Social Media Is Not the Enemy: Social Media in English Education


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This is the Opening Keynote Presentation I offered for Jim Burke's English Companion Ning site's inaugural summer Webstitute 2010 (July 2010).

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Social Media Is Not the Enemy: Social Media in English Education

  1. 1. Social Media in English Education or (Social Media: It’s Not the Enemy!) Laura Nicosia, PhD Associate Prof. English Director, English Education Montclair State University
  2. 2. Who am I? This is the iconic Bell Tower of College Hall at Montclair State University in NJ
  3. 3. My upcoming book is: Educators Online: Preparing Today’s Teachers for Tomorrow’s Digital Literacies Peter Lang, Publishers
  4. 4. In my book, I attempt to dispel numerous myths and anxieties regarding Web 2.0 uses and social media participation-- specifically regarding educators.
  5. 5. A recent study* of over 1000 educators shows: Only 16% of English/LA teachers are frequent users of technology, as opposed to 33% of all social studies or science teachers. * Report by Grunwald Associates LLC June 2010:
  6. 6. Why Is That So?
  7. 7. Their answer is: 49% say: “The device [technology] isn’t necessary for my lessons.” * Report by Grunwald Associates LLC June 2010:
  8. 8. But teachers who use technologies frequently in their lives and classes report greater benefits to student learning, engagement and 21st century skills. Collaboration Global Awareness Accountability Innovation Communication Leadership Creativity Problem-solving Critical Thinking Productivity Ethics Self-direction
  9. 9. This Begs the Question: If English/LA teachers choose not to use Web 2.0 technologies & social media to deliver instruction or in their own lives, how can they model valid uses of these tools?
  10. 10. “In the 21st Century, educators must be given and be prepared to use technology tools; they must be collaborators in learning —constantly seeking knowledge and acquiring new skills along with their students.” Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education March 3, 2010: Grunwald pp. 5
  11. 11. Let’s discuss a few select Web 2.0 sites and social media first as PD and second, as to their importance for our own personal growth and enjoyment.
  12. 12. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can’t DO technology— You CAN!
  13. 13. I wasn’t trained in Web 2.0 tools and wasn’t born a digital native*
  14. 14. Regardless, I’ve effectively used several technologies in my classes.
  15. 15. These are some I currently use* Twitter* Flickr* Plurk Glogster Ning* GoogleDocs* Diigo* Delicious Facebook Wordle Pandora Linkedin Wikispaces* SlideShare* & YouTube* Second Life* Skype * These are the tools & sites I use with my English and English Education classes.
  16. 16. These sites can be grouped into like “genres” & we can talk about them after this slide show
  17. 17. Collaborative Work Spaces: GoogleDocs Wikispaces
  18. 18. Social Bookmarking: Diigo* Delicious Flickr* Pandora* SlideShare* & YouTube *These are “crossover” tools and can be categorized in several “genres”
  19. 19. Micro-Blogging: Twitter Plurk
  20. 20. Social Networking: Ning* Diigo* Facebook Skype Linkedin *These are “crossover” tools and can be categorized in several “genres”
  21. 21. Creative Production: Glogster Wordle
  22. 22. 3-D Virtual Reality Environments: Second Life (think of Webkinz or the Sims) My SL avatar: LauraMaria Onomatopoeia
  23. 23. Frankly, I’ve learned more from my professional learning network [PLN] than in any PD course I’ve ever taken.
  24. 24. “The social benefits of internet use will far outweigh the negatives over the next decade...because email, social networks, and other online tools offer ‘low-friction’ opportunities to create, enhance, and rediscover social ties that make a difference in people’s lives.” -Pew Research Center, 2 July 2010.
  25. 25. Since our time is limited, I’d like to talk about: Twitter Wikispaces Diigo
  26. 26. Have You Twittered Today?
  27. 27. What IS Twitter? It is the most popular micro-blogging system It is robust, elegant and simple Has 75 million users* Permits numerous mash-ups & open source applications
  28. 28. Twitter is a Microblog It is a mini-blog of 140 characters or less answering the question, “What’s happening?”
  29. 29. This is my Twitter Homepage
  30. 30. Twitter pages are vertically oriented, linear and very ‘clean’
  31. 31. You may ask, “So, what’s the big deal?”
  32. 32. I post Tweets because I: Meet colleagues from around the world Make friends Collaborate with my peers Share information and resources Receive links, insights and advice Share my scholarship with peers
  33. 33. Tweets are, by definition, to- the-point. They take little time to write and less time to read.
  34. 34. Tweets can be used to share links to websites and articles.
  35. 35. Here are some sample Tweets I’ve archived
  36. 36. With Twitter, you don’t have to be alone when traveling at a conference.
  37. 37. You make a request...
  38. 38. You get responses almost immediately
  39. 39. Tweets can be used in class, too. You can keep up with the newest YA titles and authors...
  40. 40. You can even offer one-question quizzes, short answers or extra credit questions using Twitter.
  41. 41. You can use Twitter to teach creative writing in round-robin storytelling fashion
  42. 42. I’ve taken attendance with Twitter
  43. 43. and I’ve used it for polling students
  44. 44. I’ve even used it with writing tasks: Students have Tweeted their titles or their Thesis Statements or their Topic Sentences or even Summaries
  45. 45. When I want more depth & development... I use Wikispaces.
  46. 46. I create a new Wiki for every class I teach and nearly every PD I offer.
  47. 47. I prefer They offer Ad-Free educational spaces
  48. 48. You can create a Wiki EASILY
  49. 49. You use simple icons to manage and administer your wiki
  50. 50. You can even send email ‘blasts’ to all or some members of your wiki or to all your wikis.
  51. 51. I’ve used Wikis in Literature Classes
  52. 52. Here are some of the students’ individual pages for their tasks When students research topics, however...
  53. 53. The Web 2.0 tool we use is Diigo.
  54. 54. Diigo This is my profile page
  55. 55. With Diigo you can annotate & highlight articles as you read them. These notations will remain there. That’s pretty cool already. But you can also send those articles as emails and/or as URLs.
  56. 56. When you sign up with Diigo you download a tool bar menu Standard Tool Bar:
  57. 57. You create bookmarks (like filing cabinets) for resources, links and articles you find useful.
  58. 58. Imagine the possibilities for researching a new text or for a student doing a research paper. Bookmarked articles can be mailed via email. You can also comment on articles with a stickie note and mail those commented-upon articles.
  59. 59. Here’s how you bookmark, tag and send an online resource:
  60. 60. Here is the Bookmark box
  61. 61. This is a portion of my TAGS (arranged in size by frequency of my use)
  62. 62. These tools have been instrumental in keeping me active, productive, current and continually learning. I encourage you to explore these tools--for YOUR use and for your classroom implementation.
  63. 63. Let’s Talk: Any questions or comments? Dr. Laura Nicosia Montclair State University, NJ
  64. 64. Image Credits: (unless otherwise noted): Slide 2: Slide 3: Slide 4: Slide 5: Slide 7: Slide 10: Slide 12: Slide 13: Slide 17: Slide 18: Slide 19:
  65. 65. Image Credits: Slide 20: Slide 23: Slide 25: Slide 26: Slide 31: Slide 33: Slide 34: Slide 37: Slide 40: Slide 42: Slide 43: Works Cited Slide 23: Slide 27: