Engaging with students – both inside and outside the classroom – who are continually linked in to social media and online devices presents a range of opportunities, challenges and pitfalls.
By DAVID SMITH | April 5, 2017
More and more of our public, private and professional lives are migrating online. There is little doubt that social media will infiltrate every aspect of our day-to-day existence. If used effectively, online tools are revolutionary for communicating and stimulating important conversations.
EDU 2.0 is a lot like online course management systems Blackboard and Moodle, but with a couple of distinct advantages. First, teachers can share their lesson plans, quizzes, videos, experiments and other resources in a shared library that currently hosts more than 15,000 pieces of content. Second, a community section allows teachers and students to network and collaborate with other members who share the same educational interests. And third, everything is hosted in the cloud for free.
The popular visual organizing and sharing tool Symbaloo launched its “EDU” version last month. According to the company, 50,000 teachers are already using Symbaloo to organize classroom resources. The new EDU version comes with academic subject-specific resource pages or “webmixes” and top tools like TeacherTube, Slideshare, Google Docs, Flickr and more are fully embeddable. Teachers with a “Free Plus” account can add their school logo and customize the links. The site also allows students to easily share their Symbaloo pages and projects with classmates.
This app gives teachers four discussion format choices. Students can either agree or disagree with a statement, answer a multiple choice question, post responses, or have the choice between adding a new response or voting for someone else’s response. Teachers can add photos or videos to their prompts and all of the discussions take place on one class page.
This WordPress-like blogging platform only supports educational content and thus, unlike WordPress, usually isn’t blocked by school filters. Since 2005, it has hosted more than a million blogs from students and teachers.
Kidblog is a bit more specific than Edublogs. There are fewer options to adjust the appearance of the main page, and it’s hard to use the platform for anything other than as a system for managing individual class blogs. The homepage serves as a catalog of student blogs on the right with a recent post feed on the left.
Teachers can also control how private they want the blogs to be. They can keep them student-and-teacher only, allow parents to log in with a password, or make them open to the public.
Edmodo looks and functions much like Facebook. But unlike Facebook, it’s a controlled environment that teachers can effectively leverage to encourage class engagement. The platform allows teachers and students to share ideas, files and assignments on a communal wall. Teachers can organize different groups of students and monitor them from the same dashboard. Once they’ve organized classes, they can post assignments to the wall and grade them online. They can then archive the class groups and begin new ones.
7. TeacherTube and SchoolTube and YouTube
As the name implies, TeacherTube is YouTube for teachers. It’s a great resource for lesson ideas but videos can also be used during class to supplement a lecture. For instance, you can let Mrs. Burk rap about perimeters if you like her idea but lack the rhyming skills to pull it off yourself. This site also has a crowdsourced stock of documents, audio and photos that can be added to your lesson plans. Unfortunately, every video is preceded by an ad.
SchoolTube is another YouTube alternative. Unlike other video sharing sites, it is not generally blocked by school filters because all of its content is moderated.
The original, generic YouTube also has a bevy of teacher resources, though it’s often blocked in schools. Khan Academy consistently puts out high-quality lessons for every subject, but a general search on any topic usually yields a handful of lesson approaches. Some of the better ones are indexed onWatchKnow.
70 percent of teens now say they use social media more than once a day, compared to 34 percent of teens in 2012.
Snapchat is now the most popular social media platform among teens, with 41 percent saying it’s the one use most frequently.
35 percent of teens now say texting is their preferred mode of communication with friends, more than the 32 percent who prefer in-person communication. In 2012, 49 percent of teens preferred in-person communication.
One-fourth of teens say using social media makes them feel less lonely, compared to 3 percent who say it makes them feel more lonely.
Nearly three-fourths of teens believe tech companies manipulate them to get them to spend more time on their devices and platforms.
Back in 2012, Facebook dominated the landscape, and social media was something for teens to periodically check in on.
In 2018, though, “social media” is no longer a monolith. Teens now communicate, express themselves, share experiences and ideas, rant, gossip, flirt, plan, and stay on top of current events using a mix of platforms that compete ferociously for their attention.
Sixty-three percent of teens say they use Snapchat, and 41 percent say it’s the platform they use most frequently.
Instagram, meanwhile, is used by 61 percent of teens.
And Facebook’s decline among teens has been “precipitous,” according to the new report. Just 15 percent of teens now say Facebook is their main social media site, down from 68 percent six years ago
4. Most important: As with any technology, attach social media use to clearly articulated goals for student learning
Moving from Policy to Practice
Social media isn’t a novel phenomenon requiring separate attention. Ed tech, and the tech world in general, wants to tout every new development as a revolution. Most, however, are an iteration. While we get caught up re-inventing everything to wrestle with a perceived social media sea change, our students see it simply as a part of school life.
Many of these teachers started out as “teacher bloggers,” but most became Insta-famous through Teachers Pay Teachers, an online platform that allows teachers to sell classroom resources they’ve created, such as worksheets and bulletin board decor.
By promoting their Teachers Pay Teachers products on Instagram with hashtags such as #TeachersOfInstagram and #TeacherLife, as well as sharing classroom tips and snapshots, these teachers acquire tens of thousands of followers. Many even exceed the 100,000 follower mark.
The CEO of Teachers Pay Teachers, Adam Freed, told BuzzFeed News the platform “becomes a real living” for many teachers.
With an aesthetic that could be described as “Pinterest-y,” it might be surprising that Instagram seems to have overtaken Pinterest as the place teachers are sharing their designs and ideas.
“With Instagram, it’s really cool because you’re able to direct message the person right away and ask, ‘Hey how did you do this?’ or ‘I have some questions about my classroom!’” said Maloy. “I have new teachers messaging me all of the time. It’s like Pinterest, but it goes a step beyond because you have that collaboration and a way to connect with people.”
In spite of all their success, some of these teachers think about what could happen if the teacher influencer bubble bursts one day. This concern is what keeps some of them in the classroom.
School administrators have largely been supportive too, and many of the teachers said their social media work is seen as proof that they’re passionate, creative, and skilled at their jobs.
Five tips to help you create a personal brand and a positive digital reputation
1. What will they find when they Google you?
2. What is branding?
Your brand is what you represent, the content that you share, your audience, your Personal Learning Network (PLN), and your teaching philosophy. You want your brand to demonstrate that you are trustworthy, and offer quality content, insightful comments, and experience. Your brand tells your audience that what you offer is of value. Together, the elements that create your brand should communicate a distinct, cohesive story. For instance, when you visit any of my social media profiles, you will see a consistent message. The avatar and logo for my website Shake Up Learning are more recognizable than my face, and that’s intentional. That isn’t to say that every brand needs an avatar. But do find a creative way to tell your personal story.
3. Choose the right platforms
There is no right or wrong platform. Choosing where you want to build your online presence depends on the audience that you want to engage. If you want to reach parents and school community stakeholders, Facebook is a strong bet. If you want to reach other educators, Twitter and Pinterest are big winners. The bottom line is that you don’t have to use them all. Find and connect with your audience where your audience resides.
4. Claim your social media real estate
Before you settle on a username, check that it’s available on all of the social media platforms that you want to use—and then keep it consistent. You will lose your audience if you make it hard to find you. Also keep your handle simple and short, and try to avoid special characters. When a new platform arrives, claim your username early even if you aren’t sure that you will maintain a presence there.
5. Optimize your social media profiles
Guy Kawasaki, co-author of The Art of Social Media, khas nearly 1.5 million followers on Twitter alone, and he offers effective social media tips in his book. Here are the basics:
Add a picture of your face or logo. Your picture validates who you are. No more eggheads! Using the default egg avatar on Twitter says you don’t have a brand, and doesn’t tell your audience that you are trustworthy.
Use your real name. Sure, you can lie, but that isn’t going to help you build a brand and online presence. Many platforms allow you to show your name as well as your handle.
Link to your website, blog or About.me page. Don’t have one? Get one! You may not be ready to start a blog, but anyone can easily set up an About.me page—which is like an online resume.
Compose a meaningful bio, which will help others find and follow you. It should describe your experience in the field of education and highlight topics that you follow like Maker Ed, Google Apps, or edtech.
Add a cover image. Choose an image that tells your story. Who are you? What do you do that sets you apart? Canva is a graphic design tool that makes creating a cover image easy. It offers ready-made templates in the right size for all of the major social media platforms.
Be consistent across all mediums. You want your followers to see the same brand on all of your social media profiles. This also means you shouldn’t change your profile picture every five minutes. Be recognizable.
Tools to build your brand and online presence
About.me: A quick and easy personal homepage that shows your audience who you are and how to connect with you.
Canva: An easy-to-use design tool for creating images, with templates for social media.
