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Social Media & Education

February 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Much of the text below is excerpted from Jane Hart’s web sites.

“Jane Hart is an independent consultant, speaker and writer. She is an internationally known specialist in the use of social media for learning and working.” I’ve linked to some of her “best of” lists elsewhere on this site; you’ll find a few similar links towards the end of this post.

“Jane … recently established the Social Learning Centre to focus exclusively on how to encourage and support the use of social media for continuous collaborative learning.” It includes a “range of special interest groups for ongoing, continuous updates and discussions on specific social learning topics.” If you’re interested in these groups, you’ll need to register at the site. I joined the groups “Social Media and Education”, “Google applications for learning”, “Google+ and Learning”.

Here are some recent collections she’s put together:

Social Learning: Key resources from January
Here is my pick of 10 articles about social learning since my last posting just before Christmas. I have listed them below in chronological order, and also added a short quote from each of them to give you a flavour of what each is about. If you want to read further articles you will find many more that I have saved in my 2012 Reading List.

Top 100 Articles of 2011
This is my 4th Annual Top 100 Articles list.
From nearly 500 links to articles, blog posts, slideshows, reports and (this year also) infographics that I saved in my 2011 Reading List, here are the 100 that I enjoyed and/or impressed me most in 2011.  This year I’ve added a quote beneath each link to give you a taster of what it is about.  As you will see  for me this year’s reading has not been about social media tools per se, but how they are impacting personal, professional and organisational learning practices and behaviours.

Top 20 Tools 2007-2011
Combined results from 5 years of “Top 100” lists. I found the ordering interesting. Twitter, top of the list for the last 3 years, came in 9th (was 43rd in 2007). YouTube, in second place the last 2 years, came in 7th. The top 3 places went to Skype, WordPress and Google Docs – all in the top 15 for 5 years running. In 4th place is Delicious, in the top 4 for 2007-2010, but dropped to 24th place in 2011.

Collaboration 1: Collaboration is the key influence in the quality of teaching

One of seven posts about collaboration and why it nearly always fails to deliver results, inspired by Morten T Hansen’s Collaboration. [I’ve pulled together all seven posts in a PDF, Collaboration & Quality of Teaching.]

The quality of the teacher is the number one factor in the improvement of an education system, collaboration is the key factor in improving the quality of that teacher.

Collaboration helps increase academic success, yet most collaboration doesn’t work. The Microsoft-supported ITL Research revealed in a large-scale study:

“Innovative teaching happens more in environments where teachers collaborate. In schools where teachers report more frequent collaboration with one another on teaching practices, innovative teaching scores tend to be higher… Teachers told us that collaboration can be an important mechanism for sharing teaching practices and for mutual support toward improving them.”

Anecdotally, this has also been the prime driver in the continued growth and success of the TeachMeet movement since 2006, and EdCamps since then, providing environments in which teachers, for whatever reason, feel comfortable sharing. We’ll explore over this series of posts what makes collaboration work sometimes, and fail others.

All highly recommended.

Ask A Tech Teacher

December 15, 2011 1 comment

Jacqui Murray teaches at St. Mary’s, a school in southern California. Her sites are rather busy for my taste, but have lots of interesting links to content targeted to teachers and students.

She has a wordpress.com site titled Ask a Tech Teacher. Check the “Top Posts” (in left column) which include 32 Science Websites for Fifth Graders and 20 Great Research Websites for Kids.

She also has a wiki site for the school. Check the Favorite Links and Grade Level Standards (details how their school meets ISTE standards for 5th grade) pages.

She uses ProtoPage for grade-based home pages. It has lots of links, some interactive widgets, and more.

Creative Commons

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Creative Commons is a way of retaining rights to material between full copyright and public domain. They have a search page that allows one to limit the results returned (see check boxes at the top of the page) by Google, Google Images, Flickr and other sites to ones with specific rights to re-use. Cybraryman has a web page with lots of related links, including a link to 30+ Creative Commons Sources.

School Day of the Future

March 10, 2011 Leave a comment

I came across the page “21 Things That Will Be Obsolete by 2020” – an interesting take on where education and technology are likely to be headed. It’s part of a series of posts on the “School Day of the Future.” There’s lots of food for thought there.