Tag Archives: Social Media in K-12

CASA13 Presentation Resources

CASA Conference 2013 Presentation Resources

Conference Theme: Theme: Pedagogy to Technology: Hardware to Headwear

Our presentation  : Leveraging the use of Social Media Tools in your School Community — the use of social media tools in the Waterloo Region District School Board as things are now,  the journey and the challenges.

Video Samples from our CASA2013 presentation:

Haley   (Student)
Aaron   (Student)
Andrew  (Student)
Andrew Bieronski  (Teacher)
Kevin Donkers  (Teacher)
Kathi Smith  (Trustee)

additional video resources 

Twitter  (Teacher)
Facebook (Teacher)
Edmodo  (Teacher)
Student Perspective  (Students)
Principal Perspective (Bill Lemon)

Q&A from Today’s Meet backchannel

Information regarding the WRDSB iPad approach

Related Resources

Canadian Association of School Administrators  (CASA)  conference.

WRDSB  Responsible Use Procedure  (RUP)

Social Media Drive By (Blog post)

Quest Radio 1-24  Programming Info  – watch here for announcements regarding additional rebroadcasts of this session.

Join a live broadcast or rebroadcast  on Quest Radio 1-24.

Mark W. Carbone  and  Ed Doadt

~Mark and Ed

CASA Chat: Social Media in the School Community

CASA Conference Presentation Resources

Overview: This presentation covered the use of social media tools in the Waterloo Region District School Board as things are now. Time was also spent talking about the journey and the challenges.

Video Samples from the presentation:

Student Perspective
Student Trustee
Teacher Perspective
Principal Perspective

Comments from Twitter

Q&A from Today’s Meet backchannel (originally hosted at http://www.todaysmeet.com/casachat)

Q1: Do teachers friend students?
Yes and no, some do, others don’t. Generally teachers use Facebook groups or fan pages, but
certain functions need the ‘friend’ function to work properly. In these cases, teachers set their
security and privacy settings appropriately and follow professional code of conduct expectations.

Q2: What effort is required by teachers to monitor online content related to classroom use?
This will vary depending on the context, but is done according to our Responsible Use Procedure.

Q3: Who pays for increasing bandwidth needs?
Staff in IT Services monitor usage and need on an ongoing basis. Each year this is factored into our
budget process in the IT area.

Q4: What social media content is searchable?
This depends on particular social media tool. For example, Tweets (Twiiter) are searchable, private
Facebook content is not.

Q5: Is the LMS redundant technology?
No, the LMS provides a course structure and both collaboration and social media tools are used in
conjunction to support student learning.

Q6: How does Quest Radio 1-24 work?
This Internet radio station is hosted at Caster.fm A live encoder
is needed to send personally owned content or content used with permission to the station.

Related Resources

Canadian Association of School Administrators (CASA) conference.

Social Media Drive By

Quest Radio 1-24  Programming Info Watch here for announcements regarding additional broadcasts of this session.

Join a live broadcast on Quest Radio 1-24.

Ed Doadt and Mark W. Carbone

~Mark and Ed

Social Media: It is all about the spark

A little while ago, I had a chance to meet with Bill Lemon, Principal at Preston High School. Bill had agreed to give a perspective about students using social media tools to support their learning. As I anticipated, it was a great conversation, and I captured a great video clip to use at the upcoming CASA conference.

There were two ‘bits’ from our conversation that really stuck with me, and I have reflected on this many times since the meeting.

Bit #1 – Too many people do the ‘social media drive by’ – a quick look, a quick reaction and too often a typical “this isn’t for me”, “what can you really learn/share in such a few characters” or “who would want to get involved with these tools”.

In conversation with Bill, we agreed that the ‘social media drive by’ is a problem. The tools are in fact very deep. You have to learn the tools and spend time using them BEFORE you will understand the potential and impact of social media tools. The ‘social media drive by’ short circuits this process.

Bit #2 – The benefit of social media tools is not necessarily in the short post or tweet itself, but that one connection leads to another, a connection leads to a fact or resource and a fact or resource leads to the next. Stringing these bits together provide the impetus for learning: ideas, content, a new way of looking at something, comparisons and things to research or investigate. It is that spark that often keeps the learning moving along an individualized path that simply would not have been possible without leveraging the use of social media tools.

Lessons learned: Avoid the social media drive by and embrace the potential to make the spark that creates to impetus to learn.


The OCT Advisory – my view

On Monday April 11th, the long awaited press release of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) electronic communication and social media advisory was released. I was attending the OCT live presentation on Tuesday in Toronto, and viewed the advisory print document and watched the video to be well informed for the session.

My initial impression of the print document was that it was a well written, solid framework to guide educators into this new territory. I was very impressed with the video production as it captured a positive spirit for leveraging these new tools within our education system. I did feel that some additional clarification was required in the area of Facebook use, and planned my comments and questions for the live session.

It was interesting to watch the press and media take on the documents and follow the reactions via Twitter. As one would expect, reaction varied widely, tending towards the ‘too cautious’ end of the scale. Tuesday morning, I was able to have a conversation with Chris Vollum, an excellent speaker who has significant experience presenting social media sessions to school and parent audiences across the province and at many WRDSB schools. Chris, who was interviewed as part of the video, had a positive reaction and felt the overall message was positive. I also had a good phone discussion with Jane Mitchinson who has provided extensive leadership in technology and social media use within our Board.

