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26 Effective Ways to use Twitter for Educators [INFOGRAPHIC]

TwitterinEdTeachers and educators in the present fast-paced, ever evolving world of communication are presented with a plethora of options which might sometimes be overwhelming. To reduce the efforts of teachers in learning a new form of communication, we give you some of the most effective ways of using the most modern form of communication, Twitter. The 26 Effective Ways to use Twitter for Teachers and Educators Infographic is aimed at educators interested in utilizing Twitter as a communication and collaborative tool, for educators who like telling a story and effectively reaching out to an audience who they normally can’t! Check out the 26 effective ways to do that.

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How Social Media Impacts the Politics of Education

Reposted from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education:

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We live amidst an increasingly dense technology-fueled network of social interactions that connects us to people, information, ideas, and events which together inform and shape our understanding of the world around us. In the last decade, technology has enabled an exponential growth of these social networks. Social media tools like Facebook and Twitter are engines of a massive communication system in which a single idea can be shared with thousands of people in an instant. Twitter, in particular, represents a compelling resource because it has become a kind of “central nervous system” of the Internet, connecting policymakers, journalists, advocacy groups, professionals, and the general public in the same social space. Twitter users can share a variety of media including news, opinions, web links, and conversations in a publicly accessible forum.

In this project we use Twitter to analyze the intense debate surrounding the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core has become a flashpoint at the nexus of education politics and policy, fueled by ardent social media activists. To explore this phenomenon, this innovative and interactive website examines the Common Core debate through the lens of the influential social media site Twitter. Using a social network perspective that examines the relationships among actors, we focus on the most highly used Twitter hashtag about the Common Core: #commoncore. The central question of our investigation is: How are social media-enabled social networks changing the discourse in American politics that produces and sustains social policy?

This interactive website utilizes a two dimensional approach to tell the story of the Common Core debate on Twitter. The website is organized horizontally across major categories of the story: a Prologue, four Acts (the Social Network, Players, Chatter, Motivations), and an Epilogue – each of which goes increasingly deeper into the #commoncore story. Each of these major categories also contains different sub-stories, or sections, that unfurl vertically underneath them. The figure below depicts the organization of the website. Take a look to familiarize yourself with the architecture and then start exploring!

Read More…

Download the Project Report [PDF]

Download the Project Methodology [PDF]

Visit the Consortium for Policy Research in Education site

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Why Use a School #Hashtag? [VIDEO 2:09]

So you have a school Twitter account. Now what? How about a school hashtag to help develop your brand both in and beyond your community? A hashtag can help de-privatise practice, boost classroom transparency and connect your school with the world. This video provides a quick insight into the ways it could transform your learning community, from showcasing success to building a buzz, backchanneling PD, boosting recruitment and opening the door to a new world of professional learning. Your hashtag is a reflection of your trust, agency and support of all stakeholders in your school community!

3 Strategies to Find Education Content on Twitter

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Reposted from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning:

Twitter search is a great alternative to the conventional ways of searching the net. This socially-based kind of search allows students to access content and resources that are both timely and relevant. And most importantly, students do not need to have Twitter accounts to search its database. Here are some of the ways students can leverage the power of Twitter search to look for educational content:

Use Twitter’s powerful set of search operators to conduct focused search queries.

Use Twitter’s hashtag search functionality to find information in real time.

Use Twitter’s advanced search to refine and pinpoint information access relevant resources.

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Alabama Student’s Online Behavior Elicits NSA Response

Reposted from Alabama.com:NSA

HUNTSVILLE: Auseel Yousefi says he did it. He sent the tweets that school officials say led to a warning from the NSA which led Huntsville to begin monitoring student Facebook pages. But he says it was all a joke, a bad one – a stand-up routine that would cost him the first semester of his senior year at Lee High School.

On the day he got in trouble, Yousefi says, he was taken into a room full of administrators and shown emailed photos of a series of jokes on his Twitter feed. He says the administrators alternately referred to reports of threats forwarded by “the NSA” or an “NSA affiliate.”

“It meant absolutely nothing to me at the time,” he said of the National Security Agency, the U.S. government’s global spy network. Instead, Yousefi was focused on defending the humor in those tweets. Then school security searched his car. They found a jeweled dagger from a Renaissance fair in the glove box. Yousefi would be expelled for one semester.

