New research just released on “School Principals and Social Networking in Education: Practices, Policies, and Realities in 2010”
Princeton, NJ – September 9, 2010 – A new research report was issued today that summarizes the results of an extended look at school principals’ use of social networking. The underlying research for the report, “School Principals and Social Networking in Education: Practices, Policies, and Realities in 2010,” was conducted by edWeb.net, IESD, Inc., MMS Education, and MCH Strategic Data.
Since the creation of MySpace and LinkedIn in 2003 and Facebook in 2004, online social networking has quickly become a pervasive means for people to connect all over the world. Yet schools are one of the last holdouts, where many of the most popular social networking sites are often banned for students, and often for teachers, librarians, and administrators, out of a concern about safety, privacy, confidentiality, and lack of knowledge about how best to ensure appropriate use.
At the same time, education reform initiatives from all corners-Federal and state programs, education research, and policy initiatives-are advocating the use of innovative and collaborative technology to drive improvements in teaching quality and student achievement.
The goal of this research study was to take a close look at the attitudes of school principals about social networking for their own personal use, with their colleagues, and within their school communities. Principals can play an important role in encouraging and training their teachers and staff to adopt new technologies, and in setting policies for the use of technology and the Internet in schools.
The research was conducted in two phases: an online survey sent to a cross section of educators across the country in the fall of 2009, followed by an in-depth EDRoom online discussion with 12 principals who are currently using social networking in their professional lives.
· Most principals who responded to the survey believe that social networking sites can provide value in education because they provide a way for educators to share information and resources with an extended community of educators, create professional learning communities, and improve school-wide communications with students and staff. About half of the surveyed principals felt that social networking is very valuable for these purposes.
· Most of the principals in the discussion group thought that social networking and online collaboration tools would make a substantive change in students’ educational experience. Specific types of changes they mentioned included: development of a more social/collaborative view of learning; improved motivation, engagement, and/or active involvement; and creation of a connection to real-life learning.
· None of the responding principals in the discussion group had school/district policies in place on social networking that were deemed adequate, suggesting the need for conversations and collaboration on establishing policies that can facilitate appropriate use of social networking in schools for educational purposes.
For a free copy of the report:
You can download a copy of the report at any of the sponsors’ websites: www.edweb.net, www.mmseducation.com, or www.mchdata.com.
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A two page executive summary of this important 40 page document that focuses on schools and learning has also been released and covers these main points:
- Improve school: essential but not enough
- Reinventing school: cracking the code
- Supplement school: invest in families and communities
- Transformational innovation: a new logic to learning
The main points relate to the thoughts that schools that are collaborating and creatively using technology are the way to go, however, reinvented schools are not enough if families and communities do not value learning. Learning must also take place outside of the school and include parents and the community. Specific programs that ‘pull families and children to learning by making it attractive, productive and relevant’ are applauded.
The authors advocate ‘new, low-cost models for learning’ and a massive shift in education policy. They conclude:
Governments should continue to look to the very best school systems to guide improvement strategies. But increasingly they should also look to social entrepreneurs working at the extremes who may well create the low-cost, mass, participatory models of learning that will be needed in the future.
Further discussion is invited at http://www.getideas.org
Glogster is a Web 2.0 resource where users can create their own posters. The Glogster website says that you can ‘mix graphics, photos, videos, music and text into slick Glogs.’
Glogster has recently announced Glogster Education, specifically designed with schools in mind.
According to the Education Glogs site:
- Glogster is also a perfect web 2.0 tool for your learning and your wikis
- Glogster provides master-accounts for teachers integrating all student accounts. Click for detailed info.
- Register your class and try education 2.0 now. EDU accounts are PRIVATE.
Here is an example of a student created glog for a school assignment. Students will love the way they can be creative with their glogs and teachers will love the results. Ideas for glogs are:
- Imagine glogs promoting books rather than the good old book review?
- Glogs could also be used in Tech Foods, Design and Technology and Business Studies for marketing products
- Photography and art students could make collages of their work
- SOSE/Humanities classes studying geography could make glogs advertising places to visit.
Glogs can be total multimedia experiences complete with photos, graphics, videos, text and music. This is a promotional video for Glogster, but it does give some idea of how it can be used.
Thanks to Julie Squires of Casey Grammar School for alerting Bright Ideas to Glogster.