Weekly Wrap: Fox Twitter #FAIL, MySpace is Dead, UK TV Revolution, Ad Literacy 101, Too Much College Debt, RIP Zune & More!

Flickr > don't piss off gen y

A Revolution in TV as Content Moves Online: There's a revolution going on in television but you may not necessarily be watching it on the set in your living room. Online viewing of programmes in the UK will more than triple in the next few years, according to the latest forecasts, boosted by new video on demand websites offering the best British and US shows to users for free. [The Guardian UK]

A Textbook Discount: The Bigwords free iPhone App works to take some of the sting out of the experience through a complex calculation to find the best textbook deals, whether than means buying new, used or digital, or just renting. [NYT]

Fox's 'Twitter on TV' Experiment Irks Fans: Fox’s idea of “tweet-peats” would combine reruns of popular new shows Fringe and Glee, with producers and members of the cast tweeting their show commentary as the episodes rolled. [Mashable]

Ad Literacy 101: Ads are often enjoyable for kids. They're also pretty ubiquitous. So it might be counterproductive to act as though all advertising is dumb or boring or evil, or to make your kid feel guilty for partaking of it. The goal here is rigorous critical thinking, and good/bad dichotomies generally fall into the "simplistic thinking" category. Life is much more complex. [Brett Berk in Babble]

Web-monitoring software gathers data on kid chats: Parents who install a leading brand of software to monitor their kids' online activities may be unwittingly allowing the company to read their children's chat messages — and sell the marketing data gathered. [San Francisco Chronicle] 

A Sneak Peek at Obama's Speech to Schoolchildren: On September 8th, President Obama will speak to American schoolchildren. I got a look at an early draft... [Huffington Post]

Is A College Education Worth The Debt?: A college degree has long been considered a golden ticket to success in this country. But with the current economic recession, some question whether obtaining a college degree is worth going into debt. [NPR]

New College Majors for Changing Times: The Chronicle of Higher Education says colleges are now offering new disciplines for students, including a major in the science behind customer service. [American Public Media]

Speed Round: UK considering 'No Fee' degrees, teachers are using Twitter to connect with students, teachers discover how building video games can help at risk students do better in school, an Ofcom study finds young people want advice about online privacy (thanks Tania!), according to HitWise MySpace is Dead..long Live Twitter, Zune doesn't pass Microsoft's 'death panel' and finally....new data from comScore shows that teens now LOVE the Twitter! (At least until next week when another study will show that they don't love the Twitter!) [BBC] [SA Blog] [Edutopia] [eGov] [Josh Dhaliwal] [GadgetLab] [Mashable]

NCSS Position Statement: Media Literacy is an Imperative

In February the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) released a position statement on media literacy, social technology and learning in the digital age. Their conclusion?

"These changes in society and the experiences the students bring into the classroom challenge social studies teachers to change both how and what we teach. One reaction is to fear these changes and try to protect our students from things we don’t understand or appreciate. Such an approach is neither helpful nor pedagogically sound.

Another response is to take advantage instructionally of the wealth of experiences that young people have making media choices by respecting those choices when consistent with democratic principles. Whether we like it or not, this media culture is our students’ culture.

Today's Students Are Experiencing a Different Childhood

  • The digital age requires new skills for accessing, analyzing, evaluating, creating, and distributing messages within a digital, global, and democratic society.
  • The ubiquitous and mobile nature of information and communication technologies has resulted in a world far different from that of those of us whose childhood was once surrounded by large box televisions, rotary dial telephones, and transistor radios.

Media Literacy

  • These changes in society and the experiences the students bring into the classroom challenge social studies teachers to change both how and what we teach.
  • Teaching students to think critically about the content and the form of mediated messages is an essential requirement for social studies education in this millennium.
  • Media literacy integrates the process of critical inquiry with the creation of media as students examine, create, and disseminate their own alternative images, sounds, and thoughts.
  • Media literacy includes the skills of accessing, analyzing, evaluating, creating, and distributing messages as well as the cultural competencies and social skills associated with a growing participatory culture.
  • In the 21st century, media literacy is an imperative for participatory democracy because new information/communication technologies and a market-based media culture have significantly reshaped the world.

Media Literacy & the Social Studies Classroom

  • Teachers need to expand their notion of “legitimate texts” and realize that it includes popular culture, advertising, photographs, maps, text (SMS) messages, Twitter, movies, video games, Internet, all sorts of hand-held devices and information communication technologies (ICTs) as well as print.
  • The ability to differentiate between primary and secondary sources or distinguish fact from fiction is now intimately connected to the ability to analyze and create media.
  • Social studies educators should provide young people with the awareness and abilities to critically question and create new media and technology, and the digital, democratic experiences, necessary to become active participants in the shaping of democracy.

