The Royal Wedding

harryandmeghan.jpgWhether you were interested or not in the royal wedding is of no consequence. What is important is that in terms of connectivity and the internet it was a ground breaking event which demonstrated just how much we want to connect and how powerful that is. There were 3.4 million tweets sent during the ceremony. It is how we interact with each other these days which has been highlighted. On Friday morning there was enough traffic to break the BBC site and so the interest in the event was beyond the capacity of one of the world’s biggest broadcasters and that site would be used to dealing with large numbers in terms of traffic. There were 2.7 million mentions of the royal wedding on social media in 24 hours. The statistics are still being collated and collected but there are powerful numbers there to show how much we can achieve in 2018 in terms of connecting with each other. The BBC has compiled some interesting statistics for the royal wedding. There is some discussion about the number of global viewers and then comparisons with Kate and William’s wedding and Charles and Diana’s wedding. During that time frame we have had more and better access to tablets and smartphones and that needs to be taken into account.  The statistics will be updated in about a week’s time because it is important to know what we can achieve globally.

Firstly, we need to understand what pulls people into that passionate need to connect. Secondly we need to know if we have the capacity to deal with it in terms of hardware and software. We need to know if we can do it better and we need to look at the benefits and the pitfalls. That kind of capacity to involve and connect is powerful in terms of education,  engagement and problem solving for the planet. Our plastic problem would disappear if we could all engage and involve ourselves like we did for the royal wedding. Do we have a way of looking at the impact? Do we have data which would show us whether our powerful capacity to connect is of good value to us? Can we think it forward and use it to solve some of the world’s biggest issues?

Social media policies and guidelines for teachers

social media guidelines DECDWe are at the stage now where the various education departments around the country have come up with social media policies and guidelines for teachers around Australia. Every so often, as was the case recently, teachers discuss what the policies and guidelines are. This is not because they are ignorant or lax in their approach but because we have different guidelines and policies for different states and then PLNs for teachers can see different approaches which are acceptable in one state but not in another. As a professional body teachers probably need a national set of policies and guidelines which are set by AITSL and ACARA. If we have national professional standards for teachers, social media should be a critical part of this since we are in the age of technology. These policies and guidelines need to be reviewed at least twice a year because things change so quickly on the internet. Underpinning all of this needs to be the safety and security of all who are involved with social media and then parents need to know and understand what is occurring so they can raise their concerns or ideas easily.

The QR code for the South Australian guidelines which is on their brochure is not currently pointing to an active link. This is not surprising given DECD has just undergone a big site refurbishment and to ensure every link is working is a long, tedious process. A big, corporate site needs to constantly attend to link checking and even though there are link checkers we probably need a button on the landing page for a broken link which allows us to notify any site of a malfunction in their links. One of the joys of website care in 2018.

You can find all the state policies and guidelines on the federal site for the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.

The South Australian Policy is available as a download here.

The South Australian Social Media Guidelines for DECD are here.

The South Australian Consent to use media and creative work is here.

The documents all provide some very useful information and links out to other sites which will inform practice and decision making around social media. It is becoming very complex, though, and a set of national guidelines and policies which apply to all states would probably be helpful so that practice is consistent across the country  .

Fixing Facebook

 

Mark Zuckerberg’s plan is to fix Facebook in 2018. That can only happen if there is a clear idea of what the actual problems are and not the perceived problems. That requires interaction with users because it is the user experience which is now creating problems. Some users have left or significantly cut back on Facebook time. It used to be a place where people spent time but that is no longer the case because it is no longer a user friendly site. What is of interest to me is that no one is complaining about it any more. If Facebook made changes there would be an outcry. If Facebook wasn’t the place people wanted to be there would be outbursts of criticism. Now people just leave or limit their time. They say nothing. That is how much Facebook has changed. Maybe they no longer feel it is a platform where they will be heard.

Part of the problem is Facebook is a stalkers paradise and I have said that before. Facebook and Messenger now broadcast when you are on the sites and Facebook broadcasts your comments, activities as well. Facebook enables people who are not your friends to see what you are posting and saying. This is all invasive and makes people feel insecure. Facebook is no longer a friend. it is a threat. People keep using it because it is still the best way to keep in contact with those overseas and interstate that you cannot easily contact.

