Category Archives: Social Media

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The Power of Words

power-of-words-main The Power of Words

The Power of Words

The words we choose to get our point across can be mighty in their delivery or conveyed in the simplest of form. Whether mighty or simple it’s the actions behind those words that make them effective or ineffective.

Words are meant to convey something or prompt action. Those words could be power selling, resume words, inspirational words, words that hurt, mind blowing words, healing, moral, ethical, or inspiring words, etc. When we combine lists of power words with the use of social media in the work place, who benefits the most from their usage? This is a question that a lot of organizations struggle with today. Who is going to monitor the network? How much power are we really talking about when we hook everyone up to the network? Who gets to be the word police?

When working under a global network within an organization, there is usually a standard set of keywords that are unique to that network. The more educated or experienced someone is within the network, the more words they will have available for usage; thus, potentially more power to influence others. When constructing organizational networks for global usage, there needs to be a set of checks and balances for guiding operational use. In the most recent past I have heard rumblings from some about setting up a social system and putting everyone one on it at the same time. Weeeeeeee…look at us.

setting up a social system and putting everyone one it at the same time. Weeeeeeee…look at us.

I believe in keeping the entire organization in the loop when it comes to communicating with employees, middle management, as well as administrative and executive branches. However, how that communication is broken up and what communication is delivered to each department is critical to manual operations as well as research and development, marketing, HR, financials, etc. Words are powerful, and words can be quickly misunderstood and emotional at best. Words change communication within an organization, and can present unforeseen internal challenges. Challenges can be good, so can change. It’s how much change that is taking place at any given time that needs direction. Being able to guide words that are producing change, that requires positive focus on everyones part.

There is any number of communications within an individual department that really doesn't need to be shared with others. “How” information is shared is more the point. The security of information or intellectual information (or technology) must be protected. Not everyone has a need to know.

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It is possible to use interactive video conferencing, desktop meetings, and a host of communication systems to communicate within an organization and its departments. What is not always known is how much information each should share with the other. As well, when do we reach a communication/meeting overload with digital media? It is possible to find yourself in interact conferencing meetings and remain unproductive all week long. Words can also produce non-productively. Words can affect your bottom line. Hint: Lighten up on the meetings okay?

Lighten up on the meetings okay?

To counter balance all these lists of words, we formulate and set up committees, and develop templates for examination and analysis. Employees are given access to certain levels of communication systems (list serves). We tell our employees that this group gets this list of words, and that group gets another set of words. Words can be powerful within your scope of expertise.

We need to keep our employees in the loop about the overall well being of our operations, but only as it relates to the overall productive state of our work environment. Social media tools are great to speed up communication across the distances. But, reality tells us “less is more”.


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Social Media – What’s your Hook

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Cell Phones & The Pre-Selfie Era

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Cell Phones & The Pre-Selfie Era – Welcoming In The New Millennials

I walked into the junior high classroom this morning, and it was chatty as normal, similar to  the beginning of any class. It’s a very open environment, and the culture of the students says, “this is our space“.

Students were discussing the latest news in spirit activities, while others were trying to decide if lunch was going to be edible.   Picking up on that conversation,  that gave me the heads up that I better head across the street during my free hour and grab some food.  I’ve eaten the food at all the schools, and I’m not a fan.  I know the lunch people do the best they can, but…..

While waiting for the class to settle down, I notice there is one major difference that is genuinely unique at the  junior high level compared to the high school.  Students are not hunched over, looking into their cell phones .  I know they have them somewhere.  But I don’t even  see them during recess, or lunch hour, or in the halls – nada, zip.   I like to call this age group, the pre-selfie era – Junior High. 

This is the Pre-Selfie Era

While I can’t speak for other school districts, I can for my own.  It’s refreshing to know your students are engaging with you, and the message is getting across to them.  Not having  a cell phone on your person may sound archaic to some. But growing up without one was a  far better world to have been in.

Before I continue, I just want to stress that I’m not looking to verbally beat up on the high school environment, teachers or students.  I actually do have to give kudo’s to all those teachers at my local high school. During testing last week, I walked past a number of classrooms and quietly observed  the back roll of each room.  While I did spot a few students with their cell phones conveniently concealed – for the most part their classroom environments were all “engaged”.

