Archive for the ‘social media’ Tag

My LinkedIn profile

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

My LinkedIn profile

I have been doing a lot of work lately expanding my social media connections and invite you to check out my LinkedIn profile and connect with me. 


Is this the future of reading?

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

As I was scanning my twitter feed I came across a tweet from Alec Couros about the future of books. His link led me to the following video and after watching I reflected on the idea that this may be the new social media based approach to reading. Do you think this concept/ device carries with it the future of reading?

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

Social Media’s role as a research assistant

Monday, September 13th, 2010

I believe social media’s use, as a research tool is a valid form of content aggregation. The categories of social media users as well as the intended use of their networks are as varied as the opinions of those attempting to merge education and social media. However, there are educators and researchers alike in their dislike of sites such as Wikipedia. Those individuals who see social media as a negative impact site the lack of authority on these sites and they are hesitant to buy into amateur community generated content. The opposing viewpoints of the debate are the foundation of this paper however my bias is towards the use of social media in education.

Social media is a web-based tool for sharing and discussing various forms of online media. The media can be referred to as user generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media (CGM). Social media integrates technology, telecommunication, and social interaction based on the concept of generating shared meanings within communities (Melluso, 2010). One such community is housed at PBS where a tech savvy crew of journalists sought out to explore the use and cognitive effects of technology in education ranging from elementary students through university students.

Frontline: digital nation explores the role of technology in various applications and delves further into the digital world and the human experience of learning with technology. As a student’s education leads them further into the digital world one can begin to see web 2.0 tools as a viable means to enhance learning. As students are exposed to networks and various web tools, most often user generated it is evident they are developing multitasking abilities. Partnering this assumption is that students can develop higher order skills because of this new multi-task skill set. While reading online text if a student was to come across a word or concept unfamiliar to them she/he can click the hypertext and satisfy their curiosity or attempt to gain a deeper understanding of the topic. In web 2.0 socially based research any student can grab a link through a hash tag on twitter, scan through their delicious account network via tagged content, or scan over their Google reader subscriptions and all of these may yield resource material for their project. However, as I reflect on this there are positives and negatives associated with multitasking in the digital realm. First off I find myself distracted by other posts on twitter and I get side tracked while looking for one piece of information and end up on a journey in the opposite direction. How then do I combat the distracted nature of the new digital world in the classroom? I believe educators should approach the use of new social media with purpose. Educators must remove the excuse of distraction and help students focus on the intentions of learning and the learner. Why are we on a particular site in the first place? Fun, education or business? I acknowledge that there is a variety of reasons why an individual would visit a website and to list only three categories is quite limiting. As to the purpose of this paper I am trying to limit the distractions of more than three categories as I could go and research those further and include more resources and content around those as well and yet another 2.0 distraction in thought emerges. A distraction embedded in the content itself (Rushkoff, 2010).

As teachers in the digital age I believe our role is not to exploit technology in hopes of adding a wow factor to our lessons but rather teach through modeling the focused use of social media as a research tool. There are times when listening to music, texting, IMing and video chatting can take place concurrently but not when academic pursuits are the purpose in using technology. There is nothing new to this idea of undistributed focus. So, as teachers we need to meet the students where they live in the digital world and cater to their needs in the new social learning environment while facilitating the networking skills needed to exist in the new domain of research.

The acceptance of social media as a valid form of aggregation and dissemination of information is pursued by the “Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit organization that does fund-raising and back end support for the popular open-source encyclopedia” (Kolowich, 2010) where several colleges have adapted coursework including social media particularly Wikipedia. The goal of the course work is to have students become content generators on Wikipedia. Students had to follow a strict set of guidelines either critique existing content for errors and narrative or the students generate new content and then monitor the subsequent edits. Rochelle Davis believes the pressure students may feel in knowing their work is relied on for others research may drive greater due diligence in vetting content.

It is only lately that academe accepted the exploration and contributions to sites like Wikipedia. Up until the past several years there has been bans placed on using Wikipedia as a research source as actions taken at Middlebury College banned its use. An English department chair at the University of California wrote

“The academic community provides a constrained and relatively standard set of protocols for constructive collaboration and refereeing that could be built on (whereas the larger global community behind Wikipedia was more problematic because there is actually no such thing as a global community with sufficiently shared motives and standards of collaboration),” (Kolowich, 2010)

However, daunting this task may seem Wikimedia plans to recruit 15 more professors by the spring of 2011 confident academic acceptance will continue to grow.

Also a survey of K-12 Educators on Social Networking and Content Sharing Tools supports Wikimedia’s enthusiasm as they found that “61% of the educators we surveyed have joined a social networking website. Facebook is the site most educators have joined (85%). MySpace is a distant second (20%). LinkedIn, a popular site for the business community, is third (14%).” (k-12servey.PDF) The survey also found that “Educators who have joined a social network are more positive about the value of this technology for education. Overall, educators see a high value for social networking in education for a wide range of applications.” We are now at a time when the self-sorting elements of any organic mechanism take over and more specific applications of social media will emerge. As classroom teachers modify and adapt the use and classroom implementations of new media the ever-changing dynamics of student needs can be met. It is through the social networks that ideas will be shared, modified and again be adapted by new users with a shared purpose. The generation of high-end content is achievable through sharing educational resources. While teachers once walked across the hall or had to visit the library they can now check a webpage or one of their social network and share as well as be assisted by a larger community of learners.

