Posts Tagged facebook

AATE / ALEA 2013 National Conference

This year in Sydney, as with last year in Melbourne, AATE and ALEA are holding separate national conferences.

Despite promises to myself earlier this year to go to less conferences, I’ll be heading along to both 🙂

The ALEA National Conference, which is about to be held in Sydney from 6-9 July, has already sold out all available places (Well done to Lisa Kervin, the conference convenor!) I’ll be sticking my head in on the last day of this conference to hand out promotional material our conference in Brisbane…it’s hand over time, baby!

The AATE National Conference will be held a little later this year, from 3-4 October. I’ll be there with Five Bells on, presenting a workshop with Bianca Hewes on ‘Success, obstacles and ethics in online teaching’ as well as on a panel about teacher blogging. I’ll be joined on the panel by the likes of Bianca, Troy and Darcy, so you know it’s going to be a power-session; not to be missed!

Once these two conferences are wrapped up, it’s next stop: Brisbane 2013!

Our website won’t go live until after the hand over in July, but there is a Facebook page you can like and Twitter profile you can follow:



We’re working like crazy to get the Call for Papers and everything else ready for the launch, but here’s a sneak preview of things to come:

…will I see you in Brisbane in 2013?

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Google+ by Molly Rocketboom

If you’re still not sure how Google+ fits into your existing world of Facebook and/or Twitter, let Molly of Rocketboom break it down for you. Approx 4.5 mins:

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Back from San Francisco and trying to muster a direction for blogging…is it too late to flag closure of 2010?  I thought this Facebook app was pretty cool:

*sigh* I’m expecting to need a different approach to online communication this year as email and social networking become more closely aligned with my ‘work’ than with reflection and dialogue.  What that means in reality…stay tuned!

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How Real Media Misses The Point Of Social Media

As you could glean from my last post, I’ve become a little sensitive to social media zealots who seem determined to paint everyone who is wary/concerned/resistant to social media as merely being scared, whimpy individuals.

This is not to say that very good points do not continue to be made in favour of using social media.

Consider this article reproduced for Business Insider: How “Real” Media Misses the Point of Social Media written by Lisa Barone from Outspoken Media.

Barone makes a point that many of us using social media tools would make:

“The risks to exposing yourself to your customers and community aren’t nearly as severe as you may think; and the rewards are huge.”

However, she also sums up one of the best pieces of advice I would give about using social media:

“If you’re going to be a big boy and swim, and benefit from, these waters you have to be able to take it.”

These two mantras pretty much sum up the bulk of what I have seen going around in terms of the pros and cons of harnessing social media (in my context, to develop my PLN, as opposed to using it as a marketing tool etc.)  However, the rhetoric that I often see invoked when a social media convert comes across a social media resistor is that the resistor is just ‘too old-fashioned’, ‘afraid of computers’, ‘non-reflective’, ‘too scared to share’ (and by extension, even ‘selfish’), or ‘a luddite’.

In my last post I suggested some other issues that, in my mind, are not currently being considered in enough depth, and which the ‘social media resistors’ are perhaps finding it hard to articulate because of their lack of familiarity with the technology.  Interestingly, most people I would have expected to drop a comment were nowhere to be found…although it is school holidays, to be fair 😉

I suspect that discussions around how power is wielded within an identity-rich online PLE (Personal Learning Environment, consisting in part of social networking spaces like Twitter and Facebook) are difficult to have without putting noses out of joint.  However, I also think that being open about how we construct and project our identities will be a test of whether we are ‘for real’ about connecting and collaborating in a democratic and generative way.

We can’t afford to be blind to reproductions of unhealthy practice in this brave new (connected, public) world.

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Facebook Note: Time to show your colours

While many teachers choose not to share their online spaces with students (in Queensland, where I have just moved, teachers are now officially prohibited from communicating with enrolled students on any social networking site), I do have about a dozen senior students (from NSW) who have added me as a ‘friend’ on Facebook.

My personal policy has always been to only add students in my HSC (final year) class.  Since going on leave, I have accepted invites from some in year 11 too.

Over the last few days I’ve noticed in my news feed a few of my students becoming ‘fans’ of the group “Your Gay” or “Thats Gay” is a excellent response to ANY situation.

So tonight I posted this in my ‘Notes’ section, tagged the students in question, and waited…

I’ve noticed a few of my friends becoming a FAN of the group:
“Your Gay” or “Thats Gay” is a excellent response to ANY situation.


You REALLY think so?

I guess you must not know anyone who is gay then, or have thought very much about how this might make a gay person feel.

Or maybe you really believe that everyone has ACCEPTED that the word ‘gay’ can be used out of context. Because no-one REALLY thinks that you mean ‘gay’ when you say ‘gay’, right? Like, you’re not actually saying that something is homosexual!

