Due to a lack of resources available to me, this week I have spent my time researching different film studios in my area in hopes of finding a cheap location to help with filming and editing my social media education DVD. This is taking a lot of courage, as I was very adamant on filming, producing, and distributing this DVD all on my own; however, I have realized it is a daunting task and with the short deadline I am on, I had to make the decision to take my product elsewhere. I am still writing it all myself, but with my lack of knowledge on camera work and film editing, I must put my project (partially) in someone else’s hands. I believe this is what is best for my end goal and am looking to still distribute my DVD in mid-April (though this may be pushed back once I meet with a film studio I am comfortable working with and we determine a schedule). I still plan on keeping this blog updated on my progress, but also look at my Twitter, @paige_woodard, for more recent updates!
According to the article “Is Twitter The Social Media Marketing Powerhouse That Can Drive Sales?” Twitter is, in fact, ”the powerhouse it boasts to be.” Now, I have stated numerous times that I believe Twitter is an invaluable tool to businesses and individuals looking to promote themselves and this article states why.
Twitter uses the hashtag more frequently and at a greater volume than other websites. Sure, you won’t get shunned from your community if you use a hashtag on Instagram like you would on Facebook, but Twitter is still the only site that effectively uses the hashtag for more than just personal purpose. The hashtag on Twitter alerts others what trends you are following and what message you want your audience to receive. People are drawn to what is popular, which is why it is important to keep the conversation on a specific topic (usually concerning your brand) in order to gain a greater following and expand your brand (Business 2 Community).
By utilizing the hashtag, companies are able to expand their following and audience loyalty through free advertisement. In addition, Twitter also allows for promoted accounts for businesses, though this service does come at a price. Either way, Twitter is a forum where companies may grow and develop in ways word of mouth and television ads cannot compare with. Read the rest of the article and decide for yourself–and your brand–whether or not Twitter is an invaluable tool for you!
Today is a partly cloudy day in Innovations. It is our teacher Don Wettrick’s last day at Franklin Community High School. Despite this, today is not good-bye.
While the class wishes Wettrick good luck on the next leg of his journey, we still look towards the light on the horizon. The bond we have created with our supervisor will withstand the distance, as he is still our respected mentor and good friend. Though I am a student who has only known Wettrick for a short time, I wish him and his family only the best and can only hope that our next supervisor will encourage our aspirations with a similar enthusiasm as he has.
As for me (and hopefully the class as a whole), I plan on moving forward with a greater intensity. Instead of allowing myself to become discouraged, I want to pursue my goal of producing my DVD and continue to advertise my mission with passion. I have also made the decision to accept my admission into IUPUI’s Kelley School of Business with free tuition in order to expand my interest in marketing. This is an exciting development in my personal life as well as in my project, as this could benefit my social media education mission after I graduate from high school.
Of course, I still have an extensive to-do list to complete before graduating in May; therefore, I will continue to update this blog weekly and film at a swift pace in order to distribute my DVD in the spring.
I have actively advocated for social media in the education system since August. I have encouraged the use of Twitter and other social networking forums. I have exemplified the benefits of broadcasting student accomplishments on the Internet. I have tirelessly worked to “enlighten” those educators who still shy away from student responsibility online. Yet I haven’t addressed the social media networking sites that were probably better off left uncreated. Exhibit A: Ask.fm.
Just yesterday, WTVM.com released an article as a caveat to parents whose children use the anonymous site. The article reports a 13-year-old girl was cyberbullied by a comment made anonymously on the Ask.fm site. This article can be found at this link: “Ask.fm raises concerns for Columbus parents.”
In November, MyFoxDC.com posted a warning to parents with children on the site, as nine teen suicides can be linked to Ask.fm in the past year. This article, titled “Social networking site Ask.fm linked to 9 teen suicides,” offers insight into why the site is so dangerous. According to the article, Robert Siciliano, a McAfee cyber security expert says Ask.fm is the new favorite sparring site for cyberbullies who want to tear people down without showing their face. ”There’s no accountability with anonymity and the overall drama that takes place in social media exemplifies teen angst,” Siciliano says.
ABCNews.com reported in August of a teen’s suicide linked to bullying on Ask.fm. In this article, New York psychiatrist Dr. Janet Taylor is reported saying, “It’s every teen’s dream…No. 1, it’s anonymous, and No. 2, most parents don’t know about it. I think it really reminds us as parents we have to look at our kids’ online behavior as faithfully as we do with what they do offline. We’ll pay attention to their friends that we can see physically, but we need to see what they’re doing online.” This article can be found at Social Networking Site Ask.fm Under Fire For Possible Connection to Teen Suicide.
