We are being profiled on the internet, you know that. The more you enable Location, the more you forget to check your settings, the more information you are offering. We are profiled in the real world too but to a lesser extent. You are the one who has to take control of your profiling as much as you can and as much as you want to. I’ll let you go over to the post You are what you like at makeuseof so you can read the details yourself. . I subscribe to their email so I get a great deal of useful information and this is something they have explained very well. I then did the one click personality test. Please do not forget to log out after you have your assessment. Mine is pretty accurate given my Facebook isn’t the whole of me and just what I choose to share on Facebook. Some will laugh at the shy and reserved since they are not qualities I am noted for and yet, they are a part of me. Don’t think there will be any disputes over the emotional given I am Pisces.
At the end of March last year I blogged about my Professional Network and was surprised with how complex it was now since I had branched out into being a connected teacher. I am lucky to have so much valuable input both inline, online and offline!! I had been thinking about how this had changed so I looked at that presentation again. As I reviewed my online professional network I became aware of how much that had changed in a year. My blogs constantly force me to think about what I am doing professionally. To keep blogging, though, I have to have input and that often comes from my online connections, either because I want to share or because I want to follow something up. My Facebook feed now has a number of pages which keep me on the ball professionally. This is also the role Tweet Deck fills. TweetDeck runs my Twitter feed but as TweetDeck you can customise it to run one or more hashtags so you can get up to date information, participate in discussions or simply look for trends and ideas. The TweetDeck timeline also has random input from people other than those I follow. Initially I did not like that change but now feel that it sometimes offers a new look at things from other perspectives and does so out of the blue, so there is a fun aspect to it. Pinterest has also become very quickly one of the corner stones of my online professional development. I can share and gather resources, I can look up theory and practice. It is a rich resource. SlideShare is a community I have long valued since it has improved my presentation skills, allows me to connect with other tertiary educated people, has a wealth of knowledge to access and provides some good challenges and encouragement. I ought to be able to include LinkedIn but I am finding it difficult to get traction. One of the reasons is you need to have email addresses to connect so if I don’t know them I cannot send out the emails and I am not paying for Inboxing on a site which has, as yet, to prove its worth in my life. Other communities I belong to are easier to connect with and develop in a strong way. In this last year I have also made good use of my iPad apps. There are a number which bring me good information or help me to think things out. The iPad has a solid place in my professional life. It makes it very easy to engage with what I want to engage with or it brings me material to consider which I might not otherwise see. This is often courtesy of TeacherCast or FlipBoard. It is quite remarkable how quickly online communities and resources have contributed to my knowledge and development .If it can change this much in a year I am certainly looking forward to the next level of learning.
One of the unpleasant sides of human nature, it would appear, is if they find your account of any description is not logged out then they will go in and wreck it in one way or another. Friends and family seem to do this to others particularly on Facebook. My way of looking at it is to translate that behaviour into a REAL life situation. If you visited a friend or family member and their front door were unlocked and left open, what would you do? Would you go in and graffiti? Change their furniture? Write on their walls? Would you shut the door , secure it and let them know? If you find someone has forgotten to log themselves out – LOG THEM OUT. It’s about respect. It is particularly difficult if you are away or if you cannot easily go to where you logged into Facebook. Mobile people will be logging into Facebook on other computers. It’s back to CHECK YOUR SETTINGS. You go to settings top right, then privacy, account security and then click on account activity. Facebook will give you a list of computers which you are logged into or have been logged into. Next to each of them is an edit option. You can shut down any open sessions. This can be done on a mobile phone or tablet if you need to. You can always access your settings. It is also good to set Facebook to the secure settings and if you do have to use alternate devices and computers often to also activate the notifications of devices and Facebook will send you a message if you are logged into a computer/device you do not normally use. People need to be reminded that these options exist. You can protect yourself.
The world is active and a-twitter with the new Facebook graph search. It is probably a major marketing push but its implications need to be understood. Facebook’s explanation of the Facebook Graph Search in beta is here. CNET has had a good look at the beta version and has recorded its first impressions here. It’s another tool which you can use and tends to make Facebook more like Twitter and Google. Those are both searchable for content. Facebook will be too. It might be useful to find local restaurants or events. It might be handy to find teachers in your area. Like anything else it can be used for good purposes or bad and when it is rolled out it will become clearer how it will be used. Someone could search for photos of Sydney and yours might come up. They should not be using them without your permission but I am not sure how that will work other than to be thorough with your settings. It might mean people will want to reinvent their Facebook page and image but what you have uploaded will be there even if you delete it so it is not on your page. It’s a learning curve. We have been playing with social media for a while and we can see the advantages and the disadvantages. It is important to CHECK YOUR SETTINGS. Go to the settings on a regular basis. Use the option of looking at your page from someone else’s point of view. Search for your content on Google and other search engines. If you do not like what you see then change your privacy settings. It is probably also important to remember to ask others before you put their images up on your page and whether they want to be tagged or not. We are growing into the next phase. We have built a lot of online content . I think the idea now is to make it useful and useable. If you do not like what is happening then you have to find the avenues to address the issues. I noticed that WordPress had a rating for its Gravatars when I changed mine. I see this as responsible site ownership. I believe we should rate the visual content online so that schools and parents can make appropriate choices. I am just wondering how that search function on Facebook will work in terms of child protection and viewing suitability of images for school age students. We’ll see.
Fed up with your feed on Facebook having a life of its own? Need to take a bit of control because things are there that you don’t want? Facebook has changed the feed because it is monetizing business pages. If you subscribe to a page there is something you can do to ensure it stays in your feed. Go to the page, hover over the LIKE button and click on SHOW IN FEED. You can also click the one above to get notifications. The reverse is true for pages you do not want to see. So, click the top two to ensure you get the information you had planned to get. With regard to friends you can hover over their avatar. You will get a little window where you can check the SHOW IN FEED. If you click on the settings underneath, you can pick and choose what you want shown in that feed from that friend. You may or may not want to see their pictures, you may or may not want to see their statuses etc etc. You choose what you want. Facebook can be a bit annoying because it will just change things. Always check settings and always play the hover game.
They are not going away. It’s not irrelevant. They are taking the world by storm and social media needs to be utilised by educators and students so they understand how they work and why they are such a powerful avenue of influence and connectedness. The world is running on them and “On average in one year, we will share 415 pieces of content on Facebook, we’ll spend an average of about 23 minutes a day on Twitter, tweeting a total of around 15,795 tweets, we’ll check in 563 times on Foursquare, upload 196 hours of video on YouTube, and send countless emails.” The Social Skinny paints an astoundingly clear picture of just how enormous the social media penetration is world wide.The statistics by country are amazing. We can ignore it or we can educate others in its use. If we choose not to the world will just go ahead and do it without the influence of educators. Look at all of that information and tell me that it will not happen. I’d be lost without my Twitter hashtags. It is how I participate in some interesting discussions, get absolutely current information and keep up to date on professional and global trends. There are some interesting infographics on Jeff Bullas’ site, some valuable information on the Social Networking Watch and some fascinating infographics and clear statistics about social media usage on AnsonAlex.com. The image on this post simply highlights a few of what are now an impressive set of credentials for social media. They are here to stay and if they are good enough for Her Majesty and the President of America then I think we need to realise they are now the norm and schools need to make good use of them and show their students how to get the best out of them as we do with other media.
At last I can say Linux Mint 13 has absolutely everything I need and I sealed it today with the hat trick! Flash is notoriously bad on Linux and the Farm Town game I play on Facebook needs to be good with flash. Until now I have literally been a sedated or drunken sower on Farm Town. It is painfully slow and unreliable even in a small window. Not anymore. I went to the Google home page and downloaded Chrome (NOT Chromium). There is a link top right of the Google page. It installed superfast. Today I found out it runs my farm in Facebook on Linux Mint 13 in the big window and as efficiently as on Windows. No more crying. Then I discovered Chrome plays the France 2 news on Linux Mint 13. France 2 news has been horribly hard to access on Linux for the past year and TéléMatin is the news I love to watch. Lastly I got my wireless connection going really quickly by using these simple instructions…make sure you do the updated ones. This is for my Dell 1525 Inspiron. The Linux community help is very good.
Social media have been with us for so long that they are now all developing their own personalities and raison d’être. There are a number of different “social media explained” versions going around but I really liked this one because it’s on a whiteboard and included the hashtag for Twitter. Hashtags are a very strong feature of Twitter. If you haven’t used social media then this image demonstrates the differences in flavour. It is why it is important to participate in our developing technologies. Like trams, buses , taxis and private cars they are a building block in their own way of our current society just as transport was a building block of industrial society. There could also be Foursquare – where you purchased your doughnut. LinkedIn could also be the Doughnut expert or developer and iTunes could be the podcast on Doughnuts. Knowing the relative emphasises and impact of different social media makes it possible for you to make considered decisions about which ones to use for a particular task, project or campaign. It also means you have a linguistic awareness of what would be expected in terms of how you express yourself. Finally,just to prove a point about how news and helpful information travels fast via social media, I got this from @leesargent who got it from Reddit which had got it from 25.media.tumblr.com which gave me an Access Denied (story of my life this week) error link but it comes up on various sites like Ryan Honick’s who , like me ,is thanking someone else. This image is seriously doing the rounds…so pass it forward! Thank you to the original creator of this.
Social media are not going to go away. They are a part of our lives as cars, boats, planes, trains and washing machines are. Social media are becoming more and more important in shaping our world and like transport there are some considerable impacts to come to terms with. Jeff Bullas site looks at them from a marketing point of view but in lots of ways that is what educators need to do. We need to understand social media and how they operate so that we can provide an educative approach and look at how we can use them for ourselves and ensure our students are able to use social media to their benefit. Jeff Bullas is living proof of what you can do with social media but he is also very easy to read and learn from. This particular post has a lots of really good infographics on social media and what they now mean.
I went onto Storify last night to see how it works. It links social media sites so you can build a narrative of your own and publish it. It seems to be designed for tablets but there are already a number of classroom applications for it that I can think of.It works well on a computer. News services are certainly showing how effective it can be and then you have to browse the stories already available to see what possibilities there are. It is a good way to connect social media generated content with your own imagination. I did the obvious and used what I had to create a New Year story. I can access my social media accounts or search on a topic or theme to get relevant items for my story. It is amazingly quick to build a story. I used the text from a slide presentation I had just made. When you use the work of others Storify notifies them that you have done that. I used my Twitter account to log in so that was sent out as a notification on Twitter. I can see students could use it to make themed assignments with their own writing included. I could see them using it as a gathering point for ideas for big assignments and I could see them using it to develop their own pieces in another language they are learning or as a way of managing things like the Maths directed study. As a teacher I would have to ensure I could be clear about what is original and what is borrowed content. It would be a useful way for students to use all the social media sites they know so well to good advantage. I believe in anything which will put a good spin on what we have now moved into. Social media is not going to go away. It is now a part of our world and our lives and it is a significant part… as newspapers became, as television became , as transport became. I was quite happy with my first story because now I know I can create a different sort of narrative when I want to and I could even use it to create a lesson. All the information and media would be there. Storify will probably become the big news of 2012.