Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When Official means Official

Image credit: Hunter, Mark. Social Media Workstation
December 15, 2009.
Allow me to jump on the Jeopardy smack-down bandwagon and take "Social Media" for $400.00, Alex:

"The answer is 'It doesn't really matter.'"

Um ... oh, gosh, I know this one .... um ... "What happens when you don't put something on Facebook?"

Take that, Watson.

One of the many things that our Perspectives in Literature classes study is media literacy and the application of technology. The recent events in Egypt and other Mid East countries have directed that dialogue toward using the social media tools. We've had some great discussions from our students regarding what purposes it gets used for, and the impression of how it has been used on the world stage. One comment that stood out from the rest: "When it goes on Facebook or Twitter, it makes it official." That opened a whole other thread of discussion such as it's not the tool to use when breaking up with someone, announcing parties, gloating, and so forth.

There was another thread of comments that discussed the "degree of things mattering." It would be easy to categorize what teens post are not nearly as important as what "adults" post, but that wouldn't be the case. Students who use Twitter and Facebook post links to assignments, readings and online resources along with their normal business. The ratio is still skewed toward more social concerns and "low importance" events, but they get it. They have tapped into the potential for academic dialogue, and the students who use it regularly fell more empowered regarding their studies.

As a student in the Instructional Technology cohort, it has been easier to participate - yeah, participate - in the discussion. Demonstrating how Twitter can be more than just passing along the location for the best enchilada is one thing - conversing with students regarding a technology that is second nature to them is so much more rewarding. Chalk up another trick learned by the ol' dog in front of the classroom.

I think I'm going to Tweet my post on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Word from The Smart One

Image credit: Bernie, "Self Portrait." Around Feb. 12, 2010
Someone explain this to me: Several times during the last eight months - three days out of the past week and a half alone - the food bowl has been empty. Used to be that was never a concern. Food went in two times a day like clockwork. Now I don't know. What, has cat food become intolerably expensive? Have the grocery stores run out? Perhaps I now have to reach down into my DNA and try to remember how to actually catch and kill something? What could possibly be the cause of such a disruption?

I'm looking at it. The thing that the short bearded biped sits in front of almost every night. Whatever it does, it's taken his focus from us and we don't eat as often, or as well.

I'm Bernie - the smart one. Norton - the idiot - is around here somewhere, probably lying on his back scratching the hell out of the foot board in the bedroom. No body knows why he does it, he just does. (I keep begging the bipeds every day to kill him, but they're not having any of that. So I have to put up with him - and the empty bowl.)

Whatever it is this thing does, apparently it's transfixing. Lots of words, sometimes moving pictures and sounds ... I'm sure it all means something. Right now I'm just hungry, so to draw attention to the fact that the bowl is empty again, I'll just keep jumping around on the button thingy - which I've been told repeatedly not to do. If that doesn't work, maybe I'll join Norton in his attempt to destroy furniture. It's gotta be easier than chasing down rodents for food.