Category Archives: SocialMedia

Using Hashtags to Save the World

There are a gazillion hashtags out there, right? Earlier this month, I wrote a blog entry that was just published entitled, Hashtag Heroism: Rise Against the Wind. Here’s the lead from the blog entry:

Are you ready to save the world, one hashtag at a time? Why not engage in hashtag heroism? This is an attempt to save the world with hashtags that show unity and respect. It is life-affirming to engage in hashtag heroism, and I invite you to share your positive story. 

Be unafraid to show how you, or perhaps others who have have helped you, have risen against the wind…the winds of adversity, oppression, and personal obstacles. Of course, how is this relevant in the classroom? Empowering children to speak up and to find their voices can be one of the most important actions adults model for younger learners.

It’s probably obvious what motivated me to write about this topic. Today, our children are naturally caught up in hashtag heroism, often without knowing how to engage properly or well. It’s not enough to just jump in, but to do so with an awareness of potential consequences…and a willingness to make things better. This is especially true as we move toward visual storytelling efforts that rely on social media tools like Instagram, Twitter, and other other outlets.

Social justice is really the capacity to organize with others to accomplish ends that benefit the whole community. If people are to live free of state control, they must possess this new virtue of cooperation and association. This is one of the great skills of Americans and, ultimately, the best defense against statism. (Source)

That’s why I love the example I cite towards the end of the blog entry. It involves the work of teachers who are taking advantage of hashtag heroism to educate students, helping them seize the power of hashtags for their own positive work.


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Check out #TCEA17 Twitter Moment for Quick Audio Interviews

Feeling a bit disconnected from the excitement going on at the TCEA 2017 State Conference? Check out this Twitter Moment, which provides easy access to on the spot audio interviews!

Listen to TCEA 17 audio interviews and see pictures!


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Creating Digital Prof Learning Communities (PLCs) with Social Media #tcea17

Check out my slideshow for this talk online at http://ly.tcea.org/tcea17!

“Don’t wait for the stars to align, reach up and rearrange them the way you want,” says Pharrell Williams. “Create your own constellation.” Want to rearrange your learning experiences with social media? Bridge the gap between face-to-face community efforts and online? Then read on to discover tips on how to shape the social media flow. Grab a friend, your mobile device, and let’s go!

Manual Approach to Social Media

If you’re like most people, you probably have been cajoled into creating a social media account. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, YouTube, and LinkedIn are the most common ones that people start with. But how do you create a community around what you share? Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Tip #1: Mix-and-Match Your Social Media

Combine audio and video tools. Instagram and Facebook make it easy to post links to other social media tools, such as Twitter. That means you can start a Facebook Live session, record audio using Voxer (or use the YouTube Capture app on your phone) and share the link out via Twitter. This is great because it allows you to “liven up” Twitter with audio and video. Imagine recording a student explaining his/her solution to a problem or thinking process. Here are some Voxercasts that I shared via Twitter. If participating in a Twitterchat, try responding to a question with audio or video. It will leave participants “mind-blown.” And, if you’re feeling adventurous, use Voxer and/or Flipgrid.com to kick off audio or video reflections respectively.

Tip #2: Decide on a Content Curation Tool

Content curation involves finding great stuff, stowing it somewhere for safe keeping, and then sharing the relevant information with other interested parties. How the sharing happens is usually through social media. Here are a few tools that I use for content curation. They make sharing with others via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook easy.

