As part of my 2013 review I’ve been looking over some blogs and reports I read this year, and this one by Anthony Chivetta, whilst originally posted in 2008, still has so much impact today, some 5 years on – “21st Century Education: Thinking Creatively”
“Today’s world is no longer content with students who can simply apply the knowledge they learned in school: our generation will be asked to think and operate in ways that traditional education has not, and can not, prepare us for.” (Chivetta, 2008)
Just so you know, at the time of writing (Jan 2008) Anthony was 18 years old. We must also remember that in 2008 we didn’t have tablets like the iPad, we were still using desktops and laptops and netbooks, and we had only just received the first iPhone (June 2007). Yet this observant millennial had already seen the power and advantage a device like this could give a student, and that his teachers were lagging further and further behind their students. Continue reading →
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 →
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.
Enjoy this video from Educause. I hope you can see where I am coming from and why I’ve added this video to the #LTHE project as I see the Learning Technologist as an enabler, facilitator, manager, specialist, and even student in these ‘connected age’ Education settings:
“Higher Education is a connected community, and connections can do transformative things. When education is connected it forms a pathway; formal and informal learning are no longer separated. Learners can connect to an ever-widening circle of mentors, peers, experience, knowledge, games, simulations, collaborations tools, and augmented reality can help learners connect the dots in ways never before possible.”
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!
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.
“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 →
Last night I read the excellent post by Simon Finch – “Privacy is gone, live with it” – (@simfin) in which he considers the “complex and changing nature of identity, perception and consequences of naive digital citizenship” and outlines three possible groupings:
“I’ve not got time for Twitter and Facebook, I’m too busy doing real work and besides the internet is full of liars, thieves and weirdos.”
Harder to define but it’s more about the “spectrum on which we travel, rather than somewhere we are firmly placed.”
“Not the Top Group. Not the Best group. This isn’t a competition”
What strikes me about Simon’s post is the well articulated way in which he highlights and describes his online presence and that it’s not only what we post and share is what defines us, but what we’re associated to (whether we know it or not).
“… if you post nothing anywhere then your identity will simply be references by others about the places you’ve been and the things you’ve said and done - ‘This is the worst conference ever (with Simon Finch)’. If I make no contribution, then it appears we are like minded and negative individuals.”
As with Simon I am known as much for my (prolific?) tweeting and blogging as for sharing photos of family, friends, days-out, home/work life, etc. 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?