PLN Recap

When I first started my journey as an interdisciplinary studies major, I never expected that I would be using twitter for class just so that I could learn. It seemed like an absurd concept that was very new . . . but I was very wrong. As you may already know, there are tons of academics on twitter, who, while sometimes tweeting cool academic stuff, tweet about many things, giving them more character that’s beyond just “professor”.

When I first started out, I had a very hard time finding academics to follow who didn’t tweet political stuff 24/7. Another challenge, although not as pressing, was that it wasn’t until this semester when I found all the musicologists from America. Prior to this semester I only musicologists to follow from Europe. While although awesome in one sense, I also wanted to see the trends of current musicology in America as well (spoiler: the American trends seem to be video games and John Williams). Also, as the semester went on, I even got to follow some general accounts for psychology and neuroscience, like @APA and @NeuroscienceNews. I’m still trying to find more academics in those areas, but I am patient in my search. Furthermore, while sometimes the occasional political tweet does surface now and again, thanks to the Twitter’s Muting options, I don’t get most of it anymore (shoutout to @melikhovo for the help!).

What I’ve Learned

When I first started this PLN I thought I was supposed to learn more school stuff, but just on a 24/7 basis. While it is neat to learn about the results of recent studies and so on, the greatest thing I have learned about is just how academic ‘life’ operates in general. As someone who aspires to one day earn their PhD and become a college professor, seeing all these academics converse freely has been great. I’m not sure how, but my idea of the average PhD holder was something like that of an automaton: cold, unrelenting, thirsting for knowledge.

While that last point may hold true, I think many PhD holders are anything but “cold” and “unrelenting”. In fact, a common conversation I see concern their students, and how to (a) increase accessibility, or (b) how to improve their pedagogy. Furthermore, in these conversations, there seems to be a strong sense of community between academics as well. I find this very helpful, because if I get the opportunity to become a professor, I now know I can turn to Twitter–what I thought would be an unlikely avenue for receiving help–in order to help improve myself as a teacher.

Twitter has been the oddball in my brief time in academia. I never really thought that a social media platform could be so helpful. Especially for me, because I’m definitely not a social media person, posting to facebook on a whopping average of once every two years. I hope to be able to continue using Twitter, so that I can stay in touch with the developments in the worlds of musicology, philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. Furthermore, maybe one day I will get to join in the conversations I currently spectate from the sidelines, like what cool things there are to do at a conference, or how to approach creating an exam.


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