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The real issue, of course, is not social media but learning. Specifically, the fact that our schools are disconnected from young learners and how their learning practices are evolving. The decision to block social media is inconsistent with how students use social media as a powerful node in their learning network. Can social media be a distraction in the classroom? Absolutely. Will some students access questionable content if given the opportunity? Yes. But many students use social media to enhance their learning, expand the reach of the classroom, find the things they ‘need to know,’ and fashion their own personal learning networks. We have met students who have used YouTube to learn how to play a musical instrument—a not so insignificant fact for students whose families can not afford private music lessons. We have seen students use YouTube to help them pursue an interest in building their own gaming computer or share a multi-media project that they developed. Last summer I wrote about students from this same school and how they created a dynamic learning community to support their interest in creating games. Many of them shared YouTube videos with each other in order to learn how to use the game authoring software, GameSalad. (Because it was a summer program, the students and their teacher successfully lobbied to have YouTube unblocked).
What Schools are Really Blocking When They Block Social Media (via world-shaker)

I have a big birthday wish….

Those who know me well know that I’m not really one for the birthday spotlight. It’s not that I dislilke birthdays (really, I’m ok with aging!), it’s that I don’t like being the center of attention for no reason.

As the Facebook messages are starting to pop up, I realized I really do have a birthday wish. This year, it’s big too. It’s going to take more than a credit card to make it happen. Maybe my Equity family can help make this wish come true too…..

Rather than having Happy Birthday messages throughout the day, I would love to see posts from my friends and family sharing stories of how they helped someone else. Make today a day to be kind to strangers. Practice random acts of kindness. I’ll be doing the same.

It’s amazing what happens when we slow down for a moment to realize that we’re all people. Make eye contact and you’ll see that the person who just shoved past you in the train station may just be distracted because she didn’t get much sleep last night because she was caring for a sick child. Or perhaps the guy who just cut you off on the highway is driving a rental car and really didn’t see you because he’s not familiar with the car’s blind spots. Whether it’s a tragic story or a touching story, we all have a story. Take a moment to be intentional, to realize that we’re all in this together, and that it’s really not “me against the world”.

So, instead of asking for gifts or greetings, I ask that you share an act of kindness, random or not, that you or someone you know performed. Buy coffee for the next person in line, pay the toll for someone behind you, hold the door for someone, smile at someone, gather the loose shopping carts in the parking lot, help someone carry a bag, leave a note for your postal carrier, tell someone thank you, call a friend, leave change by the vending machine. Just do something. It doesn’t have to cost anything out of pocket. We often forget that helping each other isn’t just about money. And it’s always a mood booster when you do. Seriously, just try it. Do something nice and see if you don’t instantly perk up.

I’d love to hear a story for each year I’ve celebrated, but I’ll be overjoyed to hear even just one. (By the way, my birthday is 1/31, but you can be kind any day. So even if you’re ready this after that day, you can still take action and share your story.)

If you need inspiration, check out some of the sites here. The idea of a birthday project isn’t mine. I was inspired by reading stories of others who’ve made their special day truly special.

https://www.facebook.com/TheBirthdayProject

http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/Stories

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/29-ways-to-carry-out-random-acts-of-kindness-every-day.html

http://www.366randomacts.org

http://www.helpothers.org/ideas.php#

Happy RAOK Day!

Kim

futurejournalismproject:

The Importance of Facebook Cannot be Overstated

Selected slides from a larger comScore deck examining global social networking, microblogging and mobile trends. Select any thumbnail to embiggen.

In related news, it’s estimated that Facebook will attract its 1 billionth user this August. That’s 14 percent of the global population.

Images: via comScore.

(Source: futurejournalismproject)

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