Thursday, January 30, 2014

Resources, stories, and connections with those who use social media in today’s k-12 classrooms

Thank you to the 300+ folks from around the world who joined me for the Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship webinar on EdWeb. In case you missed it, the webinar was called “Social Media: An Essential Tool for Today’s Classroom.” You can view the webinar here

In the webinar, I shared case studies of amazing students, parents, and teachers. Below are the people behind the stories I mentioned, how to learn more and a way to reach each of them via social media. 

Courtney Woods – 2nd grade teacher who connected her students to the world with Twitter

Zak Malamed – Founder of Student Voice: Using social media to give students a voice
Learn more:

Sara Cottone – Strengthening the home-school connection with social media

Chris Casal – Celebrating school success with social media
Learn more:

Armond McFadden – Student with a powerful learning network

Matt Brown – Principal who uses social media to catch teachers & students being awesome

Erin Shoening – Uses Facebook with first graders

Resources Mentioned

NYC social media guidelines and AUSP from the NYC DOE:

Using Twitter and Google Docs:

Posts on assistive technology / special needs:

Stay connected with me:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Social Media: An Essential Tool for K-12 Classrooms (Free Webinar - Tonight!)

Join me this evening at 4pm Eastern Time and hear me discuss why social media is an essential tool for K-12 classrooms.

While there are some educators who feel the best advice when it comes to social media is to stay away, I disagree. In fact, I tell teachers that if they’re not preparing students to use social media effectively, they're not doing their job.


Because, the role of today’s educator is to prepare students to thrive in the world in which they live. In today’s world, if you want to run a business, run for office, or change the way things are run where you live, play, or work, you must be savvy in the use of social media. If we do not ensure our kids are equipped to do so responsibly and effectively, we are robbing them of the real and relevant education they deserve.

In tonight’s webinar, I share how educators are using social media such as Facebook and Twitter both as powerful tools for professional development as well as how to use them as a vehicle for student learning.

I’ll share how one teacher uses Facebook with first graders to strengthen the home school connection, and how another uses Twitter with second graders to increase tourism in their community. You’ll also discover how schools are using social media to share the stories of their classroom with the world and even use it as tool to increase enrollment.  

I hope you’ll join me today to get some great ideas on how to use social media for teaching and learning in your school or district.

Topic: Social Media: An Essential Tool for K-12 Classrooms
When: Wednesday, January 29, 2014- 4pm / Eastern Time
Community URL:

The webinar will be recorded and archived in the community after the event.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Educator Ann S. Michaelsen explains the power of student PLNs

While it is no longer unusual for teachers to embrace and understand the value of personal learning networks, few are supporting their students in doing the same. I went on a search for educators involved in this work as part of a chapter I am writing for a book on the topic of student liberation being released by Steve Hargadon later this year,  In the below Q&A you will get a look at the insights from one of these educators.  

As you read what this teacher is doing consider how you might integrate such practices into your work.  If you are already doing this, please share what you are doing in the comments. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The hottest posts everyone's reading

Here’s the roundup of what's been popular on The Innovative Educator blog. Below you’ll see the top posts along with the number of page views. I hope there's something that looks of interest to you.  If it does, check it out. If you’re inspired use one of those icons below the post to share it with others and/or leave a comment.

Dec 29, 2013, 
Jun 13, 2013, 
Jan 5, 2014, 
Jun 13, 2013, 
Dec 30, 2013, 
Feb 8, 2011, 
Jan 12, 2014, 
Jan 15, 2014, 
Dec 31, 2013, 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Restrictive social media policies don't prevent inappropriate relationships

Last week NBC news announced that some Colorado school districts are creating tougher social media policies for staff in hopes of preventing inappropriate relationships with students. While banning staff from connecting with students is certainly the easy way out, doing so not only fails to prevent inappropriate relationships, but it also fails to prepare students for success in the 21st century.  

The problem with such policies is that they are based on the premise that social media causes inappropriate behavior. The reality is that social media doesn't cause inappropriate behavior. It catches it. Policies like this don't address the real concerns a district may have about inappropriate behavior. It just drives it underground while also criminalizing teachers.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Keep up with Twitter conversations with Conweets

Have you ever wanted to recall what you Tweeted with someone else or have an easy way to know what two tweeps have been tweeting about to each other? Some of you may have used Bettween for this, but unfortunately, they have ceased operations. Fortunately, Conweets has jumped in to do just that! Simply sign in via Twitter, enter the handles of two users and Conweets will display conversations.

Here's what that looks like.

First you enter two Twitter handles.
save image

Next you can see the conversation between the Tweeps.