Untangling the World of Books, Technology, and Instruction

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What Schools Can Learn From the JP Morgan Twitter Debacle

Driving home from school this afternoon, I was listening to NPR and heard the story of how JP Morgan Bank tried to use Twitter to have a conversation with college students about the company.  Apparently, it backfired.  After being taunted and teased, the company canceled the chat and retreated.

I started thinking about this amazing book I read last spring "The Librarian's Nitty Gritty Guide to Social Media" by Laura Solomon. It is a comprehensive discussion on using social media to promote the library. One of the biggest points Solomon makes is that the social media promotion tool isn't something you just do. Creating a social media presence takes some planning, care, and direction.  It also takes time to develop some credibility with the people you are trying to reach. Something, JP Morgan apparently didn't know.  It takes time to listen and create a rapport with the very people you might need later.  Solomon's advice certainly applies to schools, as well.

So many of our Nebraska school districts are using Twitter to brand themselves and celebrate the wonderful learning opportunities taking place everyday.  In addition, the educator's using Twitter serve as models of digital citizenship to our students and their parents.  Anything that tells our story in a positive and constructive light is a good thing.  And when it's time to draw support from those stakeholders watching the sports scores tweeted out on Friday nights or checking to see what the kids are doing in the library this week, we have a base of people who follow what we do with no doubt we put kids first.

So what can schools learn from the JP Morgan Twitter Debacle? If you want to use Twitter as means of promoting your school and drawing support from your stakeholders, start when you don't need anything.  Tell your story and share your victories before you ask for help digging out of a hole. #justsayin

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Power of Socrative

The most amazing thing happened this week in library class.
As you may know, I am in a different district this school year.  Much closer to home, but lots of adjustment.  I spent my last two years mainly in a secondary library, and this year, I am a K-4 school librarian. And, did I forget how fast Kindergartner's can move?

There have been lots of ups and downs during the starting over process.  I hate starting over! I hate not knowing names and where to find paperclips. Mostly, I hate not having connections with my students. Lots of exciting things are happening in my district and I am grateful to be a part of change, I just hate starting over.  Did I mention I hate starting over?

My older students are working on foundations of research and some days are rough.  The answers don't just jump out and scream, "here I am! Take me, Take me!" It's like the video one of the teachers sent me last year after a particularly harrowing week full of technology issues and tangles - and teaching research.

However, my students are starting to find the amazing sense of accomplishment when they "bring in the herd" and find the answers they are looking for.

I love to use the resource Socrative  for assessing understanding.  This week I used it on some basics of World Book online. We had an activity where the kiddos looked at an image of an article  and answered questions based on what they read or what components of World Book they identified. I designed the activity to give the students feedback after every question.  I started hearing a "yes" here and there as they worked through the questions individually.  I stopped by one student and helped read the questions.  The first question was correct and I got a little smile.  By the third question, the room lit up with the most heartwarming grin.  I was dismissed because, "I think I got it, Mrs. Stogdill."

Watching a student find the power of knowledge, is one of the things I love about what I do.