A simple tool can make a big impact.

This video (shared by George Couros during his talks in Peel) shows how a simple survey tool was used by a teacher to connect personally with her students. It’s a powerful reminder of how important it is to try to meet the students where they are. Sometimes people and especially today’s “screen”agers will share more online than they will in person. After that inital contact, deeper relationships can be forged.  Continue reading

Serendipity and Sue Waters: Benefits of Being Connected.

A stream. A real time, flowing, dynamic stream of information — that we as users and participants can dip in and out of and whether we participate in them or simply observe, we are a part of this flow.

John Borthwick As quoted here.

That’s a quote from 2009 and I don’t think the stream metaphor is big enough anymore. A river? An ocean current? Maybe solar winds? Sorry, I digress into earth science easily… The point is that social media, and especially Twitter, is massive and can be intimidating. That’s probably why only 218 million of the 1 billion registered users of Twitter are active. Continue reading

I want to thank Alec Couros (and George, too) for making my job easier…and harder.

Alec Couros gave a presentation this evening for PDSB’s MFO Leadership Launch. I often tweet “in the moment” during a presentation and I sent a couple of tweets at the time. However, Alec was autotweeting his videos and websites and that somehow gave me permission to put down my phone and just listen. I laughed and I cried. I cheered little Audri and his success on the Rube Goldberg Monster Trap. I wanted to contribute to the conversation, but could not find the words to sum up my learning. Continue reading

Social Media–Map your tag

***Note*** update Oct. 20, 2013

This map still works for Flicker and Twitter, but the controls have changed. Zoom in to the desired location, click on the layers button, sign in with Twiter and change the tags in the social tab to your hashtag. Images of controls are not exactly the same as the current map.

The map below allows you to search Flickr, Twitter and Youtube for geo-located social media posts. The tag that is currently mapped is “weather” but you can change the tag by clicking on the gear icon.  Continue reading

This is what we are talking about.

After watching Darren Kuropatwa’s #WhileWalking 66  posted by Amy Burvall in Google+, I started thinking about tags as a part of digital literacy. I am not a very good user of tags.  I have been struggling with choosing consistent, clear tags since Delicious switched away from stacks.

“Blogging tips” websites indicate that you should do some research to find the most commonly used terms in your field.  However, finding a list of keywords or tags for Educational Technology through a Google search is an exercise in futility since all sites include the word “tag”. Instead I did a very haphazard, non-academic search of tags people are using on their blogs  to find the most common. Using Tagxedo, I found the top 100 tag words look like this (see below for how this image was made):

Since Tagxedo only uses individual words, the compound word tags are not shown, but this image does give an overview of what we are talking about. As I make my tags in the future, I will endeavour to use these words alone or in combination in addition to my own idiosyncrasies.
Out of curiosity, I fed the ETMOOC blog feed into Wordle and this is the image created. It will be interesting to see what will change as we move into Digital Literacy.
How I made the Tagxedo:
I thought that I would be able to see tags on other people’s blogs. This turns out to be more difficult than it sounds since many blogs do not list their tags. Visiting at least 100, I copied the tag lists  from 33 blogs  into a Word document. To choose the blogs, I started with the current postings (on Feb. 17, 2013)  in the ETMOOC blog hub feed. Then I looked through all the blogs from James Dykstra’s  (@mrpuffin) Twitter list of Canadian Educational Folk. I also added a few blogs from people I follow. Once I felt I had enough “data”, I copied the full Word document into Tagxedo. The application automatically choose the most frequently used words.
The blogs I used to make this tag cloud of tag cloud words:
http://sharingourblessings.wordpress.com
http://misslwholebrainteaching.blogspot.ca
http://amysmooc.wordpress.com
http://bigreturns.posterous.com/
http://ewithersict.blogspot.ca/
http://jennyluca.com/
http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.ca/
http://shawetmooc.wordpress.com
http://danielschristian.com
http://www.peternewbury.org
http://allmoocs.wordpress.com
http://cinisetfavilla.blogspot.ca
http://juliebalen.weebly.com
http://prairieinspiration.wordpress.com
http://adifference.blogspot.ca/
http://dbarker.edublogs.org/
http://www.teachandlearn.ca/blog/
http://lifelonglearnerrhonda.wordpress.com/
http://www.newmediaworkshops.com/telblog/
http://educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.ca
http://jamespatrickjensen.com
http://abbtechtuesday.edublogs.org
http://mrsdkrebs.edublogs.org
http://somewherefromhere.edublogs.org
http://blogs.ubc.ca/chendricks
http://buildingcreativebridges.wordpress.com
http://intedanddevelopment.blogspot.ca
http://openphd.blogspot.ca
http://www.kleinspiration.com/
http://krebs.edublogs.org/
http://margaret-powers.com
http://cpbwsk.edublogs.org/
http://makeitinteresting.blogspot.ca/