Posts Tagged ‘social media’
by Lori Greig
I spent a small part of last Friday reading all of the contributions and comments at one of the NIE confessions on Facebook. It was probably the most popular of the three I could find.
I walked away from the experience with three observations.
The first two were pointed out by participants of the confessions page. First, the use of English was much better than other confessions sites. Second, the page was not as popular as other confessions pages. Both these observations are understandable when you consider the demographics of NIE.
The third thing I noticed was the self-policing that happened in that NIE confessions page. This is a good sign of the power of expression being balanced by social responsibility.
Most administrators and policymakers fear social media because they do not understand it. I hope that they now understand that good things can come going with the flow and even embracing it. Good things like greater transparency, brutal honestly, and professional responsibility.
by Kake Pugh
Last week’s finds provided some really good food for thought.
Humanizing Our Organizations Through Social Media was a great reminder on why institutes of higher learning should leverage on Facebook and Twitter.
Higher Ed and the Monastic Space provided a perspective on how to better use the face-to-face time in classes.
Measuring what you contribute rather than what you collect, my favourite of the lot, provided some concrete examples of so-called alternative assessments. I think they should be mainstream assessments as they are relevant now.
So as not to get mentally fat, I plan on acting on what I consumed!
Online Colleges has a teacher’s guide on social media.
That is all it is, a guide. It should not be a scaffold that then becomes a crutch. Anything descriptive must not be interpreted as prescriptive.
Ask instructional designers what a SME is and they will tell you it stands for Subject Matter Expert.
Today there is another SME, social media educators, that we need more desperately than content experts.
I came to this simple conclusion after yesterday’s #edsg chat on Twitter. While anyone is free to contribute to #edsg [live tweets], we have focused chats every Tuesday, 8-9pm, Singapore time [example: archived chat on unprofessional development].
Based on the profiles of the participants, we have a nice mix of teachers, teacher-parents, parents, and a few non-Singaporean educators, I do not know how many lurkers there are.
Yesterday we discussed how we might manage underaged access to social media. Why? The legal age for a Facebook account is 13, but Primary School teachers on #edsg, mainstream Twitter, their blogs, or Facebook have shared anecdotally that many of their underaged students have FB accounts.
The parents or parent-teachers in #edsg seemed to agree with the age limit and preferred that kids developed face-to-face social skills first. My argument with that is 1) socialization is socialization (no matter what the medium), 2) it should start as soon as you start teaching and modelling values, and 3) we need to prepare kids for today and tomorrow, not yesterday.
As a parent myself, I have discussed with my soon to be 8-year-old if he would like to be on Facebook. He has decided that he does not need it now. I did not make that decision for him.
However, he is on several online gaming social networks designed for kids. Networks like Woogi World offer parent accounts for monitoring. It is wonderful to see him make connections so quickly and to see him apply what he has learnt about cyberwellness from an online programme initiated by his school (credit to @tucksoon for this!).
I suggested at #edsg that there should be a social media education programme for parents and policymakers. I even went so far as to say these could be parent service components and parent engagement courses.
@emmalinesports had a great suggestion:
But she also cautioned that reality bites:
But this should not stop any educator who has his or her radar up. If you know a tsunami is coming, you take preparatory steps. You do not just twiddle your thumbs, pretend it is not coming, or barricade yourself.
The recent breakdowns in Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system illustrated how the press and SMRT as a corporation do not understand Twitter.
Media and crisis management experts said Thursday’s episode illustrated how much faster news travels now – through the sharing and re-posting of information on the Internet – compared with five years ago.
By the time SMRT finally made an official announcement at 9.15pm, thousands of tweets and re-tweets of the incident on Twitter already made SMRT one of the top trending Singapore topics.
But the same article called the Twitter-based postings, SMRTRuinsLives, a channel instead of a hashtag. I am guessing that an editor did not understand what “hashtag” meant and decided that a TV channel was something more could relate to.
This could have been an opportunity to create a side panel explaining what Twitter and hashtags are. If our newspapers were apps or online only, the term could have been hyperlinked so that users could find out more. Sadly, most people would still rather get carbon on their fingers and kill trees.
The saddest (lack of) response was SMRT’s. It has a Twitter account now, but as mrbrown reported, it has limited operating hours.