And those are only the top three stories when typing in “ask.fm news.”
I never joined the site as I was uncomfortable with the idea of people asking me questions anonymously. However, many teens and young adults are attracted to the excitement of not knowing who is asking the questions–and that people do not know when they are asking intimate questions/posting negative, and oftentimes cruel, comments. I have not done much research in asking peers what is so appealing about the site, but hope to have answers in the upcoming months. I am using my personal Facebook account to attract opinions, though this attempt has proven futile thus far.
Now I must declare the line of which I draw in the sand. When is social networking appropriate, what sites are deemed “safe” and “educational,” and who makes these decisions?
First, I believe social networking is always appropriate–but one has to make an educated decision on what is truly beneficial. Like Ask.fm, Kik, and Whisper, whose only purpose is to lure kids into revealing their secrets and true feelings about others while hidden behind the security blanket of anonymity. This leads me to the second question: What sites are deemed “safe” and “educational?” I must advise beforehand that this is solely my opinion as a high school student; however, I believe no social networking site is safe unless you have been taught how to properly use it. Now I have mentioned before, extensively in my Youtube series, the “top ten” greatest mistakes you can make on Twitter and other sites. However, those tips were not meant for the average teenager, but more for those who want to look more responsible in the eye of the professional realm. I will soon release a blog post that will detail the actions that should be avoided by young teens and adults utilizing social media not only for professional use, but for personal use as well. As soon as that is posted, I will add the link here. I can, however, provide insight into what sites I believe are safe for educational purposes.
Twitter: This is the forum in which most professionals connect with others. Of course there is LinkedIn, but I do not believe students would be as welcomed on that site as Twitter, due to the amount of followers from older professionals only interested in collaborating with other professionals. Twitter, on the other hand, is utilized by a varied age group and allows students to get on a professional’s radar. Then, student and said professional can arrange other forms of communication for more elaborate discussions.
Facebook: Perhaps after connecting on Twitter, both student and adult would feel comfortable in “friending” each other on their Facebook account, as Facebook is considered to be more intimate and personal than Twitter. If not, this is still a great forum for students to practice the Internet responsibility skills they should be taught in school, as most college recruiters and admissions investigate the activity on students’ Facebook accounts. If students are not educated on what and what not to post on such a site, then they could make an irrevocable mistake that could cost them scholarship or even admission opportunities.
Remind101: This is a cool feature for teachers to communicate with students in a formal way. Though students must share their personal phone numbers, teachers can then communicate with students as a class to prepare them for the next day in class. There will be no excuses for forgetting a book in one’s locker if a teacher sends out a reminder through Remind101 the day before. This is also imperative for students to become accustomed to, as colleges utilize text messages and frequent emails to alert students of weather complications or dangerous events on campus.
WordPress: This site is perfect for students to learn how to communicate their opinions through writing. I have always enjoyed writing essays (though I know I am one student few and far between) and even I have seen improvement in my writing since beginning this blog in August. This website is awesome for students to hone writing skills and learn how to be comfortable in sharing their thoughts on certain issues. I have also found, through this website, that I have expanded my writing talents by knowing when and where to adapt my writing depending on the audience the work is intended. For instance, I first began this blog in a journalistic style, which you can still see in my reference to people by last name. However, I grew with my blog and expanding audience, turning more to the traditional blog style of writing. This is a tool many students will need, particularly in college, when writing styles and expectations change from class-to-class depending on the subject.
Youtube: I understand this website is blocked in most schools (as it is even blocked in my own); however, this should change. Yes, Youtube has a variety of videos whose content is–to say the least–questionable. This questionable content can be found on any site, depending on the age group of the students, if you look for it. That said, my teachers have access to Youtube on their school accounts and utilize it to show 60 Minutes episodes, movies they do not physically own (such as Lorenzo’s Oil in Biology my freshman year), and even projects other students have completed to stimulate ideas.
TED talks: This is a site all students should be using at least on a weekly to biweekly basis. There are so many amazing videos that inspire people to “go out and do.” I have shared numerous TED talks on this blog and encourage both students and teachers to extract as much as they can from the site. It is what you make it, though every story is a story worth watching. These videos are also separated into specific categories, which is beneficial for students interested in a topic and want to know who to contact for more information and collaboration. Moreover, through my search for a college to attend next year, I have sat in on a few classes during campus visits, and, more often than not, learn that most professors use TED talks to teach an idea the professor themselves couldn’t as efficiently.
