Tsunami – in the classroom?

I wonder how many classrooms in Australia will spend time this week talking about, reviewing and learning about the impact of earthquakes and tsunami  on countries and people?

This weekend saw the earthquake in Chile and the tsunami it created affecting many parts of the world.  The Chilean president declared a state of catastrophe after a deadly quake of magnitude 8.8. Subsequently warnings of tidal waves were issued in 53 other countries.

In the Guardian’s Report Chile Earthquake: Pacific nations brace for Tsunami we have a good lead article to set the scene for discussion.

The Tsunami raced across the Pacific and threatened Hawaii as it rushed toward the U.S. West Coast and hundreds of islands from the bottom of the planet to the top. Sirens blared in Hawaii to alert residents to the potential waves. As the waves expected arrival drew near, roads into tourist-heavy Waikiki were closed off.  Police patrolled main roads, telling tourists to get off the streets.

It’s not new – social media has a well established co-reporting global events!

But do your teachers know this?  Do they know powerful social media is in providing information and synchronous coverage of event?

Did they pick up the links they need via Twitter? of Facebook? or other social networking site?

Perhaps they already have the Associated News App on their iPhone (find it in the App store)  and were aware of events that way? or via another mobile App?  or heard it on the news?

Did they send out a message (text? IM?) to their geography students to alert them to the CBS News Stream via Ustream so they could experience live some of these events – even if only for a few minutes?

Not only were the media doing live reports online, as well as on TV, but people in the streets were contributing picture and live phone feeds and images to contribute to the pooling of information.

Twitter was buzzing.

Don’t forget to check out Diigo and Delicious during the week to find more links from other  ‘connected’ teachers.  

From a student’s point of view – social media tools allow them to experience these  incidents live and hear the authentic experiences of people observing the event.

By Monday there will be plenty of online media sites that will have stories, videos, etc to use for class review. But none of that is as good as experiencing a live report! How many teachers will be ready to immerse their students in learning with the very tools that students love to use?

Here’s someone ready to incorporate this type of learning into their uni classes - Magnitude vs Intensity in Chile. Learning can be amazing.

Larry Ferlazzo provides The Best Sites to Learn about the Earthquake in Chile (& possible Tsunami).

Go on teachers – give it a try!!  Here’s a great map of Estimated Tsunami arrival times to get you talking.

The picture below shows the live CBS News UStream.

Open Source ethos

I have been spending a bit of time thinking about The World is Flat by Friedman in preparation for the first Flat Classroom Project in 2010. Amongst other things, I thought about Open Source thinking and flat world communications which I planned to share in the  Keynote kick-off.

Well, you now how it is – I just couldn’t share everything  I wanted to (lots out in the rough cuts), but the ‘finds’ are still inspirational.

You have to be inspired by the powerhouses of  Open Source software and Open Content. There is no doubt in my mind that an Open Source ethos is the best way to collaborate, create, share, and be empowered to inspire future learning.

For example, during the crisis in Haiti, the Open Source community did amazing work in Haiti OpenStreetMap to assist aid and rescue workers to do their work and help the relief and reconstruction effort. It was a Flat Classroom Project in action – creating up-to-date  maps of  Port au Prince. Dozens of mappers and developers were able to lend a hand, coordinating on the OSM Haiti WikiProject.

Thanks to Paul Hamilton, I was inspired by yet another amazing example of the power of work taking place using Open Source Software to help people. The development of the  Eyewriter is inspirational. The Eyewriter uses low cost creative technology an free open source software to enable graffiti writers and artists with paralysis to draw using only their eyes.

posted with vodpod

Climbing up the social ladder …

Two and a half years ago Social Technographics presented a visual analysis of social technology behaviour. Despite the rapid pace of technology adoption, the rungs on the ladder have shown steady growth, with some (like Joiners) growing faster than others (like Creators). In an update –  Social Technographics: Conversationalists get onto the ladder – which includes not just Twitter users, but also people who update social network status to converse (since this activity in Facebook is actually more prevalent than tweeting).

Where do you fit on the ladder?

Social Techno Ladder Mark 2

LazyFeed – lazy and productive

I admit to being a web wanderer – lazy random browsing in the topic areas that interest me is wonderful,  and it’s amazing what new things you find, what you can enjoy, and what you can learn. My RSS reader is  ‘chockers’ – so I can’t just keep adding possible feeds for reading.

Rather belatedly  I’ve also discovered LazyFeed.  Perfect!

If you are more into tracking stories on a particular subject like technology, music etc rather than tracking specific blogs then LazyFeed could be the tool you need. You just need to sign up and add your favourite topic…. via MUO.

I’ve been using it for a few months now, and just love the flexible way of trawling on my favourite  topics. OK, it’s not going to aggregate and store the same way as my RSS reader (Google + Feedly) but it’s going to keep sifting and providing an online reading experience for me any day that I want to drop by!

According to the founder, LazyFeed is like instant messenger for your topics. It’s a tech tool that suits the slow adopters of technology! Got some nice enhancements in January too!

