How can social media and social business plus its technology enablers transform education?
This weekend at General Assembly New York, educators and the New York tech startup community gathered for 24 hours to design and build mobile and web applications for education. Given the importance of connection among educators, parents, and students in education (much like the company, its audience, and platforms in business), all projects involved a social component in some way; the following are a few highlights from the presentations.
Open Board transforms communication in the classroom from one-way to two-way, analogous to Salesforce Chatter and Microsoft Office Yammer for business. Messages from the teacher to students and back are displayed on a single screen, facilitating collaborative learning.
MCASTA enables teachers to evaluate tests from the test taker’s perspective and share findings with fellow teachers. While this version is specific to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it can be easily adapted to tests in place in other states.
Colloquial uses big data from digital and social media to assist English-as-a-second-language learning. The user can discover and immerse oneself in English-language content from a wide variety of genre, including content from major media outlets.
Here are the full weekend’s proceedings via Storify:
The outcomes from #HackInteractive underscore how social media is about human-to-human connection more than anything else. It has been around since antiquity, with the Internet having facilitated its ubiquity and ease of use today. If business is social, education and other forms of human-to-human connection are social.
With the fundamental principle of social media in mind, think about how social media can empower you and your stakeholders to reach your objectives. Compelling reason to engage in the conversation during Social Media Week and share ideas and best practices.
What if games replaced books? What if higher education was replaced overall? We know education is important for personal development, but how much do we realize the impact of education on the creation of a just and more civilized society. These questions are becoming of increasing importance.
The near future could bring us just that. Gabe Zichermann, Chair of The Gamification Summit is an expert on gamification; not to mention a powerful and energizing speaker. Last year at SMW NYC, Gabe’s session was a packed house – for good reason, too. He unloaded his knowledge of motivation, gaming techniques and how gaming can be used for education, training and overall behavioral change.
Anya Kamenetz gives Gabe a run for his money. Author of DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, Anya is invested in really examining higher education and how we can innovate in that space.
And on Tuesday at the Global HQ, the two will lead us in a deep conversation about where gaming and education meet and how we as a society can use both to create a more just and collaborative world.
This post is a series of blogs contributed by SMW NYC media partner Differences Magazine. To learn more about Differences Magazine and to see the original post by Vivian Nunez, please click here.
Education and technology should not be viewed as two distinct entities, especially in today’s world. There are many ways that the younger demographic, K-12 age group, could benefit from having more of what would be considered “their world” incorporated into their everyday learning schedule. In the panel for “The Power of Social Media in Education” many topics were discussed especially those pertaining to just how much the Latin community needs a dose of technology in their day-to-day life.
For example, it is important that social media be used as a bridge between students, but equally as important is the need to involve parents. Social media should be a leverage to get a grassroots movement started within a community. Angelica Perez-Litwin identified the issue when she assessed that Latinos “need a lot more one on one contact and social media will be a good way to start that.” The use of social media is the perfect tool but it is only the beginning, different resources or mentorship programs have to come hand in hand with the upgrade in technology.
Mentorship programs are just one example of how using social media could really have a strong impact on a child’s life. Another example would be the use of Google, Google+, or Google Docs. All of these Google branches are being implemented in schools to help students work in groups, while still allowing the teacher to moderate who does what amount of work. They are all very user friendly and they demonstrate how technology could be used in the most positive way to complement, not supplement, what is taught the traditional way in class.
Nonetheless the most important point I took away form this particular panel is that many students might not be fully aware of all the resources that are available to them. The implantation of technology in less affluent school districts is not an easy feat, but it is not impossible either. Students in all areas of the world deserve the chance to incorporate the newest technologies into their educational world. Social media would be able to be a catalyst for change among these communities if only they were given the chance.
While many initiatives are being made to bring a technological revolution to communities that are lacking access to computers or internet, there is still a need for “new content to try and get Latino parents to help kids in their education” as stated by Jose Luis Rodriguez. The new content aimed at the Latino community has to be both geared to their necessities and understanding of their possible limitations. A implementation of both a grassroots form of communication coupled with social media seemed to be the verdict set out by all the panelists.
This post is a series of blogs contributed by SMW NYC media partner Differences Magazine. To learn more about Differences Magazine and to see the original post by Jessica Bender, please click here. You can watch the original SMW12 presentation on livestream.
Teens are craving new ways of learning. With the average student sending 50 texts and watching five hours of YouTube per day, along with spending 31 hours a week on the Internet, more likely than not they’re going to get absorbed into what’s on a screen rather than what’s in a book.
Eighth grade teacher/blogger Melissa Seideman is the model example of a socially savvy and tech friendly teacher pushing to make social media classroom-friendly. While most educators would have a problem with texting, Seideman encourages it; she says that it’s a perfect way to send out announcements and homework, and allows students to ask questions if they’re mute in class. Blogging is also a major part of her class structure, as it allows students to take ownership of their learning. The most surprising method of teaching she uses in the classroom, though, is Tweeting. With software like My Big Campus, her classes can have a dialogue while chatting about content in the classroom in 140 characters or less.
