Tag Archives: Twitter

iPad Fluency

I’ve been sitting on this post for quite some time now, and it’s time to get it “on paper”. As I was reading through my Twitter feed, I noticed a tweet from Silvia Tolisano (@langwitches) that stated the following:

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I was immediately drawn to the term iPad fluency, since my school district had started a K-2 iPad initiative a few months before. I was curious about exactly what she meant by iPad fluency and really took to the response from Siliva:

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Melissa Techman (@mtechman) added to the discussion with this:

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I see this as an important idea on today’s educational landscape as it pertains to mobile devices. I thank Silvia and Melissa for their input and for helping me shape my outlook and ideals and helping me take the integration of technology beyond the tool and/or device as I work with teachers and students in classrooms.

Block Facebook?…Why?

Let’s say a district decided to block Facebook for teachers when it had been open in previous years. And let’s say that the district discouraged any administrator from even having a Facebook account…period!
If this were the case…I have a few thoughts and questions.

1. Why the decision to block it now? Too many people wasting district time being on Facebook during school hours? Then I suggest you block Twitter, YouTube, Google, and ESPN for that matter. While you’re at it, lock the faculty room, do away with coffee and the newspaper too. Be sure to ban talking to your colleague across the hall about your weekend, upcoming plans, or how the kids are doing. Facebook is no more a distraction from the workday than any of these others.

2. There is constant talk regarding how we should educate students on digital citizenship, their digital footprint, and responsible usage of the Internet and social networking. So why do we choose not to educate the adults who are supposed to teach these ideals to students? Instead of educating the teachers, we just block the site! All that does is force them to figure out a way around the filter such as mobile devices and 3rd party applications. Why not show them some examples of positive and negative interactions and what benefits or consequences may result. We should practice what we preach.

3. If there are individuals abusing privileges or not following responsible use policies, then address the individual! This is something I’ve watched occur most of my professional career at every level. Why do we punish an entire staff for the actions of a few? I would never give my entire class detention because 2 kids were in the back goofing off.

4. If this hypothetical district’s concern is inappropriate or negative postings about the school or district as a whole, then why would they discourage administrative presence on Facebook? I’m inclined to believe that if there was an administrative presence out there on Facebook, then teachers may be less likely to post anything negative because they know their administrator/s are “out there”. This online existence by administration presents a real possibility they may see what teachers are posting. I think that may be called transparency. And if there is a recurring issue, I have to refer you back to #3.

5. Finally, I believe the only message this sends is that we trust you with kids but not the Internet.

That is all…for now. Please feel free to tell me if I’m off base or offer another perspective. Thanks for stopping by!

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Podcasting with GarageBand

I recently polled my Twitter network for some Mac specific podcast ideas. I received a great response! Special thanks to @paulrwood, @tonyvincent, @dianekrause, @carrievenable, @misterlamb, and @drezac – I now have a list of about 11 podcasts to knock out. The first one I decided to tackle was the one I thought was most challenging and that was to do a podcast on how to podcast. I used iShowU to record myself using GarageBand to create a podcast. I used a “This Day in History” theme to demonstrate some podcasting basics because I thought this was an authentic task that could actually be used in a classroom. I’m hopeful there is enough information included to get you started. I’ve included not only the screencast itself but also a LiveBinder of resources that may help in the podcasting process.

Please feel free to provide any feedback! Thanks and I hope this is helpful.

Podcasting Resources LiveBinder

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Twitter While You Work?

Should you Twitter at work? Should it be acceptable to your employer that you spend time during your work day on Twitter? I will only answer for myself, and my answer is yes. Although, I must add that I generally use my Twitter and Facebook networks differently. The majority of my Twitter network is a group of professionals. A group of knowledgeable, insightful, and helpful professionals. During the work day, I will scan my network’s tweets for relevant blog posts, articles, breaking news, classroom tools, project ideas, links, and they’re always good for a laugh or two. I also spend time tweeting any of those previously mentioned items, plus requests for help to solve technical issues, suggestions for classroom resources, input on philosophical discussions, and support. Sometimes I wonder how I knew about anything before Twitter! 😉

The drive behind this post is born out of comments and inquiries about whether or not Twitter and other social networking sites (Facebook) have a place during the school day. I believe they can be used appropriately during work hours. I believe the sites themselves are not inherently bad. I believe the general perspective on Twitter is that it is just another social networking site. This standpoint comes mainly from how the media has portrayed it in the news and on talk shows. To me, it is so much more than that. I personally use Facebook as more of a social outlet and Twitter as more of a professional network. Some of my network overlaps between the two sites, but as a general rule I use them quite differently.

So should teachers be discouraged or “get in trouble” for using a social networking site at school? I am of the opinion that these sites can be used appropriately during the work day. Generally, I don’t see a modest amount of posting to Facebook or Twitter much differently than I do talking in the hallway to another person in the hallway or faculty room during school. You’re merely communicating with people that you are not able to converse with face-to-face. Is there a potential for abuse of this? Sure, but as professional educators I believe the majority of us are prudent about what and how much we post. If there are educators who lack this good judgement, I’m confident they will be addressed much in the same manner they would if they made inappropriate verbal comments, or if they mistreated students.

I don’t view the use of these sites by teachers during the work day as tremendously problematic. As evidenced in the recent news articles, there are teachers that misuse them regarding how often they post and what they post. It is my belief that if we, as educators, want to be looked upon and treated like professionals by the rest of the world then we need to behave in such a manner. If my boss came to me and asked me to justify my use of Twitter at work, I could absolutely warrant the use of my network during the work day! If you have any ideas, examples, opinions, or general comments; please feel free to join me in this discussion and leave a comment.