Stats: the survey says …

When I got home today the newest publication from the Ontario Teachers College was in the mailbox. I did a quick thumb through and the article that initially caught my eye was the ‘Survey says …’

The article reports on a recent members survey. I noted two points:

1. Usage of social media by teachers is increasing (not really a surprise). Details showed

  • 30.1% connect on Facebook for up to 2 hours per week
  • 32.4 % watch YouTube for a little under an hour/week
  • 50.3% tune into YouTube for as much as 2 hours/week
  • 35.8% use other forms of social media

2. In answer to the question ‘Should the college (OTC) make use of social media tools?’, I found the results very interesting.

  • MySpace 8%
  • LinkedIn 11%
  • Twitter 14%
  • YouTube 20%
  • Facebook 48%

Hmmm. Facebook wins by a landslide. While I am not surprised that members see value in using Facebook as a connecting tool, the margin of choice was surprising to me. I would have also anticipated the Twitter use would have been higher, especially given the extensive education based PLNs members are using effectively.

It is good to see the overall growth in the use of social media tools. Keep those PLN online connections alive. Invite a new person to participate today!

~ Mark

Facebook – new group function in K12

One of my earlier blog posts I made some recommendations for settings for setting up groups for use in the K-12 environment. Since that post, the Facebook group function has changed and I wanted to share what I have learned so far.

The group function is still accessed from the main page in Facebook.

Select the ‘create group’ option.

Next, enter a name for your group, choose an icon from the drop down list and select the type (open, closed or secret). I recommend ‘closed’ for K-12.

Once the group is created, the new ‘header’ is displayed.

Changes include:

  • the ‘post’ area is not visible by default, it must be selected
  • document creation and editing has been added
  • discussion areas within the groups have been removed

Note: groups created prior to this feature change continue to function the way they did.

Group settings are adjusted through the ‘edit’ and ‘settings’ options.

What Else is New?

  • The new group function also provides the option of defining a group mailing list. In my example, I would name the mailing list after the group ( Messages posted to this addresses are distributed to group members.
  • Only Facebook friends may be added to a group. The email list option to invite group members has been removed.
  • Invited friends are automatically added to the group. The former request/accept process has been removed.
  • Group members can remove themselves from a group, but must request to rejoin as they can not be reinvited
  • The group owner (administrator)  may also remove group members
  • The display of posts has also changed. When a group member posts on a group wall, the post also shows in your personal newsfeed (not wall). Friends in the group will also see the post in their newsfeed. The ability to see posts is also impacted by the ‘top news’ or ‘recent’ setting.

All in all, the new group function will work well for K-12 usage.  I recommend that users set their security and privacy settings appropriate for professional conduct and interaction with students.

Thank you to @rebrouse and @rickbudd for working with me to test and document our learnings.

Happy collaborating in a social networking environment.

~ Mark

Digital Footprint – Reflections

As I reflect about the Digital Footprint concept, I find my thinking about this changing over time. I am gravitating to relating to this notion in two components.

1. The ‘size’ of the digital footprint reflects how much your name is ‘out there’ – fairly easily to search, and shows in a variety of contexts (twitter, blogs, comments etc.) — a frequency factor of sorts.

2. Your digital legacy — the ‘quality’ of the foot print, the lasting impression of who you are, what you stand for and how you contributed to the online environment. What will people think about you based on being ‘googled’ or ‘binged’?

And now a question: What are your thoughts regarding this way of thinking about your digital footprint?

~ Mark