The other part of the problem is Facebook pushes propaganda, tabloid news and fake information. It has a seedy feel which can create fear mongering or worry. So much tripe. I regularly go through my feed to try and cut that down but Facebook creates unsolicited posts and puts them in my feed. Some people just want to see what their Facebook friends are posting and then the sites they subscribe to. it then becomes their Facebook feed and not this space where you can be done too. Comments on those sorts of sites can be unpleasant and nasty. There is a pack mentality which surrounds tabloid news and considered opinion is out the window. Facebook used to be a good place for discussing ideas and views.

One of its real strengths is getting missing people home and safe and missing people home and safe. it is also powerful at getting lost items back to owners. That is a strong, positive network which keep sits strength in spite of interference. Facebook can be very uplifting and achieve positive outcomes but it is constantly undermined by interfering with the wellbeing of its users. Telling everyone everything about your activities and then telling them when you are online is a good way to deprive you of privacy and individuality. Respect for space is important.

There is no place on Facebook for nastiness of any kind. The world has issues and the world has problems. Enabling negative behaviour and comments, undermining someone’s post or victimising them isn’t helping. Feeds by organisations or public people can be hijacked and turned into something nasty and critical  and contributes to the distastefulness of the site. People fight back and they set things straight but it was never necessary before. Those sorts of behaviours of destroying someone’s positive information need to be stopped.

Everyone will have their opinion of what is wrong and what should be fixed and so Mark Zuckerberg has quite a big challenge to sort this out this year.  Part of his capacity of creating a worthwhile  social arena in the first place ought to be to be able to fix what is going wrong now. The easiest thing to fix would be the chronology. People are sick of seeing the same post over and over or having stuck feeds or having things pop up out of nowhere so you literally lose the thread. When you lose track of the feed or see things from before , you switch off. No one has the time or interest in trying to get that right in their heads. It’s very messy as it stands. May all the Facebook fixing go well.

Using Facebook Messenger

MessengerFacebook Messenger is automatically there as part of Facebook. On your phone or tablet , though, you can download the app and use it independently of Facebook. Some people cannot interpret the labelling because it means nothing to them. You get a screen with stuff on it and it is not clear what that stuff can do and what is possible. I have relabelled the screen so that hopefully people can use Messenger better. They love it when they find out they an ring their Facebook contacts. They love it even more when they realise they can video call their Facebook contacts. It means they can keep in touch better with friends and family they miss. I have spent time again this week showing people how to use Messenger and the joy on their faces is priceless.

I generally make a time to ring or video call someone.  It makes it easier. Other people do that with me. People need to know you are going to voice or video call them on the Net. This is all charged against your internet data so a video call will use a lot more data and you have to make sure you have a plan which accommodates that.  You send out invitations to your Facebook contacts if they are not on Messenger. They may not know they can be so you might need that conversation too.  It’s very handy sometimes to have these options.

I am beginning to think Facebook needs to have some easily accessible video tutorials so that users can navigate Facebook and its options better. A one minute video would be worth it for so many.

Instagram best of 2017

Instagram best of 2017Instagram supports learning and endeavour. It encourages care, commitment, colour and creativity. On March 6th 2016 I had 6 followers and I blogged about it. Today I have 514 so I have come a long way. These photos don’t represent technology as such, but then again they do. I have been learning a lot in the last two years and I have been rewarded by support on Instagram. The photos represent the encouragement I have had learning to spin, to be sustainable, to support local, to care. The tiny teddies were my contribution to a group project to get 100 knitted for a pastoral program in a school. The blanket with the 4 white feet were when I had finished a baby blanket and then had the big challenge of crocheting an AT-AT . On Instagram you lead by collaborating and engaging. You learn by sharing and seeing. My photography with my phone has improved,  I have good followers and it is a very  positive part of my life. It’s a space where I am using my devices to share what I am doing but then get more ideas . I put myself out there and am calibrated against the rest of the world. You can get your own Instagram best nine by going here : 2017bestnine . This is a snapshot. Instagram is still adding likes to older pictures because people come and go on Instagram as they feel like it these days and it is common practice now to do a digital detox. By next week or the week after these images might change because the rhythm of Instagram participation has changed.

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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