Teach Students To Use Social Media (The Right Way) And The Possibilities Are Endless

CJ Marple wanted to teach his young students how quickly information can spread on the Internet.

So earlier this year, the third-grade science teacher wrote up a tweet with the help of his students, asking for other users to retweet the message, or even reply to the message with their location.

The Kansas teacher says he expected 1,000 or so retweets, but within days the tweet went viral and gained more than 227,000 retweets and 75,000 replies from users all over the world. His students, who are probably a little too young for their own social media accounts, learned a lot that week about the power of social media. If used right, Marple says, “The possibilities are endless.”

Full story at npr.org

Social Media Tips for Educators: Building Capacity Among Your Staff

Our second social media tip sheet for educators is now online!

Last Monday, we told you the fact that we’ve developed social media tip sheets specifically to help state and local education agencies expand online engagement.

Our first tip sheet discussed how to develop innovative engagement in a specific community This week’s tip sheet talks about how to effectively build capacity within a state or local district.

Full story of social media tip sheets at ed.gov

What College Students Need to Do Over Winter Break

Many college students are about to breathe a sigh of relief as the semester comes to an end. But just because classes are over for the time being, doesn’t mean the work is over.

While the natural inclination for college students on winter break might be to sleep late, catch up with friends and forget about the stress of school, experts say now is the time to start applying for internships or even jobs for the following spring.

Considering how competitive the job market is for recent grads, career coach Kathy Caprino says establishing contact at companies early is key to getting a job after graduation. “You cannot wait in this type of competitive environment. The sooner the better. It’s stressful for kids to think about this while on break and they don’t want to launch into finding an internship or job.”

Career experts offer the following tips to college students on how to make the most of their winter break:

Full story of college students on break at Fox Business

 

When Teachers Talk About Their Students on Facebook

If you’re a teacher at any level, or have friends who teach, your Facebook feed is likely peppered with inadvertently amusing quotes from students’ assignments. A kid may have, for example, confused Abraham Lincoln for Mussolini, or identified Marie Curie as a fashion magazine. Maybe another wants an extension because of a crucial upcoming vacation to St. Tropez, or would like to meet with your teacher-friend to ask why an exam only got an A-minus… and to hold that meeting on a Sunday. One college-admissions officer was fired for this sort of sharing. But these posts, at least when coming from instructors, tend to just fly under the radar. The Shit My Students Write Tumblr collects such quotes anonymously, but is, as one BuzzFeed writer notes, enough to make students “paranoid.” It’s that much more unsettling when mistakes or missteps are shared on Facebook—the students may not be named, but the professors and institutions typically will be. Thanks to social media, we’ve moved from a vague sense that teachers sometimes talk about their students in an unflattering light to a having very concrete idea of what they’re saying.

As someone who taught for much of grad school and discussed teaching (off-line) as much as the next T.A., I’m sympathetic to the sharers, if not the sharing. Teaching is fun but hard work and rarely well-paid. Grading—broadly defined to include dealing with students unhappy with the grades they’ve earned—is one of the least delightful parts of the job. Unintentionally comedic moments buried in a stack of papers do help keep things interesting, and may even prevent an instructor from falling asleep on the train. And yes, where applicable, teachers discuss student entitlement—both to commiserate and, more constructively, to compare notes on how to respond.

Meanwhile, college instructors are increasingly in precarious employment situations. This may help explain the degree of Facebook venting. Some of the instructors whom undergraduates call “professor” are actually graduate students whose future in the profession is uncertain. Many others are adjuncts earning far less than schoolteachers, and without benefits or job security. Instructors can feel powerless, and at the beck and call of students who imagine anyone teaching at a college has endless time and energy for their concerns. The system can put instructors on edge, and in an antagonistic relationship with their students. Demands that might be reasonable of a tenured professor with his or her own office may come across as entitled.

Full story of teachers using Facebook at The Atlantic

 

Amanda Bynes’ mental hold extended again; former teen star said to be schizophrenic

Amanda Bynes Mental HealthAmanda Bynes’ doctors have won an 30-day extension of her psychiatric hold and plan to pursue a temporary mental health conservatorship of the former Nickelodeon star,the New York Daily News reports.

UPDATE: A judge has approved a temporary conservatorship for Bynes’ mother over the objections of Bynes’ court-appointed lawyer.

