Google+ Communities

Google+I’m a big, big fan of Google+. It’s a very big component of my personal learning network (PLN). Here are some thoughts about about why I prefer Google+ over the other social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). I encourage everyone to take a look at Google+’s services and consider taking advantage of them.

Friend Me

Please feel free to friend me on Google+. Then browse through my Links and Other Profiles to make connections, collaborate, and share resources through other networks. As I frequently say, “Together we learn more.”

Google+ Communities

I’ve developed several Google+ Communities where we can interact and share resources around particular topics. I invite you to join and actively contribute to all of these groups in which you have an interest/expertise.

PLNs: An Overview

“With Web 2.0 resources and social media students can connect to share ideas, engage in inquiry, and search for additional information. Sometimes called learning communities, collaboration among students and teachers expands educational possibilities through electronic connectedness. Wagner’s (2008) suggestions for improving learning opportunities outline many types of strategies that can effectively integrate technology with learning. Wagner’s ideas that learners need to be engaged in experiences that frame their thinking can be facilitated by current Web 2.0 resources and social media. Students can now engage in critical thinking and problem solving while collaborating and communicating with others and by using curiosity and imagination to explore new ideas. The Web 2.0 tools and social media described in this chapter target those skills and provide students with many types of learning opportunities beyond simple information access” (Source).

“Building a personal learning network requires that you not only seek to learn from others, but also that you also help others in the network learn. Even when you are a novice in a field of learning, you can still make contributions.” — Daniel R. Tobin

Lesson

  1. Introduction to Personal Learning Networks by Wikipedia.
  2. Personal Learning Networks by Education 2020
  3. Using Digital Technologies and Personal Learning Networks to Enhance Learning – These are the slides, resources, and video recording from my keynote presentation at the Podstock Conference. Use the following “reading prompts” to guide you as you view and reflect on the content.
    1. To what does “alphabet soup” refer?
    2. What are some of the characteristics of PLNs?
    3. Note some of the benefits of PLNs related to teaching and learning.
    4. How are the ideas presented connected to what you already know?
    5. What new ideas did you get that extended or pushed your thinking in new directions?
  4. What My PLN Means to Me – This come from a collaborative activity at a teacher professional development workshop. The virtual post-it note Web 2.0 tool, Padlet, was used for brainstorm and share.

Social Media: An Overview

Yesterday’s blog post provided an overview of social networks. Today we are going to build on that and look at social media.

What is social media? How do you define it?

“Social media is the interaction among people in which they create, share, or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks” (Source). It describes the technology of interaction amongst a network of people. Perhaps because of the current pervasive use of online social media, many mistakenly assume that social media only came into existence with modern-day technology. Consider that African drums have long been used by tribes to quickly pass news about deaths, marriages, and other events. In this case, the drums serve as the social media.

Look over the this provocative article and consider how it fits within your understanding and definition of social media.

Social Media

Conclusion

“Digital social media are mobile and web-based applications that enable users to interact, collaborate, co-create, share, and publish information, ideas, and multimedia. Social media connects people and is built on the foundations of Web 2.0” (Source).

In a broader sense, social media is the technology that might be leveraged to connect individuals or groups, be it digital or other. We’ve had social networks and social media for a long time.

Social Networks: An Overview

In yesterday’s post, Lisa Durff and I discussed social networks and the role that they play in her life. I thought I’d dedicate this blog post to diving a bit deeper into this topic.

A social network describes the relationships between individuals or groups. The following video provides a quick overview.

Everyday parents, students, and educators connect through blogs, wikis, Twitter, and other forms of social media. This crowdsourced video explains a few of the reasons.

Read Mark Suster’s TechCrunch Series:

  1. Social Networking: The Past
  2. Social Networking: The Present
  3. Social Networks: Future

Talking Ed.: Overcoming Challenges through Social Media

Talking Ed.: Social Media

Talking Ed. with Lisa Durff

Episode 003 (View entire series)

Earlier this week I had the opportunity spend time talking with Lisa Durff (@durff+Lisa Durff). She discussed her special needs and the importance of social media and her personal learning network (PLN). In particular, Lisa makes heavy use of Second Life and Twitter as they enable her to interact with others in meaningful ways.

You can visit Lisa’s blog to become acquainted her work, interests, and thinking. Especially note this post for a bit of background on her physical challenges and insight into ways that technology helps her overcome them.

I think that you’ll find that Lisa’s ideas and experiences will open your eyes to new possibilities about technology’s ability to empower us. I know her story inspires me.

Photo Chat: The View from Here #edchat #edtech #idt7078 #viewfromhere

As I mentioned last week I started teaching a 7-week graduate seminar, Learning with Web 2.0 and Social Media. We are having a lot of time investigating how current and cutting-edge technologies can facilitate learning and promote thinking and creativity. To provide an immersive experience related to the course content the class is housed in a Google Site and the bulk of our social interactions is being supported by our Google+ community. We are already deep into the ideas of teaching for understanding and visible thinking, while developing a strong understanding of Web 2.0, social networks, and social media.

Throughout this 7-week learning journey I’ll be requesting your assistance in helping make this a rich experience for the teachers and instructional designers in my class. Today I’m asking you to help me showcase the “fun side” of online networks and social media. Below is a photo that I shot using my iPhone. It depicts the view from my current location. Would you please take a similar photo and share it using one or more of the following strategies?

  1. Post a link to your image in the comments of this post.
  2. Post a link to your image in the comments to this Google+ post.
  3. Share it via Google+, Twitter, or Facebook and tag it with #viewfromhere.

View from Here

Learning with Web 2.0 and Social Media #idt7078

IDT 7078I’m very excited to be starting another learning adventure with graduate students here at The University of Memphis. For the next seven weeks I’ll be teaching IDT 7078: Seminar in Instructional Design and Technology. This semester’s topic is Learning with Web 2.0 and Social Media. Many of you may recall (because you were active participants) that I previously taught this course with a similar topic (Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0) in the Summers of 2008 and 2009. In both of these instances the students collaborated to publish the first two editions of the ebook Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0. Their exemplary work earned nominations for the international Edublog Awards (2008, 2009).

I also offered this course during Spring 2013 and the seminar topic was Learning with Web 2.0. It was the first time that I’d incorporated my work from Harvard, the idea of making thinking visible with technology, into a course. It pushed everyone’s ideas about thinking, learning, understanding, and technology. This experience as well as the work and research I’ve continued to do in the past year have resulted in the development of the class that starts today.

This semester’s class promises to be another outstanding experience for all of us. It has been designed utilizing some of the best practices and student feedback from the earlier offerings, and now incorporates many of the innovations in technology that have been developed in recent years. As we consider all the “cool” technologies and social media we will always keep the focus on their contributions to learning. These technologies can help us go a long ways in making thinking visible.

It’s going to be a different sort of experience and a wildly fun journey into learning. We invite you to join us!

hgsepzfol #hgsepzfol

Yelling at Your Computer Isn’t the Same as Yelling at Your Car [Video]

I’m developing some resources for a course that I’ll begin teaching after Spring Break and ran across this video. I think it can be used as a provocative way of framing a conversation with students about digital citizenship and netiquette.

How do you approach these topics with your students? Can you recommend related resources that I (and others) might use?

Netiquette