I've written and taught about digital citizenship for several years. And, while the term is new in our lexicon, the meaning spans generations. The simple acts of carrying oneself in a civil, appropriate manner are skillsets that have been integrated into every classroom since the very first school. Many would argue that digital citizenship is simply a buzzword and nothing dramatically new. While the underlying meaning is familiar, the medium by which adults and students interact has changed dramatically.
Will Richardson was the first person to clearly explain to me about six or seven years ago what a PLN was. Back then, PLN stood for Professional, or Personal Learning Network. A better label today, one that might quiet the nitpickers, is Personalized Learning Network -- the shift in nuance maintains that participants are both personal and professional learners. A PLN is a tool that uses social media and technology to collect, communicate, collaborate and create with connected colleagues anywhere at any time. Participating educators, worldwide, make requests and share resources.
As we work toward redesigning Edutopia to be more community friendly, we also want to make sure we spotlight the awesome community contributions that already live on the site. One way to do that is through a blog series documenting the community's favorite discussions and posts. This is the first post in that series.
When Samer Rabadi, Edutopia's Community Manager, asked, "What Does It Mean to Be a Connected Educator?", I felt moved to participate in what he called "this culture of sharing." Here's my experience -- and I'm sure many of you have experienced something similar.
Oh dear: our long-bemoaned short attention spans are dwindling into nothingness. That's exactly what I thought when I first heard about Vine, Twitter's app that allows users to make and share six-second videos. What can possibly be said in six seconds of video that's worth watching? You'll have to answer that for yourselves, but after a bit of digging, I've been pleasantly surprised by the creativity that such limitations can enable.
The New York Times dubbed 2012 as the Year of the MOOC. In case you are Rip van Winkle waking from a long, deep slumber, a MOOC is a massive open online course, which can have enrollments in the thousands. It's easy to calculate that one MOOC can reach more students in one semester than in an entire teaching career. (And I'll be the first to admit there are pluses and minuses to this format. But that is another discussion, another blog.)
Earlier, I talked about the history of community building at Edutopia and the rationale for improvements coming to the site. Today's post is the first of two that will delve more deeply into some of the specific changes.
"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often." - Winston Churchill
Most folks who know me know that I'm fond of quotes, but this one by Churchill is particularly apt right now. I'm both starting a new role here at Edutopia as the Online Community Manager, and helping to facilitate some substantive changes to the way the community interacts on the site.
Ahh, summertime -- a time to relax and recharge. OK, well not really if you're an educator. In reality, educators are the most dedicated professionals I've met, and despite what the rest of the world may think, we know nobody really has summers off. But before summer officially ends and we start getting bombarded with back-to-school jingles, I thought I'd share some tips on how to make the most out of one of my favorite social networks: Twitter. Educators around the world use Twitter to become connected. And many people (including myself) credit Twitter as the best way to get on-demand professional development 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So how are people using Twitter, and how can you take advantage of it? Here are five tips to steer you in the right direction.
Over the years, many video games with social themes have been developed. In 2005, the United Nations World Food Programme released Food Force. Food Force was a downloadable game, developed by game publisher Konami, in which players delivered food to people in need. Another game for social change was MTV's Darfur Is Dying. Released in 2006, this online game put players in the role of a refugee in civil war-torn Darfur.