I see a future in using social media as a research tool. Just as we may need to comb through many books in a library or reference section so to must we look for the quality amidst the flurry of content out there. I have reaped the benefit of social media as all the articles used to compose this paper were found via social media networking.

Summer time away

Friday, August 6th, 2010

As the summer comes to an end its time to start getting back into some academic thought. Did some updates on the Slightly Shumay ning site but was shocked to find the once free service limiting their access and charging $20 per month for what I once had. I am aware that hosting services need to make money and perhaps its my naive educational sense of free sharing that made this hard to swallow. Now, there is a $3 per month charge that allows enough access to the sites services that I can get away with this option for a little while but see a need for the upgraded service even before I get working with my students in the classroom.

So all said and done I m going to start with the limited version and see what happens. I predict by the end of the first month of collaborating with students I m going to need that upgrade. We ll see…

Negative Impact of viral videos

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
Along with the notoriety of posting a video that goes viral can have, there is also a menasing side to web based fame as some youth find out the hard way.
clipped from

“Because social networking is so much a norm, I’m not sure that it would occupy the kind of space and attention that we give it – we who didn’t grow up with this – as children who see it as part of their landscape.”

But Toronto bullying expert Peggy Moss isn’t so sure. When she speaks with teachers and parents at her workshops, she finds many have retained crystal clear memories of their own bullies, even 35 years later.

“We’re starting to know what the impact of bullying is. We have a better sense of how much that wounds us going forward,” said the former hate-crime prosecutor.

Ms. Moss said that while kids who “stick out” have long acted out to regain some control over their lives, the few boundaries that exist at school around bullying often disappear on the Web.

“My concern with the Internet is that we don’t yet know all of the ramifications around the interactions in that space.”

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Web Etiquette

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

There is a lot of concern around student behavior online and rightfully so. Since the advent of online networks students have been faced with the same face to face social issues they had experienced on the playground. Cyberbullying is a mojor concern and can have equally devistating effects as face to face bullying, and I would even say more so due to the substancial size of the audience online bullying can have. Instead of only a few people, mostly those within ear shot, hearing the comments they are saved for all those who would visit the webpage or the comments can be forwarded to a vast number of email groups lists or friends lists. Tamar Weinberg provides a well thought out guide to surviving and interacting in appropriate ways online. Tamar highlites the major social sites and provides a guide for fostering and maintaining online relationships (both professional and personal). Here is a screenshot captured using Jing capturing a part of her conclusion thoughts. For the full article follow this link. The Ultimate Social Media Etiquette Handbook.

Social networking for Minors

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
One of the continuing trends in todays society is the use of social networking sites. Naturally the use of social networking is starting to make its way into the classroom. One of the emerging needs is etiquette on the web (webiquette). This article highlights a new site Togetherville that allows parents to utilize thier facebook connections to develop a network with their children and model proper online behaviors.
clipped from
Togetherville allows parents to build a social circle for their children based on their own collection of Facebook friends. The children can then interact with the children of their parents’ friends, and specific adults that their parents have chosen, in a semi-private environment. The content on the site is curated, so children can play games, make art projects and watch or share videos, but everything they have access to has been vetted in advance, Mr. Dhillon said. Children can comment on their friends’ posts directly through drop-down menus of preselected phrases. If a user wants to say something that is not on the list, he can submit a request that it be added.
“We teach kids from a very early age, never let your identity be online, never let anyone know who you are, but we’re teaching some bad things,” he said. “Kids don’t learn how to be accountable.”  
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Mobile Learning

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

The first use of mobile learning that comes to mind is the use of twitter accounts with connected RSS feeds to a 2.0 classroom (ning site) where students can post back-channel content and questions via their mobile device and the posts are displayed in real time on a streaming feed in the classroom. As Richard shared his thoughts about the purpose of mobile devices it made a lot of sense if the students have the devices for the purpose of social interaction then let them us it for that purpose. I do think there would be some smarties out there that would post some content not suitable for school but a teachers could handle that in the same manner as any other disturbance in the classroom. Also if a student is heading out on the family spring break trip and they cannot take a textbook with them then mobile chapters, assignments and other easily delivered content can be taken or downloaded to the mobile device. If I know I have a long trip and would like to read a book I ll download it to my touch and have it with me the whole time. Also if i know I cannot read I will get the content in another media format and get my knowledge fix that way. So many ways to use mobile technology and I think it will only increase as the iPad and other related devices will dominate the market. Not to say that lap tops may obsolete in a couple of years but I already hear the younger generations wanting the tablets and why shouldn’t they the tablets are cool technologies that could reduce all those heavy books to one tech machine. Although once anything is seen as a school tool it too might lose its allure.