Social Media Ideas for Schools


I saw this link posted on Jen Carey’s blog and felt that it was well worth sharing here too. It is the revised social media guidelines for the New York Times journalists.  I have long felt that for school employees, the debate over what is considered your private life and what is considered public, can be an interesting and often heated debate. However, in a world that is now dominated by social media, it is easy to slip up or be misinterpreted by those who lack context or knowledge of you as a person. 

These guidelines are effective for a number of reasons. They are written in plain English, not legalese. The guidelines are clear and lack ambiguity. They have a checklist of examples and actions to take if you are in any way unsure of your social media practices. I also like that the tone of this policy. It is professional without being didactic and it seeks to embrace the power of social media as opposed to banning or restricting it. 

While this policy was written for the journalists at the New York Times, I think there are lots of great ideas here that schools could adapt and use for their own employees. So, click through and take a look, and if you are not already following Jen Carey’s blog, you absolutely should! She consistently posts great content for educators. 

Originally posted on Media! Tech! Parenting!: Today, October 13, 2017, the New York Times introduced its new social media policy for people who work in the Times newsroom. Not only is it interesting to read — it may will also become a useful document for educators to share with students. The policy clearly illustrates the…

via Can the New York Times Social Media Policy Become a Teaching Tool? — Indiana Jen

How to Create & Use Twitter Moments

twitter moments.png

Twitter Moments are a curated collection of tweets that are designed to tell a story. When they were first launched, you could only read stories that had been curated by Twitter, but recently that changed. You can now create and share your own Twitter Moments, and I think there are a lot of great opportunities for social savvy teachers to take advantage of that. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Create a Moment

  1. Go to twitter.com
  2. Click the Moments tab
  3. Click Create new Moment

Create a Twitter Moment II.png

Alternatively, you can click the three dots on any tweet and select New Moment. You can also click through to your profile page to find the Moments tab next to your Lists. If you click that, you will see the option to Create new Moment.

Create a Twitter Moment.png

Every Moment needs a title and a description, so add those first. After that, you are ready to add tweets to your Moment. Twitter gives you a number of options for doing this. You can select from tweets you have liked, look for tweets from a specific account, perform a search on twitter (e.g. by hashtag or keyword), or add the link to a tweet. Simply select the checkmark next to any tweet to add it to your Moment.

Tweets can be manually ordered so that they appear in chronological or some other progression that makes the most sense to your story. Tweets with media can be cropped for optimal viewing on a desktop and mobile device. You can also choose one tweet to be the cover image of your Moment. Continue reading “How to Create & Use Twitter Moments”

How to Use Twitter #Stickers & Edit Photos in Tweets

how to use twitter stickers

Earlier this week, Twitter introduced Stickers – a new way to add personality to the images you share from your phone or tablet. Stickers may see whimsical, but they are a fun way to add interactivity to images and they are yet another way you can edit photos before publishing them online. Why bother? Knowing how to use images correctly in tweets is useful because according to Twitter’s own stats, tweets with photos have seen a 35% increase in visibility and retweets. So, in this post I am going to show you how to use Twitter Stickers, as well as some other useful tips and tricks related to editing and sharing photos on mobile devices.

How to Use Twitter Stickers

The first thing to know is that, as of today, Twitter Stickers only work on the iOS and Android versions of the official Twitter app. Once you have that idea cemented in your mind, the rest is very easy.

  1. Tap the compose icon in the top right hand corner to begin your tweet
  2. Next, tap Photo to capture a new image or swipe up to choose one from your device
  3. Tap the smiley face to see the stickers that are available to you
  4. Browse the categories of stickers by tapping the icons on the bottom toolbar
  5. Tap a sticker to add it to your photo
  6. Resize or re-position the sticker by pinching or dragging
  7. Add more stickers by tapping the smiley face in the bottom right-hand corner
  8. To remove a sticker, press and hold on it, then drag it to the trash can

Twitter Stickers on the iPad

Once you have added stickers to a tweet, they inherit a visual tag. Other people can tap on your Sticker to see a timeline of tweets by other people who also used that sticker. You can also search under the #Stickers hashtag to see creative examples like the ones below:

stickers1

stickers2

How to Edit Photos in the Twitter App

You may already have a favorite photo editing tool for your mobile device, but if you don’t, or you just want to make some last minute adjustments, the Twitter app can help. Editing tools are available by tapping the pencil icon on an image after you have added your photo(s) to a tweet. You will then see a number of options that will let you tweak the image to your taste.