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Vet Depth: The Challenge of Social Media as Professional Development

scuba Over the past five years, I have immersed myself in a variety of social media channels, from Facebook and Twitter to Posterous and Plurk. I delved into LinkedIn and Google+ and more recently Instagram and Pinterest, as they became known to me. And while each has had its affordances and benefits, there are six I currently use regularly  that are popular and consistent in their worth to me as an educator.

Reflecting on my social media experience thus far, I retraced my first eight steps for Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. Did I start by posting comments? Meeting people? Finding valued content? And from that point, how did I become more involved as a proficient and engaged user? Each platform was a different sequence of eight concrete steps to success.

But it’s not enough to just arrive in social media communities. One needs to contribute and thrive and grow. Am I successful on some channels more than others, based on my personality, abilities and interests? Yes, I believe so. But what are constants I can measure across all six social media environments that can help me compare the worth of each for me professionally?

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I identified four measures: value, level of interaction, scale of impact, and depth. As I review the table above with you, rating each of these four measures on a scale of 0 (non-existent) to 10 (excellent), my subjective assignment of number values shows a wide range of worth for each. Some excel at interaction and impact, while others correlate impact to depth. Rarely is there disparity between interaction and depth. After all, these are social communities. Impact is the coin of the realm. And depth is the most difficult measure to ascertain at high levels.

In my experience, Twitter offers the most depth. But even there, the score is only a seven. Why is depth so difficult to achieve on social media? To examine this question, consider the use of Twitter, the platform I rated highest for depth, and its use by educators as a means of professional development.

What is professional development on Twitter? Is it flocking as birds of a feather to other educators of similar mind and interests? Yes, of course. Is it the acquisition of new content that augments my existing skill set and experience? Absolutely. What about validation for accomplishments and contributions to my professional learning network (PLN)? And how about elaboration of existing understandings and applications of knowledge? scuba dissonance Yes to both. But what then of dissonance, the challenge of assumptions and practices? Dissonance is a deeper level of discussion and engagement, where members of a PLN critically explore topics in a safe, supportive and stimulating collegial environment. You know, the way we experience high quality professional development when we work over time with a school district cohort, or when we take a graduate level course in our area of interest and expertise, or when we advance to a new job role and step up to learn and demonstrate the new skills required of us? I want to experience this more through my social media channels. There is no growth without rigorously pursuing the construction of new professional capital together.

With dissonance comes the serious vetting of issues and ideas, as PLN members hammer out new understanding of theory, data, and degrees of proficiency and effectiveness. Social media is at its best not proffering base knowledge and surface understandings, but in offering opportunities to problem solve and the new value, new capacity, and new professional capital that are produced as a result.

This dissonance can occur randomly, as different member’s experience and expertise contribute to the rigorous vetting of topics. But dissonance can also occur deliberately, as PLN members thoughtfully and purposefully prompt and prod one another to question attitudes, beliefs and values of colleagues, helping everyone involved rise to new, elevated levels of professional efficacy. Creating and working through dissonance is key in using social media as a form of professional development. vet-depth

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By grappling with dissonance, I reach what I term vet depth: the level of rigorous questioning and vetting of professional practice that creates the conditions for professional development. By taking deep dives down to the vet depth, I work through the messy and difficult questions facing education today. Where I had suddenly felt concern and uncertainty, I now emerge with new skills and understandings. Equilibrium is restored, and true professional development takes root that transforms my professional practice.

Having thought through my own social media experience, and considering the valid levels through which we all engage professionally on social media, I encourage everyone in education to push themselves to not only enjoy the validating, rewarding birds-of-a-feather conversations that come so easily, but to ask the hard questions, take risks, push thinking, and have the critical conversations that help us to become stronger, more thoughtful, more reflective, more effective models of learning, teaching and leading. Social media already provides us the tools. We simply need to make the most of them. Commit yourself to deep dives all the way down to vet depth, where we can advance one another’s professional development. scuba team

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Why (And How) Teachers Are Using Twitter [INFOGRAPHIC]

Why (And How) Teachers Are Using Twitter [INFOGRAPHIC]

How can 140 characters be so effective? Does anyone even care what others have to say? How do teachers really use it? These questions and more are explored in the handy infographic from Edudemic below. Now is the time (summer) to get your Twitterista on and sharpen those tweeting skills! This chart can help get you take that first jump out of the nest!