Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Taking the plunge with social media in the classroom

More Related Discussions
0 Replies 6 Views

I created my first Twitter account in 2007 - back when the social media giant was just beginning to take off. Over the next seven years, I’ll be honest with you - I’ve fallen in and out of love with both twitter and Facebook, and there have been long periods where my digital footprint has grown dusty from disuse. 

Looking for information on guiding classroom communities, minimizing disruptions, and developing class routines to help students stay engaged and focused on learning? This resource collection is packed with useful tips, tools, and advice.

Comments Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.

Subscribe to RSS

Five-Minute Film Festival: Are We Addicted to Technology?

Can't put down your device? Obsessing over social media? You may want to dig in to this playlist of videos and resources to help us all reflect on our relationship with technology.
(1)

Comments (6)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Erin@TwistedScholar's picture

We made a video, Put That Thing Away, that looks humorously at just how technology effects our daily lives and relationships. It is a good one to address cell-phone etiquette and ties in with all the other videos listed above. Thank you for starting this conversation!
http://youtu.be/exxsjQcu0hw

Amy Erin Borovoy (aka VideoAmy)'s picture
Amy Erin Borovoy (aka VideoAmy)
Senior Manager of Video Programming, Production, & Curation at Edutopia
Staff

Thanks Erin, I love your video! I also like the "Tech Timeout Academic Challenge" that's linked in the video description, looks like you can download a free lesson plan to have your students give up their tech for a given period of time and then reflect on it... great idea. I've added it to the resource list above!

Erin@TwistedScholar's picture

Thank you so much for your response, Amy, and for adding the Tech Timeout to your resource list above. I would love to send a kit to teachers interested in having their students disconnect from their ever present phones during the school year! Please feel free to fill out the form in this link, http://bit.ly/1e3EZrs, and a kit will be sent out shortly. We love to see students discover what they have been missing by being constantly connected!

Russ Ewell's picture
Russ Ewell
Parent of 3 and Android + iOS Educational App Developer

The most compelling technological truth to our social lives is mobile is here to stay. The important question we must answer is whether we will shape the technology, or will the technology shape us? Thank you for assembling an excellent set of resources combined with insightful thoughts. I will be sharing this post.

Erin@TwistedScholar's picture

Watch our trailer for 'Sleeping With Siri', an award-winning documentary starring journalist Michael Stusser who explores both extremes of technology consumption.
In order to simulate what it's really like for young people today to give up their phones, Stusser chooses to spend one week fully immersed in digital madness. Then, he whiplashes into a week-long Digital Blackout. Another great resource for those looking to examine our Tech addictions: http://youtu.be/0-txC6MLvoQ

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer
Staff

Came across this cool Ted playlist that features videos that talks about our "Digital Lives"

http://www.ted.com/playlists/26/our_digital_lives

One of the videos Amy curated above is mentioned from this playlist but the others look equally awesome.

Enjoy!

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.

Subscribe to RSS

Creating Learning Environments

Edutopia blogger Ben Johnson proposes that in the digital information age, the teacher's main role will be to guide and motivate students and provide rationale for learning.

Originally Published April 13, 2014

(1)

Comments (15)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Ben Johnson's picture
Ben Johnson
Administrator, author and educator

Zep
in elementary school, the students learn the 4 r's. In middle school, students are given a little choice with a couple of electives, and in high school, students are given a little more choice with more electives and career/college pathways. Another way students are choosing is through magnet schools- starting in middle school. Agreed, students cannot choose graduation requirements, nor the content of the courses--but neither can the teachers or administrators. It all depends on state and local school board control. What a student can control is how much depth and breadth of knowledge he or she wants to acquire, and that all depends on motivation, relevance and the magic of interest a teacher can bring to the subject.

Ben Johnson
San Antonio, Texas

Narender Gilhotra's picture
Narender Gilhotra
17 years classroom teacher-4 to 10 grade

At the time of the invention of writing, People would have been afraid of crisis for the community educators i.e Bards, Poets, Musical Performers, as we are facing today with the increasing role of technology in the classroom. However the role of a good teacher has never been diminished.

