Social Media Week? What a Great Idea for Schools!

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 11.37.21 AMJust 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

Google+ vs. Facebook

Google Facebook privacy

This clip is from the info graphic.

Please check out my post comparing Facebook and Google+  over at Discover Your Child’s Digital World another blog that I maintain.

My content addresses issues of interest for parents whose kids use either or both of the sites and focuses on interesting facts, some of the differences between Google+ and Facebook, and privacy issues.

I  illustrate with a terrific infographic from Veracode Application Security.

Teens, Social Media and Privacy — From Pew Internet

Teen Sharing Facebook PewData from a joint Pew Internet and Harvard Berkman Center research report, Teens, Social Media and Privacy, identify a discrepancy between the ways teens and adolescents preserve their privacy and their lack of concern about the invasive collection of personal information by third parties.

The May 21, 2013 report also points out that while teens are increasing the amount of sharing they do on social media, many adolescents are tiring of Facebook because so many adults use the site and because of the excessive sharing that Facebook seems to prod people to do. The researchers gathered much their Facebook data through focus groups. Continue reading

Senior Family Members Expand Social Media Access – With Kids’ Help

Those of us with seniors and elders in our families know how important it is, in this digital age, to ensure that children communicate with grandparents, older relatives, and even elder family friends.

In many families, grandparents and other senior relatives benefit and gain more technology skill with the help of their digital-age grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Once a family senior gets immersed in intergenerational digital communication, he or she often wants even more connections — at first more contact with younger family members and then with … the world.

pew-internet-aging-social-networkingInterestingly, only a few years ago most seniors were satisfied with e-mail communication or the occasional video to watch. Not anymore. Today a growing number of people over 65 are enthusiastically latching on to social networking sites and using them on a fairly regular basis, and these numbers are growing.

This amazing graph depicts the percentage of adults at various ages who used social media sites over seven years, and it demonstrates how fast the use of these sites is increasing for all age groups, but especially for seniors.

Published in the Pew Internet’s July 2012 report on Older Adults and Internet Use, the information in the image comes from a Pew survey that collected data between March 2005 and February 2012.

Note the growth for the 50-64 age group and the over 65 age group (data that could hardly be detected back in 2005) over the years of the survey. Moreover, the social networking adoption percentage numbers for people 50 and older picked up a lot of steam, between July and November 2008.

Bottom line? Many more older adults are signing up and using social media sites, and their numbers are continuing to increase. One way that young family members can be especially helpful is to be on the lookout for seniors relatives who can use extra support as they learn more about living lives in the digital world.

The French essayist Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) wrote, “To teach is to learn twice.” Children relearn and review their own digital world lessons when they teach senior family members about learning and communicating in today’s always connected world. It doesn’t matter whether they are helping with privacy issues, teaching a senior to understand a cell phone, or demonstrating the many other virtual world tasks that a grandparent or elder relative might need to know. In helping that older family member learn something new, the child refocuses on the lesson.

That’s pretty cool for everyone involved.

Parents Use More Social Media – Often to Ensure Children’s Security

pew parents teen social media responses

Graph from Pew Internet Teens and Privacy report

In November the Pew Center on Internet and American Life together with Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society published a new survey, Parents, Teens, and Online Privacy. This 2012 Teens and Privacy Management Survey gathered data from 802 teens and their parents. Everyone who participated in the survey lived in the United States; however, participants could take the survey in either English or Spanish.

Interesting Results

  • Parents report they are using a lot more social media — 66% of parents with children who use social media now use it themselves (compared with 58% in the 2011 survey).
  • One reason that parents are increasing their use of social media sites is to be able to facilitate ongoing family conversations about content.
  • Parents appear to worry more about advertisers who gather information about a child’s online activities than about a child’s possible contact with unfamiliar people.
  • Some teens whose parents are friends have learned how to restrict the information that parents see, but in general they are positive about friending a parent.
  • Parents are increasingly aware of  privacy policies — 44% have read a policy for a social media that one of their children uses and 39% told the survey that they are helping their children set up social media privacy settings.
  • Parents are concerned about a child’s online reputation, but the concerns are the highest as children get closer to applying to college.
  • Reputation management when juxtaposed with the adolescent years is tricky for teens.

Just How Much Social Media Is There?

Click on the image to visit Gary’s Social Media Counter.

Have you ever wondered about how much social media interaction occurs in the digital world at any given point in time? Recently I discovered an excellent social media teaching and learning tool that helps people gaze into always-changing world of social media content.

Over at PersonalizedMedia.com, blogger Gary P. Hayes offer a living widget with algorithms that track the approximate number of interactions in a range of social media categories — all in real time. He’s also turned his counter into an iPad app.

Visit Social Media Counts — a living statistical chart originally published in 2009 but upgraded in 2011 and 2012 — and start counting the moment you open the page. The site offers a progressive snapshot of what’s occurring in the social media universe as time moves along. It continues counting until a visitor closes the web page, and it starts counting again if the page is reloaded or if a user clicks the “now button.”

Leave the page up on your browser, come back a while later, and gaze in wonder at the growing statistics. Users can also click on the day, week, or month buttons to see different, and more massive social media statistics.

Continue reading

Looking into Our Kids’ Futures: Will Social Media Be There?

If you missed this set of essays, Is Facebook a Fad? Will Our Children Tweet?, published in the June 19, 2012, New York Times, take some time to read these short pieces on social media and contemporary life.

As a part of a regular Times’ feature, Room for Debate opinion, readers can learn what six knowledgeable media commentators think about the always evolving digital world.

For instance, MIT Professor Sherry Turkle describes the tendency of social media users to “hide” from one another, substituting quick text nuggets for what used to be face-to-face interaction. Morra Aarons Mele, a digital manager and founder of Women Online, acknowledges the communication downsides, but says that social media and the digital professional work it has created make the world more egalitarian.           Continue reading