The session was well organized, with the agenda organized as: presentation, table discussion and Q&A.  I captured some of the important highlights and shared them on Twitter:

  • Opening remarks: OK to use social media in responsibly and ethically — key factors: care, trust, integrity and respect
  • The intent of the advisory is to clarify responsibilities while capitalizing on the potential of these tools
  • Social media tools can be appropriate, useful and powerful
  • OCT: ‘off duty’ use of social media tools matters – what does appropriate use look like?
  • Online behavior by teachers should reflect the same professional ethics as used in the school setting
  • Private vs. Professional: onus on members, off duty conduct matters, exercise caution, act professionally at all times
  • The internet is part of a teacher’s off duty realm
  • Any online presence should respect professional integrity, even in the somewhat less formal social media environment
  • Reviewing some examples of professional misconduct -I note that these examples would be inappropriate online or offline
  • Teachers: model good behavior, advocate proper use (digital citizenship) be courteous and professional at all times
  • Facebook – caution re ‘friending’ – but no distinguishing of friend=contact, it is all about the security and privacy settings – education!!
  • My comment: follow the Grandma rule— if you don’t want your Grandma to find out, don’t put it on Facebook
  • You can’t judge social media from outside
  • Board hosted email should be used for communications with parents (not personal email addresses)

The table discussions were interesting. We were given 4 scenario questions to consider. All were great questions  with pros and cons and certainly generated excellent discussion around the different viewpoints — risk factor(s), legal implications, empathy, professional approach.

In some ways, I enjoyed the Q&A best. Many good questions were asked, and gave further indication that there are multiple factors to consider in almost all situations. I did take the opportunity to raise a few points during the discussion:

  • Digital citizenship and character development programs are essential for teachers and students
  • Staff and students need authentic experiences with social media tools in a real world context
  • Your digital footprint represents your online presence – how google-able are you?
  • Your digital legacy is your digital reputation – how will other perceive you and remember you?
  • Social media tools offer many opportunities for connecting, collaborating and sharing – embrace & capitalize
I did ask specific clarification around the ‘teachers should not friend students’ point.  In the Facebook environment, a ‘friend’ is a contact. How any 2 contacts interact is dependent on security and privacy settings, and the relationship — a professional context suitable to the educational environment.  I sited examples where teachers might ‘friend’ students, but have suitably locked down profiles and interact with students in a Facebook group setting.  Panel members who addressed my question indicated that there is no issue with this if it is done properly with appropriate settings and professional conduct. We all recognized and acknowledged  the need for people to know, understand and use appropriate settings (Digital Citizenship).
I took the time to meet the panel members after the session. I appreciate the work done on this document, and the importance of the framework established and congratulate the team that worked on the preparation of this document.
What if I could change one thing? – The one thing that I wish could be changed is the manner in which this was handled by the media. They really grabbed a couple of small pieces of information and cast a giant negative spin on things — so much for fact finding and balanced reporting. Unfortunately, this is all some people will remember.
Next steps: Embrace change! Given the great potential of these tools, it is important that those comfortable in leading, continue to learn and share best practices and experiences. Boards and federations need to make sure Digital Citizenship and Character Development programs and other training supports are in place. Pre-service teacher programs should provide a good grounding in Web 2.0 and social media tools. Teachers need to be familiar and comfortable with these tools before using them with students.
Related Links:

OCT Backgrounder
OCT Advisory
OCT Social Media video
Viewpoint: Pipedreams (blog)
Viewpoint: Off the Record (blog)
Viewpoint: The Clever Sheep (blog)
Viewpoint: Jane Mitchinson (blog)
Viewpoint: People for Education
People for Education’s Online Community

~ Mark

A Surprise Conversation

You never know when an interesting social media conversation will break out.

Last Sunday, our woodwind quintet, the Venturi Winds, performed a concert at the Wellington County Museum & Archives building. Following the program we decided to go out for a light dinner along with a few family members who attended the event.

Seated at the table and previewing menus, the unsuspecting conversation started. One person, who operates their own business, begins to tell the story of needing to terminate an employee for continually spending company time on their personal cell phone. They turn to me and ask “What you you do in the schools? Do you allow cell phones in the classroom?”

I provide some background on our digital citizenship program indicating that it is important to:

  • recognize that value of mobile devices to support certain aspects of curriculum delivery
  • teach appropriate, ethical and safe use for a particular situation
  • and teach self regulation

Many of our schools have designated some ‘cell phone safe’ zones where students may use their phones. Classroom use is generally at the discretion of the teacher. Everyone could see the value in our approach, and that providing some real world context to these experiences was of value.

The conversation deepens. “What about laptops? What about Facebook? (etc.)? Are these allowed in the classroom? These are distractions.”

I provide some additional information about our program and approach. True enough, these could be distractions, but mobile technology and social media tools provide:

  • ways to interact with the world in real time
  • access to information
  • collaboration opportunities
  • authentic audience opportunities and experiences to students

I went on to explain the use of blogs, wikis, ning, Google docs, Facebook etc. and how the use of these tools can support important curriculum goals such as non fiction writing (e.g. journals, poetry, peer review of projects …). The conversation went on to talk about the role of the teacher shifting from the ‘sage on the stage’ to the learning coach who facilitates inquiry and project based learning.

All in all, a great conversation that stretched out over most of the meal time.  The conversation did eventually drift to other topics. Finally  a question came up about time zones and daylight savings time.

My solution: “If you had a smart phone, you could look that up right now.” – and I did. What a great segue to the power of access to information via mobile devices. Our time together concluded with a good laugh from the group.

~ 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 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