Social LEADia


Disclosures:

  1. I was an editor/proofreader for this book
  2. Jennifer bought me a coffee once

OK, now that I’ve got those out of the way, let me tell you a bit about Jennifer Casa-Todd’s book “Social LEADia”.

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The release of the book is very timely with the school year beginning next week.

  • If you’re a teacher-librarian looking for professional resources for your library, you need to add this book to your collection
  • If you’re a principal of a school concerned about doing social media “right” within your school and honouring students/teachers, you need to read this book
  • If you’re an educational leader and want to include colleagues in a meaningful book talk about social media, you need to use this book
  • If you’re an educator interested in a single resource that addresses the topic of social media and leadership, you need to use this book

Much has been said about social media but Jennifer takes that as given and pushes the reader to consider social media leadership.  This is an extremely important concept as she examines what can happen in education as participants move from the passive user to the role of using social media to lead for a cause.

For the beginner, there may not seem to be much of a difference.  But it only takes a critical look at society to realize that our present and, indeed, our future will become increasingly dependent upon a judicious use of these tools.  Is your school ready?  Are your teachers ready?  Most importantly, are your students ready?

The book is organized in three sections:

  1. Why Digital Leadership Matters
  2. What Digital Leadership Looks Like in Schools
  3. How We Make Digital Leadership Happen in Schools

You’ll find it a helpful roadmap for all those in education.  You can jump in at your own level of comfort and then feel pushed to think critically about your path forward.

Each chapter concludes with a summary and sample questions to push your thinking or to discuss in a book talk.  Throughout, Jennifer invites you to meet students who have successfully used social media.  Students like this enter your classroom every day; are you prepared for them?

Jennifer offers ongoing support for the book and conversations that it generates on Twitter.  Follow the hashtag #socialLEADia.

More information about the book, including an ordering link can be found here.  I had the opportunity to interview Jennifer.  You can read it here.

It will be a valued addition to your resources.

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OTR Links 08/31/2017


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

An eye for images


I had a lesson in practicality from my friend Andy Forgrave last night.  Like I do here, I have a pretty liberal Creative Commons license on my writing and my images.  You can find my particular license on the About Me page.

Andy does the same thing.  We’re not in this to make money; just to share what we create with the hope that they help someone, somewhere.  I can’t speak for Andy but there is a reason why I chose this license as opposed to just putting things in the public domain.  I’d hate to have some of my work used or remixed in a manner that I’m not happy with.

Quite frankly, the license is there but I don’t actively track all my writing and images.  I could see that turning into a full-time job.  I think of it more as modelling the proper thing to do.

Last night, Andy shared with me that he found one of his images used without giving him credit.  So, he made the connection and asked that this oversight be corrected.  In our chat, he mentioned that he used TinEye in the whole process.  I checked and it is indeed in my collection of bookmarks.  I might have used it once or twice but that’s about it.

It’s a very powerful application.  You go to the link above and upload your image or provide a link to the image and TinEye lets you know just where else it’s found the image.

Ever experimenting, I uploaded this image of this really ugly guy expecting to find no results.  Instead, I actually found some.

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The results were there, including the link to the location where it was found.  I was surprised to see where it landed.  It’s always impressive when you found a personal, practical use for something.

Then, it went over the top when I read this article this morning.  BROWSERS Check Out Some More Uses Of A Reverse Image Search Using TinEye [Chrome]

I may have just found a sinkhole for any remaining time left in my day.

Instructions about how to use TinEye can be found here.  Even more impressive is how it does what it does.  If you’re looking for inspiration about artificial intelligence that doesn’t involve movies or class sets of goggles, check it out.

OTR Links 08/30/2017


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Studying Mathematics and more


I had a conversation with a friend recently.  She’s going to have some Chromebooks come into her classroom and she was wondering where to start.  Of course, it would help if her district provided some resources and professional learning opportunities but that’s another topic for another day.  For now, she’s on her own it seems.

I asked her about support and the response was kind of disappointing – “they just assume that we know about stuff.”

I guess it was different in the past.  Applications would have been installed on the classroom devices and you just used them.  Someone else had made the judgment that they were worthy and appropriate.  It is different when you ask people to take a risk that that internet resource they found by themselves is going to do the deed for them.  I used to maintain a “Student Reference Portal” where I put together what I’d found and assessed as appropriate.

So, I passed along some of what I thought would be useful launching pads.  Mathematics was particulalry important to her so that was in my mind.

And then I started poking around.  After all, on the internet, things come and go.  I dropped into the Studyladder.  It’s an interesting collection of, not only Mathematics things, but many activities in other subject areas.

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It appears to be rich with resources but, like all things, you need to get in and evaluate them to see if they are appropriate.

There are three levels of access and so you’ll need to see if there’s a fit.

As I sit back and reflect on this, it serves as a reminder that while we get excited about the latest 3D AI Coding Minecraft Makerspace craze, there are other people who are being dropped into their own area of discomfort.

They need support too.

OTR Links 08/29/2017


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

In conversation with …


… your computer?  And then some more?

As long as there have been computers, there have been people talking about artificial intelligence and getting your computer to think and talk to you.

And, of course, it’s been great fodder for movies.

Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop Dave? Stop, Dave.

If you don’t recognize the above, you’re probably not going to appreciate the rest of this post.

Recently, we were in the market for a new car.  There once was a time when we would spend days going from dealership to dealership in search of the perfect replacement.  Now, it’s easily done from our keyboard.

And, with some dealerships, with a conversational twist!

I was on a Ford website when up popped a conversation window.  Uh oh.  I’m not alone.

I decided to play along.  If it’s a human, I can always plead insanity.  With a computer generated discussion, I can see where it goes.

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I knew that they didn’t have a used Camaro in stock.  I thought that they might immediately steer me towards buying a Mustang.

Instead, I started to think of a conversations I’ve had with computers in the past.  Of course, Clippy in Microsoft Word came to mind.

But, I went back further in time to my old TRS-80.  Running on it, I had one of the originals – Eliza.  Was it intelligence?  By today’s definition, probably not.  But, I do remember my students having a whale of a time playing and interacting with it.

It was wonderfully developed code.

It’s not uncommon to find the “classics” resurrected on the web just to honour the great things from the past and to give us an appreciation for what we have today.  Sure enough, I have found a few web implementations.  Here’s one.

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And, you can have the sort of discussion today that my students used to enjoy.

But, it gets even better when you think about how you might use this in the classroom.  There’s the immediate conversation piece and a discussion about computers thinking and interacting.

But, in the Computer Science classroom where it’s always a good activity to read someone else’s code, use your browser to “View the source” of the page.  Inside, you’ll find just a goldmine of Javascript that makes it all happen.

You know what comes next … highlight, copy, paste, and then remix.

Have fun!