ENTER THE NEW MILLENNIALS

How did the new millennials  arrive at where they are today?

What individual traits do millennials all have?  Technology  is one trait that most of them posse, and that is THE big one.  But at what age do new millennials come out of their social shell’s? When does technology become a changing force, and who is guiding that change?

Communication and collaboration in the classroom mean a lot to both students and teachers.  If you lose those valuable tool, you could lose a whole generation.

Dumbing down a whole generation in  the Selfie Era

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There is software available that can block out all cell phone usage inside of a  school.  I’ve walked into those zones before.

  Egad! So this is what it feels like to lose all communication to the outside world.

Some people have a real addiction to high stress (drama), and a cell phone can really feed into  that addiction. While I am not a millennial,  I was technologically inspired, starting in the early 80’s.  I guess I am one of those types, like a millennial – but not a millennial. You know the kind, a type A, workaholic, social introvert.  WAIT!  No, not me…

It almost sounds like 8th grade was the turning point,  even for me.  Landlines were being replaced with wireless phones, and all communication was  accelerating.   Computers were becoming the norm in every school, and inside most homes.

It’s 8th Grade All Over Again

In 2016,  8th grade students are very much coming into their own little worlds.  Once they transfer to 9th grade, that little world can be rewarded through the socially acceptable right of passage known as – learning the selfie rules.

At least on a superficial scale,  learning the selfie rules  has its rewards.    Students quickly learn that selfies and student group shots during class have their social rewards.  The reward is not academical I assure you.  But it is rewarding on the social scale, and as a narcissistic pacifier to those who may struggle  already with  self-esteem issues.

If you are on all the right social applications on your computer/phone, and you have a big enough friends list  – then you stand a better chance of fitting in with the selfie crowd.  Where you fit in, and how you are perceived by your peers, soon becomes part of your online virtual reality trip.  I use the word trip, because it is a trip.   Coming off of that trip  – that is not  fun.  The landing is often hard and punishing.

There is a little light at the end of the tunnel.  Junior High reigns supreme when it comes to still having teachable moments that are in abundance.  At the high school level those teachable moments are being attacked daily by that  3 x 4 piece of  shiny technology,  vying for our students attention.

PRE-SELFIES IN HIDING

Standing outside the junior high during after school duties, I noted 3 out of 10 girls that popped out a cell phone, and nearly  1 out of 10 boys.  At least those were the ones not afraid to use their phones on campus, even after school was out.

I’ve had  teachers vocally express their feelings about cell phones.

  •  Was the lesson plan worth it?
  • Did I get through to my  students?
  •  It is defeating when you have invested so much of your time and energy to be put on what amounts to, a commercial break for a classroom selfie.

So what are we doing wrong at the high school  and junior high levels?  How did all these narcissistic selfie robots amass in such great numbers –  almost overnight?  Parents.  Yes, parents are mostly to blame.

Settle Down!

I’ve been one of those Parents, so don’t go off on me too hard just yet.  I have been one of the best helicopter parents of my generation.  At least until the powers that be discovered where my landing pad was located, and turned the lights out on me.

It started in junior high.  I didn’t want anyone telling MY children they were insufficient in anything.   By the time by last child had gotten to the junior high level, she reigned supreme.  She had the grades, the looks, and the talent to do it all – and she did.  She wasn’t denied anything.  But, I wouldn’t allow her to be denied anything.  Then I did the thing, that  I as a teacher complain about the most.  I bought her a cell phone, and I got sucked into the millennial whine.

I bought her a cell phone

WHAT I LEARNED

  1. It’s $25 at the middle school to get your cell phone back, if you take it out where others can see it.
  2. The first selfie with friend in their bikini’s posted on Facebook, and that friend was gone (I was stupid and let her keep the phone).
  3. Competing with the cute boy from  school who also had a cell phone.  Family time became a chore, and grounding from the phone brought even more issues (Drama!  I hate you – you are ruining my life!) .
  4. By college she allowed her boyfriend (thank God he is gone) to rack up nearly $400 in cell phone charges.  Plus he wrecked two of her cars and …. let’s just say he is gone.

