I know that few open networkers are members of these groups and it is these power networkers I normally get invitations from. Do I accept all invitations – as of now yes because I do not see a strong reason to decline any invitation as my network is very small. Offlate I started receiving invitations from group members of common shared groups and that is where the knowledge share is happening. I have made new freinds, able to interview few potential candidates for open positions in my organization and have even received offers for business alliances.

These social networks have given me an identity within small online groups and my views and opinions are considered relevant by few who read them. In LI few gave my answers a best rating which automatically portrays me as an expert on that topic – which I humbly admit I may not be. I tried to apply common sense and logical reasoning in many of my answers and that has earned me a score of 7% best answers and 30% good answers. The reasoning is simple – there are 70% of my opinions that are (answers on LI Q&A forum) not considered good or did not make an impact on the person asking the question to whom I replied when compared to other answers. Does it bother me ? No. What this has done to me is whenever I read the answers that were rated as good and best, I learned new perspectives on the subject, a new style of communication and sometimes very innovative insights. In short, my education process is continuous and ongoing.

This experience of online channel strengthened my belief that online communities / groups are a great channel for promoting education. If a guy like me who has seen 45 summers can still learn from this wonderful channel, I was curious to know how the young children and youth use this channel. The educational utility of an online channel is never disputed and when it comes to learning new things the online channel stands out. The young children of today are more online savvy and their dependence on online channels for entertainment, socializing and learning is common across the globe as internet reach has spread far and wide. Does it mean there are no problems associated with this channel? Well, the answer is obvious. The freedom and unrestricted access to content of all kinds on the net can have serious impact – the rising email frauds, online marketing frauds and cyber-crime is an indication of the negative impact on society.

I was looking for some kind of scientific study conducted to test my beliefs and opinions. I came across an article on masternewmedia.org site which was amazing. It gave answers to many of my questions and it pleasantly surprised me as the amount of insights that were gained reading the research report convinced me of the positive use of an online channel.

I discussed and shared the views expressed in the report with listeners of the show. For benefit of people reading this blog of mine, the link is given here :

Srinivas Vedula on Social Networking and Green Education

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1 Comment so far
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This is a very important topic, as the youn
people pursue interests that are often at
variance with the traditions of their parents
and need adult guidance, without being
smothered by the adults who want to protect
the innocence of the children and keep them
safe from predators.

Keeping the children safe is not always
conducive to letting them have the freedom
to create new opportunities to learn, in areas
where the parents are not inclined to venture.
My brothers and I roamed the mountains by
our first home like wild aborigines and we
came to see ourselves as natives in our
games of cowboys and indians, we were the
ones with the bows and arrows! My brother
made his own bows out of branches from a
willow tree in our yard; he must have been
six years old and was my bodyguard and mentor.
Our games were serious play, as we did not
see ourselves as children…we were explorers
and pioneers, out to discover wild beasts
if there were any bears or mountain lions
to be found.

To get to the mountains we had to cross a busy
highway by ourselves; it just had to be done
if you wanted to get away from the houses,
which we felt were a hindrance to our spirit
of adventure, because we had to go around the
yards and fences to get to our place where
the mountain lions were. I was the least
foolhardy in our group or gang; being able
to see ways that we could hurt ourselves that
made me the one who tried to use restraint and not get ourselves hurt or maimed! We loved
the mountains and hated to leave, when our world
was invaded by fears in 1968 of race riots
in the cities of the High Schools, where our
neighbors sent their children every day, down
the hill; because we did not have a high
school in our mountains.

In summary, that experience of wild living
in the mountains prior to moving to the towns
far away in the desert made me reflect on
the problem of keeping our children safe
and allowing them to experience the joy of
adventure and discovery, without constant
supervision, in a society dominated by fear of
strangers and the unknown. Thanks to Srinivas
for this discussion about how important it is
to let children learn and to provide them
with a safe place to be children and still free
to explore the woods. Even virtual ones.

Comment by vinbeazel




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