By the time you get started on your undergrad and graduate degrees, 2tor co-founders John Katzman and Jeremy Johnson think it’s vital for universities to focus on strengthening their online programs. With a huge majority of students interested in taking a semester online to accomplish other goals like studying abroad or interning, Katzman says that the goal of undergrad programs is to “make education more efficient”. It’s not effective if you throw in an online program just to have one, though. Katzman adds, “If you don’t think you can give a program as good online as in the classroom, why do it? If you can’t do it well, you shouldn’t.”
More than anything, though, all the panelists agreed that social media is essential for the education system because it builds a sense of community and collaboration. “In order to get a higher quality education, you need to interact and engage in conversation,” Johnson said. “It’s important to build a network of peers to help you after the education is done, so the college experience [is about] integrating yourself in society.”
Seideman stresses that “classrooms can be a media-rich environment.” If you give students the tools they need to be 21st century learners while having them connect with material using videos, music and social media, “students [will] be excited about going to class.”
We’ve been studying the impact of Social Media on the college consumer for years, and this year we’re revealing some of our most powerful findings to date. Essentially, back-to-school and the college orientation experience has changed dramatically as a result of social media. As soon as students receive acceptance letters in March, they immediately turn to Facebook and create online communities with their incoming class. These hyper-active communities are transforming what was once a week-long orientation in August into an extended journey, where students connect with one another and gather important information online.
By studying the conversations and overall activity across two hundred of the largest Class-of-2015 Facebook communities, we have decoded the back-to-school experience post-by-post. Our analysis reveals an unprecedented understanding of the journey through the lens, lives, and keystrokes of the students themselves. Our event features an immersive sensory experience and in-depth conversation around the findings of this study.
What inspired you?
We wanted to move away from the typical panel and create something exciting for SMW NYC attendees. We challenged ourselves to break out of the mold and change the game. By collaborating with the IAB and students from around the world, we’ve developed an even that brings the modern back-to-school journey to life.
How many students helped you with your concept?
Ten students from around the globe met weekly for the past month through Google+ Hangouts to collaborate and concept the various builds. There are eight core conversations woven through the six month journey and our team of student creatives developed each conversation into an installation piece. That said, since this data was collected from over 54,000 threads written by over 50,000 students, we’d like to think they helped develop the concept as well.
How has school orientation changed?
Graduating high school represents one of the most formative moments of these students lives. After living under the authority of their parents, students are finally the drivers of their own car: decisions, lifestyle, and their future is up to them. When transitioning to college, students are given the opportunity to redefine who they are and can reshape the identity and reputation they’ve previously developed.
Whether this is for the better or worse is hard to say, but one thing is for certain, as soon as they arrive at school these students are free to make entirely independent purchasing decisions. They form buying patterns and brand loyalties they’ll take with them throughout life. This presents brand marketers an incredible opportunity to add value to the back-to-school journey and maintain relevance to students at the most important time in their lives.
How is the modern high school graduate student unique?
These students grew up on Facebook (since Grade 7)! They tweet, type, and text in the blink of an eye. The world has always been at their fingertips. They don’t want your logo plastered across their chest, they pride themselves on individuality. They demand authenticity and they’re immune to ad-speak. They do their homework while watching TV, chatting online, texting, and playing Words With Friends — all at the same time. Social media is part of their DNA. The question isn’t how is the modern high school student unique, but rather what elements of our own “outdated high school experience” is still applicable today?
Andy Affleck is an alum of Dartmouth College. He is leading the development of an iOS/Android application for a startup called Ozmott and is also the author of Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac. He’s written numerous articles for TidBITS and is the proud father of an 11 year old.
Your son attended the Waldorf School where modern technology and media – TVs, computers, mobile phones, video games, and so on – are severely restricted. Did you adhere to the same policy at home?
We did adhere to the policy. Our son attended the Waldorf School during the 2nd and 3rd grades and, at those ages, I felt there was little value in technology as anything other than casual entertainment. The school policy was no media during the week (TV, computers, etc.) and limited use on the weekends. So, he got to play on a few websites he liked (Webkinz, mostly) on the weekend. Now that he is older, there is more value to be had, and he is at a school that makes good use of technology both at school and at home.
You left the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Technology in Education program with the firm belief that computers in education make more sense at older ages than at younger ages. What other ideas did you take away from the program?
At younger ages, children need concrete experiences. They will get a lot more out of working with physical objects than they will virtual ones. At a younger age, I just don’t think children are that great at making the translation from the virtual to the real, at least not consistently, so I don’t really think there’s much point in using a computer as an educational tool. It is just entertainment at that age and should be treated the same way TV is. As they get older, their ability to conceptualize grows and they can start to make that translation.
If there was an online course for parents to teach that transition for children into social media, what topics would be necessary?
