Want traditional news media to tell the true story about social networking? Here’s Your Chance!

Image of Cover of Rattler MagazineI’ve been approached to do an interview by Ingrid Maack who is writing an article about the use of social networking websites within early childhood environments.

Ingrid’s a journalist at Rattler Magazine (published by Armedia).

We don’t often get the chance to get our message across to educators and parents using traditional news media.

But why limit to my thoughts when collectively responses from our global community are more powerful!

So here’s your opportunity!  Teachers, Students, Everyone!

Please share your thoughts on any or all of the following questions:

  1. How are blogs, web 2.0 and social networking being used by teachers in primary schools and/or early childhood environments?
  2. Can you give examples of good use of blogs in the early childhood environments?
  3. Are social networking sites being blocked or embraced?  What’s your thoughts on this?
  4. How do people balance their personal use of the technology versus their professional?
  5. Is there a lot of misunderstanding about the use of electronic technology? I imagine there are a lot of ‘knee-jerk’ bans in many workplaces/educational institutions?
  6. Is there any guidance for teachers on responsible use?  Can you provide examples?
  7. How can social networking websites and blogs be used to support teaching practice and/or boost staff morale?
  8. What tips would you give early childhood teachers about using this technology?
  9. Given child protection and the very nature of childcare provision, is it a good idea for services to perhaps avoid Facebook/Blogs altogether? Does it open Pandora’s Box?

Alone — I’m a small voice!  Collectively we’re a powerful voice!

Help me demonstrate our collective power by leaving a comment!

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13 thoughts on “Want traditional news media to tell the true story about social networking? Here’s Your Chance!

  1. 2.Can you give examples of good use of blogs in the early childhood environments?

    Hi, I am a trained early childhood teacher who teaches Primary Grades at the moment. I am a teacher who uses an edublogs blog to co ordinate an online web project. The project is called the Bunyips Project. The project is for early chidhood and primary teachers. It centres around the question – What do bunyips look like? The creation of a bunyip is the end point. The bunyip is broken into segments for each bunyip building team to create. It is a context for communicating with a clear purpose on the web and allows for modelling and discussion about safe use of the web. THe project is also a context for literacy and maths learning.

    The project is hosted by edublogs at: http://www.bunyips.edublogs.org and at present is coming out of hibernation.

    As part of my program I also have a colleague using a blog for our online maths component at http://www.spotonmaths.edublogs.org in a primary class.

    In our Year 4/5 group we are doing a seuqence on web projects so we have groups participating in Flat Stanley, Bunyips and Monsters Exchange. THe Flat Stanley Group also has a blog at – http://www.flatfriends.edublogs.org which is providing a real life situation to model and practice bloggnig in a responsible way.

    I am currently undertaking a PhD in Web Projects and would be at a loss with out edublogs as the blogs we have created have become part of what we do and we could not do without them.

    Good Luck with the article.
    Lind Regards
    Mrs J-L

  2. @skrajicek Nings communities are a prime example of how many are beneficial but most education institutions block them.

    Totally agree the news media has done an excellent job of scaring while we need to be teaching appropriate use. Thanks for recommending those references.

    @Mike McMahon Funny because I would say that K12 sector is really leading the way for all the other educations sectors. Sure there are Districts that are further ahead than others but overall the K12 sector is doing some really amazing stuff. But perhaps that is just due to the sheer size.

    @Bryan, thanks for sharing a link to your class blog and explaining how it is used.

    Any chance of seeing a copy of your ‘idiot’s guide’? Would be interesting to see what approach you have used.

    Paul Bogush’s students used to love to do riddles and questions on their blogs. They used to drive me crazy trying to work out the answers.

    Definitely your information helped. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. re #1 and 3
    My class blog is http://bryanclass.edublogs.org/
    I use my class blog mainly to keep in contact with parents – and this has almost replaced traditional printed newsletters. (I still send a hardcopy home for permission notes). All parents gave permission for their children’s photos to be uploaded and I use Picassa to make slideshws or collages. Have been a bit slack lately about the inclusion of photos though – time I guess 🙂
    I have pages to provide parents information about specific things. These include: eye tracking, reading, maths, our Units of Inquiry.
    I also include links on most curriculum areas for the children to use.
    I have made an ‘idiots guide to using or class blog’ which I sent out in paper form earlier in the year and included things like how to comment, how to navigate and search, and how to subscribe. Thanks for the post earlier this year on the benefits of this 🙂 I also encourage parents to subscribe to the blog at our Acquaintance night which is held early in our school year.
    My students’ favourite page by far is the ‘brain teasers’ where I simply put 1 or 2 questions currently relevant. Its a great way of encouraging the children to learn how to email. I still get emails from students who i taught years ago and who have left our neighbourhood 🙂
    Oh…I also linked my blog to my facebook account, and I know that some parents in my class, as well as other fb friends get info that way. I’m only trialling this at the moment as I am still deciding on the wisdom of mixing private and professional…so far so good though. Have only had positive comments and my parents still email me or see me if they have any issues that i can help with.
    I have found your blog invaluable as it always has good ideas and tips, and I’m very much still learning!!
    Hope this helps.

