Education has been on my mind the last year or so. On one hand we have this public push to devalue all college education for not being some kind of magic bullet leading to getting a job in a down economy. While I agree student loans and college prices have gotten out of hand, I think to devalue education and knowledge for not having enough immediate monetary “ROI” is something we will come to regret as a society. On the other hand we have knowledge for the sake of knowledge – completing something for the sake of having done so – these things have merit to individuals and to the world we live in.
I’ve given a few presentations to universities and high schools on using social media in the classroom and in the organizational structure of the school itself, but those presentations largely focused on the mechanics of “school” and “tactics”. It is my opinion that we need to move beyond the institutional thinking and institutional process to really ride this sea change in education. While most are focused on the process, people in their infinite thirst to learn are building a new global process for eternal, immersive, self directed, multi-faceted learning and knowledge that will leave the traditional school system far behind.
Take a look at Twitter, for example. This super simple service has been making its way into the classroom a little at a time since 2007. Twitter has a long history of varied use at the administrative and classroom level (here are 60 quick examples out of thousands), and still makes headlines each time a new school like Wise High School finds a new way to adopt the service. Twitter makes learning accessible in a school environment, and is part of the overall change in the face of education itself. Access to knowledge in your pocket can break the institution of “school” out of the concrete, rigid shell it lives in and turn it into organic knowledge that students yearn for.
Everyone wants to learn something. It’s human nature, this quest to know. Some folks want to learn a new language (the BBC is one of many places offering free immersion language courses), some want to know more about Snooki’s life beyond the Jersey Shore sitcom and some want to learn how to fix a car or quantum physics, but we all yearn for more information and deeper understanding of something beyond ourselves. Innovative schools like MIT, with it’s new free online education program, are beginning to deliver a future that takes knowledge and sets it apart from “school”, putting us in control of what and how we learn, and what quality of learning it is.
Even our search tools are starting to cater to this quest for knowledge – for good, vetted knowledge. Take a look at MentorMob (“Learn what you want, teach what you love”), for example – bringing you knowledge from around the web that is then sorted by trusted sources and people who have demonstrated topical savvy. Will it work? That’s not clear yet, but it definitely stands as one result of this new thirst to know everything, anywhere.
My takeaways from obsessing about education are several:
1) Education will become multi-media (and richly cross platform, moving fluidly from PC to phone to tablet to augmented reality and more not yet imagined)
2) Education will become portable (leaving the rigid institutional “school” structure far behind)
3) Education will become free (eventually)
4) Education will become completely student driven (gone are the days of the rigid, semi-applicable “core curriculum” concept)
5) Education will have two clear and more divergent paths: immediate ROI (job training, trade training) or life enhancing (broad knowledge based)
6) Teachers will become more like mentors or knowledge sherpas than the current system of educational drones chained to the ideas of a school district far removed from the needs of its students
7) Education becomes game-ified
Just think, education is going to be changing so much that the days when you can plug in to the Matrix and learn like Neo are nearly here. Are you as excited as I am for where this is going and how we can teach and learn from each other?
What did I miss? What other cool things are being cooked up in education that aren’t mentioned here? How did I do on my predictions? What are yours?
Updated to add this video from RSA, a unique look at the education system:
We have some great surprises for our attendees this year and the first one came yesterday. By popular demand, we have decided to make Podcamp this year ONE DAY. This means a day packed with learning, and evening gathering of like minds, Sunday to explore the area on your own, and the chance for a great weekend for everyone. Since this leaves many the opportunity to explore on Sunday, we thought we could let you know a few places in the area.
The school The New Hampton School itself is secluded. Not on a busy road, it has a campus that offers everything that a private school can. We have use of the cafeteria, where the meals are delicious and you have a wide selection of food to choose from during lunch and snack times. We also have access to the athletic field where we plan to play Quidditch. There is also access to a library for impromtu one on one or small group sessions (“jellies”). The grounds of the school also have a beautiful pond to sit by and reflect or work. Since this is a PodCamp and the Law of Two feet applies, if you find that there is a time where you need to just sit and work, there are many places to do so.
To get an idea how far from Boston we are: last year PodCamp NH was in Portsmouth (1 hour north on I-95 to Exit 7). This year PodCamp NH is in New Hampton (1 hour and 15 minutes north on I-93 to Exit 23) – only a stone throw farther.
If you find that you have to travel Friday and Sunday there are plenty of places to eat and explore before the PodCamp begins and after it ends on Sunday. Remember to reserve your Saturday night for our after party, however, as it is an intimate chance to really meet each other. There will be more information about this as the event nears. The cute town of Ashland and it’s Main Street of Shops and Restaurants are a short drive from the School – one exit up to Exit 24. The Comfort Inn Hotel is at the same exit. The (original) Common Man, Bullwinkles Bar and Grill are two great Restaurants at this exit. We understand that there is always something going on in New Hampshire and this weekend is no different which is why places to stay may be few and far between.
If you are the outdoorsy type there are hiking trails and campgrounds, places to fish, tree top tours all within a few more exits. There is a Water park, Safari rides and even a train ride through the mountains. There are places to camp nearby complete with cabins, swimming pools, and even playgrounds for the family.
There is also our give away to all of our attendees: gift cards to the Tilton Outlets, so you can go shopping while in the area.
So join us for the entire weekend including a packed and exciting day of great learning and fun at Podcamp NH!
PodCamps were created as the unique unconference which allows all of the attendees to be session leaders. This makes PodCamp NH the place to Seek, Share, and Succeed. With a wide variety of sessions from Blogging to Photography there is something for everyone to learn.
Seek. Whether you are searching for new projects, creative ideas, collaborators, smart new business practices or just a different avenue to take your business, you can learn it at PodCamp. Maybe you are looking for a new project or a motivation to start a project that has been on your mind. Maybe you would like to learn a new skill. Maybe you would just like to seek out new connections.
PodCamps have always been a sharing community. We share communication; we share our knowledge. Everyone contributes.
In the end after a weekend at PodCamp you will feel that you have succeeded at something. It could be the idea or a project that you wanted to create. Maybe it was a new skill you wanted to learn. It could be that you wanted to return home with no business cards left.
I found a great strength in the PodCamps I have attended. I learned a lot. I have been motivated to write blogs. I learned how to make a web show. I learned better Photography. I met hundreds of people. And that is just the beginning to why I attend podcamps.
But I want you to be motivated to learn something new, meet new people, and have a fun weekend.
I want, WE want you to Seek, Share, and Succeed.
One thing I’m often asked is why I add to my already heavy time load with the education events I bring to NH. That’s easy, I want to make it easy for people to learn what they need to learn, when they need to learn it. I want to empower your success. So I brought Social Media Breakfast up here in the form of SMBNH and PodCamp in the form of PodCamp NH (PCNH), I do a variety of classes around the state, and generally try to teach people as often as my time and budget will allow.
Some wonder if that hurts my business, offering ways for folks to learn on their own. Perhaps a bit, but it’s worth it to me to see my community become stronger from a collective effort to make everyone a bit better at being a business. Plus, I have the help of some fabulous people on each team for each event (check out the team pages on the event sites – I couldn’t do these big ideas without these folks – they are awesome). That makes it a bit easier to make everyone we reach a bit more awesome.
Why would a non-social media marketing wonk want to attend a PodCamp NH or a SMBNH? That’s easy – in addition to the connections and the atmosphere of learning at each, you are guaranteed to learn something new each time. With SMBNH I’m militant about not marketing to the attendees, and encourage people to let me know if they feel any of our presenters or organizers have sold to them during their speaking time instead of educated them via a clear link on the site sidebar and on the Facebook group sidebar. With PodCamp NH that problem takes care of itself thanks to the Law of Two Feet, one of my favorite things about PodCamps everywhere.
For the truly non technical, I’m offering a class at PodCamp NH in social media applications for the trades (construction, etc). I’m also talking social media and music and possibly film. That’s three classes right there that aren’t geared toward the social media marketer, but to YOU, and looking at the sessions proposed I see many, many more. Don’t see one you need but have experience in your profession to bring to the table? Sign up for PodCamp NH then go propose your own session over at the website. We’ll be getting a first draft of the schedule posted soon (though you should note, as a user driven conference, all drafts of the session are just that drafts – it is subject to great sweeping change even during the event as the users evolve what they want to learn in real time).
If you can’t spend a weekend learning (though it is highly recommended) you can try the two hour long SMBNH once a month. The next one is this Friday. And if you don’t live in New Hampshire, you can find a PodCamp in most states and several countries on the PodCamp wiki, or find your closest Social Media Breakfast by heading over to the national web site.
See you in class – let’s teach each other something new!
NOTE: THE EVENT IS ON August 20, 2010.
Ticket sales end on 8/19 in the evening. Do not confuse the Eventbrite ticket end date with the event date!
