Sterling Spencer

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How might teachers implement sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube to engage students in their education?

Using today's social networking sites may be an excellent way to engage student in their education because students are already engaged in these sites. I could imagine a teacher taking video notes and then posting it to Youtube for the class.

The teacher may also make use of having a Twitter account. Instead of being forced to have all of the student's cell phone numbers, the students could just follow a teacher's classroom specific Twitter account. Using Twitter, the teacher could also post links to his/her Youtube videos.

This kind of thing could keep students thinking about school more.
What ways do you think teacher should implement social networking sites?

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    Mar 29 2012: I do not want to poo poo your idea .... but poo poo. These sites are filled with porn, or other distractions.that small minds that need to be focused on learning would stray to. I think that brick and mortar schools are necessary. I do however, see the on line for profit school and diploma mills as a major player in the near future. If we allow this use of the internet then we will have kids without original thought and electronic plegerism. All the best. Bob
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      Mar 30 2012: I agree. The internet is great as a giant encyclopedia, however, everything presented is suspect, the ideas are not vetted, the presentation sloppy, and the organization miserable. Frankly I wish somebody would convince me that our children would use the internet to educate themselves, become more involved, make a difference, learn something, become excited.

      Because frankly, every time my daughter is supposed to be using the internet to look up resources for, say, the land formations of Southeast Asia, when I check on her an hour later, she is watching Taylor Swift on YouTube, Facebooking her friends about this Saturday's sales at the mall, and placing wii games into her Amazon shopping cart. As for the landforms of SE Asia? All she knows by now is that they get tsunamis.

      However, it is possible that my daughter is completely unique, and that every other youngster uses the net and social networks to augment their education and coordinate their study teams, but for me, we as a human society have built all these nice toys that frankly seem to be beyond our maturity level to use with any degree of sophistication.

      I love tech. I love devices, and Lord knows I love my internet, but I say let us stop this insistence that teachers bring tech into the clasroom in order to try to engage the students. It is pure pandering. It is essentially telling the students that they are too dumb to pay attention or that the teachers are unwilling to communicate human-to-human. Let's leave the classrooms as that one safe zone where students know that here they are expected to build focus,, concentration, cerebral synaptic connections though presentation and discussion of information. Kind of like a football practice field for the brain.
      • Apr 5 2012: I agree that the internet is extremely distracting; I have personally spent entire nights working on a project where at least half the time is spent adamantly getting nothing done. Teachers, however are just as prone to losing the attention of their students. I can testify that my fellow students and I get bored and nod off in the middle of upper level college lectures. Sugata Mitra has a talk involving a child-driven approach to education, where he found that if students are given the resources, they will take it upon themselves to learn, primarily out of curiosity.

        Social media can be valid as an organization system, like blackboard, but it is not a practical method for teaching. There are resources available to get concepts across, but they must be rigidly built to maintain interest and still adequately cover the intended material. Simbio is a virtual lab program that I have used in several of my classes and it is easy to understand and does a great job of covering a wide array of ideas that lectures have difficulty with.

        Interpersonal education and online teaching have their individual flaws, but both are far more useful than trying to teach through social media. The goal of teaching should be to spark interest for the students, and encourage them to seek out more information to build a solid knowledge base and hone skills.
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          Apr 5 2012: With all these various choices and different rsourcws, each with strengths and flaws, it almost makes me yearn for the time that exists only in history books: apprenticeships. One student to one teacher, learning a practical skill. Granted according to our complex social structure and emphasis on limitless possibilities it may seem dreadfully stilted, but at least they had focused students, teachers who knew the actual application of their subject, and the comfort of knowing exactly what you were doing with your life!
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      Apr 6 2012: You can rightly "poo-poo" the concepts when you measure them by your old-school traditions. However, since those days are gone, to poo-poo something out of gross generalisations kind of misses the point of how technology influences and changes practice in all sectors, education especially..
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        Apr 6 2012: It has nothing to do with old school standards,or gross generalizations. I am surprised that a teacher would not agree that a 14 year old when given access to the web would not check his facebook, e-mail, or even play a game when given the opportunity. There is always the student who may venture into porn either out of curousity or pure interest. As I have said and others agree above the class room should provide direction and focus. Just as a aside what are you, a teacher, going to say to the principal and the parents when you have the meeting over why little Johnny was found watching porn at home and tells his parents he found the site at school. Keep you resume updated. Game over. Bob
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          Apr 6 2012: You're right, we have to be very aware of that kind of behaviour and there is policy to follow.

          Most of the problems occur at home or in areas other than school so locking them out or locking it down doesn't work.

          Kids are on the internet and if they are prevented by rules at home then at some point they will be using it and probably unsupervised. Our job as educators is to educate not ban or prevent.

