Entry #5- Sarah Davies

1-  http://www.thethinkingstick.com/?p=650

2Who's Controlling your profile? March 31, 2008 - 2:36 pm

Have you ever been giving a presentation or talking to someone and all of a sudden you say something that makes you stop and think. I do it quite often actually and most of the time these turn into blog posts as is this one. My last session at EARCOS I was all fired up with a standing room only crowd and I was talking about Facebook and having a social presence when this came flying out of my mouth.

"If you don't take control of your social presence, someone else will!"

I had some shocked looks in the room, some wiggles in the chairs, and after the session ended had three people come up to me and ask "How do I register my own domain name?" (I use godaddy.com BTW)

As educators I think it is even more important. Like it or not, your students are out there and they're talking about you! You can either allow them to create your social presence for you or you can take control of it.

I've talked about the power of your social presence before and it is a scary thing if you do not have a gage on what's out there. You can't control what others say about you, but you can try to control what Google and Facebook searches find and rank.

I've also been hard on schools lately who are not controlling their social presence in Facebook. If you are a teacher in a high school go search for your school and see what you find. Then ask yourself:

1) Is this what we want incoming students to know? 2) How could our school harness the power here? 3) What do we want students; Past, Present, Future to find and know about.

(BTW schools...blocking it does not make it go away!)

One school that is getting this, I think anyway, is the International School of Kuala Lumpur. When you do a search for ISKL at Facebook the first group that comes up is their alumni group with over 1300 members. I used this as an example in my presentation and the Alumni overseer of the group was at the conference heard that I had use the site and approached me. The site was started by two past students. The alumni association approached them and asked if they could make this the official site. The school's alumni association now works with the two college students to run the site, keep it updated, and makes sure it correctly represents the school.

Sure, there are other ISKL student ran groups on facebook and I'm sure like most schools they're not all positive, but when a student comes to facebook and searches for ISKL...this is where they start. They start at the alumni page, they join it, know that they can get answers, makes connections, all before heading out to other "sub-groups."

As teachers and schools we need to realize that our customers are in this space, and that if we are not going to take control of our information there, someone else will do it for you. Do you want to leave a high school student in control of your profile? How about a group of say 100 students?

Scary? Yeah....then do something about it!

We can't continue to pretend these spaces don't matter. Especially if you are like most International teachers and you're out looking for a job every 3,5,7 years or so (what's the stat...14 jobs before they're 37?). Because some where, some time, somebody is going to Google you or do a Facebook search for you and what are they going to find? Who are you allowing to represent you?

I also like to show this poll started in 2006 and still active at USA Today.

The only thing this poll shows is that we do not want a law telling us we can or can not search for someone and use that information against them.

We are in a time of change, a time of figuring out how to use this information and when it is appropriate to do so. Until there becomes some "social norms" around this type of employee searching, you need to control what employers might find.

Do you feel like I'm yelling at you? Feel like I'm getting up in your face about this? If so this post is for you. Do something about it, get connected, get social and start talking control of your online presence! Because if you don't.....some day some one else will.



3- Jeff, As a future teacher and avid facebook-er, I completely agree with what you are trying to push for in this blog. Being a student still at a larger university, I know that students are so interested in what professors have facebooks, how they are represented, etc. There was actually an article in our school's daily paper abotu professors getting on facebook. It's not only a window into the professor's world, but a greater and more effective means of communication with students, because almost every person I know checks their facebook everyday if not more than once. That's more than most check their own e-mail. I think it's also a good idea for more high schools to get involved in this sort of thing instead of just blocking the sites from being accessed by students. My high school blocked Facebook and Myspace, and everyone knew by the second day how to bypass it. But these networking sites are still growing and schools can't stop that, so they should join in the bandwagon to make sure they are showing people the correct information about the schools, and not skewed or biased opinions from students who did not do so well. This may also help to salvage some teachers' reputations for future students. Maybe they could put out information, like how Pick-a-prof.com works (a website for students who want to find out what their future professors will be like). Facebook and Myspace have been taking over these students' lives, so why shouldn't they want to make the best out of it? Thanks, Sarah


Entry #4- Sarah Davies

1- http://rachelboyd.blogspot.com/

2-Sunday, 9 March 2008 How to explain Twitter

I often get asked to explain what Twitter is and "why would I bother twittering", especially at a conference where this a large amount of newby tech-users like Learning@School.

Finally now there is a new Commoncraft video to help me do just that: Twitter in Plain English.

This simple video will hopefully explain it a bit better whenever I get asked next. Oh, and you can even follow me (@rachelboyd), or @leelefever (the creator of the Commoncraft video below) on twitter too!

The video is embedded below, or you can view it here.




See you around the twittersphere!

For more info about Twitter, you can also check out my del.icio.us links and resources that I've gathered on the topic here.

This one by EDCAUSE: 7 things you should know about Twitter, is a goodie too. You can download it from this link.

3-Hey Rachel, For the longest time, I have seen this word 'twittering' on some of my friends' facebook statuses, but I had never actually figured out what it was or that it had any meaning at all. I am currently enrolled in a technology-enriched secondary education class, and I am being introduced to all of these new technologies and ways of communicating and sharing ideas with other future or current educators. We have discovered such programs as Skype, and del.i.cious accounts. I think that Twitter can have the same educational value that a del.i.cious account can have. By having a network of friends that include teachers, administrators, and college students, one can learn a lot. People might share a project that worked well in their class, a new teaching strategy that was thought of, and other things like that. Though the posts are short, they will be easier to read and force the blogger to be more concise. This is perfect for getting quick tips and information. Thanks for this blog! Sarah Davies Illinois State University 



Entry #3- Sarah Davies


2- LearningTimes Green Room The LT Green Room is a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are often drawn from members of LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe. The LT Green Room gives listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they're doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience. « LTGR Ep. #39 - "Feedback" LTGR Ep. #41 - "An Honest Assessment" »

LTGR Ep. #40 - "A Visit from Grammar Girl"

In this show, Susan and Dan are joined by "Grammar Girl" for a look behind the scenes of her award-winning educational podcast. Hosted by Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl not only provides "quick and dirty tips for better writing", it also serves as a great example of engaging and portable learning.

icon for podpress LTGR Episode #40 [15:53m]: Hide Player

Show Notes:

In this episode, Susan and Dan meet Mignon Fogarty, host of Grammar Girl, and talk with her about her award-winning and very popular podcast. Mignon is going to be one of the keynote speakers for the Illinois Online Conference in February, and this conference is produced in part by LearningTimes. Therefore, Jonathan Finkelstein, executive producer of LearningTimes, also joins the group.

Mignon begins to explain how she started podcasting as a science writer. Combining her love of interviewing and writing with her curiosity about podcasting and new audio technology, Mignon found podcasting was a mechanism by which she could write what she wanted and publish without editors and time-consuming review. Her first podcast was called Absolute Science, and she produced this for about six months.

Looking for another show to produce, one that would be shorter and less time-consuming, Mignon fell on the idea of grammar as she was editing documents. It is ironic that Grammar Girl has become more than a full-time job for Mignon.

Jonathan reminds us that Grammar Girl is one of several podcasts in the "Quick and Dirty Tips" series produced by Mignon.

Within a month or two, Grammar Girl was one of the highest rated podcast in iTunes. Mignon recognized this as an opportunity to launch a bigger business by adding other topics.

Self-described as a tech junkie, Mignon decided that learning audio technology was more interesting than just blogging her message.

Dan asks about the research. Mignon learned very quickly that given the demographics of her listeners and the number of listeners, she needed to be sure she referenced her work and provided resources and footnotes. She does her own research.

Dan wants to learn where the idiomatic expression "off the cuff" comes from.

Mignon gets her show ideas from listeners and e-mail. She also loves to use current events as a springboard for new topics.

Here is what Mignon knows about her listeners. Nearly 70% come from the US, there is an even mix of male and female listeners, and the majority are between the ages of 25 and 50. She was surprised that her listeners were not younger, students who might be assigned to listen to her work as part of class. And as you might imagine, her listeners are well educated.

Mignon then explains how she became a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show. She has also been the web pick of the day on the Wall Street Journal.

Jonathan points out how powerful the Grammar Girl podcasts have been in helping faculty see that you can take a subject that people might steer away from and make it fun. She also makes it look easy!

Again, Mignon will be one of the keynote speakers for the Illinois Online Conference in February. If you are interested in learning more about the conference, visit http://www.ilonlineconf.org.

Susan and Dan encourage their listeners to switch over to the Grammar Girl for the week and post their grammar questions to Mignon at http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/

This entry was posted on Monday, January 28th, 2008 at 8:46 pm and is filed under Episodes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. 2 Responses to "LTGR Ep. #40 - "A Visit from Grammar Girl""

3-Being in a technology enriched course for my education class, the web 2.0 tools have been overwhelming but most definitely enriching. I'm still breaking into the lot of them, but I can see the potential already. The podcasts mentioned in the post seem pretty interesting, especially when she mentioned that the age range is 25-50. It seems that even younger generations may benefit from these type of casts too. And as you can see from the above comment, these posts and podcasts can connect people from all over the world. I only hope I learn and understand enough to be able to enrich my future students that way. 




Entry #2-Sarah Davies


2- Old School Meets New School: A Chat with Dave Cormier and Bonnie Stewart on A Living Archives

Dave Cormier and Bonnie Stewart joined this show to discuss their project "A Living Archives." As you will hear them explain, this project, which is funded by Canadian Heritage, has students from all three school districts on Prince Edward Island (PEI) using leading edge technologies to bring PEI history and heritage to life. Bonnie and Dave have been building partnerships between the University of Prince Edward Island, the Provincial Archives and Records Office, the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation, the PEI Library, and the three PEI Boards of Education.

Here's what what Dave wrote about "The Living Archives project" in July 2007:

Between now and the 31st of march 2008 we're going to be taking some (probably 7th graders) students to the local heritage sitestudentworkpages (museums and archives) getting them to digitize some ‘old stuff' contextualized by some period literature and records, put that stuff into a digital archive, write some interesting things about those digital artifacts to be published in a new interactive e-book we'll be building out of drupal, and then go into Second Life and build a replica of 19th century Prince Edward Island. Simple right. All we have to do is meld in with the existing curriculum in three different school districts (two English and one French) build an entire educational program (for the tech literacies) which we will then print to DVD and give out to schools on the Island, adapt out existing digital library work to work with kids, take the existing drupaled distribution of drupal and convince it to do what we want it to do, and build a historical Island in SL that will house the digitized artifacts in period houses... giving people a chance to ‘experience' life at the start of the 20th century here on the red dirt island on the east coast of Canada. Why exactly did I want to do this? Like so many things it started with a simple conversation and then spiraled horribly out of control. Wonderfully, crazily out of control. I've been wanting a ‘holistic' project for a long time now. A project where we tried to take a given bit of learning or knowledge or something and followed it through a whole cycle. In this case, lets say we follow a photo of Gertrude peeling a potato. Give me lots of latitude here... the project is still morphing... this should only be meant to give you a basic idea 1. student wants to talk about potatoes (potatoes are very important on PEI see second paragraph...) 2. goes to archive, finds picture of Gertrude peeling potato 3. scans said photo 4. finds newspaper from 1905 with price of potatoes 5. goes to museum, finds potato cool knife, puts it in 3D scanner (yes... we bought one) 6. writes story about working in potato field in summer, compares lifestyles to previous times 7. story goes into online eportfolio, to be commented on by other students and ‘leaders' 8. story, photo, knife, newspaper go into e-book (still don't like this word... need something else) and get tagged and linked to other things that are similar 9. all digitized stuff also goes automatically into digital archive with nice metadata stripped from context and file 10. photo shows up on shelf over fireplace in SL (story shows up when photo is clicked) knife ends up on table and newspaper article (found on table) links to the photo bit of a rambling example. but this is (kinda) where we're hoping to get. We still have many different ideas going around and are slowly building our team... but the project is confirmed and we're going to take our best shot at it. We have a gigantic meeting on the 24th of July, after which I'll feel alot more comfortable speaking in more specifics.

 3-Being still in college and learning about new approaches to getting kids learning and excited, I think this is probably one of the coolest projects I have heard of. I really believe that projects like these will make students of all learning styles and motivation levels to want to learn and participate. The potato example started off quite comical, but by the end of the second to last and last steps, I wanted to know more, or even just repeat the project myself. My field of study are the social sciences and projects like The Living Archives would be perfect for me and my future classrooms. In a history class, for example, the students could be interested in how certain things were made at the turn of the century, or what types of businesses were around, how people lived from day to day, etc. The students could then use those steps from the potato example to discover these aspects, turn them into comparative research projects or turn it into research about a particular group of people, tools, or lifestyles. I see only endless possibilities with this Living Archives projects.


Entry #1- Sarah Davies

1- www.speedofcreativity.org

2- Oklahoma Students: Modeling Digital Education and 1 to 1 Learning

3- There's a high school in the town in which I attend school that uses a 1:1 ratio for laptops for students, not in every classroom, but in many. The students are not allowed to take the computers home of course, but in the class I observed, the students could look up pictures on the internet or find stories, and complete and turn in their homework assignments online. I thought it was such a great thing. So I completely agree with your stance in this area. This will only happen gradually, but at least some schools have started. To take this in a different direction, I do not want the computers to completely overtake the role of the teacher. The teacher should still be able to teach and facilitate the learning and only use the computers as a tool to aide in the learning, not to do the teaching themselves. Otherwise high school would become even more monotonous and boring to some than it already is.  

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