  • Magic wand: A one-click fix for lighting and color
  • Filters: A selection of color adjustments to add style or mood to an image
  • Crop Tool: Resize or rotate and image for your tweet

Once you have made the adjustments you need, click Save to store the settings. Note that your original photo remains as it was before. Only the photo you tweeted includes the image adjustments that you make in the Twitter app.

Twitter Photo editor ios

5 Top Twitter Photo Tips

  1. Twitter displays images best when they are in a rectangular 2:1 ratio. Images that are sized 1024×512 pixels will often work best, but apps like Canva and Adobe Spark Post can size images automatically so that they will look their best on Twitter. You can also use the wide crop in Twitter’s photo editor (see above) to get a similar effect.
  2. You can tag up to 10 people in a photo without sacrificing any characters from your tweet. Simply tap the Who’s in this photo? link to add the names of others you would like to notify about your tweet. This is great for tagging people in a photo, but is even better for notifying others about your tweet when you run out of characters in the tweet body.
  3. If a picture is worth a 1000 words, what is a GIF worth? Sometimes these animated images are all you need to say exactly what is on your mind. The GIF button is right next to the camera icon in your tweet composer and can be used with Twitter.com or mobile devices, but you can’t tag people in a GIF.
  4. You can add up to four images to a Tweet. Each photo can be edited and each photo can have stickers on it. You can reorder images by removing them from a tweet and selecting them again in the order you want them to appear. Photos can be up to 5MB and must be in the GIF, JPEG or PNG image format.
  5. GIFS and photos can also be sent in a direct message to other users. However, there are some restrictions. Stickers can not currently be applied to photos that are sent in a direct message, and you can only send one photo at a time.

How to Engage Students Online With Twitter Polls

twitter polls

This week, Twitter added a polling option that anyone with a Twitter account can use to gather opinions on a topic of their choice. Facebook has had polls for a while, but this is still a welcome addition to Twitter. Polls are quick and easy to set up and they could have some useful benefits for teachers who use social media in the classroom. Here’s how they works.

The new polling option can be found when you go to compose a new tweet at Twitter.com or on the mobile apps. Simply type the question or comment that you want people to vote on, and then tap (or click) on the Poll button to add choices. You can have up to 20 characters for each option, and this will not count towards the 140 characters that you can use in the main body of the tweet.

twitter polls screenshot

If you see a poll you want to vote on, all you have to do is tap (or click) on the choice you want to cast your vote. All Twitter polls are anonymous. The person who created the poll will not know how you voted or even who voted, and neither will the other people who participate in the poll. You can only vote once, per account.

Once a poll has been posted, it will remain open for 24 hours. When that time has expired, voting will be closed automatically and the person who initiated the poll will receive a notification that it has now ended, as well as a breakdown of the final results. The winning choice will be highlighted in bold text for everyone to see.

As of today, you can only have two choices for people to vote on, so you will have to be creative with your question or focused with the data you want to collect. You also can’t include any media with a Twitter poll, which is a shame because it might be nice to be able to vote on an image or ask a question about a video.

In the classroom, this might be a useful tool for a quick exit ticket. You could post the question on Twitter with your class hashtag and get students to vote on the answer they think best answers the question. You won’t know who answered what, but you will know how many voted as well as how well your students understood the content that day. You could also use it to help introduce more student voice and choice in your classroom by having students vote on the topics or activities they would most like to cover in class. Student groups like athletic teams, robotic clubs, or student journalists could poll their peers on topics that matter to them.

Schools could use Twitter polls to help engage the community in some of the lighter decisions that administrators have to make on a daily basis. It could also be used as part of a professional development session in the place of something like Poll Everywhere and as a way to encourage your teachers to be involved and on Twitter.

Outside of the classroom, I can see businesses and media outlets taking advantage of this in a number of ways. So, look for The Voice, Dancing With the Stars, America’s Got Talent, and others to be adding Twitter polls in the near future.

Here is a short video from Richard Byrne on how to create a Twitter poll.

Learn more: Twitter Help

Nuzzel: The Social News Feed for Connected Educators

Nuzzel for education

I first learned about Nuzzel from Tony Vincent, and today I use it more than ever. What is it? Nuzzel is a way to see the most popular links and stories that are being shared by your PLN. It basically filters out the noise and lets you see what the people you follow are most interested in right now. Nuzzel is updated frequently, and is a very efficient way to aggregate the best of the web so you can stay current with the latest conversations. Nuzzel is available for free on iOS, Android, and the web. Here’s how it works:

1. Connect to the app with your Twitter and/or Facebook accounts. With your permission, Nuzzel will analyze your respective feeds and compile the most shared and talked about stories from the people you follow.

