Archive for the ‘Social Networking’ Category

60 Seconds - Things That Happen On Internet Every Sixty Seconds
Infographic by- Shanghai Web Designers

I have been contemplating my personal learning network (PLN) as of late, and I have shared my off and on dealings with such tools as Facebook, Twitter, and the like.  As an educator, a PLN is vital in gaining new ideas, sharing, seeking support, and maintaining all sorts of human relationships that get one through the days, weeks, and years.  I have never been a good giver over my digital PLN, but living as a taker has helped me to survive.

Sometimes people come along and give you a good shot in the arm when you least expect it, and two gentlemen did just that for me many months ago.  Dale and Jarred were two new teachers, just finishing up their programs of study at university.  Last year was their first year in the classroom, and now they march along in the second.  I had followed these teachers, and visited with them on rare occasion, but I lost them for a bit (my fault).  I backed away from my digital PLN to gain some perspective, that I never quite found, and added them back today.  Hopefully they will take me back.

Chances are good they didn’t know I was gone, and that would be my fault for being a taker.  That’s okay.  I need to take from them, I need their enthusiasm, I need to hear of their struggles and triumphs, and I need to be ready to offer encouragement when I think they need it.  That encouragement makes me a giver.  Support is one of the great benefits of a PLN.  It comes from strangers, those you least expect, but they become familiar:  they become family through one’s PLN.

We come to the end of a calendar year.  This is a time of reflection for many, and a time to set new goals.  I’ve been thinking about goals, been taking stock of the past, and wondering how to navigate the future.  I have been looking for perspective.  I was referring to my PLN via my RSS feeder to find some wisdom, and Dale provided just the perspective I needed in the following video (Dale and Jarred:  Thanks for finding me many months ago even though you didn’t realize I needed to be found!):

You can follow Dale and Jarred on Twitter:  @DaleHolt and @JarredRowe and learn from them at “Not Your Average Teacherhttp://notyouraverageteacher.com/

They truly are not average, they are great!!!

Why I left Twitter…

Posted: September 11, 2010 in Reflection, Social Networking
Tags:

Seriously!  In part, this is why… 😐

My current Twitter info:  Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.  (It is because I am gone!)

Diigo Elementary Level Links

Diigo Secondary Level Links

What is Diigo?

The final day of 2009 brought me to a point I had been contemplating for several weeks:  What social networking sites should I no longer use?  I considered using suicidemachine.org to delete my accounts, but it would have had me join another social network to share why I “commited internet suicide.”  No thanks!  I began with MySpace, long ago unused and a dinosaur in the short history of social networking.  FriendFeed, MyLife (formerly Reunion I believe), and Classmates were next.  I joined the “class reunion” sites long ago before things like MySpace and Facebook took over that niche.  There were others, but I now thought of doing away with Facebook and Twitter; however, Twitter stayed as it has become a great professional tool, and I like the useful information I get from those that I follow (Thanks to you all!).

Facebook was staring me in the eyes like a wounded animal (Believe me, I know the look!), and I thought of all the Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc. posts I would be missing and that brought me to my senses:  I discontinued my account with Facebook!  I was free!!!  I had time on my hands, and I got things done in record time.  All I really had to check now was Twitter, and that could rack up responses in between real life as I hardly have anyone I follow anyway!  I played Apples to Apples with my kids, went to occupational therapy, read a book, researched and ordered a new piece of art, watched several great bowl games, and even shared a lengthy conversation with my wife!  What a refreshing chain of events.

Now, I know I could find ways to optimize my use of social networking sites; however, most people don’t really care what I say anyway, and I’ve tired of “listening” to those that “talk” all the time.  I have so many other things to do I honestly don’t have time to spend on much of this network that supposedly draws us together and breaks down walls.  I think it has become mostly a series of people on soap boxes, with everyone shouting at the same time, and no one is really listening, or cares to listen (Twitter is a perfect example of that, and I will have to filter my list better!).  Many talk of the “conversation,” but generally those that do are carrying it on with themselves or with a select few.  It’s tough to get in on these “conversations” that supposedly are taking place in the digital world.  I’d swear it’s like high school all over again!  You have to be in the right clique to get noticed, I left that behind 25 years ago, and I’ve got no desire to go back!  I’m 44 years old for heck’s sake!

With social networking tools I was in contact with former classmates from high school and college, sure I had family contacts, and even several of my former students in my friends list, but they have always been in/on my list, and they can find me if they really want too.  I have developed a web presence since the late ’90s, and I am out there for the finding.  I’ll still be using YouTube, Flickr, Ustream, and will continue this blog (almost at the 3 year anniversary!), and I plan to make myself available at my office during the work week and will welcome the opportunity to stop by and visit, in person, if anyone wants me too!  My home is yours, and I may be stopping by your house with cookies, my fishing pole, or even my mountain bike once I get up the nerve to ride again since breaking my arm.  I need human to human, face to face, smile to smile contact at this point in my life, and I am bound and determined to facilitate it!

