The social media effect

social media effect As I have explained numerous times before , the tried and true practice of the internet is to share, gain feedback and grow your ideas. Like, share, follow. The infographic I have featured left explains how a blog post can grow your idea and permeate it through social media so it will both gain traction and come back to you with ideas and changes which will help develop your own thinking. You are not alone. You need not be alone. You do not have to sit there trying to come up with ideas and performance attainments. You can take yourself from where you are, share your thoughts and ideas and then blog or tweet them, share them in another social setting and the feedback you gain will help you decide the validity of your ideas and whether to pursue them as they stand or to adapt and change them. No idea is too small or too unworthy. Nothing is wasted. From all the sharing and repetition in different arenas we come to a common understanding of what we believe and think. We also create a cultural stability. If you look at the 35 social media infographics on Pamorama you can see another one which says Twitter is 43% babble and 38% conversation. Babble is an interesting choice of word. Tends to suggest the tweets are not worthwhile but people might just be throwing the ideas out there to see what happens. So called silly tweets can often get some serious thinking going. There is another infographic about balancing your social media diet. Certainly worth considering and certainly an infographic which makes you think about how you spend your time engaging with social media and how children/students should be balancing their time. This is something which people are thinking about at the moment and making lifestyle changes accordingly. The infographics are there to promote and provoke thought and consideration.

Create the teaching memes

real woman This image came up on my Facebook feed this morning and made me laugh. It made me think too.There is so much that  this meme teaches – gender equity, humour, gender assignment, gender stereo types, predigested thinking, generalisations, change, role assignment , language use and all the other things you can think of. It is so important in the age of social media to use its strength to create an intelligent classroom. Memes can be videos, images, quotes. They can go far and wide and impact on the thinking of those who participate in social media . Those people in turn will allow those memes to percolate through real life. I put up a post with a video about how teachers need to create trail memes in their classroom. With content it is important to get the message across to a group of students who have been exposed to the internet since birth. They view the world often in terms of apps, memes, videos and sharing. You take critical and key components of what you want to teach and try to find the images, videos, quotes which will promote the learning and will want to make your students share. You can even create your own content along those lines. It is about attention grabbing, but when people react and share the memes they are then doing the time-honoured thing of circulating and promoting culture and learning. There is so much information and misinformation. There is so much content and poor content. The job of  a teacher is to shine the light and create the good trails through the information and spotlight the best information. Memes are a way of doing  this.

Show and tell technology

computer technology I keep saying it. If you learn something with technology – pass it forward. Pass it on. Share it with someone. It’s the only way. It joins the dots and fills in the learning gaps. At school we are getting better and better at this and there is a noticeable lift in confidence and competence and then that real high you get from implementing something good in a classroom. Tips?

1. If you don’t know how to do something – ask!
2. Plan one on one or small group meetings where you are going to share what you know. Our faculty has planned to share its individual knowledge openly at meetings in the last week of term. That way we’ll all have a bigger pool of expertise to draw on.
3. Our technicians are very patient. They make sure each individual can do whatever it is they wanted to learn to do.
4. Our resource centre has implemented a media server and that means we are all now talking about how to use it and the resource centre staff are being rewarded for the time and effort they are putting into it. Everyone is in the conversation.
5. Students love to share. Teach them to ask and show too and include them in the learning loop.
6. Make technical resources available and let some people get good at them and then facilitate the learning of others. Spread the expertise by snowballing.
7. Show people what you do. Invite them to look and see. It generates some good learning conversations about how to use technology in a school.
8. There are no dumb questions. No stupid questions. Just things people don’t know or cannot do.
9. Use technology to circulate information. It keeps everyone in the loop and gets them to be a part of the learning curve.
10. Enthusiasm is a wonderful thing. If you are keen , it is very infectious and breaks down barriers.

Pay it forward

pay it forward

Five One to One Basics

one to oneWorking with students with laptops means you have to rethink your approaches and genuinely involve yourself and students in a new approach to learning or it is more web surfing , more spreadsheets and more word processing…at what cost? Rethinking it all if you have a joy of running the class from the front and watching and interacting with your students can be a bit of a challenge. After nearly a year of one to one learning I have these basics to offer:

1. Be clear about the real and genuine problems in your class in terms of individual students, the group and the environment. Work out how you are going to address them. Can you trust them all to do the right thing on their laptop? How will you solve that? What will you do if you have flakey internet access? What will you do if everyone works really well on a laptop but you have one student who is a technophobe? What will you do if the students start telling you how to use your computer?

2. Draw students in gradually to their laptop lessons. What do you plan for them to do? What might it look like when it’s finished and how might it help them in real life or later on? Do you have some good examples of what you want them to achieve? Do you have a poor example of what you want them to do and challenge them to do better. I find the latter works really well with laptop lessons! Students love overcoming mediocre!

3. Make things easy. Show them on the whiteboard the things they think they might not be able to do. Get them started on the first bit . Ask them to do a dummy run for 5 minutes and then compare notes of how the approach could be improved. Make it light hearted and uplifting but tell them when they will have to try really hard to accomplish or achieve something. Literally organise the one to one and let them approach you one at a time for 10 minutes or whatever you say until all the bugs and problems are resolved. The others need something clear and precise to do.

4. Never assume. What you value and like on a computer is not necessarily what they like and value and each students will have their likes and values. This is the basis for sharing and part of your job is to help them value their own way of being on a computer. It really is individual. Your second job is to get them to accept there are different approaches and ways of doing things with technology but you will have to agree on the core approaches for any task. Will it be recorded? Will it be a movie? Does it have to be a doc? Is acknowledging pictures important? How many pictures? How many slides? All these things can be agreed to. Allow them an opportunity to suggest ways of doing things. Share and get feedback.

5. Keep asking them about their experiences and ways of looking at things on a computer until you understand blocks, blind spots, knowledge gaps, things they love. Talk through what you are doing as you are doing it so they understand how you are approaching and creating as you use a computer. In lots of ways it is a about patience and tolerance because people really do use computers quite differently and we move forward by sharing our approaches and ideas. Make sure they know why you are saying and doing what you are saying and doing.

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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