Related Resources

MediaSnackers Interview with Youth Guru Josh Shipp

After my post about youth advice guru Josh Shipp, the fine folks over at MediaSnackers alerted me to a podcast they did with Josh. This is a great interview.

In this podcast Josh talks about the issues facing kids today and how he uses social media as way to reach out to help them work through their problems.

He also talks about the pros and cons of using different social platforms, digital strategy and social marketing. Thanks to MediaSnackers for making me aware of this excellent interview with Josh.

Time Stamps

0.00—0.18 Intro
0.19—1.49 Background
1.50—3.49 HeyJosh! and main issues youth are facing
3.50—6.36 Why Josh uses Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube etc
6.37—9.04 Facebook competition (winning group)
9.05—12.20 Changing issues for youth and HeyJosh! strategy
12.20—12.29 Thanks and outro

On a side note, Josh will be keynoting at the 2009 YPulse Youth Marketing Mashup in San Francisco. This is an excellent conference as well as a great way to stay current on youth trends and marketing---so register today! See you there!

Related Resources

UK Students May Be Required to Master Twitter, Wikipedia & Podcasting

According to a story in today's Guardian, a UK school curriculum reform commission has proposed that primary students should be required to become proficient in web-based and digital tools like Twitter, Wikipedia, blogging and podcasting.

Here's more on the proposed curriculum changes:

"Children will no longer have to study the Victorians or the second world war under proposals to overhaul the primary school curriculum, the Guardian has learned.

However, the draft plans will require children to master Twitter and Wikipedia and give teachers far more freedom to decide what youngsters should be concentrating on in classes.

The proposed curriculum, which would mark the biggest change to primary schooling in a decade, strips away hundreds of specifications about the scientific, geographical and historical knowledge pupils must accumulate before they are 11 to allow schools greater flexibility in what they teach.

The proposal would require children to leave primary school familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication. They must gain "fluency" in handwriting and keyboard skills, and learn how to use a spellchecker alongside how to spell."

Related Resources

Mashup Edu: Research on K-12 New Media Literacy

I am pleased to announce that the book chapter that I co-authored with Dr. Mercedes Fisher, "Pedagogical Mashup: Gen Y, Social Media, and Digital Learning Styles," has officially been accepted for publication in the Handbook of Research on New Media Literacy at the K-12 Level: Issues and Challenges, to be published by IGI Global is now officially available!

Dr. Fisher and I wish to thank the co-editor of the book, Professor Subramaniam at the National Institute of Education at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, for his hard work and direction during the writing and peer-review process.

In addition, we appreciate all the members of the peer-review committee for their feedback, suggestions and collaboration on this chapter. It's been a wonderful experience to work with members of the international education technology/media community.

We've saved the links for all the resources and references cited in the book chapter over on the social bookmarking tool delicious, which you can find here: http://del.icio.us/mashup.edu

Related Publications by Mercedes Fisher & Derek E. Baird

Why School Administrators Should Blog

"One way of rebuilding trust is to use blogs to reopen, reconnect and be transparent again. Community building is built through commenting feature. Parents can start dialoguing with you. They don't have to leave their job to come to the school building, they can come and communicate meaningfully without leaving their house." (via MGuhlin.net)

--Dr. Scott McLeod, Dangerously Irrelevant

PodCamp Ireland 2008

PodCamp Ireland is the very first stand-alone event to promote the use and provide guidance and tips on the subject of social media in Ireland and will be taking place on September 27th 2008 in Kilkenny, Ireland.

You can learn more and get information on registration by clicking here.

Related Resources

User Generated Fame: Gen Y & Hollywood

After shaking up old media with their podcasts, YouTube videos and blogs, Gen Y is out to shake up one of the most entrenched industries around---Hollywood.

In his report,Talent Agents for the YouTube Generation, Marketplace reporter Kai Rysdall visits United Talent Agency's online division in Hollywood to learn about digital representation. Here's one of my favorite quotes from the interview:

"The guys at United Talent Agency think it's because they are so young that they've been able to pick as many winners as they have, never mind what the old guys think.

Nadler: If all of those 54-year-olds sat down with their 17-year-old kids for a week and said "Show me what you do."

Ryssdal: Is part of your job getting them to do that? To sit down and say, "I need to understand this?"

Nadler: Either way, they're going to have to learn if they want to keep their jobs."

Not only is this a great interview (high five Kai), but it's a great barometer on how rapidly social media, user generated content and Gen Y are changing both the way media is digested and what it means to be famous in the digital age.

