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

Our Book Is Now Available

Developing Technology-Rich Teacher Education Programs: Key Issues

Drew Polly, Clif Mims, and Kay A. Persichitte

Developing Technology-Rich Teacher Education ProgramsDescription

Though technology is expanding at a rate that is alarming to many skilled laborers concerned for the welfare of their industry and jobs, teachers should feel safe in their position; however, teachers who refuse to adapt to technology will be left behind.

Developing Technology-Rich Teacher Education Programs: Key Issues offers professional teacher educators a rare opportunity to harvest the thinking of pioneering colleagues spanning dozens of universities, and to benefit from the creativity, scholarship, hard work, and reflection that led them to the models they describe. Contributors from 32 universities from around the world came together as authors of case studies, methodologies, research, and modeling to produce the work that went into this reference work. The target audience for this book includes faculty, leaders, teacher educators, and administrators within higher institution and every level of education.

Overview

Teacher education programs, more than ever before, are under severe scrutiny from national and state government, policy, and accreditation organizations. Teacher education programs are being asked to provide evidence of their impact on teacher candidates, as well as the indirect impact of teacher education programs on PK-12 students. Reforms in teacher education programs focus on the integration of 21st century skills, which include knowledge and skills related to information technology, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2004).  Technology is an essential component of these 21st Century reforms.

The focus of teacher education programs is to prepare teacher candidates to effectively teach in 21st Century learning environments. These classrooms have access to Internet-connected educational technologies, including computers, hand-held, or portable devices (U.S. Department of Education, 2010). As a result of the technology-rich nature of PK-12 schools, it is critical for teacher education programs to examine their effectiveness related to preparing teacher candidates to effectively use educational technologies to support teaching and learning processes.

The construct of Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) has explicated the knowledge and skills related to technology integration. Candidates develop the knowledge and skills related to technology integration through educational technology courses, methods courses, and technology-rich field experiences (Schrum, 1999). In this book, contributors address all of those contexts and provide examples of how technology-rich teacher education programs have developed TPACK and related skills in teacher candidates and faculty.

The purpose of this book is to provide examples and frameworks related to creating effective models of infusing technology into teacher education programs. This book is intended for faculty and others associated with teacher education programs as a resource of creating technology-rich teacher education programs.  As a result, each chapter has clear directions and implications for adopting their ideas into teacher education programs.  Further, the ever-changing landscape of what constitutes current educational technologies, has led the editors to focus this book on examples and models that address current educational technologies, but are likely to be relevant over the next decade or two as well.

The book is divided into six sections, which focus on:  Frameworks for Technology Integration, Web 2.0 technologies, Teacher Education Courses, Integrating Technology across Content Areas, Field Experiences, and Ways to Support Teacher Education Faculty.

Testimonial

“This book offers professional teacher educators a rare opportunity to harvest the thinking of pioneering colleagues spanning dozens of universities, and to benefit from the creativity, scholarship, hard work, and reflection that led them to the models they describe.  Teacher educators are, indeed, fortunate to have this opportunity to make informed decisions that will transform teacher education at this important moment in the history of education.”

Kyle L. Peck, Associate Dean for Outreach, Technology, and International Programs and Professor of Education at Penn State University, USA

Personal Note

I’d like to thank everyone that contributed to this book and worked with us during the past year and a half. I’d especially like to note the contributions and dedication of my friends, colleagues, and co-authors, Drew Polly and Kay Persichitte.

I hope this work enhances teacher education and technology integration ultimately blessing the education and lives of all learners.

– Clif

Video Ad for the 2011 Martin Institute Spring Conference

A video advertising the 2011 Martin Institute Spring Conference was released today. It highlights some of the key benefits of participating in 2 days of high quality professional development. You are encouraged to share this video with friends and colleagues via email and social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, Posterous, etc.) and you are invited to embed it on your own website, blog, wiki, etc.

2011 Martin Institute Spring Conference from Martin Institute on Vimeo.

Midsouth EduTweetUp on Jan. 18, 2011

All PK-12 educators (and future educators) are invited to join us for food and fun as teachers from schools and districts all around the Memphis area connect and share ideas. The evening will conclude with a Web 2.0 Smackdown during which attendees can volunteer to share quick demos (under 3 minutes) of some of their favorite Web 2.0 tools and services. Note that free wi-fi will be available in the studio. We’ll also have a computer projector and screen.

We’ll be meeting at the IDT Studio at the University of Memphis (320 Ball Hall) from 5:30 to 7:30 PM on Tuesday, January 18, 2011. Please help spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, on your blog(s), email, etc., and include the event tag: #metu. Non-Twitter-using teachers are absolutely welcome to join us, too. There is no registration fee, but we will be having the meal catered from Corky’s ($5/person). Please help us order the appropriate amount of food by RSVP-ing using the buttons in this Tweetvite or contacting Philip Cummings.

Event Tag: #metu

Midsouth EduTweetUp (Jan. 11, 2011) – POSTPONED

NOTE: This event has been postponed due to inclement weather throughout the region.

All PK-12 educators are invited to join us for food and fun as teachers from schools and districts all around the Memphis area connect and share ideas. The evening will conclude with a Web 2.0 Smackdown during which attendees can volunteer to share quick demos (under 3 minutes) of some of their favorite Web 2.0 tools and services. Note that free wi-fi will be available in the studio. We’ll also have a computer projector and screen.

We’ll be meeting at the IDT Studio at the University of Memphis (320 Ball Hall) from 5:30 to 7:30 PM on Tuesday, January 11, 2011. Please help spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, on your blog(s), email, etc., and include the event tag: #metu. Non-Twitter-using teachers are absolutely welcome to join us, too. There is no registration fee, but we will be having the meal catered from Corky’s ($5/person). Please help us order the appropriate amount of food by RSVP-ing using the buttons in this Tweetvite.

Event Tag: #metu

Skype’s New Resource Specifically for Teachers

Skype in the Classroom is “a free directory that connects teachers and helps them use Skype to enrich students’ educational experience.” It allows you and your students to meet new people and connect with classes from around the world. Skype offers an immediate way to help students discover new cultures, languages and ideas, all without leaving the classroom. (Source)

“There are lots of teachers out there doing amazing things with Skype. But many of them say their biggest obstacle is finding other teachers and classes to connect with. [Skype is} developing a free online directory to make it easy for teachers to connect with other teachers and resources from around the world…Once you sign up with your Skype account and create a profile, you’ll be able to search for other teachers and classes by subject and region. You can also share inspiration and tips to help kids learn with Skype.” (Source)

Start by creating a profile, then explore the directory to find teachers and resources that match your interests. You can then share inspiring links, videos and tips with other teachers.? Feel free to connect with me, too.

End of Ed. Tech. Course Student Reflection

This is a really promising start for this future teacher. Kudos to AllyBii and her teacher(s).

Multiple Representations of Understanding through Digital Media (TAISTI)

I’m back in Nashville today for the TAIS Technology Institute. I’m excited about having opportunities to work with and learn from classroom teachers, media specialists, administrators, and more. I’ll be sharing a workshop on Multiple Representations of Understanding through Digital Media. The PowerPoint presentation is below and the full workshop notes are available on my wiki. Note that the links and logos in the PowerPoint presentation are clickable.