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Posts tagged ‘social media’

You’re bringing whiteboard markers to a gun fight

I’ve talked about this in the past. Both the positive impact of technology on learning and the ability of tech to create distracted students who have difficulty thinking deeply.

I admit I’m still torn. I get it from both sides – many of my colleagues are strong supporters of tech in the classroom, of back channels, of hashtags during instruction.  And I would probably fall on that side of the argument. I do multiple tech integration workshops every semester. I’m planning a Chromebook / GAFE mini-conference. I worked with a group of folks this morning learning how to best use the Adobe Voice iPad app. I’m writing a blog post on a site titled History Tech for heaven’s sake.

But I’m running into more and more classroom teachers who are starting to be wary of the tech. There has been some interesting research about how the misuse of technology can screw with deep thinking skills and how the use of social media can be addictive. And a recent article by Clay Shirkey lays out a pretty persuasive argument for a tech naked learning environment.

So I’m torn. Read more

Tip of the Week: Tumblr in your classroom? Maybe. Just maybe.

I’ll be honest. I’m still on the fence here. Tumblr in the classroom. Yes or no? I haven’t decided but I’m wavering towards yes. If you’re not familiar with Tumblr, you need to be. Tumblr is microblogging and social networking website that many of your students are using. As of last week, there were over 200 million Tumblr blogs out there.

Think of a cross between Twitter and Facebook and you start to get a sense of what it looks like. It’s not really a tweet. It’s not really a blog. It’s not really a website. The question is

Can teachers take advantage of Tumblr to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom?

Several months ago, Terry Heick of TeachThought shared his thoughts on the question of Tumblr as a blogging tool for kids. His opinion? Yes. Read more

Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast and 5 easy ways to use it

Most of us like to think that we know a lot of history stuff. We’re great at Trivial Pursuit, Heads Up, and You Don’t Know Jack. We love reading non-fiction. We enjoy poking holes in the plots of “historical” movies and generally annoy our friends with random historical facts, Cliff Clavin style.

And, in the back of our minds, we’re always a bit concerned that someone else might just know more about history than we do. So we also are always on the hunt for additional history trivia bits.

A great place to find those cool history tidbits and extra background for your class is Read more

Who in government is editing Wikipedia?

(I just re-read the title to this post. It’s sounds like I’ve been watching too many conspiracy movies. But I’m gonna stick with it. It seems to fit. Feel free to rewrite it after you’re done here. Just know that we’ll know that you rewrote it. Cause we have those kind of interweb skills.)

I’ve talked quite a bit about Wikipedia and how I think it’s a good option for kids and teachers.

Some argue that because different people can edit Wikipedia entries, that those entries can’t be trusted. I would argue just the opposite . . . that because so many people can edit entries and so many people monitor changes to the entries, that the entries become more trustworthy.

I called it open source history.

Do you really know who writes your textbook? What credentials do they have? What bias do they bring to the process? What sources do they use to write their books? Who fact checks them? How do you know what influence the Texas State Board of Education played in “editing” their “entries?”

When a single person and a single group becomes the one responsible for controlling information and knowledge, we should all be concerned.

Having said that, it is important that we monitor and fact check Wikipedia entries. And that happens constantly. The good news is that we now have the option of using social media tools to do some of that monitoring for us.

Every Wikipedia article, and any revisions to that article, is tracked and monitored. If a change in an entry is made, the IP address of the computer that made the change is tracked and recorded. And for most major articles, there are Wikipedia editors that constantly update and edit entries – working to make each article as accurate and error free as possible.

So even if a change is made anonymously, that change can be tracked back to the source and if needed, that edit can be corrected.

Okay. A lot of tech nerd talk but what’s the basic idea here? Read more

Twitter in the Classroom: Green, Blue, and Black

I’m not that good at it but I still love to snow ski. My family does too. And we try to go at least once a year.

But we always run into trouble. Son wants harder slopes than the old man wants to mess with. Daughter wants steep but no bumps. Wife looks for groomed runs that let her avoid the more difficult moguls.

This is where the handy-dandy ski trail classification system becomes very useful. Green circles designate beginner level runs, blue squares equal intermediate difficulty, and black diamonds identify advanced trails.

FYI. I avoid most black diamonds. I value my knees.

But I like the system. Even on unfamiliar slopes, we all know what we’re getting into. Green. Blue. Black. Everybody can pick the level that best fits their ability and interest.

Last week, I had the opportunity to work with a great K-12 staff as they explored the possibility of using Twitter in their classrooms and as a professional development tool.

And we used the idea of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced as a way to help teachers pick their level of engagement. Teachers new to Twitter explored the basics and advanced users felt free to began messing with things like live chats and third party apps. It worked pretty well so I figured I’d share some of those goodies here. Read more

Historians on Twitter

I love Twitter. I probably don’t use it enough or in a way that maximizes its potential. But I still love it. I also think we need to be using it as both a professional development and instructional tool.

And I just ran across Russel Tarr’s very sweet list of historians on Twitter. It’s a big list, and it’s growing every day, but it is a nice place to start if you’re looking to add to your follow list. He also has a great list of History Educators – more of a focus on classroom teachers.

And don’t forget to head back to his ActiveHistory page and all of his Class Tools like FakeBook and Fake Tweet.

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