The photo in this post is of my three boys and I on a fishing excursion over 3 years ago!  It seems like yesterday that we were together on that trip.  Time flies, and social networking can take us away from these people!  My Grandpa Hokanson and I used to fish almost everyday.  I’m talking EVERYDAY!  We fished in the middle of a western Wyoming winter catching whitefish by the hundreds, we fished in the summer with homemade rootbeer in our glass bottles catching cutthroat trout, we fished in the fall and listened to bull elk bugle in the mountains and hills right near the Salt River, or the Snake, or the Greys.  We also talked to each other, a lot:  a whole lot!  So much so that when he passed away  when I was 16 I didn’t have anyone else to really talk to because he was my guy, the one I trusted and confided in on a near daily basis.  I began to build a new, bigger network that included Farmville and Mafia Wars types but also encompassed an interesting bag of mixed nuts, if you will, over the years.  Most of those relationships were developed while in the same room or location.  This includes many of the people that were in my digital, social network.  The problem is, in that social network I still missed them.  You see, they weren’t really there, or at least they were only there in a limited number of characters.  Grandpa and I never limited our characters, and that was a really good thing.

Happy New Year everyone.  Stop by the place if you get a chance, or I’ll come over.  🙂

donkeyInformation overload has the potential to overwhelm good citizens all over the world, and I am not immune!  With a busy life that begins with five children and all their great adventures, I am often not reading all my RSS feeds, not checking Twitter, nor updating Facebook.  However, I do utilize these tools and many others to organize information that I find useful, and I know that I will eventually get to the pieces of info that are meaningful to me.

I can’t keep up with it all and that is okay.  There are no laws that require us to keep up to date on every piece of information rolling around on the web, and there are laws that warn us not to neglect our children.  Remember that the next time a little one is trying to pull you away from a digital device screen.

By the way, happy anniversary to my dear wife Dianna.  19 years and still going strong!!!  🙂

http1The following are some new and old online sites that you may find useful as educational resources and fun instructional tools. I have included links to each site, a brief description, and information quoted from each site. I have known about many of these and learned about a few at an Educational Service Unit (ESU) meeting I attended in Ogallala, Nebraska.

Lesson Plans, Resources, and SO MUCH MORE!!!

Thinkfinity http://www.thinkfinity.org/

Remember the Marco Polo site? Thinkfinity is Marco Polo in its new incarnation.

“Thinkfinity.org makes it easy for educators to enhance their classroom instruction with lesson plans, interactive activities and other online resources. Thinkfinity.org also provides a wealth of educational and literacy resources for students, parents and after-school programs.

All of Thinkfinity.org’s 55,000 standards-based K-12 lesson plans, student materials, interactive tools and reference materials are reviewed by the nation’s leading education organizations to ensure that content is accurate, up-to-date, unbiased and appropriate for students.

At Thinkfinity.org, you’ll find primary source materials, interactive student resources and grade-specific research lists to help you tailor materials to meet your needs. Start exploring now!”

Web Tools

Tiny URL http://tinyurl.com/

Have a long web address/url/or web site “number” as VP Biden calls it ;-)? Tiny URL can assist in creating a much shorter url for you to use or remember.

“Are you sick of posting URLs in emails only to have it break when sent causing the recipient to have to cut and paste it back together? Then you’ve come to the right place. By entering in a URL in the text field below, we will create a tiny URL that will not break in email postings and never expires.”

Web 2.0 Sites

Glogster http://www.glogster.com/

This site has some possibilities and there is an education version: http://www.glogster.com/edu/

I envision students using this to create posters, collages, etc. for various classroom projects.

“Mix graphics, photos, videos, music and text into slick Glogs. Glog yourself every day!

Amaze your friends – send others links to your Glogs.

Pimp your profile! – share your creations on Myspace, Facebook, Hi5, Friendster, Bebo or wherever you want…

Find new friends by their style

Have fun browsing Glogs, comment on other people’s Glogs and get inspiration”

MorgueFile http://www.morguefile.com/

This is a place to free photos and there is also a classroom section where you can learn the basics of photography.

“Morguefile, where photo reference lives. This morgue file contains free high resolution digital stock photographs and reference images for either corporate or public use. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for illustrators, comic book artist, designers, teachers and all creative pursuits.”

Gigapan http://www.gigapan.org/index.php

See the “Gigapan” from the Nebraska vs. CU game (For my fellow Nebraskans, click the following link and zoom in to find yourself if you were there!): http://tinyurl.com/88ao9d

“GigaPan consists of three technological developments: a robotic camera mount for capturing very high-resolution (gigapixel and up) panoramic images using a standard digital camera; custom software for constructing very high-resolution gigapixel panoramas; and, a new type of website for exploring, sharing and commenting on gigapixel panoramas and the detail our users will discover within them. The GigaPan website allows hosting and sharing all kinds of panoramas, and so the robotic GigaPan mount is recommended but is certainly not required to be part of this community.”

Picnik http://www.picnik.com/

Online photo editing and more.

Picnik makes your photos fabulous with easy to use yet powerful editing tools. Tweak to your heart’s content, then get creative with oodles of effects, fonts, shapes, and frames. It’s fast, easy, and fun.”

BeFunky http://www.befunky.com/

Create artwork with your photos.

“BeFunky Photo Effects allow everyday people to easily create photographically rich and artistic results from their digital images without the need for any technical knowledge. These “one-click” photo effect options produce desired results effortlessly and each effect comes with the option to make simple adjustments.”

The following are links to our HAL student’s blogs. They are off to a great start. I really enjoy working with these wonderful people. I am proud of their efforts. Click, read, enjoy, and after you give them a glance, please respond to our poll!!!

We are using Edublogs as our blogging engine, and it is quite easy to set up student accounts, administer them, and moderate at the teacher level.  Edublogs utilizes WordPress and has many of its features available to students and educators.

http://hal6alexise.edublogs.org

http://hal6alexr.edublogs.org

http://hal6annb.edublogs.org

http://hal6austinl.edublogs.org

http://hal6brandenh.edublogs.org

http://hal6garrettk.edublogs.org

http://hal6logano.edublogs.org

http://hal6myrissan.edublogs.org

http://hal6nathanm.edublogs.org

http://hal6sarahf.edublogs.org

http://hal7alecw.edublogs.org

http://hal7alexise.edublogs.org

http://hal7andrewp.edublogs.org

http://hal7blaket.edublogs.org

http://hal7bryannas.edublogs.org

http://hal7catelynl.edublogs.org

http://hal7charlieh.edublogs.org

http://hal7connerc.edublogs.org

http://hal7graysonf.edublogs.org

http://hal7greggn.edublogs.org

http://hal7hayleys.edublogs.org

http://hal7ianb.edublogs.org

http://hal7kaylar.edublogs.org

http://hal7kristenw.edublogs.org

http://hal7laurac.edublogs.org

http://hal7lilyw.edublogs.org

http://hal7maddief.edublogs.org

http://hal7manuelm.edublogs.org

http://hal7mckennam.edublogs.org

http://hal7megans.edublogs.org

http://hal7mikar.edublogs.org

http://hal7sloanew.edublogs.org

http://hal7timothyd.edublogs.org

http://hal7vincentg.edublogs.org

http://hal8aceh.edublogs.org

http://hal8cameronb.edublogs.org

http://hal8elysek.edublogs.org

http://hal8ettam.edublogs.org

http://hal8jessicab.edublogs.org

http://hal8kyliew.edublogs.org

http://hal8loganne.edublogs.org

http://hal8marcusm.edublogs.org

http://hal8mattd.edublogs.org

http://hal8michaelo.edublogs.org

http://hal8samb.edublogs.org

http://hal8sarahe.edublogs.org

http://hal8shaylenes.edublogs.org

http://hal8tessb.edublogs.org

http://hal8tomb.edublogs.org

http://hal8tylera.edublogs.org

This is an interesting idea and site: School of Everything. “The Big Idea” for the site is as follows:

THE BIG IDEA

“Our current education system was designed in the industrial revolution to prepare people for factory work. The world has changed a lot since then – and the time has come to rethink education from the bottom to the top.

At School of Everything, we believe that learning is personal, and starts not with what you ‘should’ learn but with what you’re interested in. So we’re building a tool to help anyone in the world learn what they want, when, where and in a way which suits them. Putting people in touch with each other, not with institutions.

This isn’t about e-learning. There are lots of great online tools, but not much beats being in a room with someone who wants to teach you the thing you want to learn.

Millions of people already make a living as self-employed teachers. But that’s just the start: think of all the underused skills that exist in any neighbourhood. From active retired people, to teenage whizz-kids, to hobbyists in their garden sheds, there are people everywhere who could gain satisfaction, confidence – and maybe even a new career – from passing on what they know.

We don’t mind whether you teach for money or simply for the love of a subject – we think the world should be full of people sharing what they’re passionate about.

Our goal is to do for education what YouTube has done for television, or what eBay did for retail: to open up a huge and fertile space between the professional and the amateur. A space where people teach what they know and learn what they don’t.

It’s this vision of a bottom-up learning system that gets us excited. We’re very new, but we’re growing – and we’ve got big plans.”

Over at the Copy Brighter blog is an enjoyable article titled “Social Media in the 1990s.”  Click on over for a great read, if you are “old” enough to remember what it was like!  What am I saying!!!  🙂