“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
― Albert Einstein

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Social Media

Social Media: whether we like or not, it's a big part of our society, and it's here to stay. I've been a Facebook fan for a long time, but recently Facebook has been replaced for me with Twitter and Pinterest. Facebook usually gives me a good laugh, and I can keep up with what my friends are doing, but when it comes to Twitter and Pinterest, there's so much stuff I can USE. It's not so much of a waste of time. Not that keeping up with your friends' lives is a waste of time, but the time spent on Facebook goes by way too fast! It's the same with Twitter and Pinterest, you get into it, and the time just goes! But the difference is that usually you're learning something, whether it's reading an article, contemplating a quote, finding a new lesson or activity for the classroom, or even just finding a new recipe to try.

I have heard many educators refer to Twitter as "It's like Pro D every day." I completely agree with that! Twitter is different from Facebook in that people are usually posting useful information, not just what they had for dinner that night. I'm not saying that Facebook doesn't have a lot of useful things too, but for Twitter, depending on who you follow, each tweet is generally something informative. And you can surround yourself with like-minded people but also follow people who challenge your thinking. I also really enjoy the opportunities Twitter provides me with for establishing relationships and having conversations with amazing educators that in the past I would only be able to see at a pricey conference. I have also seen Twitter disagreements, but they always seem to be respectful. From my experiences with Twitter, people mostly just want to learn.

We as parents and teachers need to teach our kids to use social media responsibly. One way to teach that is to model using social media, and sharing with children the value of it from our experiences. We grew up in a generation without social media, so it makes sense that it's taking us awhile to figure out the etiquette. Of course for people who are generally private in their lives, they are private when using social media as well - there are lots of lurkers out there! But for people like me, who are open in life and say what we think, which can sometimes get us in trouble, we can be open online as well and that can sometimes get us into trouble too. We also need to forgive when people make mistakes with social media. We are all in this and learning together. I saw a tweet I liked the other day that said, "Teach your kids to ignore online insults." Social media is here and it's not going anywhere anytime soon! Use it! :)

To sum up my current thoughts about Social Media:

  1. Twitter rocks, if you are an educator that is not using it, you should start. Seriously, Pro D every day! 
  2. Don't let fear hold you back from using social media, it is here and it's becoming ingrained in our society, and will only get more so.
  3. Forgive people, we all make mistakes; we didn't grow up with social media; we are all learning and we are all in this together!
  4. Teach your kids about social media - how to use it for learning, how to use it responsibly, and the implications it has; they will catch on fast. 
  5. Use social media responsibly but don't be afraid to put yourself out there and state your opinion! Steve Jobs said: "Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again." 
Check out this video of Steve Jobs' vision of the world

And last but not least....I also LOVE these:  5 Dr. Seuss Quotes and their Social Media Lessons

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