Biosphere Env Ed's picture
Biosphere Env Ed
founder Biosphere Environmental Education

Really enjoyed your article. My experience is that the best learning environment is beyond the 4 walls of the classroom. I specialize in teaching biology and env ed by taking students out in the field to learn by experience. I want them to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell the environment around them. People only learn to appreciate nature once they have seen it first hand, are amazed by it, and that's when they start to care about it. We've just launched our organization, but we'll be running our first Youth Environmental Ambassadors Program this summer on an arctic expedition. In my view, that is just about the best learning environment. We get students engaged using a unique approach - we teach students how to take photos and videos and teach them how to use those to create their OWN visual presentations about their experiences and about environmental preservation. On the smaller scale on which I've done this before, kids are so much more engaged by this full-on experience. And teaching them to use technology to communicate is a great way to help kids to express themselves, tell their stories and share their experiences. When you combine this with inspiring them to care about the environment, kids become passionate about nature conservation.

I'd love to hear about other people's experiences with expeditionary learning. Thanks!

Gaetan Pappalardo's picture
Gaetan Pappalardo
Teacher, Author, Guitar––Word.
Facilitator 2014

The whole "This is why we need to know this..." thing in classrooms is just not jiving with me. I've been told that as a student my whole student career, which is quite some time, and it rarely motivates me. Of course my students (third grade) need to know many basic skills and I always tell them why, but it hardly moves them to greatness. Why would a third grader care about about installing a rug or fence-- perimeter/area/addition/multiplication-- or writing a persuasive letter to save the tree marked for death in the island parking lot (they should of course after my rant on why we need trees) -- grammar, conventions, voice, sentence structure, research, etc...

I've seen success reversing this format. Instead of starting with the WHY start with WHAT. WHAT do you want to learn or WHAT do you want in life? Or... Then once you get them on the hook, you can squeeze in that stuff they NEED to learn.

WHAT DO YOU WANT?

Kid: I want a drum set in my room.
Teacher: How big is your room?
Kid: I don't know
Teacher: Well, here's how you measure it (perimeter/area). Oh...we need to know addition and multi. Let's do some practice before you go home.
Kid: OK.
Teacher: How big is the drum kit?
Kid: I don't know.
Teacher: let's find the specs on the internet (research)

THE NEXT WEEK

Teacher: Will it fit?
Kid: Yup
Teacher: How are you going to get it?
Kid: Money...wait, my birthday is coming up, but my parents said drums are too loud.
Teacher: Well, if you need money, we can research ways to make money. But if your parents will buy you a drum kit if it isn't loud....Let's research sound-proofing your room (science of sound) and you're going to have to persuade them. Let's write something up (persuasive writing..grammar, conventions, etc...)

This is a fake scenario. I know it's not realistic for most, but I just wanted to showcase how you start with the WHAT do you want (items or knowledge) and then get into the WHY. Kids are more motivated to learn the "boring" skills in order to achieve knowledge or "things" in life.

You can do this as a FAKE scenario project (might lead to reality)

Teacher: What do you want?

Kid Answers

Peace
Money
Video Games
A Pool
A baby sister (avoid this one)
My brother to leave my stuff alone
My parents to listen to me
A dog

Gaetan

(1)
Rabbi Lori's picture

In addition to being a Rabbi/Educator, I am also a certified School Library Media Teacher. As a librarian, I have been thinking about these very issues for years and years. (I recommend the book FEED, which is a fictional account of where this instant technology is taking us.) Anyway, here's what I know to be true. In addition to inspiring students to want to learn, teachers and librarians need to teach students how to learn. What resources exist and how do I use them? How can I tell is these different resources are trustworthy or not? How do I contribute to the body of knowledge found on the Internet and in print media? What is a bias and is there such a thing as a completely unbiased resource? This is the task of educators. As a Rabbi/Educator, I teach students that Rabbi Google is a truly false notion. As a librarian, I taught students that Wikipedia needs to be taken not only with a grain of salt, but with a whole box of salt! That having been said, these resources exist and are easy to access. So, how do students navigate them? Are there any benefits to using them? This is our task - teaching students how to learn in a world in which they can increasingly teach themselves facts.

Kaye-Ann Williams's picture

I enjoyed reading your article! I find that my role as a teacher is more of a facilitator as i try to get students to have the feeling that they are responsible for their learning. In my science class I allow students to work in activities that they can relate to their real life experience. I find that students are motivated to participate in learning activities that they find meaningful and can relate to or has some connection to their present situation. I also they them do the things they enjoy doing most, for example, they love using technology so i in-cooperate the use of technology in my lessons.

