Tag Archives: Social Media

Network

26 Jun

Business Communication Duplicate model

My wife and I are in very different industries. Yet we both value the impact of networking. If students and teachers work together as co-creators, then the traditional supply and demand chain of teaching and learning is usurped by a networking approach. We are in the midst of a paradigm shift in the way in which people are connected. We are moving from hierarchically arranged, densely knit groups to permeable, diverse social networks. Reminiscent of Ivan Illich’s learning webs (1971), knowledge is distributed across networks of connections and learning consists of immersing oneself in networks by creating and sharing. This networking ability is central to creative capability.
Students who make new connections beyond their immediate group or class demonstrate creative capacity building. These ‘border crossers’ who can access a diversity of networks are able to introduce new ideas and knowledge. Therefore effective teaching for creative capacity building will encourage students to actively network and build diverse connections.
Connective technologies such as Skype, Twitter, RSS feeds, wikis and YouTube offer enormous potential for teachers to introduce students to the concept of connected knowledge and networking. For instance, when students build their historical understanding of the Gallipoli campaign by communicating with students in Turkey it takes student learning into a whole different realm. The same could be said when we examined Syrian refugees.

As the old saying goes, “when the peasants learned to read, the kings began to look stupid.” Our understanding of the relationship between networking abilities and creative capacity building mean that using these connective learning technologies is central to effective pedagogy.

Illich, I. (1971) Deschooling Society, London: Marion Boyars

Getting Out on Social Media

3 Oct

index

Putting ourselves out there on social media puts us in the vulnerable position. Sometimes the act of pushing send or tweet can be a big one.  We can be judged by people who don’t even know us, and may never meet us. People may come up with their own narrative of who we are, and scold us publicly for the world to see. People we know can also become unhappy with us. They may view us as showboats, or big in our own minds. We can’t control these feelings nor should we.

Showing up can mean participating in a Twitter chat, following and retweeting others, or sharing a personal thought through tweeting. It can also be through online writing, or blogging. Blogging is a dual way to reflect on personal learning journeys, and receive feedback from peers on their personal experiences in education. In essence, you’re not going through the experience alone, as others can validate, support, or provide guidance from their own experiences by reading yours. Writing can also inspire others to share their vulnerabilities, questions, or have them pause to reflect on their “why”.

Oftentimes, people feel they have nothing to write about of importance. They listen to their inner monologue that tells them that their experiences aren’t unique to them, that others experience the same thing. I argue that sharing similar experiences brings people together. Each one of us is unique. Our experiences, though similar in nature to others, are unique to us in that we’re the ones experiencing them. It’s easier to reflect and process experiences when we have a support system, like a professional/personal learning network to help us get through them.

I hope you feel empowered to share your educational thoughts. It is important to share. It is all part of that journey of being Ako.

Cold Turkey

8 Jun

After being inspired by Supersize Me (viewing for the second time on NetFlicks) I decided to go cold turkey and give up social media for a week last Monday.

I was prepared to experience withdrawal symptoms once I switched off my phone/pad/computer, including a strong urge to check my phone/email/social media, a feeling of boredom, and a sense of unease. A sense of being unloved. Yes I know unloved. These feelings should pass.

So Day 1 at 7am I felt immediately what was I missing out on. Something spoke to me A zen moment. I am in control.

By 10am I thought I wish I had planned this better. I needed to text. I saw something and thought hey a tweet around that could be…

By 11:15 it was over. I had convinced myself there was a text that needed answering. There wasn’t but the game was up. Tweeting, Emailing, texting I was back.

There will be a next time though.

Maybe a night for two hours. I should plan some interesting activity in place of screen time. Blogs advocate a digital detox week but this is not for me.

It did make me think. What is my relationship with the screen? What is yours?

#JustSayin

31 May

Before social media, there were pockets of brilliance in our education system but very few people knew about them.  We are as teachers not good at sharing. Hopefully tools such as the Pond will help us all do this better.

Schools competing with each other do not share ideas and, as a result, they do not grow as effectively.  What social media has done is allowed the spreading of great ideas in more efficient manner.

I am connecting with educators the world over abd can connect and learn from practices taking place anywhere in the world; in addition, they can receive feedback on ideas from any people interested in education.   Good ideas not only become viral but these same ideas also grow to become even better.

No Need to Tweet

23 Feb

 

Do you tweet? I know my Grandma used to tell me to stop twittering and be specific. This was well before the era of social media though. Twitter is more than people philosophising about what they had for dinner. I believe if you teach, then you should tweet. I was once cynical but I have changed. You might be thinking, do I really need another ‘online place’ to look at? Well, you don’t have to tweet, but you will love it once you give it a chance. Read a variety of posts and you will realize that sometimes 140 characters delivers a great resource, classroom idea, colleague collaboration, or even instant feedback. I have noticed that I usually read about the most current research on Twitter first.

Twitter has allowed me to meet other educators and collaborate with them. Be it through a weekly chat or once a month we are able to discuss current topics. People from all around the world are sharing ideas. This is awesome. Some of my best staff meetings have come from this.

If you are not a believer try the following to give it go. And I mean a fair go:

* Give it two weeks. Two weeks is the rule with most things.

* You have to “follow” people to read great stuff. Get alongside a peer and take some suggestions.

* Look for hashtags like #edchatnz or #SLTchat or scichatnz. Hashtags will connect you with educators like you. Cool eh.

* And remember social media get bad press. It’s not all about mindless photos and cyber bullying. It is a great educational tool.

Still not convinced? Just try it. Or maybe I have the wrong audience. I am sure you all are already ankle deep in it.

