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


“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.

Online Geography Gaming Tips and Resources

I ran across an interesting set of slides via @skipz on Plurk. The slides seem to be the ongoing work of Tony Cassidy. I encourage you to browse through the presentation and consider the ideas for integrating technology with geography.

Online Geography Gaming – Tony Cassidy
A compilation of more than 100 online games and simulations for use in the geography classroom.

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.

Make Your Preparations to be at Podstock 2010

Having been part of Podstock 2009 I can confidently say that Podstock 2010 is going to be an excellent weekend of professional development and fun.

The Podstock conference held July 16 & 17 in downtown Wichita, Kansas is for educators…who want to share technology integration strategies, acquire new instructional techniques and strengthen established learning networks. (Source)

The following video was recorded by Wesley Fryer and provides a preview of some of the things you can expect at Podstock 2010.

Twitter in the Classroom

Tom Barrett, developed the below presentation. It is full of strategies and tips for effectively integrating Twitter with teaching and learning.

Educational Plurk-ers You Should Follow

PlurkKevin Honeycutt has created and is sharing a new Google Doc called Who New Plurkers Should Follow and Why. It is a great resource and would be helpful to anyone wishing to network with top notch people interested in education and technology.

Haven’t tried Plurk? Take a look now. It’s a microblogging platform similar to Twitter, but it has threaded discussion.

Teachers’ Online Identities

Miguel Guhlin has once again pushed my thinking. This time its about the issue of personal content that K-12 teachers post online. I’ve spent a lot of time researching, thinking about and discussing this topic, but it struck me that this issue is actually a lot hairier than I’ve previously realized. There are a lot of different aspects that need to be considered.

Here are a few points from Miguel’s post. I encourage you to consider each question twice asking yourself Do.. the first time and Should… the second time.

  • Do/Should school districts have any say about what a teacher does after hours?
  • Do/Should school districts have any say about what a teacher posts online?
  • Do/Should teachers represent the district after hours?

Rather than commenting on the discussion at this point, I hope to further it by asking a few more questions.

  • Do/Should schools districts have any say about what staff members (Secretary, custodian, cafeteria staff, bus driver, mechanic, maintenance, etc.) do after hours? Post online?
  • Do/Should parents and the community have any say in these matters?
  • How does this translate to higher education?
  • If the answers to these questions are “yes” then is the same true for individuals in other professions (Nurse, news reporter, radio DJ, police officer, elected official, unelected government employee, or store clerk)?

Learn with Us (IDT7078)

As I mentioned in a recent blog post I’m teaching a seminar this summer focusing on Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0 Technologies. I concluded the earlier post by sharing the following:

In keeping with the principles of Web 2.0 I encourage the participation of everyone with an interest or expertise in this topic. You may contribute to the discussion and fun by using the following tag/keyword: idt7078. Be on the lookout for ways (Ustream, Skype, Twitter, Plurk, etc.) to informally participate with us. I would certainly consider making it possible for those wishing to enroll in the course and participate from a distance, too.

Greg R. Fishbone replied to my earlier post and asked the following question regarding my concluding statements.

I’d love to participate informally, but how does one follow a keyword?

I think this is a GREAT a question and I suspect Greg is not the only one wondering about this. I’m sharing this information here in hopes of helping Greg and anyone else that may be interested in being part of our learning community this summer.

Google Keyword Search
You can add the following RSS feed to your aggregator (such as Google Reader or Bloglines). New blog posts, wiki entries, bookmarks, videos, podcasts, etc. tagged with idt7078 will then be “delivered” to you as they show up in Google.

An alternative to this strategy would be to setup a Google Alert for idt7078.

Twitter Search
You can also add a keyword search for idt7078 to TweetDeck or similar Twitter platform if you are using one. If not, then you can add the following RSS feed for the Twitter Search of the course tag to your aggregator.

Plurk Search
Add idt7078 to your list of Saved Searches in your profile’s dashboard.