1. I agree! Social media is humanizing the classroom and changing our collective focus to the needs and desires of students; this is one, very important outcome of social media in education. Thanks for advocating for school systems' thoughtful implementation of this powerful, positive tool.

    • georgecouros

      Thanks Maureen :) It is interesting that I have experienced through my work several organizations blocking all of this technology and really seeing how much they are missing out.

  2. I totally agree and I think schools could not only humanize the classroom, but the school experience as well. I think the schools should embrace it to help keep in contact with parents so the families can have a greater connection with the learning of the kids and make a stronger learning community expanding out of the school. I put some of my thoughts in my newest post: http://dalecope.edublogs.org/2012/07/31/lesson-12

  3. You have very very accurately identified the "culture of fear" that currently envelops far too many school districts and schools. Where I part company with you is in identifying the source of the resistance. When it comes to Online Learning, as The Sky Has Limits (SQE, 2012) demonstrated, those who control the system (superintendents and teacher unions) are very skillful at containing and limiting digital learning under the current IT "lockdown system"

    Your post was very stimulating and prompted me to respond at http://educhatter.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/digita

    Keep your eye on Dr. Michael Fullan. He's now discovered "the cloud" and is likely trying to cut off "the crowd" at source.

  4. julianstodd

    Thinking about it, this may be related (http://julianstodd.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/research-paper-communication-in-online-spaces-trust-and-disclosure/). I'm quite interested in issues of trust and disclosure in social learning. Getting people to engage, especially in the semi formal world of social media and business, is one thing, but understanding the 'ground rules' is key. People tend to adopt the notions of trust and integrity that we use in the 'real' world, but social is different, and it's easy to get your fingers burnt.

    I think you are absolutely right that people and businesses will continue to use social media to connect, but i do worry that we will miss a disenfranchised minority who lack the social capital to effectively engage in this space, and it may not simply be an age issue as some people think. It's deeper than that.

  5. Thanks for this post George. I couldn't agree more. I'm actually reading a book all about what you're talking about: social media humanizing the world. It's worth a read: "Humanize" by Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter.

    Thanks again for spreading the gospel about the positive effects of social media :)



    I stated a Facebook page for my school. As an elementary school principal everyone from colleagues to parents to staff said, “Ooooh you are going to get in trouble. Be careful what you post.” I am in my third year and it has been a huge success. I post pictures of everyday happenings at my school. The parents love seeing pictures of kids doing what they do best – being kids! Grandparents and relatives far away love seeing their grandchildren and sharing what they are doing at school as well. I also have a PS 3 twitter account where I share important articles and information with colleagues and other educators. Im glad I made the move toward embracing social media ‘yesterday’!

  7. Andrew Pass

    As an educational entrepreneur I would argue that many businesses are afraid of social media because they don’t understand it. We’ve all seen posts that have totally embarrassed businesses such as fast food restaurants. In order to engage with social media a businessperson must be willing to say something like, “I am doing this in an effort to develop a better business, and perhaps more educated self. I know that not everything that I do is perfect. I will use what I learn on social media to grow and help me to further develop my business.”

    George, given this thought, I wonder if it’s fair to say that the Adidas video above is not an exemplar of social media. Rather than engaging viewers in discussion, this video simply highlighted something neat about the company. I could easily imagine this video being a television commercial.

    What do you think?


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