Monday, March 31

The Influence of Social Media on Politics and World Events

I'm in the process of developing a course on social media that will be offered to our high school students in September. Needless to say, I am overjoyed that we've finally shed the "everything-having-to-do-with-social-media-is-bad-and-MUST-be-blocked" mentality. I'm thrilled that I'll have the opportunity to work with students on using social media for positive and productive purposes. One of the units that I'm working on is the influence of social media on politics and world events. We've seen a lot in the news lately on this very topic.
It wasn't that long ago that Anthony Weiner, American politician and former US Representative, made headlines with his involvement in several scandalous sexting incidents. These publicly-aired indiscretions caused him and his family untold embarrassment and marked the end of his political career as well.  
Rob Ford, the Toronto mayor who has become the favorite target of late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon, has made his mark on social media dos and don’ts (mostly don'ts). Mr. Ford, known for his heavy drug and alcohol use, has been viewed by thousands of “admirers”  on YouTube videos as he dances during a council session (warning - it isn't pretty).  I can't imagine that this helped his public image.

Oops, it's spring forward, fall back.

Just recently, Mr. Ford attempted to dispense some Daylight Savings Time advice to his Twitter followers. The problem was that he instructed them to turn back the clock the wrong direction. Needless to say, Mr. Ford has become the brunt of many jokes.

As social media is becoming more ingrained in our society it’s interesting to witness the influence that it's having on politics and world events. How has social media influenced politicians and world events? How are politicians and other world leaders positioning themselves with social media?  Hopefully they have learned a lesson or two from Mr. Weiner’s  and Mr. Ford’s social media snafus. 

The websites listed below are a few of the articles that I've come across on the topic of social media and politics/world events (thanks to those fabulous educators that I follow on Twitter). All these sites are available on my Diigo Library as well. I add new resources to my library fairly often so please visit and help yourself to any resources that you may find useful.

Monday, March 17

Google+ Resources for Educators

If you're reluctant to use Facebook in your classroom (or aren't allowed to)  but would still like to get on-board using social media with your students and colleagues, Google+ might be the tool to use. I add new resources to my Diigo Library quite frequently so please visit and help yourself to any resources that you may find useful.

There seem to be three forces at play when it comes to education and social media. The first is a lack of force, quite frankly - the inertia that makes many educators unwilling and uninterested in integrating the technology into their classrooms.
Edutopia blogger Mary Beth Hertz gives us the basic on how educators and schools can make the most of Google Hangouts.
Mike Reading speaks with Lee Webster Google Certified teacher from Harrow School in Hong Kong about how to use Google Plus in the classroom
Blogger Terry Heick unravels the mysteries of Google+ and suggests how this emerging social media tool can become a valuable teaching aid.
The guide includes: how to activate Google+ account for your school, how to edit your Google+ Profile, adjust settings to determine what people can see,it shows you how you can add and organize people using Circles and tips on how to use Circles.
The purpose of this post is to provide some ideas and tips on how to better integrate Google+ in teaching.
This article lists the key features that make Google+ communities different and highlights ten communities that marketers should join.