Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Episode 126 - Social media, digital footprints, and PLNs

It’s Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 and welcome to episode 126 of TechTalk4Teachers, I'm Tom Grissom. This month we will be talking about social media and how educators are using it to great advantage for sharing information and resources and also in developing personal and professional learning networks, commonly referred to as PLNs.

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(36 minutes 33 seconds)

First up we have an interview with Dave Meister, a local principal from Paris Cooperative High School located about 30 minutes from EIU. Mr. Meister recently participated in a job fair for new teachers held at EIU and he shares how he uses Twitter and other social media to connect with other educators. We discuss the importance of having a professional digital footprint and what considerations go into the hiring process of new teachers. We also discuss the importance of collaborating with other educators and continually updating your knowledge and skills as an educator. Social media tools when used with a purpose and spirit of collaboration offer tremendous potential for educators. Because social media tools are relatively new we are just in the beginning stages of exploring the beneficial ways of using them. As always, when using any Web 2.0 technology, be sure to follow your organizations policies regarding social media and maintain a positive and professional digital footprint.

After my conversation with Principal Meister we have Dr. Cindy Rich from the Teaching with Primary Sources program here at EIU and she shares how the Library of Congress is using social media to share their mission with educators from all around the world. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr are all being used to share information and resources from the Library of Congress, but first we have our phone interview with Dave Meister.

Dave Meister Interview

Resources mentioned:
Cybraryman1 Resources for Educators

Cindy Rich Interview

Resources mentioned:

Technology Pick of the Week

My Technology Pick of the week this week is the K12onlince conference. The K12 Online Conference occurs annually and has been a featured Tech Pick of the Week on previous episodes of TechTalk4Teachers podcast.

K12 Online Conference

K12 Online Conference Schedule 2011

This is a timely pick because today, November 30th , is the third day for this online conference and it continues through December 9th, 2011. The theme for this years conference is Purposeful Play. Presentations are pre-recorded videos that educators across the world share at this conference and many presenters have blogs and Twitter addresses. The sessions of the K12 Online Conference are also archived so you can watch the video sessions when it is convenient for you if you cannot view it at the time in the conference schedule. The asynchronous nature for this conference is a blessing for many a busy educator that cannot attend face-to-face conferences due to either budget constraints or scheduling issues. Face-to-face conferences are still very important but many educators find more value in face-to-face conferences when they have established a previous online relationship with other educators. A simple service like Twitter when used with a purpose of building a professional learning network amplifies your professional relationships that occur overtime both online and face-to-face.
Adding other teachers to your own Professional Learning Network allows you to have access to many of the best and brightest educators from around the world. If you choose the people you follow strategically you will learn many new things as you will see all tweets from the people you follow in your Twitter stream. Social media is a big topic and everyone has their own definition of what it is. Social media is continuing to evolve and when used purposefully with a little common sense and netiquette many will find benefits that make it worthwhile.

That wraps it up for episode 126 of TechTalk4Teachers. I want to thank Dave Meister and Dr. Rich for sharing how they are using social media, if you are on Twitter you can follow Mr. Meister @phsprincipal The Library of Congress has a Twitter account and can be followed @librarycongress If you would like to follow me on Twitter my twitter name is @tomgrissom

Show notes for this episode and archived episodes are available on the web at the EIU Instructional Technology Center website at To leave a comment or suggestion, please send an email to or leave a comment on the Tech Talk for Teachers blog. Until next time, this is Tom Grissom, keep on learning.