  4. The adoption of technology into education arena especially at the K-12 level is typically very slow. There are number of customs and practices that insulate the K-12 system from change. To change these customs and practices, new methods of collaboration need to take place at all levels of the K-12 system. School board members, Superintendents, site administrators and distrcit administrator need to be exposed of educational implications of social media in the classroom and the faculty room. For the those brave teachers who blazing a new trail, I encourage you to engage all of the levels of K-12 system so we can learn together.

  5. Have you seen the English Companion Ning that Jim Burke has set up? It’s a prime example of hoe social networking can be a boon to educators. Unfortunately, the school I work for categorically bans social networks — including this one. They don’t seem to know *why* they’re doing it, though.

    I think that the media has done a bang up job of scaring everyone what with talk about sexual predators and career-ending Facebook posts. Part of our jobs as educators is to teach our students what this technology is and how to use it responsibly and intelligently.

    For any educators looking for sound academic research to back up their decision to use technology, I would suggest looking at Dr. Mike Wesch’s and Dr. Henry Jenkins’ work and comments about technology in society. Dr. Wesch is the kind of teacher I want to be — he uses technology to augment what he does. Dr. Jenkins is studying how technology changes literacy. Good stuff.

  6. @Rhysatwork That is so typcial and unfortunately not unexpected. Concerns of the negative aspects outweight the true benefit of allowing twitter.

    @Phil Hart I agree it is our responsibility to adequately educate them.

    @Jo Hart Regardless of age I find people aren’t savvy enough in terms of digitial safety, security and online digital footprint. As you say we should be teaching these skills from an early age because if we don’t that is when they do make the bad mistakes.

    @MissCheska I totally agree having a strong online network means we can find resources faster and quicker than we could using any other means.

    @Jonelle Bell Thanks for sharing a link to your kindegarten blog. It is an excellent example of how blogs are being used well in this age group. You should be really proud of it and I hope your parents appreciate it as I know the students will.

    Absolutely love the masterpieces and how you are telling the parents what is happening in the class. Have you thought of adding email subscription to your blog?

  7. I teach kindergarten and this is my blog about myself, my classroom and teaching kindergarten: http://aplacecalledkindergarten.blogspot.com/. As you can see on my blog I have started blogging about things that are happening in my classroom and topics of discussion for my writing workshop. My parents are loving my blog and they all gave permission to post their child’s pictures on my blog. Through my blog they know what the children are doing at school, they can talk to their child about things that are happening in our classroom and share posts with relatives that live out of time. I do not use any last names, make sure that everyone is included and keep my post positive and informational.

  8. #7 PLNs and social networking are valuable tools for teachers seeking additional professional development and networking with educators who share the same interests. I know that personally it has been a great help for me since my discovery of social networking. In my undergraduate program, I was often very frustrated because the program seemed to focus more on elementary levels, and in subjects like math and english. It limited my network to a handful of other students in secondary, and the rare one or two science majors like me. Using social networking tools helped me to branch out and open my search statewide, nationally, globally and connect with other educators who can help me learn more about science for secondary. They provide many many resources that I couldnt have found alone or with a very limited network in my school.

  9. HELP

    I cannot log into the forums.

    I am getting literally HUNDREDS of emails from “[email protected] “How to Get Help and Support from Edublogger”. It’s going to shut down my school email account. I have no idea where else to post this, I am hoping someone reads this soon.


    1. @mrsbenjamin, Thanks for letting me know and I did send you an email from Edublogs Support a few hours ago to follow it up in more detail. We are really sorry this happened and definitely shouldn’t have occurred.

  10. Firstly, I don’t teach very young, however as someone who teaches youth at risk teens I would observe that these students are currently naiive in the extreme about digital safety and security. Worryingly they are at the age where they think they know everything so instilling the dangers is difficult/impossible. In my opinion it is critical for the future online safety of young people that they are taught from a very young age (as soon as they can use the technology) about good digital citizenship This includes the responsibilities and risks associated with an online persona, and also managing their own digital footprint.

    Jo Hart (@JoHart on Twitter)

  11. As educators, we have a responsibility to educate all those in our charge to manage as best they can in the future age. Our perception of that age is limited by our ability to guess; those children will be living, breathing and working the reality that is the future age. It is my proposition that the best that we can do is to educate those (young) people to be aware of the likely future dangers, and to capitalise on the likely future possibilities, whatsoever they may be.

  12. re 3. I was asked to build a website for my kids’ kindy. I created a Twitter account and put a widget into the site with a feed for updates for the twitter account. The idea was that the teachers could update the twitter with kindy goings on and that would populate the website and send a broadcast out to the parents who were interested. The teachers could not update their twitter account because it was blocked in their office and DECS said that it was against policy to use it so they made me change it 🙁

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