Thursday’s Tip: NASA TweetUp – eMINTS Teacher @ Space Shuttle Launch

Veteran eMINTS teacher from Hillsboro, MO, Krissy Venosdale, GreatDayToLearn.com and TeachFactory.com, is blogging and tweeting from NASA’s launch site this week. She was invited to attend and be a part of the NASA TweetUp.

“What is a Tweetup? A Tweetup is an informal meeting of people who use the social messaging medium Twitter. This Tweetup is an opportunity to learn more about NASA, explore NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and experience a space shuttle launch.” Krissy, known as KTVee on Twitter, is one of a few applicants that will be allowed behind the curtain to share with the world what happens, moment by moment, at the launch of the Endeavor space shuttle.

T-Shirt Krissy made with her students names so they could "attend" with her.

She wants to bring this awesome event to her students and yours by sharing her experience. Her blog will provide a live countdown, videos, pictures, interesting facts, teaching ideas, and her latest tweets. You can even ask her a question that she will pass on to a real astronaut.

What a great way to get your kids excited all while learning about math, science, and more. Check out her event blog, Learning Endeavour: One Teachers Space Shuttle Launch Experience to learn more and be a part of the Friday launch.

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

*NASA, . “Connect and Collaborate with NASA.” 04apr2011. Discussion Board.
*“Endeavor.” Flickr – Koocheekoo. Web. 27 Apr 2011. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/koocheekoo/2331555537/>.
*“NASA TweetUp T-Shirt.” Flickr – KTVee. Web. 27 Apr 2011. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/venosdale/5657841099/in/photostream/>.

Tuesday’s Tool: I Published My Own Newspaper

Ok, I am probably pushing it just a bit when I say “I published My Own Newspaper”. What I should say is that paper.li created a “newspaper” based on the people that I follow on Twitter and what they have recently tweeted. It took only a few minutes after I logged in using my Twitter account.

The HigginsB Daily

When I open my Paper.li newspaper, The HigginsB Daily, I can easily scan the front page and see headlines from the day. Each “article” is  based on the information my PLN is interested in that they have shared on Twitter. With one click, I can be reading the web content shared by the people I follow. Every article includes a small image and the username of the person that submitted that tweet so that I know who the information was shared by. The paper also includes a hashtag (#), photos, and multimedia sections and my running Twitter feed.

Paper.li is a web 2.0 tool that “organizes links shared on Twitter and Facebook into an easy to read newspaper-style format.” There is another website, The Tweeted Times, that creates a personalized newspaper in the same way but what makes Paper.li so nice is how it organizes and categorizes the content.

Cool features: users can read anyone’s Paper.li newspaper from anyone that has created one or they can create a paper based on other Twitter or Facebook users. Paper.li newspapers can be set to update daily or even more frequently depending on user preferences, and Paper.li sends an email each day letting users know that there is new news to read.

Some downsides: there is a bit of advertising. The people at Paper.li have to get paid somehow :). Also, Paper.li can’t filter the content on the page since they are simply aggregating content based on who the user follows. Depending on what PLN members share, there may be some questionable content. Users should test the site before using it with students.

Teachers, classrooms or individual students could create their own newspapers daily, weekly, or whenever and stay up to date with current events based on the “news” from their PLN.

OwlDesk on YouTube has a video, Social Media Tool: PaperLi, that quickly overviews how the tool works.

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

Friday 4ALL: #FollowFriday

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Do you use Twitter? The popular “micro-blogging” tool is not often found in classrooms, but it can be an essential tool to crowd source new resources. The hardest part is finding the right people to follow. Luckily, there is a weekly tradition that makes this task easy.

Follow Friday is the weekly event on Twitter where users post their favorite “Tweeps” to follow. Just look for the #followfriday hashtag and follow along. Then, turn around and post your own Follow Friday list. Watch as your list of people you follow and those who follow you on Twitter expands exponentially.

Speaking of Follow Friday, you should follow me on Twitter and follow those I have chosen to follow!

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center and sometimes Twitter user.

4ALL: Social Media for 21st Century Learners

My wife, who is an English and Women’s Studies professor at the University of Missouri, shared a story with me this morning. She often has former students come back and speak with her class, usually via Skype. The insights they reveal are often helpful for her students to see the context for the information and processes they are learning in her course.

The other day, one of my wife’s star students spoke to the class. This particular student was best remembered for earning the honor of introducing then-candidate Barack Obama at a large rally just days before the 2008 election. She then moved on to intern for the first lady and now works for a reputable non-profit in D.C.

Here message to the students was realizing how important using social media would be in her future endeavors after college. While working for Ms. Obama, the student received one of her first assignments to create a video to post online. Luckily, she learned to do this in my wife’s class and the skills transferred over. In her current position, she has to coordinate messages to lobbyists and legislative staff. She utilizes Twitter to do most of this communication, citing the importance of an effective message in 140 characters.

With the word that Mubarak is stepping down due to a protest originally organized on Twitter, it is easy to see the power that these tools possess. Sure, lots of people use social media in pretty mundane ways, but that’s where we as educators come in. We can demonstrate this power and how effective communication can lead to change.

As Social Media Week winds down, think about how you can prepare our students for a future where social media is the effective and powerful tool we see all around us.

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

HD Links: Social Media

It’s Social Media Week here at Networked Teaching & Learning. All week long, we’re bringing you resources and ideas for bringing social media into your schools. Today, we focus on some resource links that can help make that happen.

One of the major obstacles for improving social media use in our schools is the lack of information out there about what social media is and what are the tools we can use. Edudemic provides the “Ultimate Teachers Guide to Social Media” in the form of an easy to read and navigate e-book. All the major tools are covered as well as resources for getting the most out of social media in your classroom.

Another obstacle is providing the right argument for social media’s use in our schools. Teach Paperless makes the case using the human voice as a metaphor for social media. How can students learn without their voice? The same can be asked of 21st century learners.

A second argument is made over at Mashable where adman Josh Rose demonstrates how social media is bringing back the old-fashioned values of our grandparents. Because of social media, we know about each other and are part of a more-informed community. That sounds like a great way to build community within a classroom and online.

Some teachers are leery of using social media sites such as Facebook with our private lives suddenly becoming public. Students also need to be aware of this change in society due to the public nature of social media. Mashable has ten suggestions for keeping one’s Facebook account as private as possible.

Of course, Facebook isn’t the only online forum about which we should be concerned. Bobbi L. Newman, a.k.a. Librarian By Day, has a fantastic post on monitoring one’s personal brand. This is is important for both teachers and students. Controlling your online brand can market you as a leader in education or at least eliminate the chances that online content meant to be private becomes very public.

If you’re looking for a tool to manage all this social media (aside from your web browser), look no further than TweetDeck. TweetDeck allows users to monitor multiple accounts on various social networking sites. I use TweetDeck to manage several Twitter accounts, my Facebook account, and several groups and pages also on Facebook. There are several versions of Tweetdeck available for desktops, handheld devices (including smart phones), as well as a Chrome plugin. For an example of how TweetDeck can be used in the classroom, check out this video of a college course where Twitter and TweetDeck are utilized to take classroom conversation to another level.

Hopefully, these links will help you see the value of social media in our schools. What are some ways you are using social media to enhance teaching and learning at your school?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Welcome to November!

Image Courtesy of FreeFoto.com

This blog is off to a fantastic start as we enter November! Look back through the last few weeks of posts for ideas and resources that can help you in the classroom of the 21st century. To the right, visitors can search this blog, browse our archive, peruse the categories, or simply click on recent posts or comments that interest them most.

Later this week and month, we have some great posts planned. There are posts featuring a free online tool for the SMART Board, resource links featuring authentic learning in your own backyard, using Wordle as an instructional tool, and an inspirational video about what motivates us. The rest of November is loaded with even more fantastic resources and teaching ideas.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to this feed by clicking “Entries RSS” under the “Meta” category at the bottom right of this page. Plus, you can follow eMINTS by joining our Facebook group or following me on Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to return all month to see the great things going on at the eMINTS National Center!

eMINTS 2.0

Image Source: http://www.studioroosegaarde.net/project/LiquidSpace6.0

In case you haven’t noticed, the eMINTS National Center is expanding our efforts to get the word out about the great work our staff and the teachers we serve do every day. This blog is just one way in which that effort comes to life. We’ll continue to post great ideas and innovations in teaching and technology on Networked Teaching & Learning.

In addition to the blog, be sure to join our Facebook group for the latest information regarding eMINTS as well as news of our teachers’ continued success. This group can also be a great way to connect with other eMINTS teachers and trainers.

Finally, I have set up a Twitter account to help get the eMINTS message out there to the Twitterverse. Follow me at @Zac_eMINTS and stay current on all things eMINTS related.

You too can participate in these efforts. Besides joining the Facebook group and following my Twitter feed, you can submit a post for this blog. We would love to have the input of our teachers and friends in the educational technology world. Simply follow this link to our Google Form and fill in the appropriate information. You can type your post directly into the form or copy and paste from another location.

In the meantime, check out what we’ve posted last week: