A lot of criticism has been leveled at social media and the effect it has on the way students process and retain information, as well as how distracting it can be. However, social media offers plenty of opportunities for learning and interactivity, and if you take a moment to think about it…
Almost everyone has a story of getting burned (or knowing someone who was burned) by a posting on Facebook. Today I highlight “FaceWash,” a tool that will scour through you Facebook timeline to find content that may be inappropriate or you would want to remove. It will look through status updates, photos you have posted, photos you are tagged in, and comments on your wall.
The tool was surprisingly fast and searched through content at lightning speed. You can use its default “dirty word” list and even make your own (want to remove all traces of your ex, or a bad comment about your boss?). I did find its word list to be a bit overly sensitive. For example, a “Like” I had made on a local college production of the Vagina Monologues was flagged as was an article I “Liked” about Breast Cancer.
If you use Facebook professionally or just want to ensure that nothing on there is incriminating, check out FaceWash. It’s an excellent, free application.
The Educational Technology site Edudemic has published its 2012 Social Media Report Card:
2012 was one heck of a year for social media. We saw billion dollar acquisitions, bold new designs, and a strong push toward the integration of social media into traditional business processes.
The changing social landscape shaped the way marketers approached nearly every aspect of their job in 2012, from lead generation to market research, and it will likely have an even bigger impact in 2013. That makes right… [cont’d here]
It’s no secret that the phenomenon of social media not only dominates the communication pathways of younger generations, it’s also completely revolutionized the way people interact with each other the whole world over. If you’re like hundreds of millions of other people in this world, there’s a good chance you partake in some form of social media regularly.
Whether you’re a Facebook fanatic, a Twitter-lover, or you go pin-crazy on Pinterest, you’re probably…
Today, MindShift highlights just how savvy and aware tweens and teens are about what they’re sharing online. While they spend a lot of time online, they re aware of the risks and tend to make ‘fairly sophisticated’ decisions about who they are interacting with online, what others may see, and what they post. Students are aware of the multiple levels of privacy settings and conscious of what they are putting out for others to see.
young adults are more wary of the “known other” – parents, school teachers, classmates, etc. – for fear of “the potential for the known others to share embarrassing information about them”; 83 percent of the sample group cited at least one known other they wanted to maintain their privacy from; 71 percent cited at least one known adult. Strikingly, seven out of the 10 participants who reported an incident when their privacy was breached said it was “perpetrated by known others.”
Another interesting point about the article is that the overwhelming majority of children get the understanding of the importance of privacy from the adults in their lives – parents, teachers, counselors, etc. Therefore, adults (especially those in authority) have an incredibly important role in educating children about Digital Citizenship and Digital Footprints.
I highly recommend the article at MindShift: “What Do Kids Know About Online Privacy? More Than you Think!” It contains incredibly valuable research and up to date survey data on what children are doing online!
I have never been a runner…. ever. However, I realize the importance of exercise and make an effort to stay in shape… most of the time. Two ACL surgeries have firmly put me in the ‘low impact’ category of exercise and I have found my cardio main-stay on elliptical machines and stair masters. I get a solid workout without my knee swelling up like a cantaloup. I have used a stair master regularly for at least 15 years… maybe more… at least since my formative teenager years. These many years of using simulated stair-machines have now rendered me helpless in the face of physical steps. I stare at them confused, uncertain of my next move – how do they work? Why don’t they move? I will sometimes stand helpless for hours as I wait for a light to turn on and let me know whether I will be moving up them in “cross-country” or “random” mode while recording my caloric output.
I now fear that my decade long use of the elliptical machine is beginning to affect my gait and my casual amblings down the street will be the next victim in this long stretch of simulated activity machine incapacity. It won’t be long until free-weights make me unable to lift objects around the house – oh wait, I already have that ailment (or so I tell my husband).
This hyperbolic string is part of an exchange I have continued with my friend and colleague Dan, carried out almost entirely via text message. Dan and I share a passion for education and technology – in a lot of ways, he is more techy than I (and in some ways not). In spite of the fact that Dan and I regularly exchange jibes and jokes and basic communiques via text message we also chat on the phone and, when we find ourselves in the same town (as we live in other states), even get together for a meal or a drink – a real, in life social interaction.
Why am I making this ridiculous point? Well, one of my greatest annoyances about the complaints I hear bout the rise of technological communication is that it hinders and even stunts real-life, social interaction. I hear this remark from my colleagues, friends, families, and online (irony highlighted) all the time – Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, and email have turned us all into socially awkward troglodytes incapable of basic niceties beyond grunts and crude gestures.
Studies and assessments on the topic are often inconclusive or even contradictory. All that I can highlight is my own observations (as a consumer of electronic media for most of my life) and as a teacher of both the socially advanced and hindered. So, let me tell you a little about myself – I Facebook, I tweet, I email, I text, I blog, I play World of Warcraft (yep, that game), I list serve, I message board, I instant message, I Skype, I iChat, I LOL and if it’s really funny I’ll even RFLMAO. I also go out to wine tastings with my husband, have dinner with old friends, travel to Europe with colleagues, go on Southern California Adventures with friends. I have friends (in “real life”) that I’ve known for a year, and those that I’ve known for 20 (and a multitude in between). Other than my crippling social awkwardness around celebrities (sorry Eddie Izzard and Dr. Drew), I am actually a pretty social person. Texting hasn’t rendered me incapable of visiting my friend Michelle in San Francisco – in fact, it helps to keep our relationship on the front-burner as I can send her quick quips when they jump into mind. And when I see her in person, we catch up where we left off.
The world we are in today (for better or worse) is much different than the way it was in the past. We live far away from friends and family; our peripatetic lifestyles make it virtually impossible for us to keep up with all of the important people in our lives, spread out across the globe, using ‘traditional’ methods. However, with new media (like Facebook) I have been able to see my cousin’s (who lives 1,500 miles away) baby bump photos grow every week with a smile on my face. I get to see my niece’s growth in between visits – her Easter Dress and Halloween Costume. They live 1,000 away from me, so I miss many events. Facebook, pictures and video messages have helped me to stay involved in those important moments in her life.
Now, I am not saying that I have not seen “socially awkward” children dive into Facebook or Twitter as a sanctuary from the frightening world around them. That is true. In a way, “online” provides them a safe outlet within which they may develop their own persona and thought out responses outside of the physical realm. Not ideal, by any means, but not the first time that this has happened. Before Facebook and Twitter, these were the kids who played Dungeons and Dragons without end or buried themselves in their parents basement with the ham radio. Children with social awkwardness do need special attention and often must be gently pushed into uncomfortable situations to help improve their abilities to get along with other human beings. This isn’t a new problem.
I propose that the idea that social awkward/technology promote social ineptitude is all wrong. Technology doesn’t cause social awkwardness in teenagers. Kids aren’t ‘forgetting how to write’ because of texting’ or unable to communicate face to face because they send emails. The reality is that technology and social media are tools – tools that can be used in many way. You can use a hammer to bash in somebody’s brain, but it also works really well for hammering in nails. I have witnessed social butterflies become monarch social butterflies using Facebook and Twitter. I have personally experienced an expansion of my own professional learning network (PLN) using social networking sites (not at the expense of my personal interaction).
In my experience, social media becomes a problem for those who already have a problem – it further exacerbates an existing issue. However, for the mainstay it’s another tool – an expansion of our already social nature.
First, I’d like to credit Mind Shift for their informative “Educational Apps of the Month” posting this month. There are some real gems there and one that I want to highlight: Google Goggles. Google and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu California (one of my favorite museums of all time and listed in my article “Best Online & Interactive Museums“) have paired up to create this very cool identification app.
It plays off of the Face Recognition software that has become so famous with Facebook scandals. It is available for both iOS and Android devices. Click here to get the application (if you don’t already have it). You just take a photo of the artwork with your device (any art work) and it will then scan its library and pull up an information window.
It’s also not entirely reserved for Art Work. You can use Google Goggles to scan text, landmarks, wine labels, and more! I can’t wait to try this out! Remember, before you take photos in a museum confirm that it is permissible (and always turn off the flash!).