In a recent article, 21st Century Education Requires Distributed Support for Learning, Chris Dede concludes the following: Overall, in the past five years social media, immersive interfaces from the entertainment industry, and ubiquitous mobile broadband devices have coalesced in powerful ways to empower and integrate learning in and out of school. Too often, I have seen educational technologies used to put “old wine in new bottles.” Now, if we seize the moment, we not only can have new wine – such as peer mentoring anytime, anyplace – but also can move beyond the “bottle” of the stand-alone school to lifewide learning. “Plan” is a verb, not a noun. The NETP as a document loses value every day it sits on the shelf. Active dialogue about the draft Plan may be our best next step towards improving education for the 21st century.–
As educators, it is important for you to be connected to others in the field as a way of keeping up on all that is going on in the field of education. Creating an online Personal Learning Network (PLN) can greatly benefit you professionally. Here’s a brief video that explains why:
Social Media Belongs in the Classroom provides the following justification for social media:
Teachers who resist using social media in the classroom are stripping their students of an essential component of their future success. Avoiding – or worse, banning – social media platforms for students prohibits them from being successful professionals in fields like accounting, chemistry, the arts and more.
Why so declarative? Because social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs) have become the fabric of how the world communicates. Yes, traditional methods of connecting and collaborating still exist – you can still pick up the phone or write a letter – but you can also route messages or share ideas with clients, colleagues, vendors and others using collaboration platforms, social networks, wikis and more. Learnist is the new Pinterist for teachers as discussed in the article The Ten Coolest Things About Learnist 2012.
In today’s business environment, someone lacking not just an understanding but also a working knowledge of social media and social networking tools is at a competitive disadvantage. Not preparing our young people – whether in elementary, secondary or post-secondary education environments – to not only have but also excel with these skills means we are failing in our mission as educators.
Every Teachers Guide to Facebook provides an excellent resource for Facebook in the classroom.
7 Ways Educators Can Use Facebook
- Help develop and follow your school’s policy about Facebook.
- Encourage students to follow Facebook’s guidelines.
- Stay up to date about safety and privacy settings on Facebook.
- Promote good citizenship in the digital world.
- Use Facebook’s Pages and Groups features to communicate with students and parents.
- Embrace the digital, social, mobile, and “always-on” learning styles of 21st Century students.
- Use Facebook as a professional development resource.
Protecting your Privacy on the New Facebook
Your Facebook settings will determine, to a large extent, who can find you when they search for women who buy dresses for toddlers or, more unsettling, women who jog a particular secluded trail. This New York Times article lists 4 different questions you can ask yourself about using Facebook and provides solutions to protect your privacy.
The blog, Instructional Design on the Road, discusses thechanged learning methods in a recent blog posting, The New Age Instructional Designer.
As time progressed and technologies evolved, the role of the instructional designer, as we understood it several years back, underwent a paradigm shift. In spite of client demands to create conventional elearning courses, the fact is that the way people are learning today has changed phenomenally due to the increased access to social media tools and advanced mobile devices. Twitter, blogs, wikis, and discussions have become the new age learning methods. Learner’s look for relevance and access information only when it is needed. The concept of reading everything that comes your way and conventional ideas about increasing knowledge generically have phased out. Learner’s now search for what they want, skim through to establish relevance, and move on if the information is irrelevant. The attention span of today’s learner is short and they want quick and easy access to information. Working smart is the code word and learners will only use resources that enable them to do so.
Skype with Instructor
Since this is an on-line course, the opportunity to utilize video conferencing is crucial to the success of your on-line learning experience. Many former students have continued to use Skype after taking this course, and I hope you do too. Skype for Mac or Skype for Windows– download and select a date and time to Skype with your instructor no later than June 30 to confirm that you can use the video and audio features of Skype.
Students will become familiar with Skype, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to improve communication skills with students and clients.
- Teachers: How can Skype be used to enhance learning for K-12 students? Instructional designers: How can an instructional designer use Skype to improve communication with current or potential clients? If you are already a regular Skype user, please share your experiences. If you have new iPod touch, iPad 2, iPhone 4, or Mac over Wi-Fi, you may have used FaceTime. How to use FaceTime: If you have FaceTime, I would be happy to connect with you in addition to our Skype session.