Buuuut…last time I looked, there were plenty of people out there, gay and straight, begging people like you to stop using this word. Plenty of people who are HURT when you say it. Plenty of people who understand the origins of this word being used as an insult, ON PURPOSE, in a very directed way, to literally mean that GAY = BAD. Plenty of people who have suffered verbal and physical (sometimes violent) abuse at the hands of viscious (as well as oblivious) homophobes, just because they are gay.

But hey, it’s just a word, right?

Ah ha! I know – maybe you think you are a postmodernist, and you believe that words should be detached from their historical meanings so they can be used again in new and exciting ways. Ironic ways! Contradictory ways! In ways that are self-reflexive, and therefore actually subtly critical of social institutions at large! (Wow, that would make you pretty smart…but I just can’t help but think that Derrida and Foucalt had other things in mind when they encouraged people to challenge social norms.)

If you’re tagged in this note then you probably don’t think that “gay is just another word for happy” is a good reason to use the word ‘gay’ as an insult, because that whole argument just makes no sense whatsoever…and I’m not usually friends with idiots! No, chances are you don’t think that, anymore than you think anyone actually uses the word “faggot” in regular, non-woodsman-type life to describe a ‘bundle of sticks’.

MAYBE you’re actually a social activist, and you’re trying to reclaim the word ‘gay’ the way that black people reclaimed the word ‘nigger’, or the way the GLBT community reclaimed the word ‘queer’. But if you thought about THAT for longer than two seconds, you’d realise that no…using a word as an INSULT doesn’t count as reclaiming language. In fact it’s kinda the opposite. It’s more like how when people say ‘nigger’ as an INSULT they are being RACIST.
(Though perhaps you have never watched important historic speeches like Martain Luther King’s famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and really been shocked at what African-Americans had to endure at the hands of the law, let alone at the hands of racists citizens, back in those days. Like, did you know that black people couldn’t vote! That they were made to ride on the back of buses! Kinda like how women couldn’t vote at the turn of the last century – or how they weren’t allowed to buy property, open bank accounts, or divorce their husbands! Or like how gay people are not allowed to get married, or adopt children as a couple, or work for schools owned by the Church! Oh…wait… that’s now. My bad.)

No, I DON’T think that “You’re Gay” or “That’s Gay” is an excellent response to any situation.

And friend, I don’t think you’re cool when you say that it is.

You know for a FACT that it is hurtful to use ‘gay’ as an insult, so now you have the choice – are you gonna do it anyway? How mean are you? How disrespectful to the struggles of countless others, their families and friends? How callous? How cruel?

Use your imagination and come up with a new word already.

It’ll take you awhile to kick the habit, but it’s worth it.
Swear if you have to.


The response was immediate, and resoundingly positive.  Many students who picked the note up through their news feed ‘liked’ the note without being invited.  Here are some of the comments that were posted:

“never thought of it like that, unjoined!!”

“thank you for showing me the light 8P”

“yer that is totally fair enough. i actually joined on account of an injoke with some friends, and the group related to the context of the situation, but fair point.”

I also got some lovely messages from fellow teachers who shared their stories and experiences, and the students would have read this too.

So…cost/benefits of dipping into the ‘teacher’ role on social networking sites?  You tell me. But I just got a whole bunch of students to leave that stupid group, and some are re-posting the note to their friends.  For tonight, 100% worth watching my online p’s and q’s to ensure I maintin my duty of care.


Facebook Status Update Cloud

Made using application built by Status Cloud:

FB status cloud Oct 2009Freq: bed. day. drama. english. getting. home. students. tomorrow. weekend. year. (how mundane!)

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Facebook continues to grow

An article on the Inside Facebook blog reports that Facebook has grown to 175,000,000 active users with a growth rate of about 600,000 users a day in the past few weeks.

If Facebook were a country, it would now be the 6th most populous in the world.

Frankly I am not surprised.  The pace at which people live their lives has dramatically increased, in the past decade especially.  With many people living in a dual income household, or working second jobs, it’s hard to find time to ‘catch up’ with friends and family.  For teachers the amount of time spent at home preparing lessons, marking work and maintaining their professional development can be a severe drain on your ‘home time’.  Old ways of keeping in touch – hour long phone conversations, weekend visits, a night at the pub (eek – you mean I lose time tomorrow too!?) – are becoming rarer, and as a result there is so much pressure to make the most of time when you do see people IRL that the fun can be sucked right out of the experience.

When talking on the phone recently to a friend in the States (we normally use video call but the net was acting up) we found it very awkward at first trying to have a conversation without the benefit of the usual visual cues.  There wasn’t even an avatar!  And although we got used to it soon enough, it was easy to see why many people don’t relish using such cumbersome modes of communication anymore.  Does this make us inherently selfish? Overly insular?  I don’t know my own answer to that…yet.

What I must concede is that, for now, unless we want to miss out on ‘quality time’ with loved ones altogether, we will have to embrace (not reject!) these new modes of maintaining social connections.  As we move towards re-defining our notion of what it means to have a ‘personal connection’, online communitcation will take on a more personal tone.  And if this makes people feel more connected, isn’t this a good thing?


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