Tag Archives: social media

Social media activities to help crowdfund research (part 1) #deakin #pozible

Here is @bestqualitycrab at launch of the @pozible crowdfunding #research project. Only 6 wks ago...#deakin

@bestqualitycrab at launch of the @pozible crowdfunding #research project

An Im-Pozible-y Cool Project

Before the December break in 2012, Prof Deb Verhoeven (who is awesome and in my mind like an academic version of Sheryl Sandberg) asked me for a chat about a project she was working on. It turned out to be an innovative project to trial crowdfunding research in Australia, in collaboration with Pozible, the Australian Kickstarter counterpart . In development over about 2 years and with Pozible already in the market, her project was now coming together.

This end of year time is always so conducive to brainstorming, and we spent an enjoyable lunch thinking about what kind of projects could/might be succesful, what people would definitely not sponsor (eg academics flying to conferences in exotic locations…), what kind of social media and digital presence would be needed to be successful, and whether anyone would dare to take the plunge.

Well some very brave souls did, the project launched on 8 May and it has been quite the ride. Before I go any further, I'd like you all to go take a look at Research My World! Some of the projects have already reached their goals, but some are still looking for support to hit the mark by tomorrow!! (DO IT NOW!!!)

I've been so excited to be involved in this. It is a prime example of how technology

Continue reading

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Basic Functions of a Social Media Tool

Most education technologists will argue that our work is not about the tools, but about what the tools will allow educators and learners to do. Social media tools in particular, are so versatile they can be used for almost any purpose, from sharing your PhD experiences to learning about Maths or hearing a Nobel Peace prize winner speak.

However, very often it is the tool that becomes the obstacle. Yet another account to set up. Yet more functions to figure out. And there’s always more tools after that…It can be discouraging.

But there’s a cheat. You don’t always have to start from scratch. Most social media tools have some basic functions in common, that you are already familiar with and can always look for. Knowing those basic functions, and identifying them quickly, can speed up your ability to assess a social media tool for your practice. Once you’ve isolated the basic functions of a new tool, you can focus on exploring its special functions.

Providing cheat sheets is an essential part of  my work with academic staff (see the Moodle Tool Guide evidence) ;-). I like to make learning easier, for educators and learners. I created a diagram a few years ago on those basic functions, to aid me and  I’ve updated it now with examples from Facebook and Twitter, and posted it on Flickr. I hope you find it useful too.

Basic Functions of a Social Media Tool

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The LMS as a mixing panel for social learning

Photo by Sergiu Bacioiu, cc licensed on Flickr

Photo by Sergiu Bacioiu, cc licensed on Flickr

(This post is cross-posted from a guest blog post I wrote for Hazel Owen at Ethos Consultancy NZ community site)

I have a hard truth to share with you. Our learning management systems are letting us down. They are not getting the job done.

The slow rise of social learning

Over the last decade, the internet has gone from a primarily static content distribution system, to a social publishing, communication and sharing environment. As we’ve seen this “social web” develop, several social learning theoretical frameworks have been developed and tested, including connectivism, social constructivism and the conversational framework. These pedagogical models of learning remain at the periphery and have yet to achieve mainstream adoption.

That uptake will be slower in coming than some of us might wish, due to many stumbling blocks. I’ll mention just a few here:

  • our policies (both governmental and institutional) are slow to adapt because policy changes are not made at the speed of social media,
  • a “content is king” culture exists in learning and training that is hard to crack,
  • some long-standing organisational habits are not conducive to transformation (timetabling, lectures, a weighted teaching-research balance),
  • there are debates about what constitutes proof of learning; is it tests and exams or projects, group work and portfolios,
  • the struggle for investments needed for large IT projects in an age of funding and budget cuts,
  • digital literacy skill challenges of the parties involved,
  • and a persistent belief that nothing trumps face-to-face interactions.

I’m sure that there are gradations to which these stumbling blocks are present in your organisation and that there are others. And there’s no need to point fingers. These are large complex changes that affect every single part, process and person in our organisations. It will take time, new practices and some very hard thinking to adopt this new social learning. But it’ll be totally worth it. Continue reading

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What People Think I Do Meme: Education Technologist

Like most people in the last few weeks, I’ve been greatly entertained on Facebook and Twitter by the What People Think I Do, What I Really Do meme.

Here’s one for all you education technologists, or flexible learning advisors, or e-learning designers, or learning technologists, or whatever they call you…


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The 5 P’s of Path

This weekend one of my friends asked me: “So what do we think about Path?”. What DO we think about Path?

I installed it about 8 weeks ago. In fact Path tells me two months and 285 moments ago. I can’t remember who originally suggested it to me. It was at the beginning of a month’s travel around Europe and I had intermittent internet access. This meant I was mainly in capture & broadcast mode (journaling my travels) rather than access & curate mode (monitoring and sharing from information streams). And Path is great for capture & broadcast.

I fell in love with  it, even though I did have to move it to the front page of my iPhone first, so I wouldn’t forget to use it, and go to one of my other services instead. Here’s 5 reasons I do so like Path.

It’s personal

I think the key reason I like Path is that it is intensely personal. Path only lets you post your personal updates. It has various artifacts you can create: a check-in, an update, a picture, a music-update, but all of those are originally created by you, based on an experience you are having. You can’t “re-Path” someone else artifacts either, so only your artifacts live in your Path.

Friends can take several different actions in response to your artifacts, Continue reading

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Digital Curation: What kind of digital curator are you? #converge11

A few weeks ago I was kindly invited by the #ConVerge11 organisers to do a digital curation workshop. First of all let me say that I’m so impressed by how well organised this conference is and how responsive to feedback. Last year they introduced Twitterwalls and this year made some minor tweaks, to further improve the very active conference backchannel. Well done eWorks and particularly the ever smiling Sarah Phillips!

This was a little nervewracking for me, as it was my first time speaking about my new topic of interest, and PhD topic: digital curation for teachers. Over the last few years I’ve presented, workshopped, taught, written and spoken a lot about the Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers, Course Design and PLNs. All of these are familiar territory for me. Speaking on a new topic was both scary and exhilarating. Scary as I don’t have that much “go to” material yet, and went into the workshop more with questions and observations, than answers. Exhilarating because I met others who either are curators or are interested in curation and this led to some very stimulating conversations (thank you @jurgen @tanmac73 and @stickylearning).

I believe that digital curation will be a new activity that academics in higher education will need to adopt. What do you think? Some questions in my mind: Continue reading

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The magic of #pencilchat (a pointed conversation)

pencil ends - slightly cropped Jetlag is wreaking havoc on my sleep patterns. So on the phone to people downunder at 5.30am, I got a tweet from my mate Steve to check out #pencilchat.

And promptly lost the next hour of my life to a highly entertaining conversation that can only happen when you mix experienced education technologists, the risk-averse environment they work in and Twitter. At one point I had tears running down my cheeks. Here are a few gems, but please, do go check the stream for yourself. Continue reading

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Tweeting it up in the Hawke’s Bay – #hbtweetup

Twitter Bird(This post is a cross-post from Fruitbowl.co.nz)

If you’ve never been to a Hawke’s Bay Tweetup, you have another chance this Friday 1 April. Advintage Wines (@advintagewines) have kindly agreed to host (free wine, free tapas). It looks set to be the biggest #hbtweetup so far… (thanks to @dhtbrowne for taking over the organisation on this one :-)).

Not a Twitterer? Into social media but not sure why you should come? Here’s my story…

The Professional Social Network

Twitter has been a fixture in my life since late 2007. It has without doubt been the social media tool most instrumental in growing my professional network, my professional skills and my personal learning. More than my blog, more than my Flickr account, more than my Facebook account, more than any formal training or conferencing I’ve done.

Through Twitter I am connected to hundreds of professionals in my education technology field who in an ongoing streamed conversation around the clock:

  • provide collegial support,
  • help me reflect on the changes in education in this digital age,
  • discuss benefits and disadvantages of online, blended and other education approaches,
  • offer differing view points/ approaches / experiences in their organisations,
  • act as an instant helpline.

As someone once described it: “Twitter is like constantly sitting next to the smartest kid in the class.”

IRL = In Real Life

I quickly found that Twitter interactions perhaps weren’t  so professional (read: businesslike) all the time. People on Twitter were funny. They traded offhand remarks that frequently had me snorting in a most unladylike manner at my screen. Many Twitter colleagues were neat people, and some of the online connections became more than online colleagues: frolleagues (friends + colleagues).

And this meant that increasingly if I was near a Twitter friend (or they stopped in Napier) I’d try to meet up IRL (In Real Life). When Twitterers meet up like that, it’s called a Tweetup. Increasingly the Tweetup phenomenon grew and these days a Tweetup is often a recurring, geographically based event. Take a look at the Mellers Tweetup or Wellington Tweetup. Even NASA organised a Tweetup. Often Twitterers at a conference will also organise a little unofficial tweetup.

Having visited the Melbourne Tweetup (a great way of meeting locals when visiting a city) and being part of the Educause educational conference tweetup in late  2009, the idea occurred to me that we should have a Hawke’s Bay tweetup. They are fun, energising events with people who have a lot of things in common. How nice would it be to catch up with people in the Hawke’s Bay who are also discovering that social media can be a great leveller. That through this medium we can live in one of the most beautiful but also remote places in the world, but still be part of the action. Snag? I didn’t know any Hawke’s Bay tweeps (Twitter people or peeps). At the time, Twitter didn’t have a good tool for finding people in the same geographical location. I was only connected to a few colleagues at EIT on Twitter, and I saw them every morning for coffee…


And then the first big Christchurch earthquake in September 2010 happened. The NZ Twitter community quickly adopted the hashtag #eqnz and hundreds of kiwi Twitter users began sharing information, resources, tips, experiences and support in a Twitterstream that continued through the aftermath, and hasn’t stopped since. Suddenly I found myself connected to a lot more kiwi Twitter users. And some of them in the Hawke’s Bay. And so the idea of the #hbtweetup began to stir again.

I sent out the first tweet using the tag #hbtweetup in the week after the earthquake, inviting everyone to come together at the Guffle Bar (Ian is a most gracious host. Free food will placate any geek ;-)). Quickly@brenasmith and @krometech took up the call – you can see the #hbtweetup archive here. We began asking attendees to register in a wiki but quickly progressed to a free tweetup tool linked to Twitter, Twtvite, to collect RSVPs. And the Hawke’s Bay Tweetup was born. And as we all met at the Guffle, the conversation flowed freely, mainly about how we’re all using technology, digital and social media here in the Bay, the good, the bad and the ugly. And we discuss idle and not-so-idle plans on how we can make a difference in that area. And we laughed. A lot. The best thing is probably that that conversation hasn’t stopped yet. It carries on in the Twitterverse when we’re not all at the #hbtweetup.

This Friday will be the 4th Hawke’s Bay Tweetup. And it looks to be the biggest yet, even bigger than some of the Auckland tweetups. You are all kindly invited. RSVPs via Twtvite.

Who should come to a Tweetup?

Anyone interested in or curious about:

  • Twitter (for business, for government, for news, for learning, for…)
  • Other social media tools (blogs, Facebook,…)
  • Life and work in the digital age and the opportunities that offers
  • Mobile devices (smartphones,digital camera’s, iPhones,  iPads,  other…)
  • Fill in your own geeky stuff
Twitter Apps

Twitter Apps

Preparing yourself – tools  & apps for a tweetup:

  • RSVP – Use our Twtvite page to let us know you are coming
  • Begin following the other HB Tweeps – Feel free to use my #hbtweetup Twitter list to begin following the tweeps you may meet on Friday
  • Twitter archive – Scan the archive of all of our #hbtweetup tweets at  Twapperkeeper to get an idea about who you’re getting involved with and what they talk about
  • Bring a smartphone – Whether it’s a Blackberry, iPhone or Android, don’t forget your mobile device so you can share pictures, quickly look up websites that crop up in the conversation, upload pictures from the event, tweet, Facebook or live blog the event, show off your Angry Birds score, have light saber fights,…
  • Be ready to meet people with Bump – Install  and set up Bump before you head over to the venue. Bump is an app that lets you share your contact information with people you meet, simply by physically bumping your devices together.
  • Check in via Foursquare – Install and use Foursquare to check in. There’s always a race on to see who gets the first check-in at the #hbtweetup venue. And of course, who has that most coveted mayorship.
  • Check in via Facebook (Places) – Instead of Foursquare, you may choose to use Facebook Places for checking in.
  • Select and install your Twitter client of choice on your mobile device – You’ll need to be able to tweet from the event. Tweetdeck,  Twitter or Twitteriffic are all popular clients for the Smartphone.
  • Camera – Twitter / Social media geeks tend to be “trigger happy” when it comes to the camera’s on their Smartphones. Make sure you’ve got enough memory left to snap all those pics.
  • Video streaming – At the first #hbtweetup, someone even video streamed the event using Ustream, the free broadcasting app. It may be time to do so again.
  • If you can suggest other essential preparations or apps for a tweetup, please do add them in the comments.

Twitter BadgeAnd finally – tag yourself!!

And one final non-digital thing: tag yourself! People need to know that YOU the person are linked to YOU the Twitter account. So create/print/macramé a badge (use plastic, paper, papier mache, macaroni, crayon…) with your name AND your Twitter username, and wear it with pride – and a slight blush…

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Social media use in a crisis – #eqnz – help us learn

The social media response to the 2010 Canterbury Earthquake has been fascinating. I’d like to know more so I’m appealing for people to help with their experiences of social media, its usefulness, how informative it was (or not) etc, during this event. What can we learn?

If you are willing to help, please fill out the form at http://moourl.com/eqnzstudy. Thank you!

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Social media use in a crisis – #eqnz – how do you monitor so much information?

With the earthquake in Christchurch yesterday morning, Twitter has become an important source of information, aid, support & humour. And its not just pointless babble (as an aside: the qualification of pointless babble was refuted by the excellent Danah Boyd). Here’s some of  the things people are sharing through their tweets:

  • pictures of damage
  • videos of the quakes and of damage
  • checking in with friends, family & whanau
  • reactions & commiseration on the aftershocks, the loss of electricity, the loss of property, the cold
  • information on safety eg turn off your gas & power mains
  • links to information from the seismic drums at Geonet
  • links to news articles (both New Zealand and around the world)
  • information about road closures and the curfew last night
  • links to public information, eg how to claim for damages with the Earth Quake Commision or which schools are closed on Monday

And the twitterstream is not just being fed by people living in the region, but from across New Zealand and beyond. With all this it can become quite hard to track all this earthquake information or get an overview of it.

So here’s a short demonstration of how I’ve been monitoring the earthquake twitterstream. Hope you find it useful.

Note: most Twitter clients have a version available for smart phones. It’s much easier than tweeting by txting.

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