Category Archives: Social Network

Social Media Landscape

Social media for engagement #jiscinform

Whilst reading the excellent JISC Inform newsletter (I’ve not paid this enough attention in the past – I will from now on!) I read the article on ‘social media for engagement’. Go read it now!

“The role of social media has the potential to extend beyond learning and teaching to support student engagement in the broadest sense. It offers a new way to develop relationships between the student or learner and their institution, as well as an alternative means to raise awareness of an institution’s engagement efforts.”  Continue reading

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12 ways teachers are using social media in the classroom

This resource from Vicki Davis – “A Guidebook for Social Media in the Classroom” on Edutopia is a good starting point for planning the inclusion of social media in learning spaces.

Vicki closes by saying something very similar to what I submitted to the Mobile Learning – “Improving Learning with Mobile Technology” eBook:

“Social media is here. It’s just another resource and doesn’t have to be a distraction from learning objectives. Social media is another tool that you can use to make your classroom more engaging, relevant and culturally diverse.”

The list consists of:

  1. Tweet or post status updates as a class.
  2. Write blog posts about what students are learning.
  3. Let your students write for the world.
  4. Connect to other classrooms through social media.
  5. Use Facebook to get feedback for your students’ online science fair projects.
  6. Use YouTube for your students to host a show or a podcast.
  7. Create Twitter accounts for a special interest projects.
  8. Ask questions to engage your students in authentic learning.
  9. Communicate with other classrooms.
  10. Create projects with other teachers.
  11. Share your learning with the world.
  12. Further a cause that you care about.

What would you add (or remove) from the list to help others utilise students and their devices?

Image source: Life on the wire (CC BY 2.0)

JISC Legal

Social Media for Staff: Legal Checklist

This is a great reference guide, from JISC Legal,  for universities, colleges and learning providers to consider in relation to social media use by staff.  The aim of the checklist is to ensure risks are recognised and managed appropriately, while clarifying for staff what the boundaries are.

JISC LegalDownload here: Social Media for Staff: Legal Checklist

It includes items such as:

  • The institution has a clear strategy which reflects its approach to risk.
  • A social media policy makes staff aware of their responsibilities, and defines social media broadly to include new technologies and mobile devices.
  • The policy clarifies where ‘professional’ ends and ‘private’ begins, and makes clear what constitutes ‘unacceptable use’
  • Staff are aware what is required prior to posting relevant content e.g. an appropriate disclaimer or appropriate authorisation.

For more information, including links to other resources, visit jiscleg.al/socialmedia

So, does your institution / employer have any of these in place? If so please drop a comment and link below and share.

Learning Fundamentals: How to focus in the age of distraction

How to focus in the age of distraction

So many of us are connected and/or using our connected devices regularly. Some might say we / you are addicted to them and suffer withdrawal symptoms when we forget them or leave home home without them.

So then, how do we stay focused in this “age of distraction”? Jane Genovese writes on the Learning Fundamentals website on ‘how to focus in the age of distraction‘ and produced this excellent mind-map of Leo Babauta’s eBook Focus: A simplicity manifesto in the age of distraction”.

Genovese highlights her analysis of the book and the changes she’s making to sharpen her focus, including:  Continue reading

Online Branding for Academics

Online Branding for Academics

Every so often I’ll have a discussion with an academic around “this facebook thing” or “what’s the point of Twitter”. Each time it’s for a different reason or coming from a different perspective or background. But each time it also comes down to two main areas of interest: time and effort. How long will it take or how much effort will they need to put into it for it to become a worthwhile enterprise.

I always say it will come down to what they want to get from the experience. Do they want to get hits or recognition, do they want to build a social profile and/or ‘digital footprint’? Do they want to manage or improve an existing profile or footprint, or eradicate a negative one? Is it to be able to connect with colleagues and peers through LinkedIn or Google+, or to increase conference speaking requests? Is the reason for signing up to Facebook or Twitter for student engagement or because you can only really understand how the students use it if you use it yourself? Is their need to be ‘there’ one of inclusion or monitoring? Often the reason is just one where they see someone else using it, probably successfully, and therefore “want some of that”.