2. Along the top of your screen you see four tabs. The first is the default feed, “News from Your Friends“, which as mentioned above, is a list of stories that your friends on social media are sharing right now. The list is sorted by the number of shares, with the most popular stories at the top of the feed, and newer (or less popular) stories towards the bottom. You can click or tap on any of these stories to read them, and also share them to your favorite social network.

Nuzzel for iOS screenshot

3. Another interesting option is the “News from Friends of Friends” feed. As the title suggests, these are popular stories that are being shared not by people you follow, but by friends of the people you follow. This can give a very different feed, with different stories, but is often still very relevant to the kinds of things you are interested in. It can also be a great way to find new people to follow based on the kinds of stories that they are sharing.

Nuzzel friends of friends

4. The remaining tabs at the top point to News You May Have Missed and your Recently Read Stories. Both are useful features that help you get more out of this useful app, but personally, I don’t use these features nearly as often as I use the first two.

5. The last thing I am going to highlight is the column on the right-hand side of the screen – Your Friend’s Feeds. This lets you view the news feed of your social media friends who are also using Nuzzel. This is akin to browsing through their Twitter or Facebook feed, but it picks up the stories that were curated for them by Nuzzel based on who they follow. I find this a great way to find specific content based on the special interests of some of the people I follow. The screenshot below is a snapshot of Tony Vincent’s news feed!

Tony Vincent's Nuzzel feed

Nuzzel is great for lots of reasons. It helps you stay connected with the best of social media without the need to be “connected” all the time. It also filters out a lot of the noise that some people complain about when they are using social media networks. Lastly, Nuzzel is a great discovery tool that gives you lots of content that you can share with your own followers. So, if you haven’t tried Nuzzel before, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

YouTube in the Classroom: Practice What You Teach

youtube: practice what you teach

If there’s one question I get asked a lot from educators, it’s how to download YouTube videos. There are lots of reasons why you might want to do this, but truthfully, there aren’t any good reasons why you should. I realize that this may not be a very popular post with some people, but I feel like it should still be written. In essence it comes down to this. Can you download videos from YouTube? Yes. Should you? No.

Why Would You Want to Download Videos from YouTube?

The number one reason why educators want to download videos from YouTube is an unreliable Internet connection. This may be at school, or at a conference where they are giving a presentation. Either way, they don’t want to stand at the front of the room waiting for a video to buffer. It ruins the flow of a presentation and inevitably leads to you losing the attention of your audience.

Other reasons for downloading a YouTube video include the desire to archive your own copy of the video just in case it ever gets removed from YouTube by the person who uploaded it, or by YouTube itself. Some teachers may want an offline version of a video for students who don’t have high-speed Internet at home, while others may just be using software like Apple’s Keynote, which doesn’t let you natively embed YouTube videos in your slides.

What Do the YouTube Terms and Conditions Say?

As a user of the site, you agree and are bound by these terms. In Section 5, Your Use of Content, they say:

Content is provided to you AS IS. You may access Content for your information and personal use solely as intended through the provided functionality of the Service and as permitted under these Terms of Service. You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content. You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content. YouTube and its licensors reserve all rights not expressly granted in and to the Service and the Content.

Here we can clearly see that it would be against YouTube’s terms and conditions to download content from YouTube without a specific button or link on their site that permits you to do so. Why would they have this condition? YouTube is owned by Google, and Google make a lot of their money from advertising. The more you visit YouTube, the higher their site visits are, and the easier it is for them to sell advertising on videos. You might not like to see ads on your videos, (few people do), but YouTube is a free site, and this is how they pay to keep the service alive and available for everyone to use.

So, I Can’t Download Anything From YouTube?

You can download your own content from the Video Manager page. Admittedly, you probably already have an offline version of your video, but if you deleted the original, it is good to know that you can download it again if you need it. Simply go to the Video Manager from your channel page or by navigating to www.youtube.com/my_videos. Click the down arrow next to the video you want to download and look for the Download MP4 option.

Download from the Video Manager

Is it Illegal to Download Videos from YouTube?