Another recommendation came my way via @RadHertz.

NewsCred lets you launch an online newspaper in minutes. Cool!  Read more about this from Louis Gray.

Here’s an example from UQ Innovation Times.  Nice :-).

Shareaholic – always!

Thinking? Writing? BLogging?  Sharing?  That’s what Web 2.0 media is all about ~ it’s continually getting easier to share our online learning experiences with others :-)

Thinking Beta – that’s what it is! Always thinking, always learning, always expecting change.

Rather later than others I know, I’ve discovered a useful addition to my Firefox suite of online tools in Shareaholic. I’m sure I’ve spotted @buffyhamilton using it!

Shareaholic supports 100+ destination services. Make sure you setup your favorite services from the options menu so that Shareaholic works exactly the way you want it to. The latest update tells me that the service is just getting better and better.

I recommend you give it a try. Perhaps you’d like to share your experiences if you’re an ‘old hand’.

Not just Twitter and Facebook ~ it’s a Poken!

Get the pokenPulse combination Poken device and USB Flash drive. Click for details.As John explains in his post on Integrating Social Media and Reality, we live in two separate, parallel worlds, with one foot in each. There’s the online world of text, email, online shopping, Internet search, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Then there’s the real world of food, shelter, family, friends, and work. The two intersect, but they’re not tied together in any robust way. Well, at least until now.

Enter Poken! a device you might keep on a lanyard around your neck or clipped to your jacket, backpack, or bag. Need to exchange information or keep up-to-date with a colleague? If you both have a Poken you can touch the hands of the Poken together and they’ll sense each other’s presence. After a wireless exchange of links, both hands will pulsate with a green glow to announce the successful transfer of information. The magic happens when the Poken is connected online to your personalized online portal.

Way better than a business card ~ amazing social networking! Is this new? Or have I been living under a rock?

more about “Poken Explained on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

Real and imagined ~ are the same!

Each school, each leadership team, each school library team and each teacher needs to learn how to restructure the core business of schooling in order to embrace learning in our changing online world.

We say this often and slowly the ship of state is turning ~ but fast enough for our students?

I came across two things today which brought a smile to my face. What we imagine is possible ~ is real these days!

Take a look at TechXav –  seems to be as professional a website as any you might come across….. by 11-15 year old students?

TechXav is a technology blog written by a group of young and zealous teens, ranging from the age of 11-15.

Wait – they’re even located around the world!!

Right – and imagine what they think of being shown a powerpoint! or opening a text book!

I also read a post by Will Richardson about phones and about the disruption they are already creating for most schools (high schools at least) and about the huge brain shift we’re going to have to through collectively to capture the potential for learning in our kids’ pockets. I love the video he shared as well!

Yes, we’re facing a huge challenge ~ much bigger than just the roll-out of laptops in our schools in NSW. It’s a fundamental, seismic shift that likely will swallow some education institutions.

So this little promo video shared by Will also bought a smile to my face.

Making Twitter work for me – and you!

I’ve been using Twitter for what seems a long time – and in that time I have learnt that Twitter is an important part of  my whole toolkit of professional learning and sharing. I have also learnt that it is important to bend Twitter to the purpose I want to use it for!
Twitter has been growing and changing since it first arrived on the scene.  The advent of Twitter and other social networking sites, as well as the popularity of text messaging, have made short-form communication an everyday reality.  But expressing yourself clearly in short bursts-particularly in the 140-character limit of Twitter-takes special writing skill.
Carol L. Tilley, a professor of library and information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,  believes the character constraint of Twitter Texting can Enhance Writing Skills.
If renowned author Ernest Hemingway could write a full story in just six words (“For sale: baby shoes, never worn”), then teachers and librarians should encourage their students to use Twitter and text messages as part of their literacy lessons
For me, Twitter texting is about collaboration, sharing, and supporting my colleagues. My Twitter @heyjudeonline is a mix of information finds, queries, responses, and light chatter.
The information I  “put out there” is drawn from my RSS reading at Feedly and other sources. Twitter is the addition to my blog, and the quickest way I know to share!!  But thanks to Feedly, I can not only share on Twitter, but can (almost simultaneously) add important information to my delicious account for Heyjude, or post it on my Facebook profile.
For an evolving development  of Twitter, or to pick up the latest information, just take a peek at my Delicious link for Twitter.  I keep it all, and it’s certainly getting to be very extensive indeed!
The next key evolution has been the capability to keep lists!  At last – a way to organise the people you follow.   To be honest, I haven’t yet had time to organise mine. I’ve been busy thinking through other avenues.
I now run 3 Twitter accounts – the most recent addition being specifically for School Libraries.
@heyjudeonline Educator, learner, blogger, librarian, technology girl, book and library lover. Transforming education and libraries. Innovation for life.
@LibraryCloud Innovative ideas in one tweet for School Libraries everywhere!
@librarycloud is brand new – and really focussed on learning, teaching, and all things to help organise a fabulous school library.  I’m keeping this Twitter account clutter free – so that I can make a Twitter book out of it for you!