You would expect a brick-and-motar-based business to have operating hours. But some businesses like select McDonald’s outlets, NTUC Fairprice Extra stores, and Challenger at Funan operate 24 hours a day. Amazon operates all year and all day. The Internet does not shut down, not on purpose anyway.
The traditional culture and practice of a public relations arm should not transfer to the social media world. SMRT and others like them will learn the hard way that they cannot do this. The feedback will be immediate and their reputations are on the line online.
Now if only educators could learn from this…
- you only need a two-person team to maintain a social media presence for your organization
- the team should take no more than 24 hours to respond
- queries or feedback tended to cluster after dinner time
His comments were not surprising since mrbrown is arguably Singapore’s most famous blogger. But I think he might have read in between the lines for information that was not there.
According to the article, the director of the Singapore Internet Research Centre, Ang Peng Hwa said:
You need, basically, two people just to maintain one site, and typically, the respondents come (online, sometime after dinner)
mrbrown might have read “basically, two people” as the recommended number. I think Ang meant that is the minimum number. You need a dedicated and well-versed team to manage the feedback, marketing and customer service that are associated with social media. Realistically, two people is all an organization might afford. We at the CeL have one person. Some entire institutes have none.
Ang’s “after dinner” remark is also something the reporting agency seemed to have summarized. After all, who talks in brackets? He wasn’t referring to reading and responding only after dinner but to peak usage patterns. Scour the Web for Facebook and Twitter strategies and you will find the best days and hours to post. If you want to engage and respond, you will capitalize on when most folks are online.
mrbrown might not like the term “netizen” but I don’t have issues with it. Just like I do not mind how “Google” and “friend” are now verbs today. Netizens are people; they are just people who are comfortable with leaving digital footprints wherever they go. Bloggers, tweeters and the denizens of Facebook are examples of today’s netizens.
I blame the reporting and editing of CNA more than the academic. The sound bite in the video recording was heavily edited so CNA could make its point. The academic’s message might have thus been lost or misconstrued in the medium.
I was more disturbed by statements in the CNA article like:
Singapore’s government agencies are set to get more structured training in the use of social media.
The “structured training” is civil service speak. Social media, like public conversation, is messy. Conventional training sometimes removes context or is so sanitized that it borders on being irrelevant.
I think such a programme does need some organization for organizations. But you need not start from zero and certainly need not rely on conventional structure.
Get teams comprised of people who are already maintaining social media presence for themselves or their organizations. Get them to share their practices, but do not label these as “best practices” because what is best for one or some is not best for the rest. The structure comes in the areas of customer service principles, marketing strategies and communication theories.
Bottom line: The rules have changed. Power is with the people. Teach or train by the new rules, not by the old ones.
The phrase I found condescending was “online chatter cannot be ignored”. Chatter has a negative connotation, like the way chatter in class is frowned upon. Associated with chatter are terms like noise and pointlessness.
Yes, there is a fair amount of chatter online. But there are also reasoned discourse, thoughtful reflection and passionate awareness-raising of various causes. Under certain circumstances, a crowd can be wise. We can leverage on that in class or in civil discourse. We start by recognizing that this discourse is not just inane chatter.
This is probably the best SlideShare I have seen on the impact of social media on modern life. How anyone can ignore this in the educational context is beyond me!
If social media had an anthem, this could be it. Gotta share, gotta share, gotta share.
I quote from an article written by Singapore’s mrbrown about the use of social media in our recently concluded elections.
The third storm front is the growth of social media. Five years ago, in the 2006 elections, Twitter and Facebook were not factors. We mostly had blogs back then. Now many are online, and most have access to Facebook. And if my wife is actively consuming and sharing thoughts, videos, and photos about the elections, then it is no longer a geek’s world anymore.
Like a giant kopitiam*, we have gathered online, to trade stories, opinions and ideas. What used to be done in kopitiams by old men with too much free time in their hands, is now done on Facebook and Twitter, the kopitiams of this century.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, skipping CD or an MP3 on a loop, I’d point out that the only realm that has not fully or properly embraced social media is education. It is stuck in LMS mode and does not know how to deal with SLS (social learning systems).
Thanks to Benji from my MID822 class, I enjoyed a quiet laugh at the graphic below.
This could easily have been an essay about social media. Instead it takes an offbeat look at the topic.
It is a good case of less is more. It takes a lot of content knowledge, creativity and critical thinking to conceptualize, create and summarize such a complex topic.