Fiverr: A marketplace for services that you can use to commission a logo, avatar, or web design.
In Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online, Marwick and Lewis (2017) of the Data & Society Research Institute described the agents of media manipulation, their modus operandi, motivators, and how they’ve taken advantage of the vulnerability of online media. The researchers described the manipulators as right-wing extremists (RWE), also known as alt-right, who run the gamut from sexists (including male sexual conquest communities) to white nationalists to anti-immigration activists and even those who rebuke RWE identification but whose actions confer such classification. These manipulators rally behind a shared belief on online forums, blogs, podcasts, and social media through pranks or ruinous trolling anonymity, usurping participatory culture methods (networking, humor, mentorship) for harassment, and competitive cyber brigades that earn status by escalating bullying such as the sharing of a target’s private information.
Marwick and Lewis reported on how RWE groups have taken advantage of certain media tactics to gain viewers’ attention such as novelty and sensationalism, as well as their interactions with the public via social media, to manipulate it for their agenda. For instance, YouTube provides any individual with a portal and potential revenue to contribute to the media ecosystem. The researchers shared the example of the use of YouTube by conspiracy theorists, which can be used as fodder for extremist networks as conspiracies generally focus on loss of control of important ideals, health, and safety.
One tactic they’re using is to package their hate in a way that appeals to millennials. They use attention hacking to increase their status such as hate speech, which is later recanted as trickster trolling all the while gaining the media’s attention for further propagation
SHARED MODUS OPERANDI
Marwick and Lewis reported the following shared tactics various RWE groups use for online exploits:
Ambiguity of persona or ideology,
Baiting a single or community target’s emotions,
Bots for amplification of propaganda that appears legitimately from a real person,
“…Embeddedness in Internet culture… (p. 28),”
Exploitation of young male rebelliousness,
Hate speech and offensive language (under the guise of First Amendment protections),
Irony to cloak ideology and/or skewer intended targets,
Memes for stickiness of propaganda,
Mentorship in argumentation, marketing strategies, and subversive literature in their communities of interest,
Networked and agile groups,
“…Permanent warfare… (p.12)” call to action,
Pseudo scholarship to deceive readers,
“…Quasi moral arguments… (p. 7)”
Shocking images for filtering network membership,
“Trading stories up the chain… (p. 38)” from low-level news outlets to mainstream, and
Trolling others with asocial behavior.
teenagers in Veles, Macedonia who profited around 16K dollars per month via Google’s AdSense from Facebook post engagements
Venue Hotel – Fourside Hotel City Center Vienna Grieshofgasse 11, A – 1120 Wien / Vienna, AUSTRIA
About the Conference
International Academic Conference in Vienna 2017 is an important international gathering of scholars, educators and PhD students. IAC-GETL 2017 in Vienna will take place in conference facilities located in Vienna, the touristic, business and historic center of Austria.
Conference language: English language
Conferences organized by the Czech Institute of Academic Education z.s. and Czech Technical University in Prague.
Conference Topics – Education, Teaching, Learning and E-learning
Education, Teaching and Learning
Distance Education, Higher Education, Effective Teaching Pedagogies, Learning Styles and Learning Outcomes, Emerging Technologies, Educational Management, Engineering and Sciences Research, Competitive Skills, Continuing Education, Transferring Disciplines, Imaginative Education, Language Education, Geographical Education, Health Education, Home Education, Science Education, Secondary Education, Second life Educators, Social Studies Education, Special Education, Learning / Teaching Methodologies and Assessment, Assessment Software Tools, Global Issues In Education and Research, Education, Research and Globalization, Barriers to Learning (ethnicity, age, psychosocial factors, …), Women and Minorities in Science and Technology, Indigenous and Diversity Issues, Intellectual Property Rights and Plagiarism, Pedagogy, Teacher Education, Cross-disciplinary areas of Education, Educational Psychology, Education practice trends and issues, Indigenous Education, Academic Research Projects, Research on Technology in Education, Research Centres, Links between Education and Research, Erasmus and Exchange experiences in universities, Students and Teaching staff Exchange programmes
Educational Technology, Educational Games and Software, ICT Education, E-Learning, Internet technologies, Accessibility to Disabled Users, Animation, 3D, and Web 3D Applications, Mobile Applications and Learning (M-learning), Virtual Learning Environments, Videos for Learning and Educational Multimedia, Web 2.0, Social Networking and Blogs, Wireless Applications, New Trends And Experiences, Other Areas of Education