Social-Networks: Grabbing The Skunk By The Tail

Social-Networks: Grabbing The Skunk By The Tail

A few days ago my friend and fellow blogger Doug Johnson wrote a blog post about social media and feeling overwhelmed  taking aim at my recent blog post about playing with Google+. OK, Utecht, cut it out. I know I should be playing with Google+, but give me a break. I can’t keep up with the social networks I have now.   Of course you can’t! Trying to keep up with social networks is a loosing battle. They move too quickly, change too fast, and most of the stuff shared on them isn’t worth our time….except that it is worth our time (please watch below).  Does every teacher need to be using Google+ today? No. Does every Technology Integrator, or Technology Teacher, or Technology ???? need to be using it today? Yes.  Especially if their school has gone to Google Apps for the students. Soon enough Google+ for K-12 Education will be released and when it does there will be power there to form communities, classes, groups, etc within the ecosystem that is Google Apps.  But what I really want to talk about is Doug’s final question to me in his blog post: Here’s my question: Is the ability to select and discriminate among social networking tools a needed, teachable skill? Or should every tool be used by every teacher? My thought is that when any pundit recommends a new tool, they be required to suggest a tool that is no longer useful.  So, buddy, what is getting less attention from you now that Google+ is getting more attention? I certainly hope it is not Ms Utecht or the Mariners. Great question! Do I think that discriminating among social networking tools is a needed teachable skill? Absolutely! Should every tool be used by every teacher? Nope…but they should be using the ones that fit their discipline.  Why Teaching Social Networking Tools is a Must Let’s start with the fact that today’s students enter our classrooms with some social presence. Whether they have created a Facebook account themselves, or their proud Moms and Dads have created one for them with all the images they have shared on their own Facebook account of their children. Or let’s take the more likely account of some game they play on their iPad in which they had to create a user id and password to play with others.  I’m not going to guess the percentage...

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What Hasn’t Gone Social?

Is there anything that hasn’t gone social? I spent four days in the Willamette Valley of Oregon visiting some wineries and checking in to all of them on FourSquare...because that’s what you do when you’re a geek. What I wasn’t expecting was for the wineries to have specials on FourSquare. 10% of a purchase at one and at another they donated $1 to a reading program for every FourSquare check in. Another winery I checked into started following me on FourSquare, found me on Twitter and then tweeted @jutecht Thanks for checking in with 4sq — Winter’s Hill Vyd (@WintersHill) July 17, 2012 Churches have Facebook pages My hot dog guy that I go to before every Mariners game asked me to friend him on Facebook. The more I look around and see everything going social the more I am trying to figure out if there is any industry left that hasn’t gone social? Oh….right….education. Why? Why would a place that is all about community and relationships (words found in almost every mission statement) fight the very idea of creating them, fostering them and using them? Why are so many schools scared to go social? How many schools out there have verified their school on FourSquare and started using it with students? How many schools out there have a Facebook page and actually use it to foster the relationships connected to it? Twitter? Google Plus? Pinerest? What-ever-the-next-one-will-be-called? We are quickly getting to a point where if you are not going to connect with people via social networks then you are not getting out information in a very efficient way. Education needs to stop fighting the social connection revolution and start to find ways to use it to connect their community both within the school and with the larger...

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Why We Need To Teach Social Networking

Why We Need To Teach Social Networking

From Venturebeat.com The girl, 17, had been helping her grandmother count the 72-year-old woman’s personal savings. Apparently wishing to impress her friends and the world at large, the teen snapped a picture of the cash and uploaded it to Facebook. Within hours, masked robbers showed up at the girl’s own house with a knife and a club, breaking in and stealing cash and personal possessions from the teen’s 47-year-old mother. I read this the other day and was wondering if this girl ever was taught about social networking and where her information goes.  Some rights reserved by ifranz I then starting thinking about the autonomy I had as say a 13 year old. My parents knew where I was 99% of the time, knew who I was hanging out with, who I was talking with and where I was physically…seeing there was no digital place for me to be yet.  I think about the autonomy a 13 year old has today. The autonomy to post, talk, respond, take a photo with anyone they want without parents knowing about it…and being able to share with people that their parents might not know.  These are new behaviors we need to be teaching in schools. We teach how to share, in the physical world. We teach how to cooperate, in the physical world. We teach how to stay away from danger in the physical world. But do we teach these same skills in the new digital sense? Why not? If we know we are all spending more time online, in online relationships and communicating more online than in person these days, why are we not teaching these social-networking skills? We talk about making friends, in the physical world. We talk about what it means to be a good friends, how good friends trust each other and how good friends watch out for each other….in the physical world.  Are we teaching social-networking in the digital world as well? If not are we doing our students, our community, our society a...

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Teaching Social Networks

Teaching Social Networks

Some rights reserved by Brice Reul  In two weeks time I have to give a presentation to our high school student body. I always struggle the most with what to talk to them about…..them being kids in general. I’ve got about 15 minutes to inspire them to use technology in ways that really matter.  Thanks to the Kony 2012 campaign I have a starting point to talk about this new world that they are going to create. I believe this generation could be the greatest generation since the great WWI generation years ago. They have the ability to connect and communicate in a virtual way that can bring real impact to the world. We are already seeing it happen: The 2008 Presidential U.S. elections, Arab Spring, London Riots, Occupy Wall Street, Stop SOPA, and now Kony 2012 just to name a few of the larger movements where social networking has had a direct impact on world changing events.  ….and the great news is….this generation is just getting started.  They have older generations running scared. From Iran to Syria, China, Thailand and most of the western world, governments and generations are fearing what is to come when this generation decides they have had enough, can connect, communicate, and bring about change in the blink of an eye.  I read a new term the other day: Slacktivism: The word is usually considered a pejorative term that describes “feel-good” measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it feel satisfaction. The acts tend to require minimal personal effort from the slacktivist. The underlying assumption being promoted by the term is that these low cost efforts substitute for more substantive actions rather than supplementing them, although this assumption has not been borne out by research. I am still feeling my way around this new term and not sure I totally agree with its ideals. The cases I stated above are all cases where the rally cries within social networks saw real change in the world. Retweeting or reposting the Kony 2012 video is good for spreading the message, but what are you and I going to do in the real world that really matters? That’s what this will come down to. 100 million views on YouTube mean nothing if nothing changes for the better out here. And then there is our generations, any of...

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Policies, Safety, and Social Networking ~ Steve Dembo ISTE10

“I want my student to be found, he already has 3,000 hits on Google.” How many people are uploading pictures of their babies the day they are born? First and Last name with Birth Day. 84 Billion Dollars spend on a filter in Australia cracked in 30 minutes by a 16 year old. Over 50% of schools in the US prohibit social networking….and there is no law saying they have to. Most policies are vastly different than most educators think. CIPA 11/08 Update: Educating minors about appropriate online behavior CIPA left vague on purpose. All you have to do is try your best to block porn. Mapping the Filter: What do you Block ~ Will Richardson “We’ve decided that we will no longer use the web filter as a classroom management tool.” ~ Bud Hunt Walled Garden Wiki ~ Miguel Guhlin College Confidential ~ Students create a site to help other students get into college...

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