During my ongoing curation of articles about learning, digital tools and social media, I recently came across this article exploring perspectives on social media in the lecture theatres. Although the article was primarily examining post secondary perspectives, I would argue the same discussions are relevant in K12. The discussion was centred around various viewpoints on whether or not students:
- be allowed (by profs) to bring technology to class
- are distracted by having access to social media and
- experience benefits?
Two interviewees interviewed commented that “… because the students are most likely taking notes. Many don’t use pen and paper, and rely on their devices. She says students are old enough to decide if they are to learn or not.” and “My view is they are old enough to choose and multitask (and choose to fail too),“. Meanwhile, others choose to dictate “no access”.
Now, if I put a personal perspective on this and let you observe my learning mode, this is what you would see. Typically I use 2 devices … taking notes on my iPad using notability – not just for notes – adding audio recording, and insert photos for context for a more complete package. On the second device I organize lists, todos, ideas and share via social media, typically Twitter but this could easily be a Facebook group, G+ community, LinkedIn or open Google doc. I reiterate – this is MY style. This is how I learn best. Paper and pen doesn’t work for me.
Why not let students choose what works best for them – student voice. To me, letting students choose what tools they use and how they organize shows a strength based approach to student learning. What benefit is there in forcing students to function in a way that may not be self directed and self optimized?
Weigh in: Where do you stand?
I must admit I was intrigued by this tweet when I saw it, and I have been mulling over the notion of picking ‘a word’ to focus my 2015 efforts.
In considering this, I recognized that actually getting possible choices down to just one word would indeed be a challenge. I began to think about short phases, pairs of words with dashes or underscores linking them to one. Well, you-get- the_ picture.
Knowing this was the open mic discussion topic for OSSEMOOC tonight, I had settled on “model” as my word. I think it is important to model what you seek. Some key elements on my list include:
- connected leading & learning
- seeking understanding and
- problem solving to name a few.
This morning at our system leaders meeting we watched this TED Talk by Onora O’Neill
to kick off a discussion about deepening our understanding of trust. This topic seemed to solidify my choice to model. Add trust to the list.
I have settled on and shared my word: “model”. What is your word? Please share!
Happy 2015. I hope this year is a great year for you personally and professionally.
Over the last couple of weeks, I noticed this graphic popping up in a variety of tweets and retweets.
I am not sure why, but this image stayed with me. While there are exemplary practices listed for sure, it struck me that this message is incomplete.
In my view the key elements missing are connected learning and leading, effective use of digital tools and resources or making your thinking visible.
In 2015, I don’t think these elements can be left out of the educational equation.
Please share your thoughts in a comment or connect with me on twitter.
Thank you to those participants who attended my workshop presentations today. As promised, I am sharing the resources:
Conference Twitter feed #wbecon14
Enjoy a free, connected, self directed, professional learning experience through OSSEMOOC (blog) and/or connect to the OSSEMOOC Twitter feed.
Additional resources are listed at the end of the slide deck. Stay connected and continue to share your learning.
The other day I happened to catch a segment of The Current CBC broadcast as I was driving between school appointments. The topic was big data based the book Dataclysm, which certainly captivated my interest for a variety of reasons.
Image from Amazon.com
I happened to tune in just at the moment the discussion was focused on analyzing data written in social media, Twitter in this case. While many view social media communications as somewhat inane, an in depth analysis reveals some interesting facts.
- writing tends to be more sophisticated
- word length is 20% longer
- lexical density , the proportion of meaning carrying words, is higher than in many other forms of writing (email, magazines etc. – perhaps opposite to what you would think)
- with a limitation on the number of characters per message or post, 140 in this case, people learn to improve word choices
- in turn, this improves editing skills
In the interview, Christian commented that this type of analysis can and has been repeated. This is not an isolated ‘one time’ look at this area.
When one considers the writing benefits summarized here, I believe there is a strong case to incorporate the social media writing medium in the school system. Of course there are natural connections to digital citizenship, engagement, real world audiences etc.
As a classroom educator, if you are already doing this, keep going! If not, consider giving it a try with an age appropriate system, a collaborative document with simulated limits or even offline.
Listen to the CBC Podcast with Christian Rudder on Dataclysm
Book: Dataclysm by Christian Rudder
Have a comment? Please share.
Todays connected learners need connected school and system leaders. Further to the presentation prepared for TEDxKitchenerED about the work that is/needs to be done in the area of personally owned, self directed learning opportunities for school/school board leaders to build awareness and capacity in this area, Donna & I are pleased to announce that the official TEDx video is now online.