In NH we’ve had two Education themed SMBNH mornings (here and here), where you have heard from folks breaking new ground in education from all over the state. Now we’re bringing some of the bright minds from Maine down to collaborate and share what our neighbor is doing for social and education.
We hope to foster a greater feeling of community between the education communities in both states, and we hope you enjoy our three speakers from our sister state of Maine and meeting our attendees from both NH and Maine this month.
Thank you to our sponsors:
a destination for people writing and reading about the role of social media in education, particularly in independent schools and colleges. edSocialMedia the company has held a Summit, a dozen hands-on social media Bootcamps around the country, spoken at numerous conferences, hired our first full time director, and expanded our services to include social media strategy and consulting.
WhippleHill Communications provides targeted communications solutions for independent schools seeking next-generation Web services. Our core Podium platform combines powerful content management and student data management software in a modular system designed to allow schools to add functionality at their own pace. Our Partner Ecosystem brings industry solutions to schools through Podium’s open API. As a Software as a Service company, WhippleHill’s hosted solutions are secure and updated regularly at no additional cost.
Hall Tools include SERP data, Site Statistics, Conversion Data and Social Media Mentions – offering a more complete user source and traffic model
Theme for the 14th Social Media Breakfast: Social Media for Educators
The 14th Social Media Breakfast NH is also the first SMBNH and SMBME collaboration.
This one will be all about topics related to educators using Social Media and as our third foray into education here in NH, will feature speakers from our neighbor: Maine.
In addition to Leslie Poston (myself), who will be your host and MC for the morning, you will have three speakers giving three brief presentations on topics relating to the theme for the morning.
Opening Remarks by Leslie Poston (SMBNH founder)
Alex Steed (ME) from Opportunity Maine is putting together a local report card for schools that is heavily social media based and will be talking about his project.
Tucker Kimball (ME) from Gould Academy will present a case study on how GA uses social media.
Richard Byrne from Free Technology for Teachers
Q&A session (we do a Q&A with all three speakers at the end. Amanda O’Brien will moderate this portion)
Closing Remarks and announcements by Leslie Poston
This is going to be a great breakfast!
There is a huge lot at the Marriott. I believe they validate parking, but have not confirmed this yet for you.
The Marriott is at the corners of Deer St, Maplewood Ave and Hanover St in Portsmouth. The address in the sidebar will get you to the parking entrance but is not their official address.
Look for the blue awning to the side of the main entrance – that’s where we’ll be!
TO SPONSOR THIS OR A FUTURE SMBNH CONTACT LESLIE POSTON via Twitter, Email or Phone.
Let’s make SMBNH crackle with energy and success! See you there!
I’ve been doing a lot of education of our educators here in NH this summer, from Keene and Franklin Pierce in the west to UNH on the coast and more. It’s been a blast helping them grasp the implications and possibilities for adaptive media in the classroom, in the curricula, throughout the infrastructure and on into the future lives of their students. I thought I’d collect a few of my slide decks here for you, and some of the tools I’ve been talking about, so that you have a handy resource. I try to find fresh slides for each presentation, but a few do repeat – it is a traveling lecture series, after all. The aspect that is most fun for me is that each time I teach the course, I have new examples and methods to add. This means educators across the country are finally getting it. That is a good thing.
Social Media 101 For Educators (Given at Keene State, May 2010)
This slide deck touches on the very basics of social media for those educators that needed an intro to some of the more prevalent tools and issues with use. If you know what Twitter is, are familiar with the Facebook privacy documents, and more – you can skip ahead. I do love how much the Facebook privacy interface changed in the weeks following these slides, but it’s important to note: while the interface may have simplified dramatically, the policies did not. Take the time to read them.
Social Media 201 for Educators (Given at Keene State, May 2010)
This was for the advanced educators at Keene, a lively and interactive bunch. There were less slides and more hands on brainstorming and creativity here. Look for Keene to do some big things in the way of adaptive media plus education – they have an engaged and intelligent bunch of educators led by a connected and forward thinking provost.
The Role of Social Media In Education (Given at UNH, June 2010)
Tools for Education and Adaptive Media
These change all of the time. I’ll have to make a note to come back and update this post once in a while to keep them fresh. Important to note: in June 2010, Twitter will require all clients to use OAUTH instead of a password log in. This means some of your favorite Twitter apps will stop working if their developers haven’t decided to toe the line. I’m not sure how that will change the Twitter tools scattered amongst this list.
Here are a few social tools to get you started integrating adaptive media into your class and school:
TwapperKeeper is useful for collecting the group notes centered around a hashtag and saving them for future use and study
QuoteURL can put different tweets from certain folks into one page. Useful for project summaries or live lecture notes.
Google Wave now integrates into Blackboard
Don’t overlook the cell phone as a tool for announcements, notes, Q&A sessions, class participation and more
CiteMe is a Facebook application that cites sources in proper APA, Chicago, MLA, Harvard and Turabian styles
CoverItLive allows classes to take notes live and include multi media and other items as they go
Notely has a Facebook integration for their existing application to bring the classroom into Facebook
Moodle is an open and social tool similar to Blackboard
CourseFeed Another Facebook application, this one helps student figure out which fellow classmates and classes are online and easily join the group, page or discussion
Eduspaces is a social network devoted entirely to education, students and educators
DoResearchForMe This one I find a bit hard to swallow. It’s intent is good – to keep students from completely relying on Wikipedia articles by leading them to other sources – but I think the kids should learn this skill without training wheels.
CampusBuddy helps you find other students at your school. Useful for those times when people have changed their network to a city or town instead of a school.
Twiducate is a social network for schools
Schoology is a digital classroom set up integrating social media aspects with learning management
Flashcards is a Facebook based flash card creation application
ClassNotes a Facebook app that lets you visually share your teacher’s notes with others
Quizzinator helps teachers create, store and print quizzes, worksheets, and more online
Google Docs, Google Wave, and other online collaboration tools are invaluable in a class
One of the easiest ways to spot a snake oil social media consultant these days is to look and see who is still promoting “awareness” of social media. People, I’m pretty sure the planet is aware of “social media” now. Folks need real education and real help from people who have been in the trenches doing it for a long time, not “social media days” or light weight seminars devoted to awareness.
People seem to treat social media as if it were new, getting bogged down in the oil slick of shiny object syndrome, distracted by every new tool that comes along. And that’s just it – these are simply new tools for an old idea. Social media is not new (and I still hate calling it social media). Social media just looks prettier now and is easier for the average person to use. Continuing to think of it as new and to get distracted by awareness exercises will only have you treading water.
That’s 30+ years of being social using technology, folks, in a variety of ways and tools as we evolved the technology, and it doesn’t even include other social tech, like a simple phone call, a shared radio program or other ways humans have always tried to find common ground and like minded folks and increase successes. Now can we stop distracting ourselves with talk of awareness and just begin integrating this set of new tools into daily practice already?
PodCamp NH is designed to foster learning, teaching and to strengthen the bonds of the NH community. We’re taking over the dorms at New Hampton School this year. Not just because it’s cool (it is) but because we know that being around creative, smart, savvy, fun people for longer than just 8 hours at a time is going to foster bonds that last far beyond the weekend. We won’t be a bit surprised to see new startups, new film or music projects, new teams, new collaborations and new friendships forming in this PodCamp NH 2010 incubator.
Are you ready? At the end of PodCamp NH we’ll be a better NH, and a better us.
At our disposal:
A theater, smart classrooms with projectors, dorms, full cafeteria with amazing restaurant quality food, music, a master classroom fully integrated with audio and video, a computer lab, a library, a lounge, parking, tennis courts, soccer fields, and so much more.
Who should come:
If you miss college, if you wanted to go to college and couldn’t, if you love to learn or teach, if you have a film or music project you’ve been waiting to do, if you want to make an app, if you want to be a better educator, marketer, government rep or more – this is the weekend to make it happen.
Yesterday I taught a workshop at the University of New Hampshire’s Cooperative Extension in Concord. I thought you’d enjoy seeing the slide deck from it.
I opened with a discussion about how decisions involving education and youth are made. We discussed that while decisions about online tools and activity should be made with logical factors in mind, like cost, usefulness, utility, education, learning encouragement, and more, they are often made from an emotional place of fear instead, causing both the educators and the kids to lose out.
We discussed some practical issues of regulation in the education industry, minors online, and basic internet safety to consider in the classroom, then quickly moved along to the meat of the class: bringing these tools into play and using them in forward thinking ways. We also discussed how they may not only help the classroom, but the administration of the school, and any associated alumni groups, causes, organizations and non-profits. It was a fun and fully engaged class, and the educators in it were already thinking about how to use RSS, Ning and other technologies to continue to collaborate on the ideas in it after the fact (in fact, they already had the start of a Ning group going when I arrived, and were floored at the other ways they could be using the simple tool).
What’s on your nightstand or in your beach tote this summer? My summer reading looks like this:
note: links in this blog may be Amazon affiliate links