  • Get Pocket.com: This remains my favorite content tool. Anything I find on my mobile device or on my computer, I promptly save to Pocket. Since it is everywhere and works well with other tools, it makes saving content easy. Getting content out is also straightforward. More on that later.
  • Diigo.com for Educators: An oldy but goody, social bookmarking with Diigo is a cinch on computers, not so much on mobile. Still, the benefit of Diigo is that you can turn every item you save to it into a tagged item. Tags in Diigo come with RSS feeds (learn more about RSS), which make it easy to share to Twitter and other places. Using the free for Educators account comes with additional benefits.
  • Flipboard.com: A fantastic curation tool since anything you “flip” into a digital magazine (ezine for short) becomes an easy-to-share resource with others. People can subscribe and leave comments. Imagine creating a flipboard ezine for your class on a particular topic or having students collaborate and contribute to a shared ezine. Flipboard makes it possible, and viewing is a pure pleasure.
  • Storify.com: This is a helpful tool since it makes capturing tweets and sharing content easy, although to access some of its more esoteric features will require payment. Storify is often used to archive Twitterchats, even though there are more comprehensive tools. Storify makes finding and sharing content for a classroom of learners simple.
  • Paper.li: Want to create a newsletter that curates itself? Paper.li makes that possible and can auto-publish itself via Twitter with new content daily. It can be hands-off or you can spend time updating it. Like Storify, full feature access costs money.

Tip #3: Master Those Twitter Chats

social mediaEvery day, there are thousands of educators like you connecting and learning from each other. This network of professional learners, open to anyone and everyone willing to learn, is known as a “professional learning network” or PLN for short. You can find a wealth of hashtags, such as #tceachat, that boast robust conversations on days or nights. Here are several tools you can use to make navigating and participating in Twitter chats easier:

  • Tweetdeck: Tweetdeck allows you to set up multiple columns, as opposed to Twitter’s single column of content. You can follow multiple hashtags simultaneously, as well as see what you are tweeting and what others are tweeting at you. What’s more, as you get more proficient and want to manage your own Twitter chat, you can schedule your own tweets days in advance at anytime. Great for tweeting during a presentation and wowing your audience.
  • Participate Learning: This is a must-have tool to take advantage of since it provides a concise schedule of hashtags for Twitter chats and when they are taking place. What’s more, you can search hashtags for relevant conversations, as well as add your own chat. This makes it easier to find other’s chats, as well as sharing your content.
  • Twubs.com: Straightforward interface aside, Twubs is intended to help you get to know who is participating in a Twitter chat. A unique feature includes your ability to get an embed code so you can place the results of a hashtag search on your web page.

Tip #4: Create Image Flyers to Hook Twitter Chat Participants

social mediaDecided to facilitate a Twitter chat for your school or district? Create a landscape flyer with Adobe Spark, Pixlr, Powerpoint, or Google Slides that includes pertinent information, as well as a link to more content. In addition to creating a way to advertise your Twitter chat to the world, you will also want to solve the archive problem. For small Twitter chats, you can use Storify or simply copy-and-paste into a GoogleDoc or IFTTT recipe to feed tweets into a Google Sheet. However, for larger chats (>1000 tweets), consider using a more robust solution like TAGS.

Tip #5: Automate Your Social Media Sharing

“Share once and done!” Avoid having to share information via multiple outlets. Some school districts embarking on social media domination move to post the same piece of information on each social media outlet, but that can be a big waste of time. Use one or both of these tools to automate your social media sharing. Create a blog post and then see it shared automatically to Twitter and Facebook, post images to Instagram and email them to others, and more.

  • IFTTT.com: If This Then That allows you to create mini-apps, or recipes, that execute when a trigger action occurs. For example, if I add a tag “2tweet” to a web article I save on one of my content curation tools, Pocket or Diigo, that item appears as a tweet within thirty minutes. If I add a tag “tceamie,” the item is posted to a Slack group for technology directors and coordinators.
  • Microsoft Flow: A newcomer to the scene, Flow works like IFTTT, yet it works hand-in-hand with Office 365 tools. Visit their website to see some sample “flows.”
    social media

Tip #6: Create a Virtual Sharing Space

At a certain point, you will want to archive all the great things that are being said or happening. One way to do that is to save all chats to a virtual space, such as a OneNote Online notebook (see example, Google Plus Community (see example), or Facebook group. You can, of course, also use popular blogging platforms like Blogger and/or WordPress.
Use tools like Remind.com to share daily updates via mobile phones. This helps keep your community connected to you, enabling easy, non-intrusive sharing. My favorite example is Dr. Scott Mcleod’s Dangerously Irrelevant daily reminders that arrive via SMS text message every day.

