Things That Have Me Thinking-March 28

3/30/2014 12:00:00 AM

This is my series where I explore a few things that I have seen or heard about that is pushing my thinking, getting me to see something a different way or just something I want to share. This week we look at the 3 things that have me excited this week.

It’s Complicated: For adults, what teenagers do online has been somewhat of a mystery. We assume they spend their days writing about relationships or drama or other stuff. Researcher Danah Boyd set out to confirm the myths or deny them altogether.

In her new book It’s Complicated Danah talks with groups of teens all over the country to get to the bottom of their online, social lives and to see what really matters to them when it comes to living in this digital world. She examines how services like Instagram and Snapchat really shape their thinking and takes a hard look at cyberbullying, its affects and what is really happening.

I’ve just started reading my copy and I am excited to dive deeper. It should be required reading for any educator working with pre-teens or teens. We need to better understand the world they are growing up so we can reach them and teach them better.

You can buy the book on Amazon or download a PDF copy for free on Danah’s website.

Edcamp USDOE: As someone who has had the honor of attending several Edcamps and the pleasure of being an Edcamp organizer I am super excited about this announcement.

The Edcamp Foundation has partnered with the US Department of Education to host the first ever Edcamp USDOE.

Wait.

You don’t know what an Edcamp is?

At it’s core it’s an independently organized day of professional development for teachers. Sessions are decided on by the participants that day and really meet the needs of who is attending. (You can read more about Edcamps here and see some in action too.)

Edcamp USDOE will bring together Educators with policy makers for some deep conversations about the direction we are going as a nation around education. (You can read more about what will be taking place here.)

It will be free to attend but because they are limited on space, there will be a lottery for a ticket. So be sure to sign up early!

Blogging as Publishing: I lurked on a great conversation about how much the world of publishing has changed, just over the course of the last few years. The power isn’t in the hands of publishing houses any more. Rather, we all have the ability to send our stories and ideas to the masses with the click of a publish button on our blogs. These spaces used to be seen as the location of the ramblings of someone with a keyboard and an idea.

However, now, blogs are serious business and have grown up alot. They do give everyone a voice. And think about what it can do for students. I enjoy following #Comments4Kids to see blog posts from kids from all over. Kids get to have their own spaces to openly share and reflect. (You can see more resources for learning about classroom blogging here.) So, go out, create a space and publish something for the world!

So that has me thinking. What has got you thinking this week?

cross posted at blog.web20classroom.org

Steven W. Anderson is the Director of Instructional Technology for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in Winston-Salem, NC. He also regularly travels the country talking to schools and districts about the use of Social Media in the classroom. Steven has been recognized with the NOW Award and the 2009 and 2011 Edublogs, Twitterer of The Year Award. In 2012 he was named an ASCD Emerging Leader. Read more at blog.web20classroom.org.

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