A source tells the News that Bynes is believed to be suffering from schizophrenia and has not yet responded to medication: “She’s not improving yet. She’s still delusional. These meds take longer than a week to work, and she’s only been given them for about a week.”

Bynes was involuntary committed on a 72-hour hold after allegedly starting a small fire in the suburban Los Angeles subdivision in which she grew up last month. On July 26, the hold was extended for two weeks so doctors could have more time to diagnose Bynes, who has been acting erratically for months, including sending a stream of nasty tweets to various celebrities and allegedly tossing a bong out of her New York apartment window when police came to her door.

Full story of Amanda Bynes’ mental health at NJ.com

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Online Media and Teen Suicide

Online Media and Teen SuicideIn the wake of 12-year-old Gabrielle Molina’s suicide late last month, devastated parents and startled communities are seeking answers for how to best protect children and teens from the pressures of cyberbullying and digital harassment. Molina, a repeated victim of aggression from peers at school, also may have dealt with recurrent bullying online. A video of Molina fighting another student worked its way onto YouTube before her death, and Molina made reference to cyberbullying events in a suicide note left behind before she hanged herself in her home in Queens Village.

According to a preliminary report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 38,285 deaths were attributed to intentional self-harm in 2011, which represented the 10th leading cause of death for the year. During the same year, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey found that 16% of high school students experienced some form of digital bullying within the past year.

Clearly, the pressures children and teens face online are more considerable now than in years passed. Victims are often unable to separate themselves from bullies who are just a click away online. Hateful text messages and the spreading of inappropriate content on social media, cell phones and video websites also represent serious concerns for parents, law enforcement agencies and educators. In addition to intentional aggression, today’s young people are also more aware when they are left out of social events due to real-time updates on Facebook.

Full story of teen suicide at Huffington Post

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Anti-bullying site exposes identities of alleged Kate Gosselin cyber bullies to their employers

Kate Gosselin Cyber Bullies ExposedKate Gosselin may be a reality star who consciously subjected herself to criticism when she stepped into the spotlight several years ago, but according to one anti-bullying group, what she didn’t sign up for was constant hate-filled threatening cyber attacks.

On Monday, Radar Online reported that anti-bullying organization BullyVille.com would be publicly revealing the names of several people who have “crossed the line” in demeaning the former “Kate Plus Eight” star, and vowed to contact their employers.

“One employer, quite frankly, was stunned. [We] spoke to their director of HR and they even went directly onto Twitter to see the account in question for themselves,” site founder James McGibney told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “They had absolutely no idea this was occurring and assured us that the employee would be dealt with immediately. Based off of date/time stamps, it became apparent that the employee was conducting this harassment campaign at work.

Full story of anti-bully site at Fox News 

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Social media anxiety: Sites like Facebook, Twitter stressing teens out? (VIDEO)

Social Media Anxiety and Stressing TeensFor most teens, social media is an important part of their daily lives – but for some – sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a source of anxiety.

Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FoxNews.com recently sat down with mental health consultant, Stefanie Weiss to talk about how social media is causing anxiety in kids and what parents to can do to help.

“I think kids base their self-worth today on how many followers they have, how many likes they’re getting on their pictures or what comments they’re getting from friends or not getting from other people that they wish that they did,” Weiss said.

Weiss said there are many ways social media can cause anxiety in kids and teens:

1) How many followers they have on networks like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter can cause a great deal of anxiety and insecurity. Often, it’s more about quantity – not quality when it comes to how many likes, friends, comments, and followers kids have.

Full story of social media anxiety at Fox News

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Social Media Helps Student With Autism Find His Voice

Autism Finds a VoiceSometimes a picture can be worth a thousand followers too.

That’s what happened to Henry Frost after he posted a photo to Facebook.

The photo shows 13-year-old Frost sitting on the steps outside a downtown Tampa building with his service dog Denzel. Not shown are the thousands of Republicans who had gathered nearby for the week-long Republican National Convention.

Frost holds a sign. It reads:

“The Civil Rights Act of 1964 granted equal rights to all people. I am a person. I want these rights.”

Frost has autism and a list of related physical problems which have so far eluded a tidy diagnosis. He communicates using an iPad app that speaks what he types.

The right Frost is seeking is the ability to attend Wilson Middle School in his South Tampa neighborhood. The Hillsborough County school district has told Frost they believe he is better off at a specialized program at Coleman Middle School, his family says.

Full story of social media and autism at State Impact

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/