Saturday, May 29, 2010

Facebook Safety Center

As a middle school teacher, I was thrilled to learn Facebook has created a new Safety Center for parents, educators, law enforcement, and kids.

Not only does it have good advice, it has realistic advice. For example, check out these tips for parents (found under the section "Can I friend my teen?"):

Don't fill your kids' pages with your comments. As it is, simply having parents is mortifying enough at this age. Their friends don't need evidence of your existence (and you can always send them private messages).

Don't be techno-phobic. Don't be afraid of technology. Learn to text, send a mobile photo, set up a Facebook profile, upload a video. Or have your kids show you how. It's impossible to guide what you don't understand. Not only that, but think of all the anxiety you can avoid by knowing how things work.

For all those parents who contact me, not knowing where to start with their 13 year old and social networking, I will be sharing this new resource.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Open Educational Resources (OER)

So, a few days ago, I had the pleasure of attending my first CC Salon SF. I was excited, since I am currently a little obsessed with Creative Commons and copyright, and I work part-time for the open source respository, Curriki. Although, I was somewhat disappointed to find out I was the only currently practicing teacher there. Although I understand; it was a school night. :)

Not to worry, the presentation is archived online.

I think all educators need to start paying attention. The dynasty of the textbook is coming to an end. I was introduced to resources such as CK-12 Flexbooks, Connexions, OER Commons, CLRN Free Digital Textbooks, and the Flat Classroom Project. With all of these free or inexpensive, customizable resources - what it the draw of the typical textbook?
Open Educational Resources are all about sharing.

In a brave new world of learning, OER content is made free to use or share, and in some cases, to change and share again, made possible through licensing, so that both teachers and learners can share what they know. (OER Commons)

Want to find some OER for yourself? Curriki lists 10 great OER search engines on their blog.

More on this later...