Category Archives: Social Media

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

Creating a Facebook group for your K12 class

In my previous blog post, I made reference to a number of strategies to embrace the use of Facebook within the K12 classroom to support learning. One of the most powerful features of Facebook for use in the classroom, is the groups feature.

The process used to setup a Facebook group is straight forward and can be completed in just a minute or two. The steps are:

1. Select the Groups link on the left side of your Facebook ‘Home’ page.

2. Click the ‘Create a Group’ button

3. Complete the basic group information.

4. including the category and type information.

5. Click the create groups button to proceed to the group property settings page. I would recommend unchecking the ‘Non-admins can write on the wall’ setting. Unchecking this parameter prevents wall posts leaking out side of the group to Facebook friends of group members.

6. The bottom section of the group property settings page governs the visibility and privacy settings for the group.  For K12 purposes, I recommend the closed group setting. This allows the group name to be searched, but keeps the content of the group private to the group membership. With this setup, the group owner can invite members via email addresses and NOT be friends with the members. From the K12 perspective, this allows a teacher to create (own) a group and invite student membership without becoming Facebook friends with the students. In our case, this can be done easily by using our Board generated student email addresses.

Note (20101012): Since researching and experimenting for this blog post, the new groups feature was introduced within the Facebook environment. This feature may impact the functionality described here in terms of the groups members are, or are not, friend relationships. Until this is more clearly understood, I recommend that privacy and security settings are implemented accordingly.

7. Click the ‘Save’ button to activate your settings.

8. Select the ‘invite people to join’ link to send group invites.

Once people accept your group invitation, the collaborating will begin.  Enjoy your Facebook Learning space.

~ Mark

Facebook in the K12 Classroom

Connecting Facebook use to the Classroom

Over the last week, I had a number of opportunities to connect with teachers and have some dialogue about about using Facebook to support learning. Yes, Facebook is a social environment, but it has a huge untapped potential in the areas of engagement, community, sharing, current issues and writing.

I thought I would share this list of activities some of our teachers see as effective uses of Facebook within the learning environment. Many of these are already beginning to happen in our classrooms!

  • conversational writing (French in this case)
  • sharing of poetry writing
  • collaborative math homework support groups – students helping students with teacher support
  • peer review of student created movie trailers
  • short blog style writing posts with opportunity for peer review
  • creating a shared student art gallery
  • discussion of global issues
  • math/science challenge questions
  • use of class groups to provide frequent feedback and positive encouragement (linked to our recent PD session with Dr. D. Reeves)
  • use of teacher fan pages to connect with students re class schedules, homework assignments, test dates etc.
  • school/department pages as another way to connect readers to key events, related news items, promote new library offerings
  • a forum to discuss digital citizenship, online safety and prevention of bullying
  • analyse sample situations in terms of digital citizenship and character development goals

Congratulations to these teachers for their forward thinking about using the power of social media tools in new and powerful ways. I look forward to working with teachers and school Digital Citizenship committee to plan our journey forward.

~ Mark

Facebook in K12 – Resources

Links: 2010-09-18  — Facebook in the Classroom


Synthesize the Concepts

Iowa city are now using the social media website inside the classroom

The Science Behind Feeling Good While Social Networking

Ideas for Social Media Guidelines

Social Media Guidelines – More Thoughts

Suggestions: Facebook guidelines for students, parents and schools

ST. CHARLES Community College Facebook Guidelines

Use Facebook to Support School Homework

Note: These resources have also been posted in my ‘Facebook in the Classroom’ user group on Facebook.

~ Mark

Leadership Day 2010

A few days ago, I saw this tweet from @gcouros while reviewing the daily action from my PLN.

This certainly caught my attention, so I read the blog post and decided to participate.

Lets be straight up to begin. Administrators are busy people with many responsibilities to juggle. They can’ t ‘know everything’ – and they don’t need to.  I do believe there a some critical elements that are attached to their role in terms school success and staff development that will make a key difference.

School Administrator To Do List

  • walk the walk & talk the talk
  • understand digital literacy and digital citizenship
  • be familiar with, and understand the power of  web 2.0 and social media tools
  • establish a PLN (self directed, job embedded learning) and share the learnings with staff
  • promote technology use as an embedded & key part of the learning process
  • understand appropriate technology use, highlight/showcase it as a part of good teaching practice
  • include technology use in the learning process as part of the teacher feedback and evaluation process
  • require that staff learn about best technology integration strategies as part of ongoing PD/learning plans
  • ensure that technology uses are well connected to Province/State and Board/District level priorities
  • understand the role of technology in establishing and/or improving school and classroom community
  • build a culture, not a ‘one of’ island
  • embrace change
  • be vocal: share, promote and connect with other administrators
  • STAY THE COURSE!

~ Mark