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Social Media and The School Image

The other night, I suspect like many of you, I watched the debates. I was also logged into Twitter and was watching the reactions of people around the world. Since then, I’ve watched a lot of drama unfold and take shape on social media over the next few days. I am super busy this time of year and I’ll be honest, I get most of my news and catch up on the events going on around the world through social media. I very rarely watch the news or read a paper.

Meanwhile I have been reading the book below:
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My district provided this book and the title definitely stood out to me! What a very important role we as educators play in helping shape the image of our school, district, and education itself. I have always loved the following quote:

“If you work for a man, in Heaven’s name work for him. If he pays wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him, speak well of him, think well of him, and stand by him, and stand by the institution he represents. I think if I worked for a man, I would work for him. I would not work for him a part of his time, but all of his time. I would give an undivided service or none. If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness. If you must vilify, condemn, and eternally disparage, why, resign your position, and when you are outside, damn to your heart’s content. But, I pray you, so long as you are a part of an institution, do not condemn it. Not that you will injure the institution – not that – but when you disparage the concern of which you are a part, you disparage yourself.” – Elbert Hubbard, American writer (19th Century)

If public school has an image problem, then we need to help with the makeover. We have great stories to tell!  We have fantastic things going on at school and social media is a pretty efficient way to share them with the community. Our families, our community members, are on social media. That’s where today’s stories take shape.

Like anything else, our teachers are all at different places as far as interest and skill level with utilizing Twitter as a tool for sharing and collaborating. At my campus, we created Twitter challenges which you can find here to help get that started.  We also try to model that by making sure we are tweeting out the great things we see, joining in Twitter chats with other educators, and sharing resources we come across with our teachers (always giving credit to our Twitter PLN!). Finally, we have our own school hashtag (#osestars) up and scrolling all day on our office flatscreen monitor.

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Parents, students and other visitors to our campus really enjoy seeing the tweets pop up in real time and we have found this to be a big motivation as well. We use TweetBeam for this service. We encourage all our visitors to visit our hashtag and leave us some feedback, and we make sure #osestars is printed on our campus flyer.

Yes, public school has an image problem. But what an opportunity we have to influence public perception! Imagine what type of influence we can have on the image of our district and our school if we consistently share our learning experiences with the larger community.

And it is SO much more informative than those debates…. 🙂

 

 

 

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Linking Evernote, Twitter, IFTTT and YouTube

So today, my learning at #NT2t (a Twitter Chat for educators who are new to Twitter that I co-mod) continued for several hours as I began to learn and play around with Evernote and a little with IFTTT. Here are a few things I learned about. Things like linking my Twitter activity with Evernote, as well as how to send videos to Evernote.
I’m also going to describe how the Evernote Web Clipper add-on allows you to send a webpage to your Evernote, and how you can use IFTTT to automatically send Tweets to Evernote instead of emailing them.

Before doing anything else, make sure you have an Evernote account. Next, I suggest you add your Evernote email address to your Gmail contacts. I have an Evernote email? Yes,you do! I do this so that I do not have to remember that address (it is long and weird). You can find it by going to your Evernote settings and scrolling down until you see your Evenote Email. Copy it to your clipboard, and then paste it into your Gmail contacts.

Sending a Tweet to Evernote:
Let’s say you see a Tweet that you want to send directly to Evernote. Just click the 3 dots (if in Tweetdeck) that appear below the Tweet. Next, click on “email this Tweet”. Then when your email default program (mine is Gmail) opens up, you go to the “To” field. When you begin to type your Evernote email, it will auto fill after the first couple of letters (because you added it as a contact). You can now send the Tweet to Evernote and it will save in “All Notes”.

You can also send the Tweet directly to a specific notebook within Evernote! The way to do that is to add @NOTEBOOKNAME to the end of the subject line. Example: If the notebook I want to send this tweet to is named “Reading”, then in the subject line of the email, I type @Reading at the end of the subject. Viola! The Tweet is sent directly to my Reading notebook in Evernote. Here is a link to my Note in Evernote, which I emailed to my “How To Use Evernote” notebook!

Evernote Note Link

This wonderful bit of brilliance came to me from Rik Rowe, see the tweet below:

 

Evernote Web Clipper
I downloaded the web clipper (you can find this easily here: Evernote website). Now, let’s say I am on a webpage, reading a blog, and I want to send this to Evernote. All I have to do is click on the Evernote web clipper from my Internet tools menu. It will pop up with options for me to name the notebook I want to send this page to. If I don’t have one set up for this particular item (for example, I don’t have a notebook for blogs yet), I can just leave it as it appears . I can also include tags (which will help me locate it later based on a few chosen words). Here is a picture of what comes up when I select the web clipper on a page I was reading about Concept Based Curriculum:

web Clipper

Notice how I can choose to Save Article to Evernote. I can also use the drop down menu to change the notebook, if I don’t want to save it to the “Essential Questions” one that automatically appeared. I can also type in tags, and comments if I wish. It will then send to my Evernote.

