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.
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 →
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!
“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.”
“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 →
The question as to when (or if) paper textbooks will be replaced with digital editions keeps cropping up, and I was asked this again on twitter today by @SteljesEdn: “Are textbooks coming to the end of their life? what do you think”: read the discussion we had on the link.
So, will they? I don’t think so, not any time soon at any rate. The digital editions of textbooks currently available are little more than a PDF of the printed version, and for publishers that literally provide a PDF and call it an eBook .. shame on you! An eBook doesn’t have pages as the text is defined by the eReader device or software and can be altered by the individual: you cannot change a PDF text size except by zooming in/out.
In order for digital textbooks to really surpass the paper editions they need to offer more, and by more I mean embrace the technology and have embedded video, links, question & answers, and even link (in real-time?) readers from all over the world. Continue reading →
This 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
I’ve spoken and written about social media and how we (ab)use it for personal and professional networks, and how it can take on a life of it’s own without any of us knowing about it. The best examples of social media or sharing/liking something gone wrong are often the one’s where someone has made a right royal muck-up. Examples (of which there are many) include:
Get your mind out of the gutter (for a moment), stop sniggering at the title of the student-produced film below, and take note of the message … “look at the importance of protecting your reputation online by not posting compromising photos, videos, and other content”. It’s meant to be funny, it’s meant to be serious .. it does both as well as inform.
Would it make a difference on how your students (or own kids) view their online behaviour?
This article by Julie Tausend on the EdTech Magazine website – Distraction or Opportunity? A Guide to Embracing Technology in the Classroom – asks the question as to whether classroom technology, or the BYOD mentality, can be harmful or an opportunity to learning. It argues that it can (as I would agree) but specifies the limitations to this approach, on which I think we’d all agree:
“Engaged students use the opportunity to make additions and annotations, to downloaded slides or to transcribe the lecture using word-processing programs. The problem, of course, is that not every student is that engaged.”
One element of the article, however, I would disagree with, and this is:
“One downside of technology in the classroom is that it’s more difficult to get students’ to turn away from their computers to participate in discussion. Technology is not always a distraction in the classroom, but hiding behind computer screens can lead to minimal interaction with professors during lectures. If you want dynamic discussion and interaction with students, ask them to close their laptops.”
Instead of asking them to close their laptops or put their tablet away … Continue reading →
But what was the question? Simple … when someone questions your activity on blogs, Twitter, Google+, etc., how do you respond?
“It’s actually really valuable to me, and it is only a reflection of how it has progressed. It was not always like that … it rather evolved to become what it is today!”
Cristina notes that it’s about the journey from nowhere to here, it’a about changing the way we work to get the most and best out of what is available. Whether it’s online, in the office, in the queue for a cuppa in the morning, in a meeting, etc. It’s all about making sure you have access tot the best of what’s on offer.
“[It's] important to remember that working and participating online requires you to change the way you work… or at least, to acknowledge that the way you work is not the way your mother imagines you work. Working from 9 to 5 in academia is just unrealistic. Concentrating for long periods of time just doesn’t work for me.” [emphasis is mine]
Yes. We haven’t always been online tweeting and ‘liking’ what we read or post. Continue reading →