Conclusion

Don’t be afraid to grasp the stars and rearrange them! Social media tools like those discussed in this blog entry make shaping the flow of social media a joy, not a chore.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Lessons Learned Building Community #msftedu @microsoft_edu

Over on Facebook, I’m making a special effort to keep the TCEA Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) closed group going with fresh tips and content. When I started facilitating MIE sessions earlier this year (I’ve had a chance to facilitate 10 across Texas), one of the challenges was reconciling who would be attending at these events. As you might imagine, community building can be tough, albeit rewarding, work. I’m always inspired by Sarah of Edumatch fame, not to mention many others.

My goals were simpler–to build a community of Texas educators, and sure, why not, a few folks from outside Texas. The community had to tap into a need for educators to be heard, to have a place to share their ideas. Robyn H. inspired the Facebook closed group since she has a group for US Microsoft Innovative Educators. I had already tried, unsuccessfully, to create a Voxer group, Skype group, Diigo group. The idea came one session when I asked the audience, “How many Facebook users are there here?” and the whole audience raised their hands. Facebook, not Twitter, was the virtual space teachers, principals, technology directors seemed to inhabit.

The group is now 195 educators strong. Wow.

The group that came about for Texas educators is TCEAMIE. You can join at http://ly.tcea.org/jointceamie

What lessons did I learn?

  • Go to where the people are, don’t try to make them come to you.
  • Take advantage of multimedia to respond to questions and issues.
  • Break the rules, invite others to join who have questions and/or responses.
  • Tinker until you get it right.
  • Ask for forgiveness.


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Working on Self: Responding to Who Reads Blogs @jeguhlin @teach42

The Dembo (that’s Steve Dembo, of course) poses the question, Who even reads blogs anymore? To be honest, I do! But reading blogs is only one half of the equation…the other half, perhaps more important, is writing a blog. Let’s reflect on the benefits.

#1-Blog Authors are Empowered.

Read The Savvy Gamer

Just like anyone who seizes the stage in a podcast, a vidcast, writing a blog empowers you. Starting a blog is an act of hope in a desperate world (wouldn’t you say that a bazillion people desperate for your attention on a multitude of issues, well, desperate?), and the benefits remain powerful.

I learned that from my son, James, who began his Savvy Gamer blog just a short time ago. Here’s an excerpt from his blog entry on Video Games and Storytelling:

Some of the best stories come from TV shows and videogames and they can be incredible influences on the mind of a young child. We will talk about some videogames best storylines in future posts so beware spoilers(I’ll let you know) and as always, stay Savvy folks.

 He writes on his new experience, writing his blog and this remark on his mobile phone:

I never thought I’d start a blog, and here I am, it’s been a fun experience because I feel like I’m writing tons of articles (I love reading basketball articles) and honestly, I’m just doing something I enjoy and I encourage everyone to find something they enjoy in life for it will bring them true happiness. #blogger

Get empowered…read AND write a blog! (or start a podcast, vidcast, etc.)

#2 – Build your reading stamina.

Now, before you pooh-pooh the concept of reading stamina as a made up idea, please be aware that it IS a valid, research-supported concept:

Reading stamina is a child’s ability to focus and read independently for long-ish periods of time without being distracted or without distracting others. Reading stamina is something that parents can help students develop. (Source: Building Reading Stamina)

Check out this additional point:

The reason for this challenge is not—as pundits and observers of education frequently suggest—that American students cannot read. Indeed, most American students can read. What many cannot do is independently maintain reading focus over long periods of time. The proficiency they lack is stamina—the ability to sustain mental effort without the scaffolds or adult supports. (Source: Hiebert, 2014, The Forgotten Reading Proficiency)

Having trouble reading something longer than tweets and social media (e.g. Facebook posts)? You may be setting yourself up failure. Read blogs, read Medium, read longer entries. These can be a bridge to longer texts, like books and textbooks.

#3 – Maintain Input Discipline.