I’m not a lawyer so the advice that follows should absolutely be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt. Downloading videos from YouTube may not seem like a crime if you think of it in the context of ignoring (or being unaware) of the YouTube terms and conditions, but you could potentially be in breach of copyright. After all, the original creator of the video retains ownership of the copyright associated with that work if they upload it with the Standard YouTube License.

This gets a little dicier when you consider that some very large corporations put some of their very expensive intellectual property on YouTube. Movie studios upload trailers, record companies upload music videos, and media companies upload original content. We all benefit from these great offerings, but you can be sure that none of these corporations would approve of you downloading their content for your own use, so you are very likely in breach of copyright.

What’s the Harm? Everybody does it, right?

Unfortunately, lots of people do. In fact, some of the biggest offenders are the speakers and headline keynotes that you enjoy listening to at your favorite EdTech conferences. I’m not going to mention any names, but I see it a lot and I’m sure you do too. Do they get permission from the original copyright holder to download and show those videos? Some do, some don’t. So this brings us to an important classroom concept that, as educators, it is our sworn duty to reinforce with all of our students; digital citizenship.

We need to practice what we teach. We are role models for our students, so we need to act in the way that we would want them to act. This, to me, is the biggest reason why we should not download videos from YouTube. It might seem like a small thing, but it sends a message that it’s okay to bend the rules. It can easily lead to other transgressions like not citing image sources or using 13+ products and services that you are not old enough to use without parental permission. (By the way, did you know that YouTube is a 13+ service?)

What Should I Do Instead?

YouTube is an amazing resource, of that there is no doubt, but you needn’t abandon it altogether. If you are using it in a school that does not have the most reliable internet connection, have a plan B. Technology is great when it works, but we all know that it all fails at one time or another, regardless of the device or service that you rely on. Plan B is a great example for students, so embrace it.

If you are giving a presentation at a conference, remember PowerPoint 2013 (and later) lets you embed a YouTube video in your slides. Google Slides let you do the same, and so does Prezi. If it works, great. If not, you too need a plan B. One that includes an ethical use of media. You could leave a link to the video on your slide so the audience can see it later or you could try to contact the original creator of the video to procure and get permission to use an offline version of their work.

Conclusion

I have no doubt that there may be some of you who have read this post and did not know that you were not supposed to download videos from YouTube. That’s okay. How many of us have clicked “Agree” on 47 pages of terms and conditions without ever reading one word? I know I have. I’m not perfect. No one is. I am sure there are posts in this blog that lack a link or a citation to sources that should have been cited, but it wasn’t deliberate, and I genuinely try to be the best digital citizen that I can online, just as I am sure you do too. There are things I forget, or just don’t know, but I’m human, I’m still learning, and I will always take feedback on how I can improve. So the next time you think about downloading a YouTube video, be it for educational purposes or otherwise, think about the example you are setting for other teachers and educators.

Why You Should Use IFTTT to Post from Instagram to Twitter!

Instagram to Twitter

Do you post your Instagram photos to Twitter? If you do, you have probably noticed that the image does not show up. You only get the caption and a link to view the original image on Instagram. Your followers have to tap (or click) the link in order to see what you just posted. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a simple IFTTT recipe, you can have all your Instagram photos appear as a native images that are embedded in your Twitter feed for all to admire. Here’s how.

What is IFTTT?

If This Then That (IFTTT) is a service that lets you connect web-based accounts to automate one or more processes that may otherwise take you much longer to complete. These processes are called recipes. They are a list of instructions that, once activated, will run automatically in the background. There are recipes for all kinds of useful things, but the one we will look at today solves the problem of your Instagram photos not appearing in your Twitter feed. The recipe, and a link to add it to your own IFTTT account, is below.

ifttt instagram to twitter
Source: https://ifttt.com/recipes/103249-post-your-instagram-photos-as-native-twitter-photos

How Does Instagram to Twitter Work?

When Instagram posts your latest update to Twitter it adds an instagram.com link to your Twitter feed. This gives a direct link to your image on Instagram, which is great, but no one on Twitter sees your image unless they follow the link. The IFTTT recipe above replaces the instagram.com link with a pic.twitter.com link – Twitter’s native image sharing service. It may sound like a small change, but it allows your Instagram images to appear as native images in your Twitter feed.

Once the IFTTT recipe is set up, ignore the post to Twitter button in the Instagram app. You don’t need it any more. All you need to do is post to Instagram, and let IFTTT do the rest. Check out the before and after shots below to see the difference.

Continue reading “Why You Should Use IFTTT to Post from Instagram to Twitter!”