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#8102967 Jul 08, 2013 at 10:31 AM
Guild Officer
354 Posts
What is your favorite social networking site and why? How do/can you use this in education?
twitter @kzenovka
www.center4edupunx
Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
Google + gamesmooc@gmail.com



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#8106693 Jul 08, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Initiate
110 Posts
I'll admit I'm not really big on social networking sites. I come from the generation of bloggers, and that's really where I feel most comfortable. I have a twitter account that I mostly use for following interesting people (some I know in real life, and some not). Given that, I don't really use much social media in education.

I did try using blogs a time or two, but it was less than successful. The students were very resistant to making public blogs, and many rarely posted to them. (The assignment was once a week, on anything related to game design. Less than half maintained this for the full 15 weeks, and most stopped after the first or second post). When I gave the option of emailing me blog posts, almost all students took that option instead.

After seeing this fail, I talked to some other educators and the basic conclusion we reached was that the current generation of students see blogging as "old-school" and "uninteresting". I was in college when blogging became a "thing", and classes requiring blogs were not terribly unusual. We saw blogs as a way of sharing our thoughts with the world at large, and a place to communicate with others. The current generation sees them as boring and tedious. They'd rather have the instant gratification of FaceBook or Twitter.

That said, I have stuck with the weekly journal idea in a different format. Next year I plan to leverage my LMS for blogs/journals. I'm debating between just using discussion forums (creating a topic for each student to post to, but other students can read and comment on each others' posts), or trying the blog feature in D2L. I'm leaning for towards the discussion forums, mostly because I have a better understanding of how they work. If anyone's used D2L's blog feature and wants to comment on it, I'd love to hear more about it.
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#8106733 Jul 08, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Guild Officer
73 Posts
I don't know that I agree blogs are "old school" or "uninteresting". Though, I can definitely see students being reluctant to reveal work for public scrutiny. Luckily, there are options where posters can password protect blog entries (like tumblr, for instance).

I haven't looked much into the D2L blogging options, either, but am very much interested in feedback. Has anyone here used it?

I found this helpful walk-through/tutorial. Anyone else have resources they would like to share?
Games Based Learning Mooc (gamesMOOC)
FRCC Humanities Instructor
The best combination of technophile and luddite

Twitter @ThereseEllis
Google+ therese.catherine.ellis@gmail.com
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#8106786 Jul 08, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Initiate
52 Posts
I do use blogging with my students where each student has his or her own account. I've also used Collaborize Classroom, heard someone describe it as a walled garden and I like that. Each student gets a Collaborize account too to use more for class discussions. I use Twitter often but don't think my 6th or even my 8th graders are mature enough to use it beyond the, "hey," "what?" "What's up?" "Nothing." "Hey."

This fall I'm going to try 3D GameLab and I'm very excited about that.
Al Gonzalez
Middle School Science Teacher
educatoral.com
Twitter educatoral
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#8106822 Jul 08, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Initiate
12 Posts
I think my favorite networking site is Twitter. I actually have three accounts: one is for personal use (friends, family, gamers), one is my professional account for my PLN, and the third is to use with my students and their parents.

I love Twitter because it allows me to communicate with any number of people at the same time (a good twitter client is very helpful when more than one account is in play), and I enjoy the various levels of communication it allows me (fun, serious, intelligent, etc...).

My hope in using Twitter with my students and their parents is to model appropriate use of online communication and behavior (digital citizenship).
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#8106966 Jul 08, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Guild Officer
73 Posts
Walled garden is an incredible description, EducatorAl! Also, 3D GameLab seems like it could be a useful tool and, thus far, it's quite user friendly... I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on the medium.

Twitter can be so useful, Texan78! It's a great way to curate data quickly if you're savvy creating the PLN (as you are). Do you integrate twitter into your blog/site in any way? If so, how?
Games Based Learning Mooc (gamesMOOC)
FRCC Humanities Instructor
The best combination of technophile and luddite

Twitter @ThereseEllis
Google+ therese.catherine.ellis@gmail.com
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#8107054 Jul 09, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Initiate
110 Posts
"I can definitely see students being reluctant to reveal work for public scrutiny."

Yeah, I understand that too, but the "public presence" was part of what I wanted them to do. Part of getting a job in this field is being able to show that you're capable and motivated, and a blog and/or website where you post and talk about your projects is a great way to do this. The problem with private blogs is that then I have to create an account wherever they do so I can view them (and that's just more logins and passwords I have to remember), and other students have to do the same.

I considered having everyone create an account at the same site, but I've found it difficult to get students to create any sort of new social media account for class. This can also be frustrating for students who already have a blog or a favorite site. One of the reason I'm planning to use D2L is the fact that all the students already have an account there, and are expected to check it for the course anyways (at the very least, to upload their homework). If I didn't have an LMS, I would probably use something like PBWorks, or Collaborize Classroom (which I just learned about from this thread).


"I don't know that I agree blogs are "old school" or "uninteresting". "

Even after I took away the "public" part, and just had them upload their entries for me to read (not even other students saw them), many students still didn't do them consistently. I'm hoping the fact that this new iteration will be shared within the class will add a new dynamic that may make it more interesting/motivating to the students.

The truth though, is that most of my students don't blog on their own. They probably have a number of other social networking things they do, but blogging isn't one of them. They don't view blogs the same way I do. Blogging is an important part of my digital culture, but it's not so much a part of theirs.
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#8109435 Jul 09, 2013 at 12:09 PM
Initiate
24 Posts
I mainly use twitter, but I read far more than I write. So far.
I've used blogs in the form of e portfolios with pupils and found that they aren't suited to all but for those they are they worked really well.
Steven

There are no stupid questions and mistakes are opportunities to learn in disguise
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#8109644 Jul 09, 2013 at 12:54 PM
Initiate
12 Posts
#8106966 ThereseEllis wrote:

Twitter can be so useful, Texan78! It's a great way to curate data quickly if you're savvy creating the PLN (as you are). Do you integrate twitter into your blog/site in any way? If so, how?



I am currently in the process of integrating my different twitter accounts into both my site and my blog. I want those who visit my ePortfolio to see how my PLN informs the decisions I make in planning my classes, but trying to get form to meet function is a bit of a mind-boggler right now.

I also want to give my students a one-stop site for class, complete with twitter feed. That is my next project.
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#8112429 Jul 09, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Initiate
7 Posts
I have Twitter, but read more than I write also. I use Facebook more often to stay connected personally and professionally. With my students, I use Edmodo because of the flexibility it gives me to have a closed group (I teach elementary students), to add assignments, to have students communicate with me and each other, and to give badges.
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#8119190 Jul 11, 2013 at 06:51 AM
Initiate
20 Posts
I try to be everywhere. Though I rarely log in to my ICQ anymore, i regularly use twitter but i more regularly use facebook. I highly detest skype (it failed ne tonight at the PLECONF2013). I want to get better at google plus, it has so much functionality.
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#8122119 Jul 11, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Guides
111 Posts
#8119190 zarnack wrote:

I try to be everywhere. Though I rarely log in to my ICQ anymore, i regularly use twitter but i more regularly use facebook. I highly detest skype (it failed ne tonight at the PLECONF2013). I want to get better at google plus, it has so much functionality.



ICQ! Man, that is OLD school. Wayyyyy back in the day, I loved ICQ. I'm surprised anyone else remembers it! I'm not really big on what most people consider social media (Facebook, etc.) I mostly socialize through games or game platfroms such as Steam. I do still use AIM, though.
Here's to all the educated people who don't hate games!
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#8135127 Jul 14, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Initiate
15 Posts
I have found Twitter to be helpful for learning about new tools/sites/articles...if and when I have the time to sit down and look through my feed. I follow about 800 educators, authors, organizations, etc. and it can be overwhelming! I also use it for tweetchats like the Games MOOC chat (although I always worry about spamming my followers with conversational fluff that is fun in the chat but not useful to anyone else).

I use Facebook to keep up with family and friends, but I also use it with the teachers at my school. Sometimes I feel stuck in the library and out of touch with the daily interactions that teachers on the hallway are having. Facebook lets me get to know teachers a bit better. (Is that sad? Am I such an introvert that I interact better online than in person!? I do feel like I struggle more to make connections with my school colleagues than I do online. And I feel like this is a significant barrier to implementing games or game design at school!)

I like the Google+ community that the Inevitable Betrayal guild uses, but that is about the only way I use Google+.

My students really enjoyed using Edmodo for a reading group I did one year. It seemed to give them more freedom to interact than our LMS which I find very clunky. That is about the only social media I have used with students because they are mostly all younger than 13. That age line puts a lot of tools out of reach for use at school.
Kristina Thoennes
Media Coordinator (a.k.a. Library Teacher)
Mooresville Intermediate School, NC

"Never give up, never surrender!" Commander Taggart, Galaxy Quest
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