Related Resources

  • Marketplace
  • UTA Online
  • Prom Queen                                                                                                                                                                                             

KQED Forum: Psychology of Social Networking

"Psychologists have long studied social networks, and the growing popularity of sites like MySpace and Facebook provide fertile territory for research. Stanford University even has a class called Psychology of Facebook. What do our online profiles say about us?" (via)


B.J. Fogg, director of the Persuasive Technology Laboratory at Stanford University and the author of an upcoming book on the psychology of Facebook.

Sam Gosling, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Related Resources

Totally Wired: Interview with Anastasia Goodstein

Steve Hargadon has a fascinating interview with Anastasia Goodstein, author of Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens Are Really Doing Online. In the podcast, Anastasia talks about what teens/tweens are doing online and how the and the always-on digital lifestyles of today's Gen Y teen.

Anastasia talks about how teens are using technology and social media in their "real life" versus the way they are using (or not) using technology in the classroom.

She also stresses the need for educators (and parents) to provide students with the skills they need to assess the onslaught of information and ability to evaluate the credibility of resources on the web.

Anastasia has a wealth of information on the wired lives of teens. Anyone who works with youth should listen to this podcast. And thanks to Steve for conducting such a great interview!

Related Resources

Pop! Tech: Create Positive Change

Thanks to edublogger Ken Pruitt, I discovered the PopCast series from the PopTech Conference. This is a fantastic resource for high school and college civics/economics/ classes.

Here's the scoop on PopCast:

"Pop!Casts are available free of charge. And they’re published under a Creative Commons license—meaning you can distribute, translate and edit them as you wish for noncommercial use.

Sharing Pop!Casts with peers is one of the ways you can inspire collective thinking and action around the topics you’re most interested in.

New segments will be posted every few weeks courtesy of Yahoo!, so check back often or subscribe to our RSS feed. Download. Discover. Do your part to create positive change in the world!"

And be sure to listen to the vodcast featuring Tom "The Flat World" Friedman. His message? Think Green.

Thanks Ken!

VOIP Made Easy: Yackpack Walkie-Talkie Widget

Yplogomain It looks like the team over at Yackpack has been busy working up another batch of their yack magic. A few months ago they launched Yackpack Live, a feature which allows you to talk in real time to anyone in your pack.

Now they've added another exciting Yackpack product to their already impressive and innovative arsenal of Web 2.0 audio tools: Walkie-Talkie Widget.

The nifty Walkie-Talkie Widget tool allows you to easily (we like that!) put voice on any web page! Best of all there's no configuration, no software, and only one button -- easy peasy! Check out the CNET Webware article about the Walkie-Talkie Widget!

So go check out the new audio toys over at Yackpack! There are a ton of ways to use Yackpack and the new Walkie-Talkie Widget as a way to engage those Gen Y learners in your classroom.

How about putting a Walkie-Talkie Widget on your course blog? Or wiki? Or online syllabus? These are all great ways to get the conversation going.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Keep your eyes peeled for the YackPlayer!

Related Resources

Gen Y + Multiple Intelligences

The following list illustrates how online learning styles (in this case Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences), and social software technologies can work together to support Gen Y learning styles, and foster community in the online and blended classroom.

Over the next couple weeks, I'll be showing what types of social media support each of the different Multiple Intelligences outlined by Howard Gardner. I'll also list specific social media tools that support each MI type.


  • Verbal-Linguistic > To do with words, spoken or written. People in this area are generally good at writing, oration, and learning from lectures.


  • Wiki
  • Podcasting
  • Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)
  • eMail


Weblog/Self Publishing Tools

Wiki Tools

Podcasting/Audio Tools

Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)


UCLA Center for World Languages: Russian Podcasts

via UCLA: "The Center for World Languages (CWL) was created within UCLA's International Institute. Its primary goals are to bring more coherence to existing language-related activities and to extend UCLA's presence, visibility, and capacity for innovation and instructional delivery.

Business Russian Podcasts

These podcasts are for those who want to learn business Russian Business vocabulary communication. They model the use of essential vocabulary and phrases.

Podcasts are created by Ganna Kudyma, Lecturer in Russian, UCLA Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Each podcast has an accompanying text that can be downloaded. Level: intermediate and advanced.

Russian Literature Podcasts

These podcasts are readings in Russian from classic Russian literary texts. They are read by Alexandra Paperny. The text of each podcast can be downloaded via iTunes or Yahoo! Podcasts. Level: intermediate and advanced."

Web Resources

21st Century Explorer Student Podcast Competition

NASA is running its first podcast competition from Sept. 1 through October 10 for students ages 11-18. Students are challenged to create either an audio or video podcast reflecting their answer to the question "How will space exploration benefit your life in the future?"

More details and the entry form for this competition can be found at the 21st Century Explorer Podcast Competition website.

Web Resources