- Teachers: How can Facebook be used to enhance learning for K-12 students? This is a blog that you may wish to review: The Why and How of Facebook for Educators. Facebook users may wish to join Facebook in Education.
- Instructional Designers: How can Facebook be used to communicate with your current and potential clients? How can it help promote your IT skills? This link provides some ideas to support your answers: eLearning and Instructional Design. You may wish to join eLearningLearning.
- All: Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune op. ed, wrote Facebook relationship complicated. Read her article and provide an answer to this question: Do you think Facebook can enhance your personal/professional life? If so, how so?
- All: Peggy Buffington, Hobart Superintendent and member of the NWI Times editorial advisory board, wrote Set expectations, monitor teens using social media. Read her commentary and provide an answer to this question: What are the responsibilities of the adults in teens’ lives for establishing proper use of this technology?
- All: Why is Twitter changing the way we communicate? Why Educators Should Join Twitter – This is a creative video created by a teacher, and I hope you share it. Generation hashtag: Social technologies will continue to inform and inspire – Excellent summary of why the year 2011 was the first for which people remember learning about world-changing events in a tweet.
- All: How can social media help you find a job? Read the following links to find the answer to this question. Job searching with social media. How social media and blogging can help you get a job. Can Facebook get you a job? How social media will help your job search. ABC virtual job fair: Using Social Media.
Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, and Facebook
- Create a Twitter Account: There are hundreds of Twitter tutorials on YouTube. Twitter 102 is an excellent instructional video for new users. Once you have created your Twitter account, please follow me and 4 other folks. Since you want to follow accounts that will help you with digital learning or instructional design, please be sure to do so. If you look at who I follow, you will locate several excellent folks to follow. My Twitter account is http://twitter.com/instruct_tech. Post your Twitter address on your blog posting since I want to follow you, and if you have been using Twitter prior to this course, please share your experience. Kevin Deal shared several excellent digital learning experts that you may wish to follow in his troubleshooting post. Kevin uses Twitter as a teaching tool with his Lowell HS students. Please review the Twitter Glossary link for help with using Twitter and the Twitter Help Center for answers to common Twitter questions. Kevin shared The A-Z Dictionary of Twitter Hashtags.
- LinkedIn is considered one of the premiere social sites for finding jobs. It’s also a wonderful space for learning through discussion. If you haven’t updated your profile, do so. Then be sure to join and participate in LinkedIn Groups related to Instructional Design and eLearning. Create a LinkedIn account. Once you have done so, create a profile, and connect with at least 5 users. In the final blog posting, I will ask you to summarize your experience. If you already have an account, please share your experience.
- Skype is a proprietary voice-over-Internet Protocol service and software application originally created by Niklas Zennström, and owned by Microsoft since 2011. The service allows users to communicate with peers by voice, video, and instant messaging over the Internet. Phone calls may be placed to recipients on the traditional telephone networks. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free of charge, while calls to landline telephones and mobile phones are charged via a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features, including file transfer, and videoconferencing. Skype has 663 million registered users as of September 2011. The network is operated by Microsoft, which has its Skype division headquarters in Luxembourg. Most of the development team and 44% of the overall employees of the division are situated in the offices of Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia.Unlike most VoIP services, Skype is a hybrid peer-to-peer and client–server system, and makes use of background processing on computers running Skype software; the original name proposed – Sky peer-to-peer – reflects this.
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. As of February 2012, Facebook has more than 845 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as “People From Work” or “Close Friends”. The name of the service stems from the colloquial name for the book given to students at the start of the academic year by some university administrations in the United States to help students get to know each other. Facebook allows any users who declare themselves to be at least 13 years old to become registered users of the site.Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The Web site’s membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities before opening to high school students, and eventually to anyone aged 13 and over. However, based on ConsumersReports.org in May 2011, there are 7.5 million children under 13 with accounts, violating the site’s terms of service.A January 2009 Compete.com study ranked Facebook as the most used social networking service by worldwide monthly active users. Entertainment Weekly included the site on its end-of-the-decade “best-of” list, saying, “How on earth did we stalk our exes, remember our co-workers’ birthdays, bug our friends, and play a rousing game of Scrabulous before Facebook?” Quantcast estimates Facebook has 138.9 million monthly unique U.S. visitors in May 2011. According to Social Media Today, in April 2010 an estimated 41.6% of the U.S. population had a Facebook account.Nevertheless, Facebook’s market growth started to stall in some regions, with the site losing 7 million active users in the United States and Canada in May 2011.Facebook filed for an initial public offering on February 1, 2012.