Listening to Arisen zombie series (absolutely awesome series on Audible, but also books you can read, too), I’m thrilled to adapt a term from them called “fire discipline.”  If you haven’t had the benefit of pseudo-military terminology course via zombies tales (tongue planted firmly in cheek here), then you can read up on it:

In order to avoid running out of ammunition at the wrong time in a firefight, fire discipline is critical. Fire discipline is firing the least amount of bullets to get the job done. Any and all weapons should exercise fire discipline. (Source: Military SF)

For fun, let’s flip this concept upside down. “Input discipline” might be a way of allowing the least amount of social media input to get the job done. The job? Finding ideas that expand and stimulate intellectual, emotional, and/or spiritual growth as a blogger. Practicing input discipline means that you read some short stuff, some longer pieces of writing to achieve a specific mission objective–working on the self.

And, finally, yes, Google killed of Google Reader but why aren’t you using Feedly?
😉


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

3 Tips for Equipping and Empowering Educators #txeduchat

Image Source: http://millennialceo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/mceo_amplify.jpg
At a recent #TxEduChat, one of the questions asked was “How do school leaders go about equipping educators through professional development in a way that leads to authentic empowerment?” That’s a tremendously powerful question, so let’s explore how the strategic application of technology can lead to authentic empowerment.

Note: This blog entry originally posted at TCEA TechNotes Blog! Check it out!

Tip #1 – Amplify Teachers’ Voices in Campus Decisions

“You want me to be a member of the campus site-based committee?” I asked my principal. As a third-year teacher, I wasn’t looking forward to spending time sitting in after-school meetings. Yet in those meetings with my principal, I never felt like my voice was heard; rather, it was muted, too soft-spoken for meetings where few knew what would happen as a consequence of a decision. With mobile apps like Skype (10 Ways Teachers Motivate and Empower with Skype), Appear.in, and Voxer (read stories here of educational uses), campus leaders can create a no-cost virtual space to connect and quickly share ideas. In these spaces, quiet voices are amplified because, while the talkers may speak, the quiet educators can be heard in equal measure.

Tip #2 – Deepen Relationships

“Miguel,” asked the Athletic Director for the eleventh time since the start of the school year, “when is the FitnessGram data file going to be uploaded so we can conduct our assessments?” Unfortunately, the delay was that this program was in the midst of change. I accurately reported updates, if any, and followed up. When the information finally was released earlier, I was no longer employed in the district. But I made sure the Athletic Director had the information. We had started this journey together and it only made sense to finish it. Make the effort to be consistent, be predictable, share relevant resources that connect to people’s needs, and, by doing that, you build trust.
When we look at deepening relationships, we’re actually concerned with building trust. When we think of campus and/or district culture, we often think of the face-to-face interactions that people have in shared spaces. Having the right technology in place can help augment the positive connections that occur in those shared spaces. But deepening trust is really a person-to-person activity, isn’t it?

Tip #3 – Promote Quality Professional Development Opportunities

Looking for quality professional development? While there are many learning opportunities, including unconferences and #edcamps, YouTube videos, blogs, and just-in-time social media (e.g. Periscope, Voxer, Blab.im), you can always count on TCEA professional development learning and opportunities. From member-centric Lunch-n-Learn and Get Your Google Onwebinars, as well as a host of certification courses for 21st Century Administrators and Campus Technology Specialists, Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) courses, Chromebook and iPad academies, and IT Director courses in face-to-face and virtual spaces, TCEA has a lot to offer. You can find tons of resources online from TCEA’s directors of professional development, each of whom is committed to learning and sharing with and for you and is also a former educator. As an example, here is my collection of resources in a OneNote Notebook, TCEA Connect! (Aren’t OneNote Notebooks awesome?)
And you can join various Diigo groups that are focused on sharing great resources for all interested learners (not just members). For example, consider joining the 3D Printing Diigo group, which features a wide variety of resources for 3D printing. Or join the TCEA Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) group (and take advantage of upcoming training dates).
Join the ongoing TCEA Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) SkypeChat via your mobile device or online. Explore and share concepts at the intersection of teaching, learning, leading, and technology!
Authentic empowerment happens when you connect people together so they can collaborate with each other. Consider developing what Amy “@friedtechnology” Mayer suggests are individualized technology plans for teachers. These “ITPs” help close the learning gap.
And you know what? Everything shared in this blog entry can accelerate learning for teachers. If you accelerate teacher learning, you impact student learning. Isn’t that amazing? No, it’s TCEA amazing!

