Social Networks as Learning NetworksGarrison Forest SchoolOctober 8, 2009
Susan Davis(Sulu Dezno in SL)Dean of FacultyThe Chinquapin SchoolHighlands, TX
Larry Kahn(Galt Jefferson in SL)Director of Academic and Information TechnologyThe Kinkaid SchoolHouston, TX
Larrys StoryI started as an IT Director. IT Directors are generally VERY conservative.Posting on ISED (swimming pool analogy) got me thinkingMy responsibilities have become increasingly more academicLooked at the research...Joined Education based networks... Classroom 2.0, NAIS, Independent School Educators network
PLP experience gave me chance to lean into my discomfort Joined more general networks...Facebook, LinkedIn, Second Life
Why are social networks valuable as learning environments for teachers?
HistorySociologists have been studying how people network socially since at least the 1930s.As early as the 1980s social networking began appearing on the Internet.Sites took off in 2002-2004 with the creation of Friendster, MySpace, Bebo, and Facebook.
CultureStarted as social sites for young peopleDisciplinary actions required by schools impacted response in educationThe media give adults their initial perceptions
Facebook now has over 300 million users
> 35 fastest growing demographic
Things change quicklyAccording to Forrester Research, 95% of 1,217 business decision-makers surveyed late last year said they plan to use social networks.2009 study of 70,000 educators reveals that they are beginning to embrace SN.
The Case for EducationThe world has changed, yet we are preparing children for the world we knew instead of the world they will know.Dr. Howard GardinerClay ShirkyDan PinkSir Ken Robinson
Clive Thompson on the New LiteracyFrom 2001 to 2006, [Andrea Lunsford at Stanford] collected 14,672 student writing sampleseverything from in-class assignments, formal essays, and journal entries to emails, blog posts, and chat sessions. Her conclusions are stirring."I think we're in the midst of a literacy revolution the likes of which we haven't seen since Greek civilization," she says. For Lunsford, technology isn't killing our ability to write. It's reviving itand pushing our literacy in bold new directions.
The Skill ShiftReduced importance on memorization of content.Increased importance on working with and creating meaning in content. This requires increased creativity, collaboration, analysis, critique, and synthesis.
A Professional Learning Community (Ning)Some examples
Second Life in the Classroom
My Personal Learning Network (Facebook)
What I learnedThe importance of building a personal learning network.The importance of taking part in a professional learning community.The value in taking it to the classroom.
My classroom has become a windowVanessa Riesgo, US Spanish teacher, The Kinkaid School
Susans Story1999: Saw impact of email on student writing.2001: Web-Site-A-Day calendar (from Renee).2002: Internet Classroom Assistant discussion forums change the debateliterally.2003: Introduced to Friendster by a former student (Why would anyone want to do that?)
2004: Certificate Educational Technology Leadership from Goucher (by accident); Internet Classroom Assistant shut down due to inappropriate comments; students launched their own ICA in response.2005: Began teaching kids considered marginalized as part of the digital divide (80% on federal school lunch programs), using donated PCs with Windows 95.
2006: Students first iMovie reached semi-finals in national video contest (submitted online). Began podcasting (Soundscapes) with students; began Chinquablog as professional development tool for faculty. (Hardly anyone read it.).
2007: Digital-Global wiki created by students; introduced Ning for social networking in Creative Writing.
2008: Replaced Creative Writing with Creative Media; used tumblr (photo-blogging); started student blogs: A Month (Almost) of Self-Reliance; used cell phones to create podcasts (for vocabulary study); explored Second Life; joined groups in flickr (William Faulkner, Street or Studio Tate Modern, 100 Strangers); joined Classroom 2.0 and other Ning SNs; joined Goodreads.
2009: Taught with Glogster (online posters), flickr groups (photo-blogging), VoiceThread (Glogging and Blogging --student critiques); personal photo (in flickr) selected for Schmap Guides; started second blog, The Flying Trapeze (with Renee); joined Facebook when invited by troubled student (friended my ex-husband and my new boss); first use of Facebook groups for a class (AP English).
What I learnedWriting: should be shorter, clearer, tighterWriting with images: explore the relationships between image and textStructure: emphasis on organization, storytelling, storyboardingProviding feedback: learning how to comment and critiqueCommunicating: how to conduct online discourse in a professional, respectful wayAudience: speaking to multiple audiences, speaking to the world
Thank You!Peter ONeillGFS Division Heads: Melinda Bihn, Steve McManus & Zibby AndrewsGFS Tech Team: Robert Ammons, Louis Gephardt, Ryan Smink, Diana Gross, Jim Audette & Renee Hawkins
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