Instagram: Great example of this is “Using Instagram as a Communication Tool” by Vikki Smith, a teacher I met through Eric Sheninger. Smith was concerned about students sharing personal cell phone numbers; hence, she turned to Instagram to provide a safe forum for students to provide feedback on other students’ projects and to facilitate critical thinking discussions.
Of course this is list is marked by brevity, as there are countless variations of websites similar to this that educators may deem more “kid-friendly.” However, these are the websites people in the professional world are using; thus, these are the websites students should be taught how to use–in an effective, beneficial manner.
With the recent amount of snow the Midwest has been pelted with in the last few weeks, school work is almost nonexistent. However, I did make some (minimal) progress this week concerning my social media education project. First, Mr. Wettrick was able to provide me with 50 blank DVDs, only making my latest goal more of a reality. Though I have been speaking about my DVD plans for the past five months, the time has finally arrived to start filming and it is a little intimidating! Also, it doesn’t help that our school recently provided our studio a new switcher but no one has installed it yet! Eventually, though, filming will resume.
In the mean time, my time is consumed with writing. I do not want to jinx the development, so I will not say too much, but I am looking forward to seeing my work published in the near future! I am always honored to discuss the opportunities I have found through my Innovations class and I am excited to see where this upcoming year has in store for my work!
Secondly, I am currently working on Skyping with schools about my social media education and the importance of digital citizenship. To schedule a call, please contact me at email@example.com.
I hope to soon maintain a routine that will accommodate my habit of writing on this blog biweekly. It is very difficult to prioritize work when this semester hasn’t truly even started yet! Please wish away the second part of the “Polar Vortex” that is projected to plague Indiana next week so that I may continue to develop my latest ideas for my social media education mission!
Until yesterday afternoon, my first full week of school in the second semester was uneventful. I have occupied myself with the task of planning out location and script for my DVD, but nothing that would prove worthy to write in a blog. However, as I said, yesterday afternoon switched the script from mundane to exhilarating.
I have chosen a name for my company.
I will not release it yet in fear of my plans falling through; however, I am very excited as that now means I can focus on a logo that will be on the DVD! I have also been researching the best method in which to sell my DVD (website or otherwise) and will keep updating this blog on the great things falling into place this semester!
If you missed the hype leading up to last night’s Twitter chat with the admins of #digcit, then check out the video of the #Digcit Sneak Peek. This is the first chat of the new year and also the first I was involved in. However, as these chats are scheduled to take place the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month from 7pm-8pm EST, I plan on connecting with these inspiring educators during each chat!
Jennifer Scheffer (@jlscheffer on Twitter) first contacted me in December with some awesome ideas she has in store for 2014 and I cannot wait to start sharing with my fellow bloggers once more has been planned out! Until then, check out Jenn’s stuff and the cool things she shares about her students and the great work they are accomplishing in the classroom!
If you follow me on Twitter, I am sure that your feed was bombarded with retweets and tweets last night ending in #digcit. And if you don’t follow me, then do that now! My handle is @paige_woodard. A little shameless self-advertising never hurt anyone! Now that you follow me, I can explain what #digcit means and also share with you the awesome responses I read from some cool educators throughout the chat!
I have never been involved in a Twitter chat before last night and I must say it is not easy keeping up with all of the responses! #Digcit had at least ten people communicating at once and it was beautifully chaotic and inspiring all at once. Of course I gained a few followers, but the real gain from this experience is the wise words I received from others with similar–or even contradicting–ideas to my own. I favorited more tweets last night than I have in my entire Twitter career. And it was awesome.
Before I recount the discussion last night, I want to underscore what exactly a Twitter chat entails and how it can benefit you. Disclaimer: My advice is only based on the chat I had last night, so others may run in a different fashion.
A chat begins with a moderator and a hashtag (last night, we used #digcit). The moderator facilitates the conversation and questions to be answered by users following the hashtag. Jennifer Scheffer was the moderator and she asked a series of six questions that she outlined in a tweet before seven o’clock. Preceding the chat, Jenn tweeted, “Tonight we’ll be discussing how social media can be used in schools & ow we can help students build PLN’s #digcit.” This is what users will base their expectations on in preparation to the live chat, so it is a good idea to prep your discussion with an outline of the topic(s) of the conversation. Additionally, Jenn prepared the video introducing this post and shared it on Twitter at least a week in advance of the chat. This alerted her followers that a chat was going to take place and outlined the topics that were to be discussed. This was especially crucial for #digcit because it was the first chat of the new year.
During this chat, Jenn, taking on the role of moderator, also had the job of determining when the next question should be posed. This could prove difficult, as you do not want to ask too many questions in too small of a time span or let there be a lull in the conversation during a live chat. Timing is key. Engage with your audience and really feel how much input they are willing to provide on a specific topic. Jenn successfully filled the one hour time slot with six questions, so you can use that as a gauge for your own chat depending on your time frame.
In order to respond to the questions, labeled Q1, Q2, Q3, etc., users following the hashtag at the end of the moderators’ tweets will tweet “A1 ____ #(blank),” “A2 _____ #(blank),” etc. This way, if you search the hashtag you can see everyone else’s responses as well as the next question!
As I learned from my first #digcit experience, Twitter chats are extremely useful in attracting the opinions of numerous individuals all at once. Tweets are only 140 characters long, so the information is concise and easy to compile for later use. All of the users that are following the hashtag are interested in the same topics you are–whichever side of the argument they are on–and engaging in discussion with them will only enhance your personal mission. Though the questions posed by the moderator may not be the same questions you want to ask, by involving yourself in the chat, you are creating an opportunity to approach another person later and say, “Hey I saw your opinions during the #(blank) chat and wanted to collaborate with you on (blank).”
Now that I believe I have covered all of the basics on what a Twitter chat is, let’s talk about the awesome conversation that occurred last night! Here are the questions:
Q1: Why should social media be allowed in schools? ‘
Mark Babbitt @YouTernMark “The world has gone social. Excluding our schools from digital communication is like not allowing the internet. #digcit“
Stephane Crete @StephaneCrete “A1: How can we NOT allow it? TONS of resources + connections! Isn’t school supposed to prepare Ss for their future? #digcit“
Q2: How can we get educators, admins, and parents to believe in the benefits of SM?
Jarred Haas @jarredhaas “A2: Model it and show its potential. Do many optional trainings about how teachers and parents can sign up and use social media. #digcit”
Christina Luce @ChristinaMLuce “A2: We have to engage & share. I demo at back to school night & open house. Provide workshops. #digcit“
Q3: How can students use social media to build their personal brands?
Sandy Kendell @EdTechSandyK “A3: Students can use a blog to create a portfolio of their best work. Good when applying to college. #digcit“
Josie Ahlquist @josiealquist “A3 Students should be fostered how 2 curate a blog, share resources & network online and follow-through with digital decision making #digcit“
Q4: How can students use Social Media for self-directed learning and networking?
Mareena Kohtala @mareenakohtala “A4 students can follow experts in their areas of interest, post questions, and follow blogs. #digcit“
Samantha Bresnahan @slbresnahan1 “A4 I use SM to follow experts, blogs, and companies that I can learn from. Chats like this also help! #digcit“
Q5: Is it necessary to have “personal” and “professional” social media accounts?
Samantha Bresnahan @slbresnahan1 “A5 No. One account should show who you are, your passions, and professional info. Personal info is for texting! #digcit“
Susan M. Bearden @s_bearden “A5: I use Twitter professionally, facebook personally…but don’t post anything anywhere that I wouldn’t want appearing on 6:00 news #digcit“
Josie Ahlquist @josieahlquist “A5 it is a personal decision. Reflect what intent is on both, ensure authenticity, b proud of your content, it should reflect real U #digcit“
Q6: What advice do you have for HS/college Ss who want to use SM to start building their PLN’s?
Glenn Robbins @Glennr1809 “A6 Clean it up! Would you want someone like u in ur college or workplace. Ask urself “how will history remember me?” #digcit“
Mike Ribble @digcitizen “Q6: Take your time, really think before you post anything. Teen years are a different time, I am afraid how I might have used SM #digcit”
If you search #digcit on Twitter and click “All” searches, you can scroll down to the entire conversation that took place last night (January 8th); however, I have provided a few responses that spoke to me during the chat or ones that provide a view from the opposing side.
My personal, succinct answers for the posed questions are short and simple: Look what I am doing and what tools got me here. Social media has not only developed my personal brand in areas I never expected, but has provided me opportunities to network and collaborate with influential educators that share my same passions and views. Yes, I have separate Twitter accounts for personal and professional use, and as I explained last night, this allows me to distinguish myself as a person with a variety of interests and hobbies aside from my social media education mission. Of course I censor what I post on any social media site, but my personal account allows for a varied content distinct from my passion for social media. And for any student who wants to delve into their own passion and build their own PLN, my advice is to find a passion early and establish yourself within a network of passionate professionals. Allow them to mentor you and give you advice, as it will only enhance your own journey. Plus, you can sometimes avoid the mistakes they have made and sidestep a few barriers!