An introduction to social media tools Applying social media in the educational environment
Topics covered• Overview of the social environment• Relevant social media tools• How these tools are being used in education• Effective (and not so effective) uses of SM• Issues and concerns related to social media• Digital content production: an overview
SM: Perspectives and uses• The school – Social media being used to enhance the day to day running and marketing of the school?• The teacher – The pupils’ need for information and guidance for safe and effective uses of web media and social platforms – The potential for collecting and sharing valuable resources – Reaching and engaging pupils in their own space• The pupil – Empowering the pupil and giving them a platform for communication – Facilitating useful discussions and sharing between pupils
The social environment• Why social media? Why now? – Broadband and the read / write web (2.0) – Digital media creation• Digital natives and digital tourists• Digital content on digital platforms• Maximum exposure with minimum outlay (most often free)• Connectivity between the social tools• Communication on desktop and mobile devices
‘Facebook for grown-ups’ CFO.com• Social networking in a professional environment – Purely career related information• Substantial number of employers predict that it will replace the traditional resume webrecruit.co.uk• Vast networking potential for schools and pupils• Schools, fellow pupils and graduates can endorse each other’s skillsets• Blogs and groups are used to express professional insights and form alliances with similar minded professionals
• The pupils’ existing environment – 90% of Irish 15 – 24 year olds use the site• Facebook can be used as a standalone platform or as a main ‘stream’ through which other streams can added (twitter / YouTube etc.)• Potential for starting valuable conversations and sharing of resources• Facebook uses ‘timelines’ a chronological ‘stream’ of communication• Schools can benefit from FB pages (and likes) and events• Teachers and classes can benefit from groups features
discussions around usage• Pupils: concerns relate to privacy and intimidation by peers• Teachers: a mixing of personal and public spaces• Awareness of the mechanics of Facebook (albeit cumbersome) allows for control in most cases• Separate identities for personal and work• Policy and education become invaluable• Introducing a ‘school presence’ to the pupils’ FB could be seen as forcing an element of accountability and transparency into their usage
• Twitter is a ‘micro-blog’ with a maximum character count of 140 per post (tweet) – Tweets appear on your twitter feed from people you are ‘following’ – Search Twitter for ‘buzz-words’ to find conversations on a particular topic (politics, sport, entertainment) – Help to create buzz-words through including the hash #tag #ittkesprincipals for example• Twitter is seen as a real-time tool that lends itself to quick notifications and updates• Twitter feeds can be incorporated in to Facebook timelines
Blogging• Blogs look like websites and can have web pages that contain ‘static’ information such as contact details or a profile of the author• Blogs function like online diaries; their entries are referred to as ‘posts’• Blogs facilitate more comprehensive material than FB and Twitter• The social and community aspect is in the ‘following’ of blogs by the public and fellow bloggers (the blogosphere)• Blog posts can be automatically embedded in Facebook streams – usually the first portion of the post is included with a link back to the blog itself
Blogging: Education• Schools can use blogs in a more one-way manner pushing information out to the public – ‘news-feeds’ – Announcements to pupils and parents• Teachers can use blogs as a means of managing and publishing material to the class – Class material, assignments and reminders, events – Pupils can respond directly within comment sections (moderated by author)• Pupils can use blogs to respond to material and assignments (essays and reports etc.) – Would pupils publishing to blogs feel more ownership and accountability towards their work?
Wikis• Wikis are pages of information on a particular thing (the ‘thing’ can be anything or anyone)• The page has multiple authors assigned to it• In theory a wiki’s content is policed (moderated) by the public and flagged where necessary as inaccurate• In theory, wikis harness the ‘wisdom of the crowd’• Wikipedia is a very large wiki where anyone can contribute and / or set up their own entry
Wikis: Education• Wikis can be limited to a closed group of contributors (pupils or staff)• A platform for collaboration on group assignments and projects• A legacy or archive of knowledge from class group to class group
• Youtube is the second most used search engine behind Google (who own YouTube) mediapost.com• Videos are uploaded and discussed directly on YouTube – Discussions as written comments and also ‘video responses’• YT users can set up channels – pages dedicated specifically to their collection• Channels can contain users’ own uploads, and videos collected from other YouTube users• Playlists are used to categorize videos• Importantly, YouTube videos can be set to either public or private (invite only and not searchable on the web)
YouTube: Education• A YouTube channel can turn a school into a broadcaster – Interviews with pupils, staff visiting teachers – Recording and broadcasting events – Directly promotional video (tours of facilities etc.)• Teachers can use YT as an archive of learning resources – Students can go directly to the channel – YouTube videos can also be embedded within a page on other platforms (website, Blog, Facebook etc.)• Classes can be easily (and freely) recorded as video screencasts, uploaded to YT and distributed to class members – Common method of demonstrating computer based tasks and processes but also used to record ‘voice over slides’ – ‘Video blogs’ (vlogs) are also a common way of communicating through YouTube (recorded directly to the computer’s web cam)
Soundcloud• An audio equivalent to YouTube• Users create accounts and upload / collect sounds (music, spoken word etc.)• As with YouTube, pupils can visit the teacher / school’s Soundcloud page or the teacher can embed a soundcloud player in FB or equivalent• Teachers can also use soundcloud as an audio recorder. This is done via a headset microphone; the file is automatically stored• ‘Kerry Shtyle’ ITT – Music Technology project (2012) has gone viral and drawn the attention of celebrities and the general public to the IT
Other useful tools• iTunes U: An resource of free courses and material• Flickr: A place to store manage and share photos• Slideshare: A tool for ‘web-enabling’ powerpoint presentations (embedding them online)• Podcasting: Creating video / audio material that can be automatically downloaded to the pupils computer• Bookmarks: Collecting weblinks in one place and sharing them through blogs, twitter etc.