In most cases it is nearly always ‘some of the above’, and in very few cases ‘all of the above’ (even if it’s not acknowledged to be this). I can’t say “you should start here … ” as each person should start where it is more appropriate: LinkedIn for professional reputation, SlideShare for conference and/or learning resources, Google+ or Twitter for networks and Personal Learning Networks (PLN), etc.   Continue reading

Network Fluency (@jaycross‎)

Thanks to Jay Cross for this short and sweet 2 minute video on ‘Network Fluency’. With the Internet and the connections we make through it we have enabled ourselves and our learning to take a new level.

“Connections begat connections. Soon everything was connected to everything else. A parallel universe sprang up alongside society, the Internet became an integral part of business and leisure: those who weren’t fluent and using the ‘net were marginalised. Not only that but everything happened faster and faster and you were required to proclaim your ‘network identity’ and figure out what you were going to do. And what you’re going to do is become fluent in the way networks work.”

Jay goes on to highlight three main areas where we need to be to become ‘fluent’: making sense of stuff, giving back, collaboration, and connection.

YouTube: Network Fluency / Jay Cross

Your digital footprint, and how it can be used (against you)

OK, I knew most of this was possible anyway, but somehow it’s more scarey after watching this, where our digital footprint is explained and linked together … it’s not just browsing history, it’s how our smartphones work for / against us when we don’t even use them that’s scary! From a basic Google search to your phone carrier, from advertisers to government agencies, ‘they’ know everything about you!

It’s not right, is it?

“This week, NPR and the Center for Investigative Reporting are documenting just how vivid the typical person’s digital picture has become — and how easy it can be for others to see it.” – Your Digital Trail, And How It Can Be Used Against You

YouTube: Hot on Your Trail: Privacy, Your Data, and Who Has Access to It

Twitter David Hopkins

Twitter, updated

Twitter David Hopkins

I have been on Twitter for nearly 5 years now, using my @hopkinsdavid handle/username.

In this time I’ve amassed nearly 6700 followers and am currently following just over 1300 accounts – I don’t call them people as some are ‘corporate’ or ‘organisational’ accounts. Many of those I do follow are individuals who are like me and are working in some form of education, as either learning technologists, instructional designers, etc. or are thought leaders, provokers, or game-changers who investigate and challenge the educational establishments to improve ourselves and the world we’re leaving the next generation.

Continue reading

eBooks Could Be The Future Of Social Media

eBooks could be the future of Social Media

eBooks Could Be The Future Of Social Media

“In the future, e-books will act just like social networks. We’ll use them on our phones, share and comment right inside e-reader apps, and publishers will use our data to help them make better marketing decisions. If you think digital reading is exploding now, just wait.”

So says Michael Grothaus in his article for the FastCompany website: “E-Books Could Be The Future Of Social Media”.

“In the future, e-books are going to explode beyond just containing stories, becoming niche social networks where we discuss our favorite passages with other readers and even authors and publishers buy our data to make more informed decisions. So hold on tight, book lovers. Reading as we know it will soon change, forever.”  Continue reading

Facebook Guide for Educators: A tool for teaching and learning

Facebook Guide for Educators

Facebook Guide for Educators: A tool for teaching and learningThis guide, written in collaboration with many organisations including Apps For Good and the Gates Foundation, is “aimed at educators working with young people within schools, colleges, universities, work based learning, formal and informal learning settings.”

“The guide aims to be practical and hands on, but is not exhaustive. Innovative uses of Facebook are being developed all of the time and as such we have created a Facebook for Educators Page run by educators for educators, to share their experiences and recommendations across the UK and beyond.”

By looking at how Facebook is already being used it reports on how it could be used to

  • support subject teaching across the curriculum,
  • support out of school hours learning,
  • encourage informal social learning,
  • enable easy communication between students, teachers and parents, and to
  • support the development of digital citizenship skills  Continue reading