The internet offers the ultimate in procrastination practice. Every now and then I wander off into the digital landscape of time-waste. This week’s BBC News Magazine was creepily apt but its much-delayed war on procrastination piece said nothing new. The quote from Douglas Adams ‘I love deadlines – I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by‘ and the list of procrastination app-busters were all familiar although Write or Die sounds a bit extreme – after all, its only will power – isn’t it?
Yet here I am browsing Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and posting cat pictures. Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age (TELEDA) starts 24th October and includes social media but that’s a weak excuse. I need to shut the laptop and do something different; instead, I’m thinking about cats.
What is it about furry, feathered creatures and the internet which has such universal appeal? Cats as well as dogs, ducks and other animals; do they really make a difference? I’ve seen a number of presentations which included deliberate and seemingly random images of animals. I’ve even been dabbling myself, revising my slides for promoting inclusive practice and adding cats and dogs in an attempt to grasp attention and make the points.
Cats seem to have the monopoly. If you’ve never Googled LOLcats you’re in for a treat or a nightmare depending on your preference. Then try dogs, ducks and giraffes. I made the last one up but couldn’t resist trying it and they do exist! There’s even a LOLcat which mentions Blackboard Learn….
…plus new variations on the old meme ‘On the Internet no one knows you’re a cat’…. or dog or whatever…
Sometimes you simply have to take the time to explore what’s out there. TELEDA’s social media learning block will encourage getting up close and personal with a number of social media platforms. Developed in response to requests and conversations, it starts with the issue of online identity. Participants will be encouraged to visit and complete their university staff profile as well as join a professional networking site like LinkedIn, Academia.edu or ResearchGate. A TELEDA Twitter account @TELEDALincoln has been set up and there’s an existing TELEDA Pinterest Board http://uk.pinterest.com/suewatling/teaching-and-learning-in-a-digital-age Blogs will also be explored, along with Wikipedia and Google, but there are no plans at the present time for any cats.