@Simplybooks Promoting reading and good literature, as well as providing links and information about quality approaches to reading education.

So you see, I’m keeping myself busy making Twitter work for me – and hopefully for you too!

Is there anything else I could do to help you?

Meanwhile – grab the Complete Guide to Twitter, or one of Tim Davies fabulous One Page Guides.

How to Score Full Marks

Everyone likes to score maximum points in each subject. It’s what the final public examinations in our country are set up for – to see who can get ‘full marks’!

Do you detect a cynical tone in my voice?  I love learning it’s true – but I also love learning and teaching to include an understanding of the online world that our students will be living and working in when they leave school.  So as the next round of marks are about to come out in NSW I wonder what these marks will tell us about the flexible and agile minds of our students and their potential to succeed in a world wrapped in new media.  New media? Social Media?  Is it really relevant? Do teachers need to know any more than the basics?  Perhaps it’s Business Studies that should take the most note of the shifts taking place, while other subjects should incorporate social media more into the whole learning process. Why?  Because from what I’m reading below – it’s driving a lot of change in the workplace and in marketing.

2009 was surely a banner year for new and social media. Fueled in large part by the impressive growth of Twitter and Facebook and the adoption of both by major brands and recognizable individuals, it’s safe to say that social new media truly went ‘mainstream’ this year.

The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth recently conducted a new in-depth and statistically significant study on the usage of social media in fast-growing corporations. This new study revisits the Center’s study of Inc. 500 social media usage for the third consecutive year, making it a valuable and rare longitudinal study of corporate use of these new technologies. Questions probed respondents about their familiarity with six prominent social media (blogging, podcasting, online video, social networking, message boards and wikis) tools. This included the popular microblogging service Twitter and other popular social networking sites like Linkedin, Facebook, and MySpace.

Adoption and awareness continue to trend upward, with 91% of firms using at least one social media tool in 2009 and three-quarters describing themselves as “very familiar” with social networking. Social networking and blogging have seen the most growth in adoption, while other technologies have flattened or even declined in use, including wikis and online video. Twitter usage, of course, has caught on quickly—more than one-half of businesses reported tweeting in 2009. This was the first year respondents were polled about Twitter.


One impressive change over time was in the percentage of Inc. 500 companies that did not use any form of social media. It dropped precipitously from 43% in 2007 to just 9% in 2009.

The Internet has provided us with the platform of information sharing. In the Web2.0 era of social media marketing and information – so much is FREE!!

Item Price Supplier
Courses & Tutorials FREE Youtube, Blogs …
Global Client Database FREE Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter …
Market Insight & Trends FREE Twitter, Google Wave …
Customer Feedback FREE Facebook, Twitter, SurveyMonkey …
Global Talent Pool FREE LinkedIn …
Viral Marketing FREE All of the Above …
Infinite knowledge FREE All of the Above and more …

It’s like fishing where the fish are. Social media is where our consumers are at the moment. There’s no better way to amplify your message…..

…according to Michael Donnelly whose role in Coca-Cola’s global interactive marketing group is to help increase the understanding, testing, adoption and use of digital marketing and emerging media among the company’s marketers.

Coke used crowdsourcing to enable all of their consumers to vote on which team will travel the world for a year in search of what makes people happy. It’s a program that will be completely socially enabled. The team will blog, shoot video, conduct interviews and participate in events. Voting concluded and the three-person team of “Happiness Ambassadors” was announced online on November 16. The trip begins in January 2010.

Oh my!!  I feel as if we have a bit to learn don’t you think?

So I thought this study presented at Harvard University by the “Society For New Communications Research” (SNCR) in November 2009, was  a rather interesting read.

Amongst the findings that caught my eye (which should have relevance to educators) were:

Professional decision-making is becoming more social,  traditional influence cycles are being disrupted by Social Media as decision makers utilize social networks to inform and validate decisions.

The big three have emerged as leading professional networks: LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter.

The average professional belongs to 3-5 online networks for business use, and LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are among the top used.

The convergence of Internet, mobile, and social media has taken significant shape as professionals rely on anywhere access to information, relationships and networks.

Reliance on web-based professional networks and online communities has increased significantly over the past 3 years.

Social Media use patterns are not pre-determined by age or organizational affiliation with younger (20-35) and older professionals (55+) are more active users of social tools than middle aged professionals.

There are more people collaborating outside their company wall than within their organizational intranet.

Connecting And Collaborating Are Key Drivers For Professional Use of Social Media.

So how are you as a teacher or teacher librarian using social media to help your students ‘score full marks’??

Innovations keep rolling out ~ Google Living Stories

Living Stories provide a new, experimental way to consume news, developed by a partnership between Google, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. In Living Stories, you can read the same reporting and analysis that you expect from the Times and the Post, delivered on a highly interactive platform.

more about “Google Living Stories“, posted with vodpod