Facebook is the world’s largest social network, reaching 1 billion active users at the beginning of October. People across the globe use Facebook to connect with old friends, share news about their lives and even to maximize their brand’s social reach.
In its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, Facebook lists a minimum age requirement of 13, which means that more and more students in high school and college are signing up for the social network. As a teacher, what should you do if a student sends you a friend request? Does age play a factor? Should you be careful about what you post, even if it’s from your private account?
We spoke with teachers, professors and other education professionals about best Facebook practices to help answer these questions and more.
Skype in the classroom, a free online educational enrichment community for teachers, has added six new partner organizations to its roster, including NASA’s Digital Learning Center, The National Museum of the Royal Navy and HMS Victory, British Council, Woodland Trust, Education through Expedition, and Choose2Matter. Skype in the classroom is announcing these new collaborations in celebration of World Teacher’s Day, which takes place Friday, Oct. 5.
Skype in the classroom is a free service that provides resources and tools that teachers can use in their classrooms. The service includes over 2,000 projects from Skype in the classroom partners and other teachers. Projects are categorized by subject and student age group. The new partner organizations will add more projects to the service.
Among the many challenges teachers face, often the most difficult is how to engage students who seem unreachable, who resist learning activities, or who disrupt them for others. This is also one of the challenges that skilled teachers have some control over. In my nine years of teaching high school, I’ve found that one of the best approaches to engaging challenging students is to develop their intrinsic motivation.
The root of intrinsic is the Latin intrinsecus, a combination of two words meaning within and alongside. It’s likely that our students are intrinsically motivated—just motivated to follow their own interests, not to do what we want them to do. Teachers’ challenge is to work alongside our students, to know their interests and goals, and to develop trusting relationships that help students connect their learning to their goals in a way that motivates from within.
How can teachers do this? It’s helpful to consider this question in three parts: What skilled teachers think, what they say, and what they do.
Intel® Teach helps K–12 teachers of all subjects learn to engage students with digital learning, including digital content, Web 2.0, social networking, and online tools and resources. Intel Teach professional development empowers teachers to integrate technology effectively into their existing curriculum, focusing on their students’ problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration, which are precisely the skills required in the high tech, networked society in which we live.
Intel® Teach Elements are free, just-in-time professional development courses that you can experience now, anytime, anywhere. This series of compelling courses provides deeper exploration of 21st century learning concepts.
Pretend you’re a high school student getting your nightly Facebook fix. As you scroll through your news feed, what do you see? Photos, gossip, YouTube videos, and calculus homework.
Wait, what? Homework on Facebook?
For students in Donna Noll’s calculus and algebra classes, that’s exactly what they see—and hear. A veteran math teacher at Seminole High School in Sanford, Fla., Noll posts overviews and sample questions recorded on her so-called “magic pen” to her fan page, SemiNoll Math. She uses Livescribe’s smartpen, which records her voice, as well as what she writes, and combines the two into a PDF, creating a pencast.
For educators who have been connected since the early days of social media, it is difficult to understand the reason people would ask, “What is #Edchat?” We must remember that many educators using social media for professional reasons have joined only recently. The idea of using social media for professional reasons is a relatively new concept. One would hope that it is having a positive effect because the Department of Education declared August Connected Educators Month. In our technology-driven culture, sometimes we need to stop where we are and take time to consider how we got here.
Teachers may spend their days imparting knowledge to others, but that doesn’t mean they should stop learning themselves. Whether they choose to take classes, read books, or just talk with their colleagues, professional development offers a chance to become a better and wiser teacher. There’s no better time than summer vacation to dive into professional development opportunities, and luckily, there are numerous resources out there on the web, making finding, sharing, and accessing great tools for development easier than ever. We’ve collected just a few here that can get you started on learning and growing as an educator.
It is amazing how technology has changed the whole world giving rise to new forms of education we never thought of. Our students are more digitally focused than any time before. They spend more time interacting with their mobile devices than they do with their parents or close relatives. Admittedly, this digital boom has both positive and negative impact on our students. Lack of concentration, short attention span, distraction, visual stimulus overload, identity theft, lack of real world socializing, privacy issues, depression, and many more are but a direct result of the growing exposure to this technology. Studies have even proved that multitasking, which some educational technology experts brag about in relation to the use of today’s technology, reduces the power of our concentration to the half. We should not, However, only look at the empty side of the cup, the other side is way bigger.
There are actually several pluses for the use of technology in education and to try and list them all here is way beyond the scope of this short post. Generally speaking, no two argue over the fact that technology advantages in education ( and in our life at large ) way outnumber its downsides. It is thanks to technology that you are now reading this post and will probably share it with your colleagues.
There is no blinking the fact that the type of students we teach today are completely different from last century’s. We , definitely, need to look at some of the skills we, as teachers, need to equip ourselves with to better live up to the challenge. Among all the challenges we would have in education, there is not as daunting a challenge as catching students focus and getting them engaged in the learning process. For this particular reason, and in addition to the skills I initially mentioned in 21st Century Teaching Skills article, I would like to provide you with another list of some equally important digital skills that you, as a teacher, need to seriously consider if you want to pave the way for the 21st century teaching. I have added a list of web tools under each skill for teachers to better exploit it.
[Great list (and associated resources) – how many are you OK with?]
School principals and district administrators are more likely than the general public to be adopters of smartphones and tablet computers, according to a new report based on data from the 2011 Speak Up survey.
Principals and administrators are also more likely to use those devices than the teachers and librarians they oversee, the report says, though teachers are also more frequent users of those tools than the general public.
Further, technology use habits were found to effect both sets of populations’ outlook on using those devices in education.
“For many of us, we cannot truly appreciate the value of a new technology tool until we have realized a direct benefit from its use in our personal or work life,” said Julie Evans, the president and CEO of Project Tomorrow, the Irvine, Calif.-based nonprofit education research organization that conducts the Speak Up survey, in a statement. “That’s the same for educators.”
Some substitute teachers say that technology provided by classroom teachers can help them facilitate learning. “The teachers [will] leave stuff on their computer, which goes directly to the SMART Board…,” said Susan May, a substitute. “You can go on the computer and pull up whatever they need you to. Those are really nice substitute days.”
For other substitute teachers classroom technology presents challenges – not being familiar with school policies and not being trained to use the devices.
How are your substitutes coping, and what are you doing to help?