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Monitoring Social Media – 5 Tips #digcit

View video online at Netsmartz

Concerned about what others may be saying about you on social media outlets, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram? Here are some tips on how to stay current on what is going on in social media that pertains to you:


Tip #1 – Be present.
If you want to control what is being said about you on social media, the best way to do that is to be mindful that everything you post portrays the image you want others to see of you. That image should be accurate to who you are…this isn’t a game of deceit, but rather of being open with others where appropriate. That means, yes, that YOU must make a dedicated effort to post positive content relevant to the person you want to appear as. Lack of participation on your part means, not silence, but rather, that other’s messages about you will rise to the top. Be present and share quality information with others. Avoid sharing information that tracks your location and actions, unless you are prepared to deal with the consequences (maybe someone can track your movements so they can rob your house/apartment). Instead, share information that is useful, important, and reflects what is best about you and your family.

Tip #2 – Google Yourself…Often.
If you aren’t “googling” yourself, then you may be missing out on what others are seeing when they search for you. Everyone is curious…what DOES Google say about me? By becoming aware of what is being shared online, you can work to counteract, or improve, on the messages that are being shared about you. In truth, the goal is to share what is happening that you wish to celebrate, or, what you have learned through reflection.

Tip #3 – Stake Your Claim on popular social media.
Imagine if someone stole your identity and began to impersonate you. That would be a problem, wouldn’t it? The same can happen online. Someone could, with little effort, go online and register your name on popular social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare, LinkedIn, and immediately begin to impersonate you. They could create a Gmail account, a Google Voice number, and begin to build a social media presence that fails to reflect your reality, your unique brand of awesomeness.

That’s why it is important that YOU “stake your claim” on popular social media sites and put into practice Tip #4.

Tip #4 – Be Consistent.
Often, some will use their first name and last name to create their username on one social media site, but use a nickname for another. You must be strategic about your social media usernames. Create ONE username that is unique and you can use across multiple social media sites. In this way, you not only build a presence and stake a claim on social media. You can do the same thing with images and videos that you put out about yourself. 

If you’re going to be casual, say WHY it’s appropriate and be purposeful in sharing that why. After all, if you are a beachcomber, it may make perfect sense to share yourself looking like one. Otherwise, ask yourself, how can I look my best without being deceptive? Consider avoiding glamour shots or pictures you in evening wear. Instead, go for a professional or business casual look.

Tip #5 – Create Alerts.
If you simply left it to the first 4 tips, you would have a vibrant presence that you occasionally monitored via Google. And, while that’s OK, depending on what may be happening, you may need a more “in your face” system to make you aware of changes in your social media profiles. To accomplish that, you can use one of the following free tools to notify you when things are changing:
  • HowSociable – Helps you gauge your impact online in various social media outlets, providing insight on the “magnitude” of your social media efforts ranging from 0 to 10.
  • TalkWalker Alerts – Talkwalker Alerts are an easy and free alerting service that provides email updates of the latest relevant mentions on the Web directly to your email inbox.
  • Social Mention – This search engine allows you to conduct multiple searches, then receive updates via email or RSS. You can use Feedly.org to track RSS feeds, enabling you to get many RSS feeds coming to one location, Feedly.
  • Google Alerts – This tool has been around awhile and provides you with email or RSS updates to activity.
Conclusion
Applying these 5 tips can help ensure that you are reflecting your inner beauty via social media in ways acceptable in your community. Remember to avoid engaging in behavior that can be perceived to be hurtful or less than kind.



Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure