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Social Media for Educators

Lesson Three: Assessing Our Info-diets.

Return to Social Media Educators Home Page

1.      VIEW this video.
(19 minutes) A fifth grade teacher tasks his students with finding their own educational Ipad apps
related to current classroom topics. (Constructivism – Building one’s own knowledge.)

                IPAD Classroom Application Videos and APPS

Skip Via's one transformed classroom video on Ipads for K-5


Assess the volume of related videos at Skip’s youtube channel  related videos:


See other related IPad videos on the right sidebar. 

2. Search for and contribute a minimum of the three best resources you can find
on Social Media in the Classroom, Education, etc. 

Try not to duplicate what others have already found. Add your contributions to the Social Media for Educators 

Resources wiki page on our class wiki http://socialwikialaska.pbworks.com

Email the links in a private message to your instructor along with any questions. 

(You have full “write” permissions.) (one hour)      No one knows as much as all of us.


3. Conduct the following short activity:

Info-Diet Self-assessment Survey
Modify it to include all your info-tools, average time routinely spent by day and by week/month. Include your self-assessment as to your current goals for an ideal info-diet.

Email your instructor your responses to this simple survey.

  (using cut and paste) (one hour)


Read through the lesson below and explore the links most of interest, with emphasis on the “Very Serious Homework” section. This listing represents key areas educators need to be aware of regarding “risks of abuse” in K12.  Some links may have changed, and our task #2 above is our opportunity to update this listing with emphasis on the emerging new social media “risks of abuse.”

(one hour)



Required Submissions Checklist:

        ____ Contribute a minimum of three great resources to the Social Media for Educators wiki page on our class wiki.

        ___   Email the links in a private message to your instructor along with any questions.

           ____ Email your instructor your responses to the info-diet and Geekatude surveys.


Creating a New Digital Culture

Culture is our means of creating individual and group identity and meaning. New digital cultures are being created along with an emerging global culture and sense of global citizenship where appreciate and tolerance for difference cultures and worldviews is becoming understood as necessary as we are all part of the one human family. Combining caring and connectivity with common sense – makes sense. We can now encourage, mentor, and help educate anyone, anywhere, anytime.


Alaskan youth suicide is many times higher than the national average. Youth need to understand that they do indeed have many opportunities for a happy life, even in a world of accelerating change. How we mentally frame our personal self-image and opportunities for success is very much one of how we choose to look at things. 


Throughout this lesson, think about how your online activities can bring encouragement and HOPE to those who really could use your support. Social networking has a lot to do with establishing a peer group for essential social support, particularly for the first digital generation in history. There is nothing sadder than a young life full of potential lost to hopelessness.


Freaky Rats

As you may know, research has been conducted wiring electrodes to the pleasure centers in the brains of rats such that they will push a button to receive pleasure to the point they will not even eat, and will die. This is the same as meth addictions, isn’t it?  Meth burns out the connections between brain cells so one cannot feel content and happy without more and more meth. The great risk is not knowing this can happen until it is too late.


Did you know one in ten youth in China is addicted to the Internet games like World of Warcraft? They have special camps for these youth in China who spend 10-12 hours a day playing games on the Internet.  One in ten Internet users are also addicted to Internet pornography.


Moderation in all things is good advice. Seek balance.

Balance in our lifestyle choices is necessary for wellness. Too much of anything can be considered an addiction. But, you can be addicted to exercise, to get the good feelings from brain hormones that result, and isn’t this a good addiction? Or addicted to helping others for the satisfaction it brings? Perhaps “addiction” is the wrong term, but the words we choose to use are often important.


The Thinkquest competition gives cash prizes to youth and teachers from all over the world who compete creating instructional web sites collaborating with peers in other countries, here is one example:


Mind Prison: Internet Addiction Disorder

Spending too much time online is something that currently affects many people and families.  This website is great for teaching students about what Internet addiction is, signs to look for, and what to do about it.  Watch for early warning signs in your students (particularly the middle schoolers who take their school laptops home in the evenings).  Many parents find their kids hiding under their blankets with their laptops at night to play online games, who may lie to their parents saying they were doing homework when they were really spending hours chatting with friends, etc. 


Make sure students know that this can become a problem, and it is something they need to be aware of and monitor.  There is a self-assessment quiz at this website that will be really helpful in allowing the students to privately take a look at how they are doing.  http://library.thinkquest.org/06aug/02049/home.htm


What is YOUR Info-Diet? You ARE what you feed your head?

You have perhaps heard “You are what you eat?” And physically this makes sense. You ARE what you know and think, mentally, depending on what you feed your mind. And the mind is like a muscle. You can let it go flabby, or muscle it up. Your Choices are Important. They determine what you will become.  Becoming is superior to being. True or False?


            Please do the following short activity:

Info-Diet Self-assessment Survey
Modify it to include all your info-tools, average time routinely spent by day and by week/month. Include your self-assessment as to your current goals for an ideal info-diet regarding new tools and better “best practices.”

Email your instructor your responses to this simple survey.

   SHARE your Info-Diet survey in the Google Groups discussion

   area. (using cut and paste)

From Roz Goodman

Accessing Educational Resources at http://www.pbworks.com/education.html  for
educators, librarians, district technologies. 

by Roslyn L. Goodman

This ALA book is available from the Alaska State Library office in Anchorage.
Contact Jacque Petersen 1-800-776-6566.

Solomon, Laura. Doing Social Media So It Matters: A Librarian's Guide. American Library Association, 2011. 
In seven concise chapters the author suggests that libraries need a social media presence to connect, engage and converse with their library community. To be successful in this effort the library needs a social media plan. What are the goals for using social media? What are the expected outcomes? Who will be responsible for implementing the social media plan? Which social media tools best serve the library's social media goals? The author clearly explains the important role of social media in communicating with library users, the value of acquiring and utilizing social capital by broadcasting and listening, how to measure engagement quantitatively and qualitatively, the importance of buy-in from the entire library staff,  and how to evaluate and improve the success of the library's social media plan. 


The Core Rules of Netiquette
are excerpted from the book Netiquette by Virginia Shea.
Click on each rule for elaboration.


Rule 1: Remember the Human

Rule 2: Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life

Rule 3: Know where you are in cyberspace

Rule 4: Respect other people's time and bandwidth

Rule 5: Make yourself look good online

Rule 6: Share expert knowledge

Rule 7: Help keep flame wars under control

Rule 8: Respect other people's privacy

Rule 9: Don't abuse your power

Rule 10: Be forgiving of other people's mistakes


Social Bookmarking: With the rate of change accelerating, and the volume of new information being generated growing exponentially, the issue of being armed with the best tools and collaborative support peer communities will only grow in importance. This lesson is intended as an introduction. View the short video below on social bookmarking which demonstrates a new tool integrating browsers, search engines, bookmarks and more under the collaborative umbrella of social networking and peer sharing. Don’t feel you have to install this tool, simply acknowledge the potential utility of such a tool if you were to take the time to learn to use it well.
Optional;  Advanced tools like Diigo exist, but are also evolving  as better and easier tools are  continually being created;

Social bookmarking In Plain English

Diigo Social Bookmarking browser add-on short video overview (advanced)



A.        Your Very Serious Homework!


VIEW  K12 Essential Resources, http://lone-eagles.com/k12.htm and the Parenting Webtour at http://lone-eagles.com/webtours.htmNOTE: Don't click on every link, as many have changed, but note the categories of the issues K12 educators have to be aware of. This is an area of dynamic change and evolution so your ability to find the latest updated resources is a skill to develop, as is your ability to collaborate with your peers to help each other stay current.   One site created by George Lucas, of Star Wars fame, is http://www.edutopia.org
and is kept current, and there are many others. Often websites listing topical resources are created by teachers, but quickly become dated and are not meticulously maintained.

Your knowledge of these issues is vitally important to the welfare of your students, and to legally protect yourself.
One example of a final project might be completing the six-hour online Internet Safety certification program at www.isafe.org or www.wiredsafety.org and training other educators locally.


Study how others have resolved these dilemmas, knowing there are grey areas between right and wrong on many issues. It is recommended you document your sources in case you have to defend your decisions in the future. You're asked to find additional sites on these seven key topics to practice your searching skills and to make sure you're able to find all the information on these issues you'll need to deal adequately with them. If you've not used multiple keywords in searches before, you'll find this presents the perfect opportunity. A popular search engine allowing natural language phrases is http://askjeeves.com . You can simply type in full sentence questions. Try it!


B.          On Hate and Bullies

An Educator's Guide to Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats

Cyberbullying Info-graphic


25 eye-opening statistics on Cyberbullying
42% of teenagers with tech access report being bullied over the past year.

Family Guidebook


Parent’s Guide to the Internet


The Alaska Circle of Internet Safety

Cyberbullying  - comprehensive article with many great links from the NY Times!


Hate sites on the Internet
More offensive than any of the above.


Nancy Wellard's Cyberbully Site


C.         Copyrights


Have you seen the sign in the library that says it is illegal to xerox copyrighted print materials? It is behind the line of students and teachers xeroxing copyrighted materials as part of their daily routine. Did you know it is illegal to use your VCR to copy TV programs if you keep them beyond 45 days? There are grey areas between what the law says, and what common practice is, even for responsible citizens.

Where you draw the line between right and wrong for yourself and your students can help be defined by reading the suggestions of others at Stanford University’s Educational Fairuse site. http://fairuse.stanford.edu  


VIEW a handy chart summarizing copyright issues for educators:
(You'll need Adobe Acrobat reader to view .pdf files. Available free at http://adobe.com )

A concise website for information on copyrights:  www.teachlearning.com

A good tool for the kids; cool interactive websites that deal with ethical issues like  http://www.cyberbee.com/cb_copyright.swf 

This article is recommended for a summary of current issues:


Microsoft has a series of web pages addressing protecting kids from inappropriate information http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/children/childrenonline.mspx

This copyright wiki created by Joyce Valenza, a teacher librarian, has some wonderful links to copyright friendly resources that can be used in multimedia presentations.  http://copyrightfriendly.wikispaces.com/ 

When students create a web page with their own pictures, words and ideas, they need to understand what intellectual property rights they hold and how to similarly respect the intellectual property rights of others.

When your students save images off the web for use in their own web pages, are they stealing? Many copyright-free image, and animation archives exist on the web.


Explore: http://plagiarism.org is a service where for .50 cents per paper a supercomputer will colorcode a student's paper with all the plagiarized material and document the sources. It will get your student's attention that you know this is possible! See also http://plagiarism.com

Book Recommendation: "Student Cheating and Plagiarism in the Internet Era: a Wake-up Call"    Search for it at http://amazon.com or by the full title in quotes.


D.         Authenticity


Authenticity Example
There are many humorous sites designed to make key points about Internet resource authenticity, here is one example.  http://www.dhmo.org/ 
Eventually readers will realize they are talking about banning water. 

Students today tend to accept information from the Internet as valid, but need to become much more skeptical information consumers. Students need to learn to cite resources in ALA and MLA formats and to understand how to authenticate information by noting the sponsor of the web site from which they obtained information, validating the information by finding references to the same facts in three different places, and so on


E.          Privacy and Child Safety

Child Safety

Facebook Safety

"Predators" seek to befriend minors via email and entice them to private meetings without their parents knowledge. Since free email accounts are available to anyone, easily, on the web, what can you do to protect your students?

Posting pictures of students with contact information such as home addresses, names, and phone numbers is considered an unwise practice.

You will find many concerned parents and teachers have posted extensive resources related to your options dealing with these issues. Explore the resources in the Parenting webtour, http://lone-eagles.com/webtours.htm ,  K12 Essential Resources, http://lone-eagles.com/k12.htm   and http://www.childrenspartnership.org


F.          Inappropriate Internet Resources (pornography)


Our students represent the first generation to grow up with the Internet and digital technology. They are growing up in a world with unlimited information access. There is no way you can protect students from the information that's out there, particularly when their hormones are driving their curiosity. Ultimately, this will be a moral 'values' and 'character education' issue. You will find many excellent character education curriculum links by searching. Have your students decide what they believe and what's right and what's wrong.

As if incorrect information isn’t bad enough, hate literature and resources on how to make drugs and bombs are readily available on the Internet. Because the first amendment to the constitution guarantees free speech, pornography also exists on the Internet. Pornography of every description and rating is readily available on the Internet.


G. AUPS (authorized usage policies)


AUPs are legal waivers students and parents must sign to protect your school from law suits should the student intentionally or unintentionally view pornography via a school-owned computer. See the K12 Essential resources  http://lone-eagles.com/k12.htm   for AUP resources.


H.  Blocking programs

Blocking programs, also called “filters” exist which can inhibit unintentional access to inappropriate web sites, but most people find them more trouble than they are worth because they also block access to information that is desirable and can be circumvented by determined students. Sites for blocking programs are listed in the K12 Essential resources section   http://lone-eagles.com/k12.htm.

With students you can't trust, supervision is the only solution, or restricting them to captured, appropriate sections of the Internet using an offline browser.


I.         Citing Internet Resources in ALA (American Library Association) and MLA style


Consultant David Warlick has a popular citation generator that will allow kids to email the owner of a website and ask permission for using certain things.  It's at http://citationmachine.net/.  Two places that are terrific for citing information are http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/online/citex.html  and several different tools at  http://landmark-project.com/index.php.


J. Help on Internet Spam, Scams, Hoaxes, and Viruses


Scams are email messages and web sites with insincere intents. Learn more at

Scambusters.org http://scambusters.org

Hoaxes are often emailed warnings based on rumors that are untrue. Learn more at Hoaxbusters http://hoaxbusters.ciac.org/


A Listing of Common Hoaxes     
See what else you can find at http://symantec.com.

Viruses are often sent hidden in unwanted email and can wipe out your hard drive, or worse!

Find out how computer viruses and worms work

You should have a virus protection program running on your computer. You should know to never open an attachment from someone you don't know. Some viruses will automatically send messages to every email address on a person’s computer without their knowledge, so even opening an attachment from someone you DO know might contain a virus. Free anti-virus programs exist and will be easy to find with a simple search. Ask those at your school what they prefer. Norton Anti-Virus is one of the best, and costs $40+ a year.


Lesson Feedback: Optional, but much appreciated.

You're invited to privately email your instructor:

1.   What areas, if any, did you have trouble with during this lesson?


      2. What questions remain now that you've finished this lesson?

 3. Approximately how much time did you devote to this lesson?

      4. What improvements would you like to suggest?