I’ve heard of twitter as a social app a long time ago, but I’ve never signed up for a twitter account. I’m not involved in this learning discussion group, just watching as an observer. I have thought about registering an account and participating in this under my own name. However, I find it very complicated to sign up for a new account also I have to fill in a lot of personal information. So I “give it up”. The software is US based, which means that my information will not be well protected. And to make some comments on twitter is all on behalf of myself. In China, we have our own twitter-like software, called “weibo”. We also use the hashtags on weibo to post comments that are just for ourselves, or to discuss things we are studying for, such as IELTS tests.
In China we can’t access facebook, twitter, instagram and so on. I think this is also a way to protect our personal information and privacy. Although this greatly limits our right to learn more through these sites. But on Weibo, we can also discuss and learn just like on twitter. We can use hashtags to get more people who want to learn to join. Only the number of people exchanging and learning is greatly reduced, and there is no broader group of people to exchange ideas with like on twitter. Like IELTS, on weibo, students will share their experience or topics with others by using hashtags for the test. It allows others to learn better. This allows learning to be more than just limited to the classroom and school. Students can study for the exam using free materials downloaded from the internet and materials provided by other students. Some teachers are also eager to answer questions left by students online.
There’s also a risk to classes like this one in social software. There are times when the system crash. Sometimes students has write their homework for a long time because the software crashes and they don’t save their assignments and all of the homework disappear.This social software is easily accessible for all to learn, but the technical issues of the various hardware need to be strengthened. The technology is not very mature yet. However, I think that if developed well, it is a new type of education tool that can be sustainable.