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Category Archives: social media

Social Media and Students

Are you “one of those” with social media?  Do you LOVE it and use it as a tool in school with students?  Or do you LOVE it and still not use with students?

Well I must admit that I am quite a sporadic user of social media.  Partially because of the savings I experience by not having a smart phone and one of those “unlimited” plans.  However, I do sometimes miss very important things because of this cost savings.  (I must admit, I really don’t need to know where you are and who you are with so much; but I do like to know what some of your thoughts are!)

While perusing some educational sites today, I came upon a great post on an educational blog  named “Mind/Shift”.  It speaks to how students are very tech savvy and have great facility for using social media.  I know this too since I see many youth using it through out a day.  The post cautions all of us to remember that students need to also be helped to develop concentration and focus – something the constant use of social media does not develop in a young brain.  Maybe that is the skill the adults attending a recent production at the theater needed so they could skip looking at their social media on their phone during the presentation!

I found this interesting.  According to the research study noted in the blog post, students need to have times when the social media is not available.  Not because it is not good, but because they need to focus on something for a longer period of time.  You might want to check out this blog and the research mentioned.  Do you help students learn “focus” and concentration?  It would be a good idea to do so.  They might thank you later when their boss wants something major created and developed. 

Mr. Goldman, a psychologist, said “It’s about using the devices smartly but having the capacity to concentrate as you need to, when you want to”.

 

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Quadblogging anyone?

Have you considered Quadblogging?  It is a well developed system from an educator in England.  You and your class can request to be part of the quadblogging network and you will be added to a group of three other blogging classrooms.  It allows students to blog and receive comments from other students in schools around the world.  Students will work even harder to develop their class blog when they actually get hits from other students. 

Of course, the first step is to have a class blog.  Do you have a class blog for your class or course?  If you do, you are helping to develop the twenty-first century skills students in your class will need.  In order to help students learn these skills you need to be a 21st century learner as well.  Here are a few ways that teachers using a twitter educational feed have used a class blog.  Perhaps this summer you can hone your ideas and be ready to blog and Quadblog with your class.  Do your prep now and check out some great educational bloggers while you are at it.

Summer is a great time to form your own learning network – on-line, face-to-face, in class, or ????  Don’t let it slip by without doing something refreshing and learning a thing or two.  Explore the web and see what is available to you.  Develop your own blog and share your learning.  A great resource for a free or economical blog is WordPress.  It is a great way to get started.

You may even find a little time to comment and share your ideas here.

 

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Digital Curriculum – A Call for All by 2017

Are you creating your own Digital curriculum for your students are do you rely on a printed textbook?  Many teachers and or schools are beginning to develop a digital curriculum for students.  It is becoming a national movement with the Department of Education encouraging it with a deadline to be all digital by 2017. 

Are you aware of the movement?  What do you think about it?  Here is an article that describes a few district wide attempts.  This article also addresses the questions many have regarding how the curriculum is “tested” and seen as accurate and meeting requirements.

If you are creating some digital content for your students or if you have an opinion on this newest trend, add a comment.  Is this better for students, learning?  Can you make it by 2017, should you?

 

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From the mouth of a Twelve Year Old

St. Nick sent a great gift today!  A little snow to enjoy and a great post on whatedsaid my favorite educational blog for teachers.  The point was – what are the benefits for students when they do a blog for class? 

The students themselves compiled their own reasons and you can read them – there are ten reasons given.  I will give you one reason by a twelve-year-old student from Australia noted on the list: 

 ” It helped me as a thinker because when you look at other people’s posts on sometimes the same thing, they could be very different and it could change your thinking too. Because you realize the other side of what you are thinking. My comments now are very different to the start of the year because now I am thinking as a learner, but before I was more thinking about being a worker at school. This helps a lot because you want to get something out of what you do – that is what a learner does, a worker does it to get it done.” (Josh)

Wouldn’t you like to have your students say this about some activity within their class  I have heard numerous teachers and principals note that they just wish students found joy in learning and not just look for the grade!  Well do your own experiment and see what you and your students experience. 

It is my belief that we may keep learning from happening if we don’t reach for real learning experiences beyond our own classroom walls.  Of course that might be very difficult for a teacher to do if that teacher does not keep learning beyond their own classroom.  Open your doors and windows (not literally) and make connections for yourself and your students.  This may be where real learning happens and not just work!

If you have done a classroom blog with your students – what did they think about it?  What did you notice?  Did you keep it totally walled in for your class only?  Why?  Would you do it differently?

Have you had a conversation with your students regarding what they learned and what they liked in learning experiences?  Perhaps your comments to this post will help us all learn the importance of student blogs and other experiences.

Let us hear from you and create our own list of benefits or challenges.