The Power of Social Media and its Implications for Education

When: Tuesday, March 13th, 4-5pm Melbourne, Australia (gmt+11)

About this session: Year 12 students walked into my classroom for the first lesson of the day on Wednesday last week and asked if I had seen the Kony video. Intrigued, I asked more questions to find out that the students had seen the links on facebook which had gone viral with the news. It had also hit other social media eg twitter, youtube, vimeo with a vengeance and the traditional media had also joined in. Using a teachable moment, we viewed the highly engaging video. Since then it has come under some criticism.

When we watched the movie  it had had 3 million hits, by the end of the day the hits amounted to 10 million but 24 hours later had reached 40 million. Wide use of social media has also been used in the recent floods in Victoria.

  • What are other examples of social media use  that have had global impact?
  • What impact does this have on learning and for education in general?
  • How important are critical thinking and internet research skills?
  • How can these skills be taught?
Join us as we share conversations around these important questions. Here is the link to join in this session. What comments could you add? What are your feelings on this?

Teapotting or Planking: Country School starts Teapotting Global Craze

When: Tuesday June 7th, 4 to 5pm, Melbourne, Australia time (gmt +10)

About this session: HOT on the heels of planking, ‘teapotting’ is the newest internet craze to take off across the country. Students at Mortlake P12 College, a small country school in SW Victoria, Australia  “invent their own internet craze using facebook and learn some salient lessons about social media, social responsibility and mainstream media moral panics along the way” (abc country radio).

The presenter: Come and listen to Anne de Manser speak about this amazing development. Bring your questions, experiences with facebook in education etc.

Here is the link to the session.

Cyber Safety in Online Spaces

What a compelling session this was and one that every teacher and associated educationalists must watch! The participants were global in nature and only one Australian teacher participated in this session. For me, that was disappointing as cyber safety is the number one consideration in learning online! It is not a ‘once off’ lesson but a daily reminder! However, it was also apt that we had participants from China, Malaysia and the USA, as this is a global issue! In China, facebook is blocked which could make discussions even more interesting. Issues on student cyber bullying were discussed but also the issue of teacher bullying with sites such as 

This followed ‘hot on the heels’ of student bullying at a school near mine where students took mobile phone video of the assault and it virally spread beyond their phones. The assaulted student was in intensive care for two days. We need to act!

Here is the link to the recording

Cara Webber expertly led us through the issues that cyber space leads to, giving some graphic examples of inappropriate face book sites, sexting etc and advice on dealing with the issues. The point that struck me and scared me, was that if teachers befriend students and sexting photos appear on their page, the teacher can also  be seen as ‘being in possession’ of child pornography! Sexting must be dealt with and stamped out! But how do we do this? Cara commented that student voice is far more powerful than that of the teacher, and that we need to empower students.

About Cara: Cara is the senior education officer for the Cybersafety Outreach Secion of Security, Safety and e-Education Branch of the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Her work focuses on developing cybersafety education programs for teachers, parents and students in order to achieve a whole school response to understanding and safeguarding against potential risks online.
Prior to joining the ACMA, Cara taught VCE English and Psychology for ten years in the secondary sector. She was a pastoral care leader for the Senior Years responsible for behavioural management and the development and coordination of Health and Well-Being programs across these ages

Here are some of the thought provoking youtube movies that Cara shared with us.

  1. Megan’s story

From the chat

  • Cybersmart site
  • @Martin they also present teachable moments – just have to be cautious – instruction for safety – copyrigyt issues – bullying
  • Discussion on the different laws  in each country that participants came from
  • @zegna: to put those photo online is illegal in China
  • Why is it the fault of the victim?
  • Once posted you lose it youtube video
  • Do students realise that everything on the internet is archived
  • @veronica “Education is the way to go but it can be a long and tedious process”
  • Rate My Teacher shared.