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Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Social networking with educators

This posting relates to a session I am presenting in Singapore on Saturday November 15 at the Hands On Literacy conference.

My "brief" for my workshop in Session 1.
Social networking with educators: why is this important? How do I do it?
The emphasis in web 2.0 tools is using communication and collaboration tools to connect with others. This session will focus on where some of these social networking sites can be found and what participants get out of joining one or more of them. What is the potential of social networking for my professional development? This session will look at some social networking sites such as Ning and the edna example of me.edu.au

A word from Common Craft

More Common Craft videos in Plain English on social media, podcasting, RSS, blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, twitter, and online photosharing.

What do educators get out of being part of a social network?
  • support from fellow educators, like-minded teachers
  • new ideas
  • information about trends, events, new publications
  • professional development, both incidental and intentional
  • just in time assistance - you can ask questions
  • the opportunity to "define" yourself
  • a place to create an online e-portfolio
  • development of your understanding of, and confidence in using, web 2.0 tools
  • a wider network of "friends"
  • growth of your own reputation
Links to follow up:
  • me.edu.au: an Australian social network for educators.
  • Classroom2.0: a Ning social network for those interested in Web 2.0 and collaborative or transformative technologies in education. This a large network of over 12,000 members with a large number coming from the US. Search for me there. There are 39 people who list Singapore as home.
  • Ning in Education: similar site to Classroom2.0: a community for those using the Ning social networking platform in education. Look for a block in the right hand column that contains a list of Ning education networks.
  • Library 2.0: a Ning network for librarians.
  • TeacherLibrarianNetwork: This is another Ning, but this one has a number of defined sub-groups: High School Teacher Librarians, Elementary School Librarians, YA Lit in School Libraries, More Things: Applying 2.0 tools, Information fluency, and more.
  • Social Networks in Education: a wiki that gives an extensive list of social networks you can join.
  • Socialnetworking4teachers: a wiki with useful links and ideas.
  • CyberSmart! for teachers: a site devoted to interenet safety with advice for teachers.
  • Literacy & technology: another Ning, for those interested in the application of technology to literacy learning in the K-3 area of the school.
  • Literacy Lighthouse: another Ning community, a place for high school English teachers to become beacons of 21st Century literacy. Join now and share best practices, forge collaborations, and discuss what literacy in the 21st Century entails.This is a small recently created network.
What to do
  • visit a number of networks and then decide which one (or two at the most to start with) best suits you.
  • sign up - usually you have to create a user name, decide on your own password, give an email address, and sometimes you go straight in. In others you won't be able to login until you've confirmed your registration by email.
  • usually in the network you will get your own set of pages, with a blog page, and the opportunity to "collect" friends.
  • work on creating your profile - you can usually add some details about yourself, your interests etc., and add a photo. Defining who you are is really important.
  • explore what the site offers, look at the forums, explore other people's pages, collect colleagues, leave comments.
  • work out whether you can monitor what goes on in the network by email, RSS feeds, or whether you have to remember to visit frequently.
  • Always remember that the benefits of social networking for you will depend on your participation. If you "lurk" it is very easy to become a voyeur rather than a participant, and then eventually it will seem less important for you to visit.

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