My iPhone and My Teaching

22 Feb

While many technological innovations have undoubtedly transformed the position in a relatively short period of time, perhaps there is none greater than the advent of the Smartphone. In my case the iPhone. Some of these are for good and some not so good.

Email:

I am still blown away by the number of school leaders who shut their desktop computer off on a Friday afternoon and come back to over a hundred emails when they return on Monday morning. By accessing emails in this fashion, I can give immediate attention to an issue, concern, or complaint instead of letting it sit. The negatives can be that you never leave work.

Twitter: I love it. Connecting, collaborating and great PD. Those who use it know. Those that ignore it are missing out.

Facebook: The iPhone allows users to fully maintain and update a school’s Facebook page while tracking usage and views through a user friendly “Facebook Pages Manager” app. I regularly use the camera feature to post pictures of various school events and also provide community members with “live” Facebook updates at different sporting events.

Google Drive: This powerful “cloud-based” platform has single-handedly changed the way that we think about word processing and collaboration. I regularly access the Google Drive app on my phone to take notes during classroom observations, to “collaborate” with colleagues throughout the day. Office 365 follows closely behind.

Facebook

10 Sep

This year we have made the jump into the unknown with the exploration of new media in a school setting. We are on Facebook.

Wanting to take a little bit of control over what is said and posted under our school’s name in the Facebook world I have set up an official Facebook page. The experiment is now nine months and 800 likes old. It is time for evaluation. Here are some of my thoughts:.

Communication with the community is important. It is part of the National Education Goals (NAGs) and annual goals this year. By the way they love the photos.

I want to role model to the community, not only students, that Facebook can be positive.

For a long time I have worried about the large number of our students set up a Facebook accounts and been in my office after misusing it. Often these accounts have no privacy setting activated and these kids are far too open with what they post and reveal. I am thinking a few of them will end up ‘liking’ our page, thus offering a great chance for me to have a good solid cyber safety conversation about why the heck they are on Facebook (with them and their parents).

It will be nice to engage parents, staff and ex-pupils in the vibrant life of the school.

So it is all about showcasing – and also pushing social networking accounts into a defined workplace arena which will stimulate considerable reflection on privacy and content. The following link is worth visiting. It is also well worth using as a staff meeting.

http://www.teacherscouncil.co.nz/content/teachers-social-media-website

Video of the Week

4 Aug

 

Let’s blog or tweet or poke or…

30 Mar

What has joining the online world about education and technology done for me? How has writing here changed me or the way I approach my work? Have I learned anything? How has this weekly reflection helped me?   I know this for sure……I know less than I thought I did. To me it has been a process of māramatanga (enlightenment I use Maori term for it is so much richer) From a practical perspective it dips into so many of the Registered Teaching Criteria for teaching registration in New Zealand buy I digress.

Education is about being willing to learn, being willing to take risks and acknowledging that we do not have all the answers. Not only do we have to admit to not “knowing” it all, but we need to be eager to look for the answers. Teachers must model this for their students. Teaching is more about guiding students to learn new skills for themselves as it is about telling students about what they should know.
Today’s students need to know how to research, work with a team, how to think critically and find information when they need it. All learners need to be able to read, reflect and respond. I think the most important thing that I have learned is that I must continue to learn! I know now that no teacher has learned everything they need to know about being an effective educator. We are always ako (students). We need to learn every day. What we learn today changes what we will do tomorrow……. teachers are in the best position to model this for the community.

Professional Readings

Teaching “Naked”

To balance things out I thought I might suggest this reading this week from Jose Bowen, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts

http://chronicle.com/article/Teach-Naked-Effort-Strips/47398/

NCEA and Student Motivation

While doing some research on student motivation this week I came across this really good article.

http://www.edgazette.govt.nz/Articles/Article.aspx?ArticleId=7885

Social Media

15 Sep

https://i0.wp.com/blog.socialmaximizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/social_media.jpg

Just Google “teachers, Facebook, inappropriate” and a flood of articles appear relating the indiscretions and sins of teachers who have overstepped the bounds of propriety by posting inappropriate statements, pictures, and videos on Facebook and other social media accounts. At Staff Meetings this term we have run a number of sessions on this particular subject. I can highly recommend the website below. This has been the main source of many of our resources. http://www.teachersandsocialmedia.co.nz/

Last year, three teachers in the United States were fired for having inappropriate relationships with students on Facebook. In November 2008, five teachers got into hot water for posting inappropriately on Facebook. The phenomenon is not limited to just Facebook. In May of 2009, a teacher in Scotland used Twitter to post inappropriate Tweets. She criticized the school’s management and tweeted about personally identifiable information about individual students in her classes.

When you read these news stories your immediate reaction is to question the sanity and intelligence of people who do these kinds of things, yet, what schools are struggling with is a very unique 21st century problem: the power of social media to connect people in ways that once was not possible, and the ability of individuals to share information in and about their lives on a scale not possible before.

Added to the concern about teachers using social networking inappropriately, is the concern about loss of productivity. A study found that nearly half of office employees access Facebook at work, and those companies lose on average 1.5 percent of total office productivity when employees have access during the workday. According to a study performed by the British employment law firm Peninsula “about $ 264 million is lost per day by British corporations due to office workers dillydallying on Facebook.” This same study also said 233 million hours are lost every month as a result of employees “wasting time” on social networking. By the way just in case you’re thinking I complete my blog at 7am every Thursday here NZ.

With all the negativity though let’s remember these are tool and when used properly they are awesome. Teachers, being lifelong learners need to just be educated to be digital citizens like our students.

 

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