We live in an incredibly exciting time. My recent visit to @jeffpulver's #140conf in San Francisco reinforced just how exciting a time it is. Twitter, the popular micro-blogging site, has quickly dominated the social media space. In a matter of six months, Twitter has doubled its tweets per month to an impressive two billion tweets. That's worth repeating: two billion tweets per month.
Last week on #edchat we discussed the myths of social media and how it gets a bad reputation. The conversation was scattered in many directions, but most came back to one simple solution: transparency.
This summer I created a summer reading network that allowed me to monitor the progress of my AP English Language students. They are reading 1 Dead in Attic by Chris Rose and I have asked them to read and annotate the text very closely. I also wanted to monitor their progress by questioning them throughout the summer at varying intervals and compose a response journal.
I arrived at ISTE for the second half of EduBloggerCon, and already the room was buzzing with creativity and innovation. Presenters were showing some useful (and fun!) new tech tools. I've added a summary of those at the end of this post.
But once the afternoon sessions got underway, three main themes started to emerge:
Editor's Note: This article was updated on December 7, 2012.
For many people, Twitter conjures up the worst of the internet: disjointed, meaningless phrases, unrecognizable abbreviations, and endless drivel about where someone's getting their double mocha today.
So, Why Tweet?!?!
For the inquisitive educator, there are some jewels herein that can lead to stimulating discussions, new resources, and an ongoing supportive network. You just have to know where to look.
During the time it takes me to write this intro (approx. one minute), 42,000 people will update their Facebook status, 36,000 tweets will be sent, and fifteen hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube.
Undoubtedly, the world as we know it is quickly becoming wired through social media. Our guest blogger, Steve Johnson (@edtechsteve) sheds some light on the current state of social media in schools and even provides some handy talking points to make the case to lift internet filters within schools.
Cheska Lorena (@MissCheska) is a self-described "twenty-something New Jersey native, certified HS biology teacher, and a huge ed-tech enthusiast." A native of digital communities, she was the natural choice for this week's #edchat. Feel free to share your thoughts in the space below this blog.
Twitter's afternoon #edchat session on February 16th was a flurry of great thoughts and conversation. Many tweeters gathered together to discuss how to build communities in classrooms in both online and offline settings. The conversation kicked off with an attempt at defining community:
I've always been a multitasker. It frustrated my own teachers at times in that I always needed to be doing two things at once in order to be fully alert. My brain works like riding a bicycle: If I move too slowly, my attention span simply tips over.
That's the way Jeff Pulver, creator of the 140 Conference, summed up the most recent installment in Los Angeles.
Basically, the 140 Conference brings together all kinds of people from the Twittersphere to talk about how Twitter is changing the way they do things. Over the two days we heard, of course, from the business world and celebrities.
As we expand the Edutopia online community, we want to connect you with other teachers and education leaders and provide up-to-date information and tools you can use in your classrooms, schools, and communities.