What social media was like five years ago

I came across these pictures taken during a series of webinars on social media I conducted in late 2010, and it made me realize how far we have come. Or what we have left behind.

The series was called Passport to Digital Citizenship.

I have met some of these ‘students’ who have subsequently gone on to do amazing work in the digital space in Sri Lanka.

But now that I teach a different age and demographic of students, it is interesting to see how some major concerns of digital citizenship, have been over-ridden by new ones. Then there was no WhatsApp, and Instagram or Snapchat to think about. At that time, it was almost inconceivable that these new digital channels would practically revise the political spectrum in Sri Lanka – as Nalaka Gunewardene has well documented.

Webinar students - Passport to Digital Citizenship 2010














Thank you for the experience all of you who attended.

What are the most important tools you use in your work today? More importantly what are your biggest challenges?  Privacy? Information overload? Earning trust? PR?

Digital Learning Gets To Schools, One Principal at a Time

I watched a recording of a Webinar by Eric Sheninger, a principal of a New Jersey school, who happens to be a big advocate of digital technologies in education. Been following his blog for about a year now.

His big point on Digital Leadership (speaking for, and to school administrators) was that schools should mirror or parallel the real world.  In other words, few are actually doing that. (A point backed by Univ. of Texas professor Steve Minz, who says there has been much ‘floundering and flailing’  after they emerge from college.)

I’m very cognizant of this kind of thinking, because we in elementary schools feed that college pipeline.  I start my year by informing  my students that the ‘computers’ they will use in less than a decade, won’t even look like the ugly black boxes they see in my computer and tech lab. (Not to mention the posibility that they would not simply shrink, but become invisible, yet ubiquitous.)

Sheninger has a list of seven pillars in this new model of digital leadership he offers:

1. Communications
2. Public Relations
3. Branding
4. Professional Growth
5. Student Engagement and Learning
6. Learning Environments and Spaces
7. Opportunity

Imgine that: principals and administrators having to deal with branding, in addition to student engagement. He makes some fascinating observations about our fear of technology. Interestingly, although he is a prolific blogger, he was at one time skeptical about social media!

My kinda guy!