Technology, Social Engagement and Superstorm Sandy

11/14/2012 9:00:00 PM

This article is cross posted at the EdTech Innovations blog.

I feel very blessed to be someone that not only lives at the Southern New Jersey shore, but had the opportunity to grow up on one of its barrier islands. I have weathered many storms, and have heard about the really "big ones" from the old timers, but Superstorm Sandy was different.  Needless to say, we knew it was time to get out of town so we boarded up and left.

One thought going through any homeowners mind is, "What will it be like during the storm and what will the town, and our home, look like after?"  Enter the power of the Internet and social media.  During uncertain times knowing how to leverage these resources becomes a life line of information for people when they are away from home. It is also an opportunity to teach our students about the power, and importance, of  social media and web resources.

I know we have heard this said before but, we need to reflect and ask ourselves,"Do we spend the time in our schools teaching our students how to best use technology for social good?"  If it wasn't for YouTube, Facebook, Blogs, Twitter and other resources, I would have had a hard time knowing what was going on.  Through these 21st Century "media outlets" I was able to see videos and pictures of my town during and after the storm.  I was even able to find pictures of my home, and my families homes, to let them know if they were flooded or damaged.  I was even able to find a video of my street and house during the storm.  Local bloggers and websites provided me with information that was invaluable and even gave me a head start when were allowed to re-enter after the storm.  A 10-minute drive still took 2 hours but it could have been worse.

Social media was used for social change as well.  When one local town reopened and the only bridge in was charging a toll.  So, people went to social media to put the word out, the local news media outlets then heard about it and the bridge owners relented and allowed people back for free.  In fact, they went so far as to take all of the toll money they already collected and donated it to the relief effort.  Now that is a teachable moment!

Some grass roots movements started through social media as well.  One started with a young person creating a graphic that he posted as his FaceBook profile picture.  He received so many likes and encouraging messages to make a t-shirt that he and his friends have started a highly successful fundraising group, Restore the Shore, that donates 100% of their proceeds to the relief effort.  Many large companies have supported them as well as locals dropping off supplies to be distributed. All of this from a FaceBook account!  What an example for our students!

We are in an era of global social engagement and collaboration.  Events such as Sandy are a great opportunity to teach our students how to use social media and technology to create, share and obtain information.  Young people in our society should be developing the skills to use these tools in innovative, entrepreneurial, and socially responsible ways.  We as parents and educators need to learn about them as well to help guide and instruct them.  It shouldn't take a natural disaster to see the importance.

Frank Pileiro is a Technology Coordinator in Southern New Jersey. He is passionate about educating with creativity and innovation, as well as imparting these skills to our students with instructional technologies. He is the author of the EdTech Innovations blog, where he writes about educational technology innovation and integration. He can be followed on Twitter @MrP_LPS

comments powered by Disqus
Tweets
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...

ClassFlow

(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...

DeskBoard

(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...

LightSail

(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...

myON

(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...

MathBall

(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...

MobileAsset.EDU

(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...

PresentationPro

(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...

TabChargeCT2

(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...

Camtasia

(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...