Sunday, September 26, 2010

Getting networked!

I am one of those people who haven't really been inspired by LinkedIn. Quite frankly, keeping up to date on my blog is challenging enough, never mind maintaining  Fb and Twitter accounts! LinkedIn really has fallen by the wayside for me. However, by pure coincidence, I think getting into Twitter has solved my problem! I have discovered that Tweetdeck allows me to consolidate my Twitter, Fb and LinkedIn accounts in one place. Whohoo. No doubt I'm the last person on the planet to figure this out, but I got there in the end. So over the next few weeks, I'll pay more attention to LinkedIn. Hopefully those people (including my Canadian cousin, whom I last saw in 1987) who I see tried to link to me and whom I have so rudely ignored, will forgive me!

Twitter in itself has been interesting. Joyce Seitzinger, e-learning guru at EIT (@catspyjamasnz ) sung its praises at e-fest last year, and so I made an attempt to understand it, but I just didn't 'get it'. Too much trivia. So I closed my Twitter account and remained terribly superior and disengaged. Now, partly as a result of the FOC 2010 course (thanks, Sarah), and partly as a result of David Hopkins (@hopkinsdavid), who proclaimed that using Twitter was like sitting next to the smart kid in class, I'm having another go (@jeanjacoby). And I'm finding it remarkably different. There seems to be much less of the info-babble, and a lot more useful information. Has Twitter changed, or am I just getting better at picking people to follow? I've had some good guidance from the FOC course, and from Donna Thompson (@donnathompson) at UCOL, so it might be the latter...I'm not sure. I'd love to hear from established Tweeters... has Twitter become more useful?

Citizens as Gatekeepers

I heard Dr Luke Goode from Auckland uni on the radio this morning, discussing his recent contribution to the university's Winter Lecture series. His comments on the pros and cons of 'outsourcing' news to anyone who can connect to social media are really interesting. What caught my attention was his comments on social media heavyweights such as Twitter and Facebook, (and Google) and how our assumption that these apps democratise information is naiive to say the least. He bases this on the fact (one that I have never thought about before) that any online app is governed by the algorithms they run on, and these algorithms are created by people, all of whom have individual biases. Thus, all of these algorithms are designed to sift information in particular ways.

It seems that the sooner we acknowledge that the online environment is not a 'neutral gateway to information', the better we will become at managing it.

Of course, this raises another, (but not new) issue, of where the power will lie in the future: it seems more and more likely that it will be in the hands of the intellectual technocrati who know how to use social media most effectively. Should we be embedding social media skills into school curricula as urgently as the current push to embed literacy and numeracy? What do you think?

The transcript of Dr Goode's lecture is available here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

19 Reasons to Use, or Not to Use, an iPad in Education

I'd love to have an i-pad, but realistically, I still don't now how useful they are in tertiary education just yet. Would love to know what other people think!
19 Reasons to Use, or Not to Use, an iPad in Education

Tech Learning TL Advisor Blog and Ed Tech Ticker Blogs from TL Blog Staff –

This is a really useful list of tools!
Tech Learning TL Advisor Blog and Ed Tech Ticker Blogs from TL Blog Staff –

Monday, September 20, 2010

Why should we care about social media?

(Best watched with audio muted!)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Something for everyone involved in education

Take the time to listen to this...Robinson is entertaining and inspirational, and reminds all of us in education what it's really all about.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Word of the day

Tweckle (twek'ul) vt.
to abuse a speaker only to Twitter followers in the audience while he/she is speaking.

Don't you love the way technology can hijack our lexicon?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Linking up my social networking

(This blog post is really an experiment to see if I can get my blog to link to my Facebook account.)

Part of this week's assignments for FOC 2010 is an instruction to 'join a social networking group such as Facebook, Ning or LinkedIn'. Well, I already have accounts with all three, so I thought I'd reflect briefly on my experiences of each before trying to figure out how I could link some of my accounts together.

I joined LinkedIn about three years ago, and haven't found it overly useful. Of course I only signed up for the free version which is really limited. One of the major drawbacks of this version was that it would only allow me to link to other members in the same country. As a new immigrant to New Zealand, my local professional network was really small, and because of the account restrictions I couldn't use LinkedIn to connect to my existing network in South Africa, which was a pity because I used to do a lot of freelance work. I have also noticed that lots of people (like me) join but don't really do much with their accounts.

I loved Ning, when it was free. I liked the fact that it was simple and easy to use, and that I could create multiple networks really easily. It is much more user friendly (I think) than Facebook, especially in terms of the privacy settings. But it is no longer free, and I feel duped!

I use Facebook, sporadically... it has certainly enabled me to make contact with long-lost friends. I think Facebook is an interesting tool, but it doesn't really do it for me - I like more depth to my connections.   In the spirit of intellectual curiosity (!!), however, I'm going to try to figure out how to link my blog to my Facebook page. I'd love to see some South African dots on my visitor map!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Christchurch earthquake

Strength to all of the FOC 2010 team who have been affected by the earthquake this morning... the devastation is staggering, and the fact that there were no serious casualties is a miracle. What can those of us who weren't affected do to help?