I don’t know about you, but I have gotten a recent flood of friend requests on Facebook. Most of them are not from family members or from folks that I truly know well. They are from “Mutual Friends“. You know what I’m talking about. You look at the number listed to the right of their request to see how many mutual friends you have and that helps you decide whether to accept them or not. Right?
When I first started using Facebook back in 2008 I thought I would use it to keep in touch with family and close friends and possibly even those folks that I had met at conferences and edtech events. But that has now grown and I find myself looking at status updates from people I don’t know at all. What happened?
The other day I logged in to update my status and check out what my FB friends were up to when I got an IM (instant message) from someone I really didn’t know.
I didn’t respond.
“when u will reply me? never?”
I know what we teach our students and our children about not replying to people that we don’t know, but I was ALREADY friends with this person. Something had convinced me to accept his friend request. When I clicked on his profile I saw only 4 common friends and the face of someone I had never met in person. I also saw that his status updates were not in English. Why was I FB friends with him?
“sometimes i see u try to talk to u but u never replied me i really wonder why? just a human i m too not a monster”
What would you do at this point?
I was so frustrated with myself because if I didn’t want to IM with this person, I should have never accepted his friend request, yet I felt a sense of guilt for not replying.
“i think i saw u from nice place for example about education about projects i m a teacher and an engineer and a coordinator of projects”
Feeling guilty and curious, I asked what he wanted to chat about.
“i thought i would talk or share somehting but as i see u dont care if i disturbed u i m really sorry“
I replied that he was not disturbing me, but that I had to log off and go walk my dog. (This was true as my dog had been barking for a few minutes and obviously needed to go out.)
Where would the conversation have gone?
How do you make decisions as to who you are friends with on Facebook?
How SHOULD you make decisions as to who you are friends with on Facebook?
Do you practice what you preach in terms of internet safety?
These are questions I have been asking myself for a few days. What are your answers?
Tomorrow at the NJECC monthly meeting I’m going to speak for a bit about “Spontaneous Professional Development”. With the budget cuts in NJ schools this past year, many educators don’t have funding for PD. Our meeting this month will be about how schools are dealing with the cuts, what types of PD their districts are spending money on and of course, how we can harness the power of our networks to bring in free professional development virtually.
I hope I don’t put myself right out of business.
Here’s the slides I will be sharing along with a list of the resources I will be talking about. (Please leave a comment if you have others to add as we would all benefit from your resources.)
Yesterday I sat in on several sessions at the Virtual School Symposium in Glendale, Arizona. Two turned out to be vendor driven, one never really got to the point and one truly provided some great ideas to think about.
The presenters were from the Branson School Online. Leanna Christians is the K-12 virtual principal and Christina Narayan is an elementary virtual school teacher. The theme of their presentation was the “Circle of Trust”. The idea that you don’t want anyone involved with the school to feel outside the circle. They talked about parents, students, teachers, administration and staff.
The entire time I was listening to Leanna and Christina I was thinking about how everything they were saying applied to every BAM (Bricks and Mortar) school.
One of the Ignite sessions last night at NEIT2010 was about Croudsourcing. I ultimately will link to the presentation resources, but they are not yet posted. The gentleman who presented on the topic mentioned how he croudsourced his purchase of his glasses and his Halloween costume as well as many other educational-related things.
I thought back to my Keynote from earlier that day and how different it might have been had I crowdsourced. I have somewhat of an idea of the suggestions from the group here as we worked on a public Google Doc to flesh out the list of ten skills that every student should have when they leave you.
Here’s a sampling of what the group came up with:
1 – Knowledge of reference sources
It seems best to consider a first-stop reference source that is age and skill appropriate and google scholar is not necessarily the tool for K-12
Students need to learn how to evaluate their sources.
There can be legitimate but biased websites.
2 – Who is the authority?
teaching skills to question & evaluate authority
3 – Digital Citizenship and Ethical use of information
http://www.kidzui.com/ – friendly place for kids – kid-only content including games, videos, etc – a kid browser – commercial venture, but seems quite usable
How to surf the web filterless?
How to consider what to share – safe sharing
Digital footprints? Who teaches our kids what this is? Who provides the leadership on this?
Smart = Safe
Community effort – everyone has to be part of this educational process, including parents
Help our students create a digital footprint under our mentorship – this will provide them with a positive presence on the web, perhaps countering their Facebook presence
I’m in no way suggesting that I croudsource my next presentation, but it was a new learning experience for me to immediately hear what other educators thought and for them to discuss it from their perspective. Thanks to everyone who participated.
Seat four or five people at small Café-style tables or in conversation clusters.
Set up progressive (usually three) rounds of conversation of approximately 20-30 minutes each.
Questions or issues that genuinely matter to your life, work or community are engaged while other small groups explore similar questions at nearby tables.
Encourage both table hosts and members to write, doodle and draw key ideas on their tablecloths or to note key ideas on large index cards or placemats in the center of the group.
Upon completing the initial round of conversation, ask one person to remain at the table as the “host” while the others serve as travelers or “ambassadors of meaning.” The travelers carry key ideas, themes and questions into their new conversations.
Ask the table host to welcome the new guests and briefly share the main ideas, themes and questions of the initial conversation. Encourage guests to link and connect ideas coming from their previous table conversations—listening carefully and building on each other’s contributions.
By providing opportunities for people to move in several rounds of conversation, ideas, questions, and themes begin to link and connect. At the end of the second round, all of the tables or conversation clusters in the room will be cross-pollinated with insights from prior conversations.
In the third round of conversation, people can return to their home (original) tables to synthesize their discoveries, or they may continue traveling to new tables, leaving the same or a new host at the table. Sometimes a new question that helps deepen the exploration is posed for the third round of conversation.
After several rounds of conversation, initiate a period of sharing discoveries and insights in a whole group conversation. It is in these town meeting-style conversations.It is in these town meeting-style conversations that patterns can be identified,
collective knowledge grows, and possibilities for action emerge.
I will be missing Liz Davis, as we have used a variation of this Protocol together at Educon. But I know I will be seeing here there again in January.