You can join any open group that is set as global or that is limited to one of your current networks. You can search for groups by typing a name in the Search field at the top of the page, and then filtering the results to show only groups by clicking the Groups tab. Alternatively, you can browse groups by category from the Groups main page. To become a member, click the group’s name, and then click “Join this Group” under the group picture on the right side of the screen.
Some groups require admin approval for you to join. If you try to join these groups, you will have to wait for an admin to confirm your request before you can join the group. Admins can change the settings for who can join a group at any time, and can also block specific people from joining a group.
Certain groups on Facebook require an invitation in order to join. You cannot request to join these. Only an invitation from a group admin will give you access.
As Facebook prepares for a much-anticipated public offering, the company is eager to show off its momentum by building on its huge membership: more than 800 million active users around the world, Facebook says, and roughly 200 million in the United States, or two-thirds of the population. But the company is running into a roadblock in this country. Some people, even on the younger end of the age spectrum, just refuse to participate, including people who have given it a try.
You may wish to “like” or join the following on Facebook
- How to Use Skype to Enhance Learning Learn how a teacher uses Skype to communicate with a home bound student.
- Social Media Marketing Provides the opportunity for you to market your instructional design skills after you have completed your IT MS degree. Although there are students in this course that do not plan to market their skills, all of you need to know the value of social media marketing.
- Use Skype to take online music lessonsIf you can take online music lessons with Skype, just think of the possibilities for opening your own tutoring or consulting business online. You could also participate in a variety of committees that would allow you to participate in your office or at home. The Skype sessions are recorded for review by the students.
- The Ultimate Glossary: 120 Social Media Marketing Terms Explained. I hope that you will pass this blog post along to others in your organization and maybe even print it out to have on hand when others have questions related to social media marketing.
- Five Things Students Want Their Teachers to Know about Online Learning
Kids love having the opportunity to learn online but it’s not merely the medium or the technology that students enjoy. At the recent iNacol Virtual Schools Symposium this blogger listened to high school students who have experience learning this way as well as teachers who have experience with these students, share some advice for making this type of learning even better. Here is their advice, as well as suggestions for tools that teachers can use to heed this advice
- Google Adds Posts From Its Social Network to Search Results Google sparked controversy when it made some of the biggest changes ever to its search results, adding content from its fledgling Google Plus social network. That includes posts, photos, profiles and conversations from Google Plus that are public or were shared privately with the person searching.
- The Complete Facebook for Educators Facebook is a social network, but can it be used effectively in schools? This link lists some ideas about using Facebook in education.
- The Top 50 E-Learning posts for 2011 Upside Learning provides a blog, and this link provides the top posts for 2011.
- Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sitesSocial media use has become so pervasive in the lives of American teens that having a presence on a social network site is almost synonymous with being online. Fully 95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online and 80% of those online teens are users of social media sites. Many log on daily to their social network pages and these have become spaces where much of the social activity of teen life is echoed and amplified—in both good and bad ways.
- 50 Top Sources of Free eLearning– Whether you are looking for a master’s degree program, computer science classes, a K-12 curriculum, or GED study program, this list gives you a look at 50 websites that promise education for free.
- Three Creative Ways Educators Use Twitter Like many educators, University of Texas (Dallas) history professor, Dr. Monika Rankin, was finding it difficult to engage her large classes in group discussions. She found that because she didn’t have time to solicit participation from every one her 90 students, discussions typically involved only a handful of her particularly vocal students. She looked for ways to bring more people into the class discussions and thought that Twitter might be an effective tool to achieve just that. “To have 30 or 40 people at a time talking about the discussion material is really interesting,” says Megan Malone, one the grad students who assisted professor Rankin in implementing Twitter within the class. Sending her students direct messages on Twitter and engaging in discussions on Twitter during the weekends really gives the students a chance to “think about what they’ve been reading,” added Malone.