I've been playing around with Flare on my blog. 5 of the 10 top sites in social media use Flare. Here is the instruction for how to activate and use it. Oddly I got some malware alerts from Malwarebytes so although I'm using it, I'm contacting the developer to try to understand why.
Use this plug in to get an idea of who people are who have mailed you. If you get solitications and other things from people and want to try to figure out if they are legitimate or just a spammer, you can use this tool. I've fund that such tools (like Rapportive) can slow things down. This tool works on the web too, which may help for research or when you're blogging about someone.
So, teachers think it would help but are afraid to connect to their students and parents via social media.
"The survey finds nearly half (47 percent) of all K-12 teachers and 58 percent of high school teachers believe that participation in social media with their teachers can enhance a student’s educational experience. Despite the perceived benefits, only 17 percent of K-12 teachers encourage their students to connect with them via social media and only 18 percent have integrated it into their classrooms. Adoption is only slightly greater for high school teachers, with 21 percent encouraging their students to connect with them via social media and 19 percent incorporating it into classroom learning."
So, this one Facebook won't like - people are moving away from Facebook in droves... supposedly.. as it goes the way of Myspace. We'll see.
I think one thing that is cRAZY is the algorithms Facebook has been using. If you put a link to something OUTSIDE of Facebook, for example, it is less likely to be seen on the timelines of your friends and get "liked." If you don't like the things people say, you hear less from them and if you like the things crazy Old Uncle Jack says, you get more. If you click through, you get more of that. While this predictive algorithm is interesting, it can cause an echo chamber so you don't feel like you're really hearing from everyone and it is the same old same old. I find myself looking specifically for certain people and liking something on their page just so I can see them more -- it shouldn't have to be so hard.
Photo cards are a powerful new way to tweet. Photos scroll by -- have you wondered how some are photo cards and some are Tweets with links? Here's how you get your photo card on Twitter -- it needs to be the right dimensions (funny dimensions don't get it.) I've also found that you should add them directly on Twitter and not through an app. Read this information on how you have Photocards - some of these are for developers but if you want your pics to be cards and not links, you'll want to note the dimensions and that file sizes should be less than 1 MB as well.
Share this article with your principal and superintendent - not to pressure them but as many start seeing the wisdom that wise leaders tweet, you'll want to help them along. Principals no longer question the wisdom of writing for the school newsletter - this is just a newsletter but in shorter form and much more personal. It is something you can do.
"Great schools (online, blended, and traditional) act as nurturing centers that foster creative development and high-quality art, math, and science skills; and school is the medium to advance human development and better society. The internet took our society into hyper speed and successful schools will quickly follow."
There are so many ways that you can use Twitter in the classroom but even if Twitter is blocked, you'll find many ideas that you can use on Edmodo or whatever educational networking tool you're using with your students. Great read.
5 Ways to Resolve Social Media Misunderstandings and a conversation with @swpax
I read Joel Comm's book Twitter Power and it has been one of my longtime favorites on the topic. Here he talks brutally about the negatives of social media. I admit the topic caught my attention. I"ve just found that if I'm brutal about who I follow and make sure they're real educators, I'm usually pretty happy with my stream. I unfollow junk as soon as it is evident it is junk. Ultimately we all must guard who we follow or we might just find ourselves following the garbage truck.
60 examples of how Twitter is being used in the classroom today. From sharing with parents quick takeaways from the day to empowering class discussions, Twitter is a tool you can use. I'm announcing a hashtag for my class on the first day! ;-)
How to edit your Facebook Timeline to look more like you want. You can customize your clunky personal FAcebook page and you should.
Jure Klepic nails it in his critique of the Forbes 2013 list of Social Media influencers. If you're clueless about social media, don't make a list. Jure says
"It seems that today everyone thinks they can write and preach about influence, even though they have no clue as to what influence is. In order to rank people on the ability to influence we need to understand influence, not just define it. When people just try to define influence they come away with something as useless as what is used in this post.
The real definition of influence is quite simple -- influence is the power to sway. But understanding influence is far more than just knowing this definition. Understanding influence in contemporary online world means understanding contemporary notions of identity and identity construction. Identity, ideas of person and self are cultural constructs; they are ideas and values that are part of our culture.
So the real question here should not be who will make the next Forbes list, but how can the author of an article about influence omit the names of so many of the brightest and best thought leaders in the field? "
Next week, you can attend a 5 day comedy show. The hashtag is #comedyfest and it is being cohosted with Comedy Central and Twitter. Here's the New York times article on this event. Will be a neat follow for your personal life.
Sad to see organizations hire "student interns" to do their dirty work. Samsung hired students to praise Samsung smartphones and make fun of HTC. In Taiwan, they are calling this false advertising and I agree. There are those learning to game the social media system and sites like Facebook and Twitter need to wise up. Don't think education is immune, I've seen some strange stuff in those circles too.
Mention gives you 3 alerts for free. Everyone should be following mention of their name and brand names (or school name) it is important. If you want more than 3, you'll have to pay. I use Google Alerts to track flat classroom and cool cat teacher - sad Google Alerts is gone, but here's an alternative.
Pinterest is popular. In my experience, ESPECIALLY among teachers and Mom bloggers. Just know how to use it and get on there consistently.
""The use of Facebook by students around the world to communicate with one another does more harm than good.""
This is our topic for the Eracism 2013 project. You may wonder - why did we limit it to Facebook - well, after much-- yes, --- debate-- on our end, every good debate topic should have compelling topics on both sides - we wanted to have compelling discussions around social media and keep with the original spirit of the 4 students who envisioned this project. They wanted to debate topics of importance to promote cultural understanding.
If you want to sign up, this is linked to the 2013 press release that will tell you how to enter a team from middle up to high school (there are 2 brackets). We debate asynchronously in a method we call "simulated synchronous" until the finals, when we have a synchronous live debate in blackboard collaborate.
This article is perfect for librarians wanting to utilize free books and help students "check them out" (if you can even use that term.) Here are three methods, the only thing I would add is that you can create a library with Evernote instead of springpad as well.
Pass this one on.
"three methods for creating and sharing a digital classroom library with your students. In all three cases, I’m going to assume that you have a source of free eBooks (Amazon’s Free Popular Classics, Google’s Play Store Top Free Books, or Project Gutenberg) and an app to read those books (Amazon’s Kindle app, Google’s Play Books app, Aldiko for Android, or iBooks for iOS)."
For those of you who love the Hulu app (like I do), a whole spate of executives are leaving the organization. Just keep an eye on it. Many of us are not using cable tv as much with services like Apple TV, Amazon, Neflix, iTunes, and Roku boxes serving up our tv via high speed internet.
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