          The world can be a nasty place but people have to grow up and learn how to conduct themselves appropriately. The internet is just another facet, albeit one that is accessible from an early age.

          Don't forget all the brilliant content that is out there. We can't let fear dictate how and what we teach our kids.
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    Mar 23 2012: Technology is great for increasing student involvement. Social sites are a waste of precious time and pose a serious distraction to students.
    Technology can reinforce group cohesion when the group produces something using technology. Perhaps videos, slide shows, music, art, cartoons, and poetry are sll things that can use technology, some from conception to presentation.
    We live in a media centric environment. Trying to teach without media is an indicator of poor community support. We have used media since film strips. Today students are producing movies.
    Anything that can focus student attention on what is to be learned is great. Social sites that distract their attention should be avoided.
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      Mar 23 2012: I have a friend who is taking an english class. He just told me that they were reading Hamlet and that the teacher had all of the students create Facebook profiles for each of the characters. He also said that it was fun and seemed to engage much more of the class than usual because they could design the profiles to match the characters and their relationships. He also said that the reason he thinks it was working was because the teacher kept close supervision over the project.

      So do you think that if social sites are at least used in the right way that they may be able to work for education?

      In this way it is still dependent on the teacher to engage the class, and that should be their goal.
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        Apr 10 2012: The key to a successful application of a social site is indeed teacher supervision. But why add that burden to the teacher when it is not necessary to use the real social site. A virtual social site within the classroom would work and not tempt the students to 'check out' their friend's real social site while they were 'working' on the Hamlet profiles.
        Students are very clever and have become expert at communicating via cellphone, iPad, and computer while they are supposed to be working. Adding another access portal to their repertoire only makes wasting time even easier. There are many ways to engage students without providing them more ways to goof off. I think teachers should be encouraged to find them and use them. Let's stay focused people.
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      Apr 8 2012: Jon,
      I am aging myself to say I remember film strips and the 33 and 1/3 records that narrated them. How things have changed for teachers and teaching.
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      Apr 12 2012: Who decides what constitutes a precious waste of time. Any learning is beneficial to the learner whether it's source is social networking or traditional media. The key word is 'relevance'
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    Mar 22 2012: Hi Sterling, as a teacher I have strong views on this. All day we aim to get students to sustain a depth of engagement in a meaningful tasks which lead to learning. Now as a stimulus resource Youtube is excellent (I used it yesterday in a class on puppetry) but I truly believe that in it's current form Facebook and Twitter are a DISTRACTION to meaningful learning. Socialization is crucial of course to a child's development but purposeful learning in the classroom requires sustained concentration, something which doesn't come naturally when we compete with their limbic brain for their attention. Learning and ultimately fulfillment happens when we get in 'the zone' ,social networking can hinder possibilities of this. Social networking works best at break and lunch with actual REAL students and bite size bits of information are fine, but not for any length of time. I think there's room for these (and certainly a demand) in our society but I worry we are seeing the demise of thinking long (and slow) as it no longer (if it ever did) come naturally to many's my job to champion it.
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      Mar 22 2012: So do you think TED could play a role in a students education? Maybe using TED to inspire, at least, by showing a TED video every now and then to a class.
      • Mar 25 2012: I would go a bit farther than that. Why not have TED conferences comprised of the brightest and most innovative students? Collaboration and sharing of ideas can be a powerful tool, especially when done by peers.
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      Mar 25 2012: I wish wecould expandupon this point, because you have put into words that which I have been mulling for awhile, but could not put into words: this idea that the social media are great stimulus for short bursts, but do not promote deeper thinking.
  • Mar 22 2012: I don't think that a means of communication (like social media sites) necessarily creates engagement. It's engagement that causes communication.

    People engage when they are interested. Almost everyone is interested in engaging with friends. Thats why they use social media sites.

    So, it seems to me that the real question should be "How do we make education more interesting?"

    Once it's interesting, people will want to talk about it, like we are, at this site.
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      Mar 22 2012: Haha well said. Indeed sparking interest seems to be a key factor. Maybe TED could help spark interest.
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      Mar 23 2012: Its a moot point that we have to make education interesting ...and there is a confusing number of teaching and learning tools ,methods,approaches..but how to choose and which ones will yield most effective outcomes
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    Apr 20 2012: I have fully integrated Facebook into my classes. It is a really dynamic tool. Students use it in really interesting ways in and out of the classroom. If you want to know more I have a blog post on it with samples. Please let me know.
    • Apr 20 2012: what is your blog on integration of facebook into the classroom. I do not have a facebook account yet - any suggestions on that too would be welcomed
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    Apr 10 2012: I am a teacher in the UK and I can imagine having a twitter based homework.
    E.g. Homework (for 10 year olds) is to find different ways of starting sentences. Here's how the feed could go;
    @Teacher: What different ways have you found to start a sentence using the books you're reading at the moment? #sentencestarters
    @pupil1: "Books and paper everywhere, the room had been ransacked" #sentencestarters
    @pupil2: "Looking into her eyes, his heart pounded." #sentencestarters
    @pupil3: "Later that day, he realised he'd left his phone on the train." #sentencestarters

    The teacher then gets into school and asks the pupils to summarise different ways to start sentences (looking at the feed on the smartboard of course!). So they say; "you can start with a noun, a verb or a time connective." (There's more I know). Then the teacher has a classroom activity ready to go where the children do this for themselves.

