Connecting & Interacting

This week my PLN led me to two great resources about social media.

The word map below illustrates the global pervasiveness of  social networks. Click on the map for a link to further data. Nicholas Lamphere, Social Media Instructor and Consultant from the Harvard Human Resources Center for Workplace Development, has created an excellent prezi entitled Introduction to Social Media. It’s well worth a view.

How are you using social media in your school? Is it blocked?

We have a library Facebook page at TIGS. Our school captains also use Facebook as a way of communicating with their peers. And, yes we have a school Facebook page…but Facebook is blocked in our school. I think there is a real dilemma here!

At present I am, in cooperation with key executive, working on new Acceptable Use Policies for our Junior and Senior Schools. One of the main objectives is to facilitate the opening up of our filter. I am trying to achieve greater access for students while being sensitive to the needs/demands of parents and concerned staff. It’s a tough battle! Having come from a school with very little to no filtering, it’s been an adjustment for me and something I and many students find very frustrating.

I am an advocate for the use of social media in student learning and believe schools meed to embrace these tools if they are to reach out and communicate with the wider community as well as engage students with a broader and more authentic audience.

I plan to encourage blogging next year through the use of a school hosted WordPress site. We will continue to facilitate the use of a broad range of social media as we introduce a digital citizenship program throughout the school next year. I am excited about all the possibilities and hope that other staff members will embrace these technologies.

There were two interesting articles this week about the distractive nature of social media and web 2.0. The New York Times featured an article, Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction, arguing that computers, the web and cellphones pose a profound new challenge to focusing and learning for teens. Megan Garber, writing for the Neiman Foundation at Harvard, offers an interesting rebuttal to this.

Where do you sit?

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Learning by doing

Dr Tae has some provocative things to say. Some of what jumped out at me….

….”school sucks”

….knowledge is not a cheeseburger….sharing what we know doesn’t mean we will lose it or use it up. In fact when we share what we know we build on and solidify our knowledge

….”certified” doesn’t necessarily mean “qualified”. An alarming statistic – 90% of middle school science teachers in the US do not have any form of science training…. How many teachers are teaching subjects that they have no formal training in? (My question: How many school “librarians” have no formal library qualifications?)

….learning by doing. Hands on learning is essential!!!! We don’t learn by sitting & listening in lecture halls and classrooms. The perfect science lesson = “Mythbusters”

What do you think?