My screenshot taken yesterday between the LBJ Boyhood Home and the visitor center. It’s everywhere!

Guest Post by Rhonda Wise – My name is Rhonda Wise and I am currently working as a Seasonal Interpretive Park Ranger at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in Johnson City, TX. As an Interpretive Ranger, my job is not only to educate but to connect our visitors, on a personal level, to the cultural and natural resources associated to the Johnson Presidency. The National Park Service is embarking on its second century of service. I want to make sure that I am prepared to represent the agency while adapting to meet the needs of our future visitors in a way that is relevant to them.

Pok’ewhat?!? Social media is swamped with the reports and posts, both good and bad, about the new Pok’emon Go mobile app and game.  The mobile app takes gamers to historical sites and markers in a quest to ‘catch’ the Pok’emon creatures.  The National Park Service is embracing it, with our current director producing a video welcoming Trainers, as the gamers are called, to the parks.  With his endorsement, I added his video to our facebook page and welcomed trainers to Lyndon B. Johnson National Historik Park (but inside I am cringing). 

Is this how we get millennials into and experiencing the parks?  I read an article today that made a statement that took my attention. ”Pok’emon Go managed to accomplish something that museums, historic sites and others have struggled with for years:  Getting a generation of nerds into the world to discover it, and its stories, anew.”

The positive… Pok’mon Go Live article

And the negative… Holocaust Museum

I will be anxiously watching as this plays out. Will we find new connections with this Pok’emon generation or will parks be a nondescript backdrop for the game? Is this or can this be used as a digital educational tool?  Thoughts? 

(Stay tuned. Rhonda is working on a project for the Educational Technology course. When it’s complete, an update will be made here to direct traffic to more of her engaging posts like this.)

recommendsWant to explore some learning technology resources? In our last LET Community meeting, we shared some of our favorites. Here are a few that represent an array of topics.

  • Cub Kahn suggests Teaching in a Digital Age. It is a new open, online textbook by Tony Bates, a long-time leader in the online learning world. Here are some sample chapters titles: Ch. 7 – Pedagogical Differences between Media, Ch. 8 – Choosing and Using Media in Education, Ch. 9 – Modes of Delivery, Ch. 11 – Ensuring Quality Teaching in a Digital Age.

Asking me for my one recommendation is like asking me if I’ll take a chocolate or coffee. My response is “Yes please to both.” Here’s a variety that serve different purposes.

  • Free Technology for Teachers is a must if you are interested in online learning technology tools. Richard Byrne shares and reviews free resources that teachers can use in the classroom. His short posts often include suggestions of how to incorporate the technologies and how to guides.
  • EdSurge is a site I subscribe to and enjoy updates on everything from product reviews for education, to research, to ed tech start ups.
  • Audrey Watters writes in many places, including Hack Education. I enjoy her insight, wit and candor in reporting on ed tech.
  • Steve Hargadon is also at the top of my list. He is behind many projects such as The Learning Revolution and free online conferences like the Global Education Conference.

If this isn’t enough, check out more of my recommendations at When Tech Met Ed/Blogs, Podasts, Social Networking as PD.

Don’t get overwhelmed as you explore! Organize in a RSS reader, such as Feedly or Inoreader and return to your favorites at your leisure.  

What are a few of your favorites?  Join us in sharing at our next LET Community or on the Tech’d Out Learning Facebook Group!

twitter picI love this part of my job!  Students in my Tech for Educators course had an interesting discussion on the topic of Social Media in K-12 Education.  They discussed uses of Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs.  Concepts of “friending” students and parents, where to draw the line between personal and professional life, and digital citizenship all entered the conversation.

It is interesting to see ways K-12 schools are using social media.  I am also intrigued by the conversation of how students sometimes set up their own Facebook or other social media to extend learning beyond the classroom—student led.  We as educators need to have these types of conversations and look at all sides.  As we do, I agree with one of my students who ended the conversation by saying there are more questions than answers!

Listen to these podcasts on social media in the classroom. This interview with Alan November and David Weinberger entitled, The World Has Become “To Big for Us to Know” (28 min) is a must listen for all of us! What do you think about social vs private learning? What voices do you hear on the Internet? Alan and David “discuss what knowledge means and what type of learning must take place in a connected world of overabundant information.” This second interview is especially for the amazing math teachers in my course: Bringing Twitter to Life with Alan November and Jessica Caviness (14 min). 

My students inspired me to give a simple taste of how Twitter can be used without student accounts.  I pulled out a few assessment sites they shared in our wiki a few terms ago and posted them using this hashtag #TCE596Winter.  

What are your thoughts on social media in education? Happy discussions!  (Face-to-face or virtual ;)

Cross posted on WTME.

Google-apps-ne-besplatenLooking for some new ideas for course assignments that leverage social and mobile tools?!?

Social Teaching by Design offers half a dozen sample assignments–flipbooks, mindmaps, photoquotes, infographics, flashcards and social bookmarking–along with info about appropriate tools for student collaboration.  This article was recommended by Karen Watte, Ecampus faculty and course development specialist, on the Ecampus diigo (social bookmarking) site that indexes more than 200 links dealing with resources, research and tools for blended and online teaching and learning.

Check them out!