    Later that year pupil 3 is having trouble with a writing homework, so logs on to twitter at puts in #sentencestarters to remind themselves of a way of improving their writing.

    Homework without without paper or marking...
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      Apr 7 2012: Agreed. Technology may help generate a new perspective allowing us new ways to think, but even so a new way of thinking is more important than new technology.

      "The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane." -Nikola Tesla

      "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research". - Albert Einstein
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    Mar 24 2012: We as a society have placed so much emphasis in this generation on trying to see what teachers can do to keep teachers engaged that I think it's time to turn the argument around and make this statement, if I may:

    Instead of placing the emphasis on teachers to engage the students, why don't we focus on making students be engaging to their teachers?

    I think that teachers won't tell you this (or maybe they will), but students these days, frankly seem to be boring. Students are crying out to be entertained because they are over stimulated, especially with social media. We as parents have been so preoccupied with calming our children since infancy with phones, net access, various bells and whistles, that we have never raised them to learn how to be still, to be quiet, to pay attention, to absorb, to wonder, to be contemplative, to listen for the magnificence that comes from the quiet, the unique, the minute, that secret space between moments when all ideas finally come together.

    That said, I think social media is wonderful for communication, and sure, why not have the teacher have YouTube as a supplement, but they should not forget because there are still some parents out there (about 5, I think) who limit their tweens net access because while they SAID they were doing research online, they are actually grinding the chair to Nicki Minaj. just sayin'!
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      Mar 25 2012: Make that 6 parents.

      Couldn't have said it better myself.

      I will say something else.....when my daughter was in 4th grade, and all the teachers in our school system got personal laptops, plus cell phones, then something amazing happened.................. teaching stopped!

      All of the sudden, she was coming home, and I would have to teach her how to do her homework because her teacher had been glued to the computer all day.

      Technology is wonderful, but, you really have to be careful with it.

      Also, when smartboards were placed inside all the classrooms at my kid's school I remember hearing a parent say: "I wish instead they had brought in smart teachers".......There is no substitute for good teaching!

      Technology and wesites, when used wisely, can bring enrichment to the learning experience.

      This is my humble opinion.
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        Apr 8 2012: Much of what you have shared has happened to me as a teacher. I have never stopped teaching in the classroom but things like powerpoint and appropriate You TUbe and videos have helped me make a point on more levels than just auditory learning. We all remember a good movie in great detail and it has helped me bring history alive. Khan academy has helped a lot of my students with math homework as it gives them a review of the days lesson at a time convenient for them and their parents. My only regret is that parents some not all have turned to the internet as a baby sitter instead of getting into the work with their students. On the other hand I have students whose educational level exceeds their parents and the parents cannot keep the pace. Education is an interesting problem.
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          Apr 8 2012: Excellent insight...yes, I too have made wonderful use of the internet, and smartboards an khan academy.

          There is nothing like visuals to supplement and complement learning.

          I'll share a quick experience. When I was teaching about the Arctic and Antarctica, I found wonderful videos on youtube and played them for the students on the smartboard. It was like being in a movie theater.....their little eyes grew wide as they saw those two cold ends of our planet come to life.

          Technology is wonderful, but like any other tool, you have to know how to use it properly with children.

          And how sad that parents use the internet as a baby sitter.........well, not too long ago it used to be the tv..........I still prefer my kids to play, or read a book....but that's me.

          Thanks James for your comment.
  • Mar 24 2012: Social media may be used as a mean of teaching but i belive that it could only work as an extracurricular activity. It would be better that moodle because Facebook, Tweeter and YT are more popular among young people. However, this may bring up a problem of procastination. Social media are very distractive so teenagers will be more eager to check out their friends new photos instead of completing teacher's task sent thorugh Facebook.
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    Mar 23 2012: Yes I see your point and agree with the danger of wayward behavior undermining both gains and methodology,thank you for clarifying the point and taking it further
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    Mar 23 2012: First to the main point. I would keep in mind public opinion interacting with students on facebook may have negative consequences and unhappy parents overreacting to news stories. However, youtube is a different story. I believe every teacher should have video lectures available on youtube to either replace or supplement lectures. it s a better model to lecture in video where students can post questions as comments below and the teacher can clarify by responding. This frees up more time for actual problem solving and application of knowledge in class.

    Secondly, John Penn, while i agree we should work to make things as interesting as possible. we have to except that if there is a list of curriculum to be taught every student will have a lack of interest in some fields. So it should be a two headed effort to both make things more interesting, and find ways to teach students about things they may not care about at all.
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    Mar 22 2012: In my personal view, it will be a strict NO NO, because it needs all the students genuinely interested in studies and any diversion online may ruin their interests. It is the duty of teacher to keep students engaged and completely involved as long as they are in the class. Those who are seriously into the topic are going to follow it anyways.
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      Mar 22 2012: It seems to me that, with advancing technology, it has been getting harder to engage students in class. The classroom hasn't made very many mind blowing changes while the world outside has. I would think it would make sense to inject school into the technologies that students are using because it will insert school into their distractions.

      What methods do you think teachers should use to keep students engaged in class instead of using technology?
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        Mar 22 2012: I think teacher's should deploy timeless strategies such as imaginative and innovative ideas to deliver learning. This may, or may not mean using technology. A sense of fun and creativity is crucial (regardless of subject). Ultimately, if a teacher teaches from the heart about what they love, the students WILL be engaged. I truly believe this is the root of everything that happens in the classroom. It's the job of school leaders to make sure we recruit and retain the best, most caring and enthusiastic teachers for our students.
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          Mar 22 2012: After a moment of reflection back on my own personal experience of being a student... I couldn't agree more. Thank you.
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          Mar 23 2012: I agree, Stuart. I think, providing it is accessible, the medium is somewhat arbitrary. What matters is the ability of the teacher to engage the students.
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          Mar 24 2012: I agree with you Stuart Woods ,the centrality of the teacher is undoubtedly the most important link between students and learning. No matter what the level of tecnical, trendy or new tools we may have they will be ineffective without a teacher who can capture the attention as well as hold the class together.
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          Mar 27 2012: Absolutely true. I think each of us can recall a certain teacher who stands out from the rest, either by a whacky personality, or more effectively, because of their passion for the subject of the teaching.

          Yet, I will insist that we must also put the emphasis on teacheing ourselves and our children to be good students. No matter what great teachers we have, society along the way has decided that the entire emphasis should be placed on the teacher finding tools to engage the student, and that the student has zero responsibility to be actively engaged in the course material.
        • Mar 28 2012: I agree with you Stuart, I have only had a select few teachers who were truly passionate about there work, and they have made me want to participate more in class through their learning approaches. My grades have also improved with these select few teachers.
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        Mar 23 2012: The idea is wonderful, if we can really be sure that we can inject school into the technologies, but question is again the same, will it interest them? Stuart presented a beautiful description about teachers involvement from heart, which is missing at times, and only reason for students reluctance.

        I will suggest you to introduce healthy competition among students to become more inquisitive about the subject.For example weekly quizzes; and try to maximize participation by rewarding even the weakest student during the process. Bringing healthy competition in and habit of appreciating even for little participation will encourage them to do more. In case it is already in practice, seek methods to improve this process.
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        Mar 24 2012: well, obviously that's again close to perfect idea, but again the feasibility of its implementation holds the key. It depends upon the number of students you are handling in the class, and is it possible for you to understand each one of them personally, if yes, then this is really a great thought!
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      Mar 23 2012: Dear Vivek I do not agree with all due respect .IMO if we can use tools which will capture their attention and sync with what is trending around them without diluting content and quality of curriculum I would think it would make the laggards sit up and spike flagging interest.
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        Mar 23 2012: I completely understand your point, my only concern is, if they are not duly interested in the class, they may resort to other ways not to follow the curriculum. How will their online interest can be tracked? I mean how can we make sure, if they are seriously following the curriculum content? This is my only concern, if everything goes as planned, this is obviously one of the best way to keep them connected, but it has certain drawbacks, which needs to be addressed duly.
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          Mar 23 2012: Do you think we could get students interested in class by appealing closely to their personal interests to get them to actually want to follow the curriculum?
        • Mar 24 2012: You are debating about engaging students into curriculum but why don't we make them more, let's say, active. Facebook and Tweeter can also be used as assignments to complete. Why don't we make them put themselves into some fictional person shoes. They can write short essays, reviews and other staff which they must learn, just like writing in school. Blogs, Tweeter and Facebook accounts may be very engaging. In fact I believe such projects can make them want to develop them even after the assignments are completed. Such pupils will simultaneously take care after their personal account and project account. I think that they'll be very eager to get good grades by making such projects because it's simply natural for them to spend a lot of time using social media. They feel comfortable and safe so they may as well feel enthusiastic but that depends on individual student.
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    Apr 21 2012: Hi Virginia, the blog post is here.)) Shh it's a Secret. Facebook groups in the classroom My students are university students so we are using secret/closed groups so that their posts cannot be read by other classes or future employers outside of the group because they are close to the job market we wanted them to have a free space to think critically and experiment in English. If ou keep the settings as closed or secret it also doesn't go down their personal news feed, which is important for students to keep their credibility. Setting up a Facebook set up depends on the age of the students you are working with. Here are a few questions to consider:

    1-What is the age of your students? Should you friend them or not? This is controversial. If they are under 18 friending them is problematic. The group structure allows both of you to participate without being friends with each other. They don't see your private life and you don't see theirs.

    2-For this to work you would need to have a facebook account. If you don't want to be found on Facebook and be in this community as some of my collegues do not want to go on Facebook for their own reasons we have found a way to do this so they only use their account for work. You do sign up under your name, put minimal information and no photograph of your face. You choose an object or abstract picture. A friend of mine who does not use Facebook for his personal life has done this and it is difficult to find. He has been enjoying using facebook for education which has surprised him.)))

    I hope that helps. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask.
  • Apr 19 2012: As a student myself, I can confirm that the use of social networking sites is more than just a 'want' now, it's developed into a habit. If you were to communicate as such through the means of social networking then it would portray the work as less 'work-like' and more of a casual thing to do. Implementing this, especially on the social network 'Facebook', would then alter the habit of using these sites into one in which the student can also be productive from.

    On the other hand, social networking sites can create a large distraction for a student so then placing the work on these sites would give the students and excuse to go on them but productivity may not be increased by this. There is even a chance that the usage of these sites will increase and therefore distracting the student even more which is likely to reduce productivity.
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    Apr 19 2012: Teachers can engage in conversations that are healthy.They could perhaps establish a counselling blog to help youngsters with the problems they face.
  • Apr 16 2012: I'll tell you one thing they shouldn't do. They shouldn't go spending money on craptarded alternative sites built specifically for educational purposes unless said sites actually offer some functionality that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. don't already offer for free using accounts that students already have.

    Also the world should embrace OpenID so that we're not having to create dozens of accounts to get stuff done
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    Apr 14 2012: I am a student.. so i do feel that these social ports play an important role for both the teacher and for students. Today it is happened to be students spending their most of time on Facebook or internet. so its like their thinking process or their creativeness is declining day by day.. as far as for me and my some friends before social ports and other stuffs came we used to try out some science experiments and used to create useful toys out of waste.. but later on it just got stopped because everyone started spending their free time on the social ports. And with this, teacher's old classroom started to be a boring waste of time. using the social ports or others wouldn't be an appropriate solution for this. because it has lots of distracting things in it. it would be like having a class in a mall ! for sure we need a place like social ports. but how it would be if we create a social hub for only education like a library. and it will suit as an appropriate place for taking a class..
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    Apr 11 2012: Hi Alex. Thanks for your response. I started my staff using twitter during staff meetings and other prof learning sessions. You need to create a # tag for the group. We have one for this year # staidans2012. Whenever we learn something staff are encouraged to tweet using the #tag eg. It might look something like this.....

    #staidans2012. Great learning today. Teachers collaborating to plan challenged based learning for term two. Lots of good ideas shared.

    I would do a similar thing with students. The tweets can be saved as a search for future reference thus providing a learning log.

    Many of my teachers set up blogs for their students to share learning.

    Hope this helps you. Let me know if I can assist further
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    Apr 8 2012: Anja - Thank you for your comments. I am not a teacher, but I work in the health field and I often see young and older patients who cannot afford health care, but are walking around with iphones, blackberries, ipads, etc. I completely agree with you that these social media sites have had some devastating effects on young people (Tyler Clementi, etc.) but it has to be acknowledged that they also have had a good impact in other ways. Social media sites are no fad; they are here to stay and if educators can use them to their benefit to teach, I support it. I do think that there should be some restrictions and limitations of these sites in school and at home for young children.

    Elizabeth - I have never tweeted, but I assume the author of this thread was also implying to use these sites as educational devices since they are used so frequently. It is a good way to reach students since they are constantly using Twitter.

    I think that the author is trying to come up with idea use these social media sites to benefit students. We all know the harm they can do as shown by recent studies, but it is a fact that they will not be disappearing any time soon.
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        Apr 10 2012: Touche, although it is difficult to really compare social media and drugs/bullying/suicide whereas social media actually does benefit people.

        I am simply making an observation that many people focus on their techie gadgets which feed social media over concern of their medical or oral health. It is unfortunate. Education is at the root of the problem.
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    Apr 8 2012: Technology is a wonderful tool to assist in learning and teaching. However, it will never replace the teacher as our profession is a relational business where the rapport between teacher and student so often makes a huge difference in the learning that occurs and in fact to schooling itself..