Katherine's picture

I really like the idea of focusing on the "What" with students to preempt the "Why" questions that they inevitably seem to ask mentioned in an earlier comment.
In my Spanish classroom I try to create situations similar to the one described in this article, though I still struggle to get my students to connect the learning of the smaller details to the bigger picture scenario.
One of my biggest struggles in recent years has been the ease of access to online translators; my challenge is to help the students understand why they need to learn Spanish when they can just look it up whatever they want to say quickly, easily and mindlessly. I try to show them that they can't get correct results when they do it mindlessly, incorporating examples of incorrect translations for things they have already learned. (For example, I've had students turn in the sentence "El vidas en Los Angeles" when trying to say "He lives in LA" - using a noun instead of a verb for the Spanish sentence.)

Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT's picture
Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT
Middle school English/Digital Media teacher

Oh, how I wish I could have created my own resort hotel in Spanish class! I would have loved the opportunity to be creative and I'm sure I would have learned so much of the language. What a great project, Ben.

I have always had my students analyze literature, coaching them to think like an author, asking why an author made certain decisions in a piece of writing. But my students didn't really seem to get it until I had them write their own novels (http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/) -- now when we look at literature, the questions are so much more meaningful to my students: how did this author draw us into the story in the first few pages? How will you draw readers into your story? Connecting published books and the work of authors to my students' own novels brought about a significant shift in how they viewed literary analysis. It finally had a meaningful purpose for them.

Thanks for a great post, Ben.

Ben Johnson's picture
Ben Johnson
Administrator, author and educator

Katherine:

I understand your predicament. There are many instances where poor translations have caused big problems. There are plenty of reasons why the students need to know Spanish. I am reminded of a joke where a Spanish speaking bank robber hid his stolen cash and was cornered in a vacant building. A bilingual police negotiator was sent in to get him to surrender. In Spanish he tells the bank robber, "Tell me where you hid the money and they will not kill you." So the bank robber told him where the money was. The police negotiator then ran out of the building first and said in English,"He says he is not afraid to die!"
Really, all you can do is keep trying. Especially at the beginning of the year, if you don't speak any English in class, students will get the message that they need to learn Spanish. Restaurants, travel agencies, news paper reporters, eyewitnesses, movie critiques, carnivals, and fashion shows are all active ways to get students to learn a foreign language. Have fun planning these learning activities.

Sincerely,
Ben Johnson
San Antonio, Texas

Ben Johnson's picture
Ben Johnson
Administrator, author and educator

Rabi Lori:

Absolutely! Knowing how to learn is becoming more important than what to learn. The why to learn is kicks in after students learn the basics of reading, writing, and calculations. I wrote a book about helping students with the how to learn called "Teaching Students to Dig Deeper". We often point to college and career readiness as the pinnacle of independent learning. I came up with ten characteristics that students need in order to be successful independent learners. These characteristics are in my blog post http://www.edutopia.org/blog/brainteasers-and-college-readiness-ben-johnson. One of the key elements of learning in this new day and age is to be able to engage all three types of thinking to be able to sort myth from fact but to also sort time-wasters from urgent and vital information.

You are definitely on the right track!

Sincerely
Ben Johnson
San Antonio, Texas

Gaetan Pappalardo's picture
Gaetan Pappalardo
Teacher, Author, Guitar––Word.
Facilitator 2014

The whole "This is why we need to know this..." thing in classrooms is just not jiving with me. I've been told that as a student my whole student career, which is quite some time, and it rarely motivates me. Of course my students (third grade) need to know many basic skills and I always tell them why, but it hardly moves them to greatness. Why would a third grader care about about installing a rug or fence-- perimeter/area/addition/multiplication-- or writing a persuasive letter to save the tree marked for death in the island parking lot (they should of course after my rant on why we need trees) -- grammar, conventions, voice, sentence structure, research, etc...

I've seen success reversing this format. Instead of starting with the WHY start with WHAT. WHAT do you want to learn or WHAT do you want in life? Or... Then once you get them on the hook, you can squeeze in that stuff they NEED to learn.

WHAT DO YOU WANT?

