Archive for the ‘social networking’ Tag

Kahn Acadamy

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Great Video to generate some conversations about the ever changing approach to education.


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.

Ning Mini sponsor

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

In response to my last post Alec Couros gave me a heads about Pearson, a global leader in online and offline education for pre-K through college and the opportunity to have Pearson sponsor my Ning mini site. Of course I immediately went to the sign up page and applied. I was surprised at the quick turn around with their response and their acceptance of sponsoring Slightly Shumay. So here we go again with another school year starting in a week and things are already starting off on a good note. Here’s to hoping goodness will come all year long.

If there is anyone out there who knows of some accessible technology grants for education I am looking to set up my class this year with a tablet or two in order to provide more technology experience in the classroom.

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.”

  blog it

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.

Heroic Games

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

This video poses a very important question  about video games. Can we use online video games to solve real world problems? Jane McGonigal believes not only is it possible but she has created online games based around generating social networks around critical global issues. Make sure to watch the video to decide for yourself but here is what we (I watched this with two of my sixth grade classes today) think… the majority of the class believes that games can be used to solve world problems. What a hopeful group of students! These students have made good progress and although the other students may not believe in  the power of games it does not reflect their love of playing all sorts of games. As the rest of the classes  watch this today check back for comments and further thoughts.

Here are the links to the Games mentioned in the video:

Play it before you live it!

World Without Oil



Check out the into video for Evoke.

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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More thoughts on the Digital Divide

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

The main impression I have about the digital divide is the economics behind the issue. I always focused on the inability of the individual or family to be able to afford a computer, as this seemed to be the forefront of the issue. I see in my classroom students who don’t have internet access at home nor do they have the ability to get to a library or a local computer access point. Although little difference it would make as many computer cafes would be too expensive anyway. Money does play a large factor in certain populations of our communities not having access to computers there is more to the divide than at first glance.
There is also the ability to use the computer which can add to the divide. When individuals don’t have access to a computer they will not know how to use it. A lot of us take for granted the ease with which we use our computers as we go about our various tasks and for someone who never uses one it could be a taxing event. Also one cannot forget about all the reading that has to be done on the web. The majority of the websites are written for high school level readers who are fairly fluent in english and with nearly 40% of the USA population having lower literacy skills there is a divide in the ability to read and comprehend material. The inability to understand greatly inhibits a persons ability to create, especially on the web.
The ability to create on the web is also an area which reflects a divide in its users. There is a thought in cyberspace that about 90% of users don’t contribute, 9% contribute some but not often enough and about 1% are the main contributors of online content. I believe the statement to be true of the majority of online content but feel education has a higher number of contributors.
I believe all of these aspects of the digital divide work in unison to create the divide. There is no one single inequality that out weighs any other as they all hinder certain parts of our communities to further their understanding of using computers to enhance their lives. Is this not to say that life without computers is of lesser value or interest, but go apply for nearly any job and it will require at minimum some knowledge of computer use and even to apply at some stores you would need access to the web to fill out the application. There is a need for computer skills and those who don’t have the opportunity to learn will get left behind.


Monday, November 9th, 2009

I have started a ning site as a part of my project and welcome all to check out my social network. This will be an interactive site with student input on all things science.