A Teacher’s Guide to Social Media

This infographic compiled by OnlineColleges.net shares some of the many ways educators have incorporated social media into the classroom.

A Teacher’s Guide to Social Media

The following previously posted infographics related to social media might also be of interest:

Social Media for Educators: Strategies and Best Practices

Book Cover - Social Media for Educators: Strategies and Best PracticesI was really excited to learn nearly a year ago that Tanya Joosten was working on a new book on social media for educators. When the book availability was announced, I went out that same day and purchased it on Kindle but had to put off reading it until I finished a few other pressing projects. While on my flight to BbWorld 2012 I finally read through the entire book and must admit it is the book I wish I would’ve written on the topic.

The author does a fantastic job in the book of laying a rationale and foundation for incorporating social media into teaching and learning, then shares best practices for selecting the right tool for an intended learning outcome. Strategies for assessing and documenting the effectiveness of using these tools are also shared.

Even though the book is focused on higher education, the tools and techniques can be easily generalized for K–12 classrooms or organizational learn­ing. The best practices and faculty development tips can be informative for individuals involved in any kind of professional development or network-building.

This book is a must-read for any educator who is considering incorporating social media into their teaching. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the educational opportunities that social media affords.

For those who teach education or social media courses, you should take a closer look at Tanya’s book as a possible course text. You can request an evaluation copy or purchase a copy on Amazon.

To connect with Tanya, you can find her at tanyajoosten.com or follow on Twitter @tjoosten.

Blackboard Tutorials, Helps, and Resources @BlackboardTutor Moving to the Next Level

Back in March 2009, I had the idea of beginning to aggregate and share the best tutorials, helps, and resources I found online, including resources from the NIU Teaching with Blackboard site that my colleagues and I develop and maintain. I went ahead and setup a free Twitter account @BlackboardTutor and using TwitterFeed, created several different automated actions whereby when I bookmarked a resource, it would automatically be tweeted.

first Tweet from @BlackboardTutor

After doing the initial setup, it was years before I would again log back into this Twitter account, as new tweets were automatically posted when Blackboard helps were bookmarked or shared online.

Since that time, what began initially as just a social media experiment has blossomed into a trusted resource, with currently nearly 1,900 followers to date. Desiring for this resource to continue to grow and benefit others in the Blackboard community, I approached Blackboard to see if it is a social media resource they would be willing to take over, and they gladly accepted. So, I’m pleased to report that moving forward, @BlackboardTutor will be moving to the next level as it will be more actively managed by Blackboard’s social media team. It is my hope that it will continue to be a great aggregator of newly available Blackboard support resources, tutorials, etc. that will benefit the entire Blackboard user community worldwide. Follow @BlackboardTutor and watch for many more support resources to come!

Presenting from iPad at BbWorld Using SlideShark

In my quest to go “laptop-less” at BbWorld, I plan to present from my iPad using the free SlideShark app. I’ve found SlideShark to be by far the simplest and most elegant solution for converting a PowerPoint to an iPad-native presentation for displaying.

first slide of PowerPoint presentation show on SlideShark app
First slide of presentation shown from iPad using SlideShark

Here’s how the service works in a nutshell. You sign-up for a free account and download the app onto your iPad. Then, when you have a PowerPoint presentation finished, you upload from your computer to your online account. Next, simply launch the Slideshark app on your iPad and after you’ve logged into your SlideShark account for the first time, you’ll see all your uploaded presentations. Tap the “Download” button to download any presentations you’ll be giving so that you have them stored locally on your iPad (in case you experience Wi-Fi issues). Displaying your presentation is then as simple as plugging your iPad into the projector and clicking the green “play” button.

If you’d like to ditch your laptop and simply present from your iPad, give SlideShark a try! Sign-up for free using this link and both you and I get some extra free storage! http://www.slideshark.com/r?r=356863

SlideShark app on iPad
SlideShark app open on my iPad, BbWorld presentations loaded

If you do plan to present from your iPad, remember your dongle 🙂

Do you also use SlideShark? Or, perhaps you have found another approach for presenting PPT from iPad? Leave a comment and share your impressions of SlideShark and/or recommendations for other PowerPoint presentation alternatives.

Twitter and Informal Learning

Thanks to the post from Graham Attwell and successive mention by Nancy Rubin I came across the dissertation by Clint Lalond titled, The Twitter experience: The role of Twitter in the formation and maintenance of personal learning networks that at first glance (see the abstract below), is another article in support appears to provide insights into the support of Twitter in professional development.


This qualitative phenomenological study involving in-depth interviews with seven educators in K-12 and higher education examines the role that the microblogging service Twitter plays in the formation and development of Personal Learning Networks (PLN) among educators. A double hermeneutic data analysis shows that Twitter plays a role in the formation and development of PLNs by allowing educators to; engage in consistent and sustained dialogue with their PLN, access the collective knowledge of their PLN, amplify and promote more complex thoughts and ideas to a large audience, and expand their PLN using features unique to Twitter. This research also examines the nature of a PLN and shows that participants believe their PLN extends beyond their Twitter network to encompass both face-to-face and other ICT mediated relationships. Secondary research questions examine how Twitter differs from other social networking tools in mediating relationships within a PLN, what motivates an educator to develop a PLN, how trust is established in a PLN, what the expectations of reciprocity are within a PLN, and what is the nature of informal learning within a PLN.