First and foremost, parents need to understand the mechanics of how these systems work. They need to be able to see who is speaking to their child in the various possible ways (Facebook comments, instant messaging, text messaging, etc.); they need to understand how to properly set privacy settings to protect them; and they need to understand how these systems can be used for both good and for bad so they are prepared to deal with any situations that come up. All too often, parents know too little about the way these systems work (and Facebook seems to go out of its way to make it difficult to understand, and then change it often enough so you never can stay caught up) and so let their kids use them without any proper supervision or ability to help them out when they need help. If kids sense that their parents have no clue, they won’t even go to them for help, so the parents may not even realize there is a problem.
The analogy I like to use is a parent taking a child into a big city for the first time. They hold their hand. They explain the cross walks. They warn them about the scary yellow cars. They explain about keeping themselves safe and what to do if they get separated from their parents, and so on. In the same way, parents should be working with their children to understand this new world of social media, how to safely navigate the streets and crosswalks of Facebook and such and stay safe. They would never let their child go into the city alone by themselves on their first visit and they shouldn’t do that with social media either.
What are the biggest dangers of introducing children to social media?
The biggest danger is a parent who doesn’t understand anything an let their children go without supervision before the child is ready to be alone. I believe parents have a responsibility to teach their children to be good, decent people. They teach their children how to be polite, how not to say mean or hurtful things, how to be a friend to people and how to be kind to strangers. By the same token, they need to do this with social media. We do not need another generation of people who all post the kinds of horrible things you see on any given YouTube comment thread. And we need to teach children that the only person in history who had the right to shout “First!” was Neil Armstrong.
How much of a responsibility should schools take in guiding students towards using social media in smart, effective and ethical ways?
I go back and forth on this one. Schools are involved with socializing children. If your child is bullying another, the school will ask you to come in and talk to them and work with them on a way to address the issue. By the same token, that should extend to social media. Of course, most — if not all! — of what happens on a site like Facebook is not on school property and outside of their jurisdiction. So it is not clear that schools have any business saying anything about behavior online. That said, I think it would be a wise thing for schools to do some work with kids on good online behavior in general the same way they do anti-bullying presentations. I don’t know how effective these things are, but it’s a start.
Some adults have decided that to remove social media from their lives because they feel it’s completely unnecessary. Are there benefits to introducing social media into a child’s life?
I am a firm believer that no child should be allowed a Facebook account until they are 13, as that is the official policy of Facebook. Even when they are 13, it is the parent’s job to determine if their child is emotionally mature enough to handle social media and be a good online citizen. That said, I see a few advantages:
1) It is a great way to stay connected after a move. My son has a number of friends he still talks about that he hasn’t seen in a few years. I imagine him getting reconnected through Facebook in a few years.
2) Often times, kids aren’t going to school in their local community. My son goes to school that’s at least 10 miles away. His best friends outside of the city on the opposite side from us. Getting the kids together requires a lot of driving so after school meet-ups are not common. Right now, they use the phone a lot, but I can see social media taking the place when they are old enough to get online in that way.
Sure. We can live without all technology. But life would be a little more boring, at least for me. I enjoy my interactions online and have caught up with friends I haven’t spoken to in years who live far, far away. Would I die if my Facebook account went away tomorrow? No. But I would be sad. It enriches my life and I like having it there.
Lisa Chau has been involved with Web 2.0 since graduate school at Dartmouth College, where she completed an independent study on blogging. She was subsequently highlighted as a woman blogger in Wellesley Magazine, published by her alma mater. Since 2009, Lisa has worked as an Assistant Director at the Tuck School of Business. In 2012, she launched GothamGreen212 to pursue social media strategy projects. You can follow her on twitter.
Last week we announced the locations of four Content Hubs, each of which will focus on a specific theme. Over the course of this week, we are going to focus on highlighting each Hub and some of the specific topics that will be featured, as well as how you or your organization can contribute to the programming.
The confirmed partnerships include: Science and Technology Hub, hosted by Google; Business, Media, and Communications Hub, hosted by global advertising agency JWT; People & Society Hub, hosted by The Paley Center for Media; and Music, Gaming & Sports, hosted by Red Bull Space. As we mentioned in our announcement, we are also launching a fifth Hub which will cover Arts & Culture, the location of which we will share in the coming week or so.
GET INVOLVED IN PEOPLE & SOCIETY
Today’s spotlight is on the People & Society Hub at The Paley Center for Media. The theme itself is clearly fairly broad, so we have decided to focus on the following topic areas in terms of how they are impacted by developments in social and mobile media:
Health & technology
Government & Civil Society
If you or your organization is interested in curating a session and helping to shape the programming at the People & Society Hub, we would love to hear from you. Sessions are typically two hours in length and can either be a series of talks, a panel, a workshop or seminar. We encourage our guest curators to think creatively about their sessions and consider designing an experience that moves beyond traditional conference formats.
To submit a session idea, please visit the event registration page and reference which Hub you are interested in, in your application.
If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities at the People & Society Hub, we have some really exciting ways for brands to participate in the experience and contribute to the programming. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The People & Society Hub is brought to you by Social Media Week & The Paley Center for Media with additional curation from ThinkSocial & GOOD.
About the Paley Center
The Paley Center for Media, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms for the professional community and media-interested public.