Evernote With YouTube
So I really wanted to know how to send a YouTube video to Evernote. After playing around for a while, this is what I settled on:

yotubeUnder the YouTube video, select “Share” and then choose “Email”. From there, do as we discussed above. Begin typing your Evernote email, and it will auto-fill the rest of your address. In the subject field, type @NOTEBOOKNAME if you have a particular notebook to send this to, and click on send. The YouTube video now goes to your Evernote. It appears as an embed, but when you click the video itself, it takes you to the YouTube page where the video begins to play. I have not figured out a way to bypass YouTube and play within Evernote. Here is a link to my “Music” note that I created in Evernote, where I recently sent a “Rainforest Sounds” video:

Music Notebook

That link will open the note, but it will not play from the note. You will need to select “View in Evernote” which is a big green button on the top left of that note, you can’t miss it. Once you do that, you can select “Join Notebook” and you will have access to that notebook and videos.

IFTTT with Evernote
The final thing I did today, was search for and activate a recipe on IFTTT (If This Then That). Now, if you don’t know anything about this, you can still do it! Just visit the website here. You will click on “Join” and set up a free, quick and easy account for yourself.

Next, browse the available “recipes” (which means things you can do with it). I typed “Evernote” in the search bar. I found a recipe someone already made which will take Tweets you favorite and send them directly to Evernote. Wow! So if I don’t want to email the Tweet, I just want to automatically send it to Evernote, I can do this with this recipe. I clicked on “Use this recipe”. I had no idea what was going to happen, but amazingly this was simple! It told me I needed to activate both Evernote and Twitter on the IFTTT site. This is as simple as clicking “Activate” right there on the screen. It then said the recipe was stored. I was thinking, “that’s it”? Can’t be that easy! So I went to Twitter, I clicked favorite on a random tweet, then went to my Evernote. Sure enough, a notebook was there labeled IFTTT Twitter. I clicked the notebook and there was the tweet. I do not know how to create my own recipe’s yet. But that is okay, because for now I can use recipes that are already there (thank you wonderful people) until I have a need for one not yet created.

By the way, there are other recipes in IFTTT that you might like. Such as “Automatically add all my favorited tweets to Google Drive” or “Automatically send a thank you welcome message to new followers”. I know, amazing! But that is another post.

iftttTo view the Storify of the entire #NT2t chat this morning on all this learning, visit this link.  So there you have a few ideas about these programs, and some basic things you can try. I am so excited to have learned all of this today! I hope you enjoy!

PLN

The View On Atlanta – From The Hashtags

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My Twitter feed this weekend has been blowing up with all the great learning going on at ISTE2014. Sadly, I was not at ISTE. But that has not stopped me from learning a great deal from all the educators who are attending and presenting, thanks to the power of the hashtag!

One of the reasons I enjoy Twitter as a professional development tool is because it allows me to connect with and learn from educators across the globe. This past Saturday, while I co-moderated our weekly chat for teachers new to Twitter (#NT2t), we discussed the power of the hashtag. Using it to follow conferences was one of the suggestions made for maximizing the potential of Twitter.  I have been doing that the past couple of days and, thanks to the connected educators who are so graciously tweeting their learning and resources, I have been able to learn  quite a bit! But, as Dewey says, we learn from reflection. So here are some of my takeaways ISTE2014…errr, while #NotAtISTE:

Genius Bar:

Someone retweeted this tweet about a student – run Genius Bar (original tweet by @TechGirlJenny):

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I was pretty intrigued by this, so I went to researching the idea. I found this PDF from GenYes, which gave a lot of information about it. I played around with the idea, considered how we might fit this into our school within our current student leadership opportunities, and now plan to pitch it to my principal after I have it a little more planned out. What a find!

Google Hangouts On Air:

This tweet from @2footgiraffe includes a Google Doc with lots of great GHO tips. I have a planned GHO coming up in a couple of weeks, and this will surely come in handy for me.

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Ultimate Word Wall:

So someone tweeted “We are building the ultimate word wall on Padlet”! Clicked on the link, and saw this amazing set up! What a treat for teachers to be able to use what is here, and then become inspired to build their own! I will definitely share this with teachers on my campus next year.

IFTTT

Saw this tweet below from @chadkafka and WOW! What an awesome way to curate tweets!! I used if for this blog! (IFTTT stands for If This Then That).

iste2Technology by Blooms:

This handy Google Doc tweeted by @Jepson contains loads of technology platforms and they are aligned with different Blooms levels. Very handy sheet if someone asks, “What technology would be best to use with ______”.  Saved to my drive.

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Pinterest Board for ISTE:

I discovered this board which is being populated by many ISTE attendees. I have only skimmed this, but I am planning to spend a day next week going through all the curated material loaded onto it!

I have so many more resources saved, and I will share them out as I go through them.  All in all, I have had a very productive time the past couple of days as I learn a lot of new things while #NotAtISTE14.

Now, if you are wondering about that hashtag….it is for all of us who could not attend –but wanted to feel like we were a part of it. We were even invited to participate in various giveaways by event sponsors, and @CraigYen even set up a Google Hangout for anyone who wanted to, well, hang out!

As far as a learning community goes, it just doesn’t get any better than your Twitter PLN. The tweet below from @JanRobertson sums it up pretty well.

 

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I hope you will join us Monday for more learning at #ISTE2014 and #NotAtISTE14 via the hashtags ! Please share your conference hashtag experienes in the comments below!