Just imagine what we could teach our 21st Century students and ourselves if, together with students, we organized social media weeks (or days) with presentations, demonstrations, and talks about all aspects of social networking — what’s good, what’s not so good, and what can be done with social media to make our lives better?
More importantly, what if in the process, we educators and some of our social-media-savvy parents demonstrated to students that we understand the role that social media plays in all of our lives while also emphasizing the need to manage and curate our profiles?
Social Media Weeks seek to do just that. The mission of social media week events is to promote a discussion about our always-connected lives, examining how things have changed, how to make the world a better place, and perhaps most importantly, how to learn from our mistakes. Online conferences, offline events, lectures, and dialogues are scheduled during four official social media weeks, held in major cities around the world. Continue reading “Social Media Week? What a Great Idea for Schools!”→
Pinterestdigitizes image collecting, the non-digital activity that lots of us have been doing for years. In a sense Pinterest offers a 21st Century way to bookmark and collect images instead of accumulating pieces of paper. I’m loving it!
Many people spend time looking through magazines and catalogs, identifying images such as the best-looking clothes, interesting plants, comfortable shoes, or pictures with ideas for an upcoming home construction project. An individual cuts out (or tears out) the image and puts it into a folder. I used to have folders (and more folders) filled with images on all sorts of topics, waiting for me to consult. And I used them from time-to-time, especially at the beginning of a project.
The best part of his decision-making process is the author’s metaphor describing the three doors that open to progressively more complicated social media and how each door leads to a more complicated social experience for a younger person. Bilton explains how each door opens to trickier types of social media that allow — or more likely promotes — certain types of negative behavior. He is not against social media access at all, but he has some specific recommendations about child supervision and parent responsibilities.
I am so energized by makerspaces, where people — children and adults — have access to all sorts of equipment to invent, try out ideas, and make things. I’ve spent some time in makerspaces at a number of conferences, and last summer I wrote about my experience at Gary Stager’s Constructing Modern Knowledge 2014 (CMK14) conference in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Read CMK post # 1. Read CMK post #2).
At my school our fifth graders have a small but lively makerspace where they can try ideas, often fail, and always have an opportunity to keep going and try again and the room is awash with small motors, LED devices, needles, fabrics, and even a few arduino boards. Parents and teachers should become aware of the trend for these innovative spaces and learn more about them. It will only benefit the learning of their 21st Century children and students. Continue reading “Makerspaces Are Amazing, Yet I Remember When…”→
For many people, even those of us who are digital immigrants, it feels like YouTube video sharing has always been around, but actually, YouTube is just celebrating its 10th birthday. The site, which makes it so easy to upload, view, and yes, use video resources, has changed 21st Century online culture.
We educators offer great gifts to our 21st Century students when we demonstrate that we, too, can learn new things. By letting children see us mastering unfamiliar information, figuring out problems, overcoming challenges, and yes, even making mistakes, we help them develop more comfort and confidence when they make errors and feel like they are not making progress. We adults teach all the time, but we probably don’t model learning new material nearly enough, and the kids notice it.
As Ted Sizer wrote in his book, The Children Are Watching, they notice what we do and what we do not do. (A good book, by the way, for teachers and parents to read).
So this year I’m demonstrating how much I have to learn for students in grades one through five who attend my MIT Scratch coding activity. Literally, they are watching me learn how to code Scratch scripts.
Today, February 10th, 2015, is Safer Internet Day.
The good things that happen in the connected world make us safer and more secure because they demonstrate that people are using the Internet well. We all need to think about the “One Good Things.” that make the connected world a better place.
Please encourage your children and students to think about “one good thing” that the Internet has brought to each of their lives.