    In saying that I believe that technology used responsibly by all concerned can be used very effectively by students and teachers of all ages.

    Access to web 2.0 technologies creates a level playing field for students and schools from all socio economic strata,
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    Apr 7 2012: A young english friend of mine particpates via her school with a wonderful network called ePals. A partcicular school group with their teacher can select one of several study and research projects from a list and under supervision students engage with other individual students and school groups around the world on the same project. I think ePals might be very close to what you have in mind.
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    Apr 7 2012: Teachers are so fortunate to be able to incorporate technology into their teaching methods. What student these days doesn't own a laptop, ipod, or ipad? By engaging students with modern social media devices like Facebook, etc., teachers can better relate and more importantly get a point across to their students. Students younger and younger are more familiar with these social media sites and if a controversial topic or educational discussion was posted, teachers may find their students participating in discussion (rather than hand out a ditto and expect a written response). Rather than reject these social media sites in school, educators can use them to their benefit.
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      Apr 8 2012: Erica I am sold on twitter as a learning tool. I use it for professional learning journey of staff and can easily see how teachers can make use of this tool for their students.

      As the tweets are limited in characters it forces users to be consise and crystallize their thoughts.

      The different conversations can be saved which means students will have a record of their learnings
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        Apr 10 2012: Could you give a few more details please? I'd be interested to see if I can incorporate them into my teaching! Thanks, Alex
  • Apr 7 2012: Look at

    Lotsa useful tools and recommendations on either of the sites.

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    Apr 6 2012: yes , of course it let the student more conneted , and more active on what happen in the class and update any thing by these kind of social media , and the ways that teacher should follow to let the student more active on how to present videos picture ,songs , play games , proverbs even to activate stuadent more and involved on what happen in general sense and even to understand the idea of the topic ...
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    Apr 6 2012: I've read through the discussion and it seems to me like a lot of the opinions are either for or against it - but I genuinely believe it is not a matter of whether or not students should be online because they already are. I just graduated high school last year and mobile internet, laptops, library computers, texting - we're already tweeting and facebooking 24/7 in and out of the classroom.

    So I think the question is less about whether or not children should be doing it (because they are) - it's more a matter of whether we can direct them towards more efficient learning using a platform they feel much more comfortable using. If telling them today's science lesson will be carried through watching a youtube video and carrying out a discussion on TED it could have really positive outcomes from both sides ...
  • Apr 6 2012: Try using edmodo it's like facebook for school, it's free and has no advertising. I use it for my classes, students can ask questions, teachers can moderate comments in the settings so it is not a platform for bullying, can send in homework or assignments, you can post lessons, attach presentations, documents videos, links etc... You can even give access to parents so they can see what their child is doing in class. I find it especially useful for when students that are away sick or at sporting events, they can log on see the photos of what was written on the board, provide feedback and use it as a revision tool. It also a great way of keeping a register of what was covered with the class. There is also a free app so they can navigate to it quickly with their smart phones.
    It allows you to also provide content that would normally be covered in class for them to read or watch at home and use the lesson to discuss the content and go into a deeper level of understanding.
    I know I sound like an advertisement but I don't work for edmodo or get paid to say this, it just a tool that works for me.
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    Apr 6 2012: Wrong format for education but a similar networking site specifically for ed would be great. These are called Learning Management Systems (LMS) or various other titles. Terrible terminology.

    I have never seen the point or purpose for twitter. T-shirt sized status updates. Lame.

    The huge, beautiful irony of "21st Century Learning" is that can be more accurately termed "eRote Learning". The fundamentals haven't changed but the "paper" is more expensive..
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    Mar 30 2012: wow i just found this great conversation, Sterling! Here's a link to today's TED blog posting about a project we're undertaking at the Cooper Union to use sites like TED in the classroom: would love to hear your thoughts!
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    Mar 30 2012: I think it boils down to how the younger generation feels about technology. If Tech continues to become more intertwined in all our lives, I don't think we would have any choice but to change the way and the channels in which we teach. This includes even children and teenage students.
    Thank you for your time.
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    Mar 29 2012: u r so right abt d classroom not keepring pace wid d wrld outside an hw digitised r personal spaces hv become ..v r alwys connectd an cant wait 2 post /share/tweet ,real experiences r less an less riveting bcs d web is addicting,infrmativ,entertaining an yr vry own place in d sun no mattr if its tweeple or fb frendsfere,trending u tube hits ..i c dis at hm wid my girls an at school wid my students..nthing pins interest as easily as a dash of tech smthing new,u hv 2 cmpete wid all dis BUZZ in childrens' heads an v hv 2 cut a swathe thru all that ...teaching has 2 be transacted in a way dat students wnt 2 buy in..yr choice of words' insert school' is continuing in d same vein i hv been visualising smthing similar...each topic is presented as a common thematic unit after which options to customise subsequent lessons, wrksheets can be done by smaller groups who inject/insert their likes an choices into d learning landscape. The teacher will have to cleverly steer content and not let it be diluted...successful lessons can go viral wid dat group getting hits an creds
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      Mar 30 2012: I see where you come from, all and all, the teacher will need to be more tech savvy then their students. TED does much of this already and it is used in the classrooms so it's getting there.
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        Mar 30 2012: Christopher I agree with your point about the younger generation..but technology is already so entwined in our lives dont you think?so classrooms will have to align themselves with the times and ignite students' interest and meet the challenge of digi-things which vy for attention. And yes the teacher will have to know more ,teacher training will have to factor tech savvines using digital learning with imagination,humour and innovation. Technology it is being used in many schools,on TED as you say but is still avant garde at least not in India and most teachers are not clued in.
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    Mar 29 2012: i agreed now the technologies are easily develope the knowledge of students with their group studies in facebook...they can share their own points and debate with topic...usally most of the students are like to study in videos in Youtube ,its better than Theoritical,

    at the same time itz alll be done with guidance of the Teacher.
  • Mar 29 2012: I do really agree! I think tecnological advances must get. Integrated to educational systems.
  • Mar 28 2012: I have been lucky enough to experience classroom social networking via the Edmodo system (Edmodo is basically facebook for schools.) I have been using the system for a term and I have found it to be a useful class tool for homework, grading and worksheets, but it has not increased my motivation to do well in school.

    What I find to be the most engaging learning experience is class discussions and debates, not physical work, and in the last couple weeks another, very effective, educational social network has been introduced to my Year 9 english class, a "wiki." Although I am not sure of the exact website, a wiki is a website where the teacher asks a question and the students reply. For example, in class we were to choose 2 questions and answer them, as well as too comment on peoples responses, I chose one on democracy and another on "Kony 2012." The results were astonishing, although we were working independently, we were all engaged in virtual debates which let us share our opinions (the only noise was the tapping of keyboards). The system worked well for all students in the class, those who are shy or introverted, and those who are loud and extroverted.

    I would highly recommend programs like the wiki, as well as Edmodo for homework and worksheets. Also I think it's a fair comment that my class is the selective class, but I also feel it would work for all types of students, encouraging them to participate more in class and in the long term, achieve their goals and have more open minds.
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    Mar 28 2012: Kahn Academy is the future of interactive education, in my opinion. Facebook, twitter, etc., have allowed children to become more computer literate earlier, but I feel would deter from the true nature of education. Unless, of course, your in a computer science class.
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    Mar 28 2012: There have been some really interesting work around this subject by a group called khanacademy - they received the number 2 idea from TED for big ideas for 2012. Also the success of tertiary education platforms such as piazza might well point at the future of education being heavily interwined with e-platforms.

    The key of course though is to add these elements onto the current syllabus/learning experience in a productive manner. It could also be a very destructive shift for teachers though, Khan Academy sees e-platforms changing the way classes are run. Where homework is done in class and teaching is done at home. Perhaps this might be the future.
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    Mar 28 2012: Educationally, I think teachers should implement more stuff like TedEd which delivers lessons in a much more fun and efficient way.

    The strength of social networking should be used "atmospherically." By that I mean the teacher should use the power of comments, posts, likes, hashtags, etc. to create a positive mindset of the class from the student. I feel like if the student is much more aware of his fellow classmates and is actively engaged in lessons, he/she will perform better.

    Use social networking to make the class cool, not necessary.
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    Mar 28 2012: I thinking teachers when going through their education or when they go off for training, should be taught on how to take advantage of social network learning. I hear so often that it's a great idea but it causes to much distractions and to that statement I say that this is an idea that will get bigger and if not taught or trained properly teachers in our school systems will fall behind. Now that I had my rant, here's my idea, Network learning: Student and School participation. Have classes create and monitor social network accounts, reward students that participate in sharing their thoughts and ideas on homework, projects, tests, quizzes. Keep in mind this is only an option for the student, I must agree that learning is done in the classroom unless we are talking about learning on an adult level, on an adult level social network learning should be required, encouraged and in practice today. Thank you for all of your time, I hope I didn't rant too much.
  • Mar 27 2012: Social Networking in education can be useful or cause major headaches. Currently I am teaching several college class both on-line and enhanced. Enhanced is a blend of face to face and on-line instruction. I like using videos that show pros and a cons of a subject. The students "should" watch these videos before class. Then class time is devoted to debate/Q and A. This is for adult aged studnets. With high school aged and younger the teacher needs to be careful about student information. e.g. priviacy laws and what does the parent(s) think. Also in a school system are all students going to have the same access technology.

    I would be careful in using facebook as an education tool. Facebook is great to catch up with friends and play games.

    In the end it comes down to the teacher,school, and students.
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    Mar 25 2012: Sure, I guess it comes down to direct link between intelligence and concentration. Many people think intelligence is fixed, a given a birth but I think it's flexible.So much of 'new' society requires shallow thinking for short amounts of time yet yields high reward. I'm thinking of social networking 'likes' and 'smiles' etc, essentially instant feedback which can makes us feel good in the short term and encourages us to return. I read somewhere recently that it takes us 12 minutes to re-immerse in a task when we get distracted. To have distractions at our finger tips (mobile technology) makes getting immersed in a task all the more difficult (particularity for young people who are yet to have developed cognitive restraint) but for may adults too who have allowed their thinking to be broken down by endless tiny bits of data which feed the reward centers in the brain. Concentration leads to deeper thinking. I endeavor to help my students find their 'Goldilocks moment', when they are sufficiently challenged but not over stretched to complete a task, in other words, it's 'just right'. Deeper thinking leads to more fulfilling discovery ( I'm thinking of Blooms Taxonomy and higher order thinking skills here) but takes self-control to do, it's hard and that's why many struggle, me included some days! Does that help?
  • Mar 25 2012: I am finishing my Masters degree in elementary education this semester. Despite the fervent push for technology in the Long Island area, educators have warned me about using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. As a matter of fact, these sites are all blocked on the network in the district I am student teaching. It is possible Teacher Tube could be introduced. Sadly, technology is limited to the Smart Board and a few internet sites not blocked by a firewall..

    I believe the Smart Board can be a fascinating tool, introducing material and interactive games that may not have been available in the past. My fear is the Smart Board may simply become a replacement of previous tools, just an "electronic chalkboard" or a way to supplement a DVD or CD player if not completely utilized. My main fear is if we use one tool too much, students will not learn the material in an engaging way. Children will simply learn to use a Smart Board. Technology becomes obsolescent over time, so the knowledge of the Smart Board may very well become obsolete. In my current school, Smart Boards are the ONLY way material is generally presented. If a Smart Board goes down, the "emergency easel" comes out.

    I feel interactive games and simulations, as well as collaboration between students of all ages across continents (considering time differences of course) will flourish in the near future. I also hope that in the near future administrated and secure blogging can and will be implemented in the areas in which I work.
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    Mar 25 2012: I will tell you how I have used Youtube in the past. It's not exactly how you mentioned, but here goes:

    I think accessing author's or scientists facebook pages, and/or youtube videos is a positive way of using these tools.

    Youtube has wonderful videos on Art Projects, Science Experiments, Poetry readings, including choral poetry, Nature videos of all kinds of animals and habitats, Cultural Awareness videos, Interviews of famous people, and other fantabulous things.

    Of the three you mention, this one is the most useful for enriching a child's classroom experience......If the class has a smartboard, then it's like being in the theater.

    Most schools have a website, and lots of teacher's post homework and other info for parents on their own teacher page provided free by some groups. Plus, I think today, most teachers give out their email to parents at the beginning of the year for emergence reasons, some even give out their personal cell phone #......
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      Mar 25 2012: I agree, and think that correct implementation could make an impact.
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    Mar 23 2012: It depends on the nature of the literacy. Twitter is suited to certain types of sound-byte sized communication but terrible for others.

    I think the real focus should be on audio-visual literacy. Kids making videos not writing stories.

    The talking, planning, editing (which starts to happen on it's own) and final product is interesting to create and produces results that pack a punch, so to speak.

    Thinking about ICT in relation to Literacy, the planning, drafting editing and "publishing" is the deep learning, the computers and video equipment are the (very expensive) paper.

    The added bonus is that people (kids included) have an intuition for this kind of literacy thanks to the much maligned and never truly appreciated home Television Set.
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      Mar 23 2012: Dear Scott I find your comments and the conversation very much of value and interest but with an added twist..I work with over age out of school illiterate children and prepare them to come to par with age appropriate classroom levels so have been using/devising different ways of audio visual learning adapted to students who cannot read and write but are otherwise intelligent and street smart.It is a challenge i am thoughly enjoying because finding better ways to teach children is a passion for me and im middle aged an not very techie I love the way social media has reshaped the way we communicate and c so much promise in the way learning can be made stronger and enjoyable
  • Mar 23 2012: A review of some of the most effective posts on-line might reveal that command of the English language is critical.

    The most effective and strongest arguers might be following techniques discussed in argumentation theory texts or suitable for debate topics.