The excuses that WE all make regarding our children having a cell phone is:

I want them to get a hold of me if they need me.

  1. They are in a classroom filled with 30 other cell phones.
  2.  Plus the teacher has a cell phone,  and a landline on  her desk.  I think we have the “get a hold of me”  problem solved.

Parents have become lazy.

Parents rely on the cell phone to baby sit their kids.  A wonderful suggestion is to get in your car, drive across town and find out for yourself what your kids are doing.

  1. A phone call may be a temporary pacifier, but its virtual reality even to adults.  Kids still want their parents to care.
  2. Some even think that the more expensive the phone, the more protected the kid will be.  A $600 phone isn’t my idea of protection.

The kid with the $600 iPhone.

The amount of kids that walk around with electronics that even I couldn’t afford, makes me worry.  How hard of a landing are these kids going to take when big daddy or mommy bucks,  cuts them off?

Virtual reality if used properly can be a great learning tool.  But with cell phones,  the verdict is still out.   At least  until some genius can develop specific games that actually help teach the academic core to our teenage students.

Millennials and Their Kids, that is what I should of called this article.  But as I dug deeper into some of the issues, it really is a baby boomer issue.  We allowed our millennials to get away just about everything.

I reflect on this paper, and I wonder if my youngest (now 27) will come at me to lock horns  and state the obvious.  Why I you mention at length in this short article the crutches of the argument mother? Do you know the rules? Are the rules only being taught to the students by students, or are manufacturers of technology writing the rules?  Are the parents and teachers being left out on purpose?  Parents and teachers, do you know the selfie rules?

 

And for God’s sake mom, where did you dig up that old photo (she secretly loves the shot)?

 

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Designing in the Digital Age

 

 

#millennial #selfie #education #classroom #teenager

 

 

 

 


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Does Facebook finally have enough emojis

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For Sale Yahoo Hoo Hoo


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Twitter – Eleventh Graders Respond

twitter-2 Twitter - Eleventh Graders Respond

And the answer is!!!

It is Best Tweets First, according to two groups of 11th graders I recently spoke with.  These high school students simply do not want to read through a "bunch of boring stuff". Even more so, they simply do not want to waste their time.  Time is a commodity that most students fear will be taken from them already.    Looking at the reverse-chronological tweet stream actually was the only thing they liked.  Keep it live, but add the Best Tweets First. 

 I explained to these  astute groups of students that Twitter had received the kiss of death  ( #RIPTwitter ) hashtag this week from some unhappy followers. Followers were upset for Twitter suggesting this bold move to make their timeline look more like Facebook's.  Students didn't seem moved by the information.  I even explained that shares for Twitter were going for $20 a pop, still they seemed unmoved.  

 

I was surprised to find that a number of students already had:

  •  Both LinkedIn and Twitter accounts
  • Two didn't  own a Facebook account
  • The number one hated applications were Yick Yack, and dreaded After School Application. Facebook was up there on the most hated list, but not the most hated    
  • Most students agreed that Snap Chat and Instagram were the most popular applications on campus.  
  • When I asked them about the new applications like "Peach", they noted they had never heard of it.  

Forcing the issue a little more, what I learned was that depending on which circle you move in socially - each group generally will have it's own preferred application.  Or they actually were using the group and block features to maintain some level of privacy. 

Twitter has its followers and I doubt most of them will move

 Users  get comfortable in their social environments, and even take up nesting in their own line communities.  Unless significant changes take place in the Twitter environment, these nester's aren't moving anytime soon.   When I asked the two groups of eleventh grade students if it mattered to them if  Twitter were to be purchased and incorporated into a larger social network like Facebook, most agreed it wouldn't be a big deal.  Students did note that  they haven't deleted  their Facebook accounts because their families are on it, but they prefer Twitter because their families aren't on it.  

CNBC posted this article on Prioritized Tweets reflecting what some Twitter Followers were expressing.  While Mashable was predicting  a pretty easy transition with very little fireworks for the change occurring.     

Here is how to turn on the new Twitter time line.  

Love it or hate it, the new time line is here.  When your eleventh grader isn't to worried about the Twitters time line change, that says something about the branding of a product.  Twitter has done a good job keeping it real, the youth agree.