Kid: I want a drum set in my room.
Teacher: How big is your room?
Kid: I don't know
Teacher: Well, here's how you measure it (perimeter/area). Oh...we need to know addition and multi. Let's do some practice before you go home.
Kid: OK.
Teacher: How big is the drum kit?
Kid: I don't know.
Teacher: let's find the specs on the internet (research)

THE NEXT WEEK

Teacher: Will it fit?
Kid: Yup
Teacher: How are you going to get it?
Kid: Money...wait, my birthday is coming up, but my parents said drums are too loud.
Teacher: Well, if you need money, we can research ways to make money. But if your parents will buy you a drum kit if it isn't loud....Let's research sound-proofing your room (science of sound) and you're going to have to persuade them. Let's write something up (persuasive writing..grammar, conventions, etc...)

This is a fake scenario. I know it's not realistic for most, but I just wanted to showcase how you start with the WHAT do you want (items or knowledge) and then get into the WHY. Kids are more motivated to learn the "boring" skills in order to achieve knowledge or "things" in life.

You can do this as a FAKE scenario project (might lead to reality)

Teacher: What do you want?

Kid Answers

Peace
Money
Video Games
A Pool
A baby sister (avoid this one)
My brother to leave my stuff alone
My parents to listen to me
A dog

Gaetan

(1)

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.

Subscribe to RSS

A Starting Point for Ensuring Student Online Privacy

The online privacy debate has started to gain momentum in the education community and protecting students is an important and necessary conversation to be had by schools and districts.

Comments (2)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

lorimcglone's picture

The 'get tons of users and figure out how to monetize later' strategy that's so popular in technology leads to a slippery slope in the education sector. As consumers, we are so used to free technology it can seem like everything should be free. And that's fine for lots of things; we accept ads, popups, and sponsored results for many things. But this model gets tricky when the users are kids and the free products are supposed to serve an educational purpose. We can't always have it both ways. But it will require tech companies, and those who fund and support the founders, to be true to their mission and develop models that allow for the protection of student data and the longevity of their company.

Russ Ewell's picture
Russ Ewell
Parent of 3 and Android + iOS Educational App Developer

You took on a complex topic and delivered. I try to get information like yours out to teachers we interact with so they can use it to develop their own plans. Thank you.

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.

Subscribe to RSS

School-Wide Twitter Chats

New Zealand schools explore the learning potential of social media with weekly education-based Twitter chats for students.

Comments (4)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Craig Smith's picture

I started #AHSChat at my high school this past spring. It was fantastic to see teachers, students, admin, parents, and alumni all interact and collaborate. The first chat was popular enough to trigger a second chat prior to the end of school. We are planning to engage in another in early-September.

See more here: http://blogofcraigsmith.blogspot.com/p/ahschat.html?m=1

CS

Stephen Baker's picture
Stephen Baker
Y3/4 Teacher in New Zealand, @PalmyTeacher

That's cool Craig, I'm sure high school students would love to take part in a twitter chat! What we are doing is weekly and with primary students. It's such a full on hour and the students are so engaged! It's real authentic learning!

Candace Iroler's picture

I have used twitter for studying/tutoring in Foreign Language as a means to encourage posts about daily events for first year language learners. We also create Mock Twitter Pages where students create and post bios, tweets, etc. in L2. I plan to try the Kidsedchat for my English Language Learners next year. Thanks for the great idea!

(2)
Gwen Pescatore's picture
Gwen Pescatore
President Home & School Assoc, #ParentCamp Organizer, Co-Moderator #PTchat

LOVE this! I have learned SO much from participating in chats as an adult/parent...why not provide our children with the same opportunity. In addition, it is a great way to demonstrate through guided hands-on experience, positive use of social media.

Thanks for sharing!!

Candace Iroler's picture

I have used twitter for studying/tutoring in Foreign Language as a means to encourage posts about daily events for first year language learners. We also create Mock Twitter Pages where students create and post bios, tweets, etc. in L2. I plan to try the Kidsedchat for my English Language Learners next year. Thanks for the great idea!

(2)

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.

Subscribe to RSS

Preventing Summer Slide: Why Not Try Internet Research?

Guest blogger Cathy Knutson, an elementary school librarian and media specialist, suggests a summer home study in digital literacy for parents who want to teach their children safe, smart Internet research skills.

Comments (2)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
K-4 Technology Facilitator from Northfield, New Jersey
Facilitator 2014

Want a fun way to show the value of internet research? Send your kids to this website:

http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/

Then, ask them what they think. (There are several great sites like this, by the way.)

In 2006, 25 seventh graders were asked, and the results were not promising:

http://advance.uconn.edu/2006/061113/06111308.htm

Maybe things have improved in the last 9 years or so? We can only hope...

-kj-

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.

Subscribe to RSS

5 Online Tools to Help Combat Plagiarism

Informatics teacher and guest blogger Melissa Burns explains that when students cheat on written assignments, teachers can find an array of online tools to help them spot plagiarism and identify the sources.

Comments (4)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Jennifer Laxton's picture

Have you read the services that plagtracker.com offers? "Essay writing is a daunting task for all students and our professionals are ready to take a burden off your shoulders. Not only do we provide state-of-the-art essays, our talented writers offer consulting services to students in regard to excellent essay writing." Sounds like they write the essays for the student, for a price. Great website you're recommending :(

N Dobson's picture
N Dobson
Teacher and Curriculum Coordinator from Australia

I've tried some of these 'free' and pay-per-paper sites and really they do not work well. Unfortunately you get what you pay for. A lot of schools use http://turnitin.com which is more expensive but worth it if your school can afford it. Our school system is looking at investing in it at some point in the future. Students can be required to run a check on their own papers before they hand it in, then teachers can also check if they choose to. It builds a data base, so checks papers against student work from previous years as well as an extensive book library and internet sources. I spend many hours 'Googling' my students' papers and am looking forward to having something like this. I think it is inevitable that schools will eventually use this kind of software.

Carissa's picture
Carissa
Teacher

Interesting. I wrote up some sites to use for free here: http://eslcarissa.blogspot.mx/2013/07/cheating-in-your-class-plagiarism.... but I think there are better ways to combat plagiarism

1. Be sure students know how and WHY they are citing http://eslcarissa.blogspot.mx/2013/07/teaching-importance-of-citing.html

2. Break up assignments into bite size pieces so plagiarism becomes more work than it is worth! http://eslcarissa.blogspot.mx/2013/07/cheating-in-your-class-writing.html

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.

The fourth annual Digital Learning Day will be on February 4, 2015. We’ve compiled some useful resources to help you celebrate the day with your class and support digital learners all year long.

Originally Published January 23, 2012

Comments (5)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

ClassroomAid's picture

Karen Cator, the United States Department of Education's (ED) director of technology, had addressed the move beyond the digital textbooks: "I think the trend is towards--I wouldn't call them e-books, I'd call them 'digital learning environments."
As Dan Meyer pointed out in this post: On iBooks 2 And iBooks Author: "No new technology is so novel we can't subject it to the question, "How does it change the relationship between student and teacher, student and discipline, one student to another?"
Textbooks or not, what we need is technology/ constructivist shift in classsrooms.

Scott Merrick's picture
Scott Merrick
Online Learning Specialist at Metro Nashville (TN) PS

...I would say that this archive of tools for innovators and "re-thinkers" would be enough in and of itself. Thank you so much for archiving the day's resources. From the trenches in Tennessee, I can echo that the main tasks before us include 1) changing established and incredibly entrenched preconceptions of how education looks, 2) establishing new and firmly-fixed-in-best-practices ways to go about education, and 3) working out just how these new ways function effectively within vast, powerful, and authoritative systems not designed to allow them (much less to enable them) to function optimally. Funding, policy, and law are our dragons and only by keeping the essential issue in focus--the well-being and nurturance of our children as they grow through childhood into adulthood--will we succeed in taming those dragons. This was a wonderful event, and it helps me to feel the tide turning toward the good.

jim miller's picture

Thanks for this wonderful compilation of DLD resources. I think these resources tough upon all the latest trends and their necessities, benefits and pitfalls. I'd like to commend, here, the role of OERs like CK12 FlexBook and Khan Academy, for the great work they are doing especially for STEM subjects, I think these resources with their interactive, engaging yet rigorous content have shown the way for other to follow. And the OER revolution is the next big thing in education, providing new opportunities of learning to whoever wants them.
http://goo.gl/rMV3V

Colette M Bennett's picture
Colette M Bennett
English Department Chair @ small rural middle/high school in Northwest CT

Today is Digital Learning Day! To mark the occasion, let me take you through a quick walkthrough of the halls of Wamogo Regional Middle/High School and give you a snapshot on how digital learning looks in the English classrooms grades 7-12.
http://wp.me/p1FPEO-1bv

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.

Subscribe to RSS

Beyond the Ban: Revisiting In-School Internet Access

Guest blogger Tom Whitby revisits why schools originally banned Internet use, explains how antiquated such bans have become, and advocates for a curriculum of Internet training and a school culture of common sense use.

Comments Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.