Tag Archives: social media tools

Social Media and EQi

This past week I had the privilege of taking an EQi training course with Marcia Hughes  of  Collaborative Growth.   Part way through our first morning of training, we were working our way through a case study when one participant raised an interesting point about whether or not the notion of social media connections played a role in the EQi  coaching process.  A silence fell over the room as people started to ponder.  What a GREAT question.

We really do live in an amazing and unique time.  Never before have we been able to connect with people through so many different communication and collaboration tools, and many of them free! .  Think of the choices:  Skype, Google Hangouts, Facetime, Twitter, Facebook, G+, wikis, Google Docs, MSO365, texting etc. etc.  Social media tools provide people with a means to have an online voice through blogging and other writing tools.  This is a REALLY incredible time.

These tools have ‘reach’ and provide a gateway to connect and collaborate across the globe.  I think it is important to play in this big sandbox to leverage the connections and opportunities – especially for students since this is the world they will work, live and function in.  For those of us who knew the old ‘telephone only’ world and transitioned through email etc. en route to this technology rich world, we may have a better sense of when to connect face to face (F2F) or pick up the phone.  While texting and social media offer so much potential, they may not be the best tools for every situation in our complex world.

I think this speaks directly to the need for digital citizenship and opportunities for students to learn these tools and become skilled them.  In turn,  having opportunities and situations to evaluate and select appropriate tools is an important step in building a confident skill set.  I see all of this connected to building and managing working relationships, so I would cast my vote to YES, social media, online communication and collaboration tools do intersect with relationships and EQi by extension.

What are your thoughts?  How would you vote?  Feel free to add a comment or get in touch via Twitter.

~Mark

Skinny Down Your Technology

The other day I was reviewing some draft system communications with @maryhingley and she commented that we should “skinny this down” to a cleaner more streamlined document.  While the comment regarding the document  we were reviewing was bang on,  it also made a connection for me to an earlier conversation that day about the constant evolution of technology tools. The context of the technology tools dialogue was around the challenge of building capacity in teaching when the tools evolve so quickly.

Fact:  We are all on a continuous  learning curve, new technology,  new apps, new potential to improve improve learning. There is certainly plenty of discussion around the notion of welcoming teachers with this new ‘technology enabled learning’ world – online, web 2.0, anytime, anywhere, digital, shared documents, authentic audience (etc.).

As we become more thoughtful about professional learning, determining the best point(s) of entry and consider learning continuums for staff, there is a greater realization that it is too easy to overwhelm.  People need safe and doable entry points with high success rates.  The fact is, people do not need 100’s of tools to start on their journey.

Challenge:  a call to experienced teachers using web 2.0 and social media tools – skinny down your tool list

Categorize the software, apps and web 2.0 tools you use into the following categories:

a) must have, use daily, addresses some important need

b) use regularly (a few times a week but not daily)

c) once in a while (a few times per month)

d) tried it, don’t use it regularly at all

Skinny down your list and share your suite of must have tools in this google doc.  Include your name, twitter ID, blog/web site and must have list.

Thanks in advance for sharing.

Related Resources:

I just can’t imagine teaching without ….

Cross posted to VoicEd.ca

~Mark

Social Networks: What’s cooking?

Social media tools are having an impact in many ways in all age groups of society from pre-teens to ‘experienced’: retirees — it could be a lifelong activity, literally!   Let’s take a look at some current information.

KIDS/TEENS

In a recent surveys of teens,  38 percent of respondents ages 12 to 14 said they had an online profile of some sort. Sixty-one percent of those in the study, ages 12 (jumping in earlier than the suggested age requirement) to 17, said they use social-networking sites to send messages to friends, and 42 percent said they do so every day. Although social networking sites have a minimum age requirement of 13, there is no easy way to check or enforce this criteria. It really operates on the honour system.

In my mind, this trend raises some important questions in terms of use from the parent point of view:

  • Are these sites being used in an appropriate manner?
  • Do parents/guardians actively monitor what their children are doing?
  • How are the children learning about safe online practices?
  • Do the children know to protect their personal information?
  • Are there daily time limits placed on usage?

As a parent, what is your level of involvement? See the Social Networks and Kids: How Young is too Young?  article at  CNN.

ADULTS and the WORKPLACE

In October 2009, the USA Today reported that that 54% of companies completely block Facebook, another 35% apply some form of access limits, leaving only 11% that don’t put any limitations on Facebook use in the work force.

Dr. Brent Coker, of the Department of Management and Marketing at The University of Melbourne, reports that  “People who do surf the Internet for fun at work – within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of their total time in the office – are more productive by about 9% than those who don’t.”

Point for consideration: Is surfing the net really any different than daydreaming or chatting at the water cooler? Some employees may benefit from a little surf time. Not everyone has the same needs in terms of being productive – that is for sure. Hmmm, maybe this is true for students in schools too!

View the full ‘Companies Ban Social Media = Bad Idea’ article at Socialnomics.net. Additional information from the  Australian Social Media study can be found at the University of Melbourne website.

What is happening at your organization? Leave a comment or  send a tweet.

SENIORS/Retirees

Facebook statistics show an increasing number of users in the 50+ age group – boomer connecting with high school friends and keeping in touch with their children. There is a major social connection occurring with users in this age group.

Related Reading:

Ivy Bean: Tweeting at the ripe old age of 104

Social Isolation and New Technology

SCHOOLS

Teachers and administrators are learning more about social networking tools – the good and bad. The bad is usually connected to student bullying issues. Staff at Boards of education are thoughtfully working through some of the key issues:

  • safe, ethical and responsible online activities
  • Digital Citizenship and Character Development programs
  • incorporating social media tools into curriculum delivery in meaningful ways
  • thinking about content filtering in an appropriate K-12 context

The agenda is definitely moving ahead – that is a good thing.  Teachers are developing online Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) through social media tools such as Twitter, Ning groups and blog reading/blogging. Many are really engaged in learning something new every day.  Certainly, this is an exciting time to be in education.

It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds. In the meantime, one can keep learning and participating! See you online 🙂

~ Mark

Social Media Map

As educators we are always on the look out for a new and clean way to explain concepts to other people. I came across this diagram a little while ago and thought it was an interesting way to explain the relationships of Social Media Tools.

The diagram, as you can see from the thumbnail thumbnail below, is laid out somewhat like a railway track system with colour coding used to represent categories of social media tools by function.

SocialMediaMap

The key in the lower left explains the function categories as:

  • syndication
  • collaboration
  • communication
  • interaction

Each function area shows a number of application types, which correspond to entries on the map. The original map, by Jay Ball,  is posted in an online slide show.  Click here to view the original B2B Social Media Map. I thought this was a fresh approach to explaining social media and the relationships between some of the applications. This is well worth a look in my view – another teaching trick in the back pocket.

~ Mark