Greetings from sunny San Diego. I’m here for the annual ISTE conference and its innovative kick-off gathering, SocialEdCon -- the one-day unconference formerly known as EduBloggerCon. (Organizer Steve Hargadon changed the name to reflect the change in emphasis from blogging to the larger social media universe that brings educators together.)
Topics this year ranged from how to expedite technology adoption to the impact of technology on social and emotional learning; blended learning; and tools and ideas for making media in the classroom. (See the entire SocialEdCon schedule) Over the next week or so, we’ll hear from some of these participants as guest bloggers here on Edutopia.
In the mean time, I wanted to cover some of the many discussions around social media. Clearly social media is here to stay, yet many educators are still grappling with what the heck to do with it.
So, What the Heck Do We Do with Social Media??
Social media is arguably the single most disruptive innovation in the history of industrialized civilization. It’s redefining how we engage with each other, how we do business, how we get our news, how we spend our free time and how we revolt against repressive regimes. It’s no wonder that people are terrified of it. And to that end, it’s not surprising that many educators find themselves in schools where social media is blocked -- and/or with draconian social media policies in place.
Jason Critchlow, 14, l. and Raiden McLean, 14, film documentary at the Willoughby Senior Center in Fort Greene.
Fort Greene resident C-Allah Coombs leaned back in his chair and stared deep into the camera as he talked about his worst day on the Fort Hamilton High School basketball team. "It wasn't good. Dean Meminger scored 50 points on me,” said Coombs. “And he wasn't even a good shooter - just a good defender." Coombs, 63, recounted his front row seat to the Rice High School prodigy and former New York Knicks’s scoring barrage as part of a filmmaking program for 12 students from the Urban Assembly Academy of Arts and Letters are profiling a group of Fort Greene seniors and turning their stories into two-minute documentaries.
"President Obama has a goal that 100 percent of students should be college or career ready, and in the next decade, most jobs will require at least some post-high school education. The opportunities for high school graduates are declining and generally offer lower earning potential. But are we educating students with the right kind of post-secondary education to meet the demands of the workforce of the future?"
It's not enough to take a traditional K-12 classroom and fill it with technology. The smart classroom requires a more methodic approach that factors in the design of the basic shell, the teacher's space, and the students' independent and collaborative work areas.