It’s Group Work, Dog’N’It!

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One last little foray into the world of social media before I can officially end my semester and complete my degree. Three of my classmates and I worked on a project with real-world application. We designed a media plan for a fairly new dog training business in Tuscaloosa, AL. The company doesn’t currently have a strong online presence and we were hoping to help the owner develop a plan to increase her online visibility.

My partners were Meredith, Kate, Julia, and Kristina (click their names to connect to their blogs). Meredith really got us rolling on this project, setting up our initial meeting time, contacting the client on our behalf, and writing about Facebook and how it can help enhance business. Kate did a great job of proofing, editing, and formatting our paper and wrote about Instagram. Julia really delved into the pros and cons of having a website vs. a blog in a brief way that efficiently got the point across and hosts our paper on her blog. Kristina shared her expertise on Snapchat. I wrote about how you can use Twitter for small businesses and proofed all of our references to ensure they matched APA styling.

This was a really interesting project and I learned a lot. I found it very interesting on how to use blogs and Instagram for business. Sorry, Kate, I didn’t think it could be so relevant! If anyone lives in the Tuscaloosa area and are in need of positive dog training, look up Dog’N’It, soon to have an awesome online presence!

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Technology in Schools

During the school year I saw the high school and middle school students coming into the library after school with their Chrome Books. I was interested in how these teens and tweens were using their laptops for personal use. I know the schools put blocks on certain content but the kids get around it so easily it’s a wonder there are restrictions at all.

High-tech Vs. No-tech: D.C. area schools take opposite approaches to education found on the Washington Post website

Through this article we see how two different schools deal with learning. One uses a lot of technology and has students get to the main point of their learning and share it in 140 characters as if they are creating a Tweet. The other is taking a hands-on approach with kids learning by doing. My favorite part of the article? “‘We have to stop and think if we are embracing technology just because it is there and new or if it is the best tool for what we want to accomplish,’ said Michael Rich, director of the Center on Child Media and Health at Harvard University.” So true, we move so fast to adopt what’s new but is it helpful?

Also, this may be my paranoia talking (thank you YA dystopian fiction!) but what if there’s a sonic pulse which wipes out all technology, then who will be the one thriving? I think technology in schools can be awesome but being allowed to explore with objects found in front of you can be equally awesome, why not do both?

DeKalb School District 428 OKs $8.5M one-to-one technology plan found on daily-chronicle.com

This is the in the town where I work. Over three years, students in grades 3-12 will be given a device to help give all students equal opportunity to receive the same education. I’m glad to see that the school district in passing them out to specific grades at the same time as opposed to each school at a time to ensure there is equal access across town and not focusing on either the more or less affluent students. So how do schools deal with how students are using their school issued devices?

Why schools’ efforts to block the Internet are so laughably lame found on the Hechinger Report

Perhaps schools will soon be hiring hackers to figure out the ways kids are getting through the schools’ filters on school distributed devices and develop a way to better track activity on the devices. Everything gets confused when you don’t want to worry about censorship but also want to make sure there is no cyberbullying going on and kids aren’t using social media and games during class while they should be studying. This article likens using instant messaging and social media during class to passing notes. Maybe it’s only a matter of time when the students in a classroom, being connected to the network, can have their teachers viewing which websites are being accessed at a given time via their own classroom computer. Libraries can do this when complaints of patrons using inappropriate content on a library internet computer come in, allowing staff to see which site the offending patron is on and take screen shots.

Student Computer Use Raises Privacy Questions found on ChicagoTribune.com

I was thinking about censorship and how it applies to students using school issued devices while reading this article. Isn’t it fair that students, using equipment which they do not own but are borrowing from the school district, be asked to not access certain sites while using the borrowed equipment? Anytime you lease or borrow something there are rules and stipulations about your use of the item, how would minors borrowing school devices be any different? I remember being in high school and kids getting in trouble for smoking on school grounds, the time of day made no difference. So, along those lines, would using your school issued device to access purposely filtered sites be the same thing?

How Teachers Are Using Technology at Home and In Their Classrooms found on the Pew Research Center website

This Pew article found that teachers are needing to kick up their game as they have to deal with students who are using one-to-one technology in school. Many teachers may not have grown up with the same access to technology as their younger peers, and definitely not as much access as the students. By using online resources to share ideas and research different ways to use the internet to enhance learning teachers are making learning more interesting and relevant for their students.

Libraries, like schools, need to keep practicing and using technology to reach their young patrons. There’s no need for the generation gap to be a digital divide. Librarians need to be using, or at least understanding, the technology youth today are using. We can create programming and assist teachers to help keep libraries relevant. For one way libraries can involve social media to encourage teens and tweens to make creative content visit my post Teen Read Week Photo Challenge. For ways libraries can utilize Snapchat to reach teens and tweens, see my post What’s Up With Snapchat? Part 2.

Teen Read Week Photo Challenge

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My life as a graduate student is coming to an end! Let’s see if taking classes which require me to keep a blog will actually encourage me to maintain a regular posting schedule. My mentor, the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (there are no other words to describe how awesome he is) Steve Roman, has encouraged me to be professionally active on social media and was one of the reasons I began this blog (check out his published books here and here). This point was driven home as it was required for a few of my classes. It has been difficult to try to tie all of the class requirements into posts pertaining to teen and tween programming, but this one is easy…

I’m thinking about Teen Read Week in October and I decided I would do a program that uses social media! See how I can get that to tie in with some of my previous posts??? So I’m planning a photo contest where teens can take pictures of the weirdest places they can think of to read and then post it on my library’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Since the theme for 2016 is Read for the Fun of It! I thought this would tie in nicely. I also created a hashtag for the teens to use while sharing their pictures. Now, since I created this program for class it might change a little, but besides the cost of the prize this activity is free! Just remind your teens they should think about their safety in their quest to be funny and original.

Photo Contest

What’s Up with Snapchat? Part 2

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I’m going to make this snappy. I was interested in learning more about Snapchat as I keep hearing my favorite podcasters telling listeners they can be followed on this fairly new social media app (it’s only five years old). How does one use Snapchat to reach a large audience, I thought it was sending messages, via photos, to another person, what changed?

Below is the link to the brief paper I wrote as I discovered how companies, individuals, and even libraries can reach a teen and tween audience through use of this increasingly popular app.

Darcy Tatlock Snapchat for Libraries

For those of you who would rather read a website or article about Snapchat, take a look at the following links.

The inside story of Snapchat: the world’s hottest app or a $3 billion disappearing act? Found on forbes.com

On-Demand Geofilters Found on the Snapchat blog

How to use Snapchat: a small business guide Found on forbes.com

5 ways to use Snapchat for business Found on socialmediaexaminer.com

 

Social MEdia

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I’m reflecting on my social media use over the last month. I’ve increased my activity on my Facebook page (at least I’m checking it more frequently), I signed up for Snapchat (my 11-year-old cousin had to show me how to use it), but I’m actually posting on Instagram less. I’m pretty sure using Instagram less has nothing to do with decreased interest and everything to do with no time to take pictures as I finish my degree. I’m even thinking about joining Tumblr, I wanna be part of the Harry Potter fandom! I’m feeling comfortable enough to create relevant hashtags but choose not to on my personal Facebook page as I know everyone can see the content posted with the hashtag even if I use all of the privacy controls. I’ll probably start using hashtags more on Twitter and Instagram when I add original content.

I think I have a healthy level of paranoia. I rarely have the location of my phone turned on, I try not to post too personal information on my Instagram (or else it would all be pictures of my baby niece), and I never check in at places unless a ton of other people are also at that location (like Disney World). Yet using social media is a way for people to share themselves with the world, it puts the focus on ME, something I’m not 100% comfortable with unless you’re a close friend or family member. I’m glad some people are all for using social media to be in the spotlight and that it’s a great way to keep connected with family and friends all over the world, but I’m content with my usage and I think that’s all anyone can do if they choose to use social media.

Folksonomies, Not a Music Genre

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What a fancy word folksonomies is! To many, they may not be aware that they are using or contributing to a folksonomy every day.

So what is it? It’s a way to organize, to work together to create a way to classify things. Libraries use it in the Dewey Decimal System or Library of Congress Classification. We use terms we agree upon in order to be able to find related items again later, such as in the library’s online catalog. Even though the word folksonomies doesn’t refer to a music genre, how we break music into genres, such as folk music, does create an agreed upon vocabulary to classify all music together in order to make it easier to find. No way would you want to be mixing up rap, country, and jazz music or else you would have some angry people out there with something to say about it!

If you use social media you’re helping create a folksonomy with every hashtag you write! Some people create funny hashtags to add a sense of humor to the posts they create on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Others are much more reserved in their tagging. Please see my post on Hashtag Mania for more of my thoughts on hashtags. This type of classification wouldn’t work if it weren’t for the work of everyone in the online communities. When everyone works together to create a system of classification, we can help by using terminology which is more common and widely used, which in turn makes the subject or hashtag easier to find by those who may have different names for the same thing. Example: I love French fries with my fried fish and cookies for dessert, but in England I’m going to be ordering fish and chips with biscuits for dessert. Terms are important for all users!

Wise to the Wiki

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I was working one day, a few years back, and I was talking to one of the shelvers at my library. He was telling me about how he was updating a Wikipedia page about one of his favorite musicians. He had added that she had traveled to Illinois at one point to spend some time. This “fact,” of course, was not true but he wanted to see how long it would take for someone to notice it as untrue and to remove it from the page. I’m not sure if anyone ever noticed or if anything was done about it, it was so minor but it gets you thinking. If some random person can add a little “fact” to a wiki page and no one notices, how many big “facts” out there are incorrect?

I try really hard to use Wikipedia as a jumping off point, to give me just a little information about something I don’t know about, not as an absolute source for my research. I do check to see how many sources are listed at the bottom of the page and go to look at those instead. The only wikis I would trust are the Harry Potter wiki, because I love Harry Potter so much I use it to remind me of the correct answer when I can’t think of it, and Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki because I feel like I know next to nothing about the Star Wars universe and it’s all gathered in one spot (I check the answers with my Star Wars geeks later).

It’s always important to remember where the information is coming from when looking for real answers. Wikis are like a box of chocolates, someone may just be trying to mess with the general public or they may have a real passion for the subject you’re looking for and steer you in the right direction, you never know what you’re going to get.

Teens and Social Media

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As I’m taking a class in Social Media and Informatics I find my brain even more consumed than normal with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. All of these are readily available on my phone so I can access them when and wherever I am, but of the four I only check Instagram daily, okay, multiple times daily. It’s an easy way to waste five minutes while I’m waiting in line or for the end of my lunch break. Below are some interesting articles I’ve found over the last couple of weeks.

How Instagram Became the Social Media Network for Tweens found on cnet.com

This article is told from a mother’s point of view. She explains how even though many parents would not let their kids have a Facebook page many were originally okay with them joining Instagram because they thought it was for people to share pictures. The parents didn’t understand all the ways Instagram can be used (direct messages, half naked pictures, and cyberbullying) but thought it was nice that their kids were taking an interest in photography. Lesson to learn: If it’s online and you’re worried about what your child’s online activities are, look into everything.

How Teens Are Really Using Social Media found on edudemic.com

This page has an interesting infographic with information about types of social media teens are using. My favorite part of the infographic is at the bottom where it lists the benefits and harm of social media and what parents can do to monitor their children’s behaviors instead of completely denying access. Most kids are using it, help them be smart about it instead of having them sneak around and doing it any way.

Why Some 13-Year-Olds Check Social Media 100 Times A Day  found on cnn.com

This is a really interesting article about a child clinical psychologist looking at the social media accounts of 13 year olds, with their consent. Teens can become obsessed with getting likes and trying to make sure no one is saying anything mean about them. If they find mean stuff they frequently retaliate. The author also briefly describes some positive aspects of social media use by teens but doesn’t divulge into enough to counteract the first 2/3 of the article.

Teens In Survey Paint Positive Picture of Effect of Social Media On Their Lives found on washingtonpost.com

This was a nice, positive look at how teens feel about social media. Feeling more connected and confident are just a couple of ways they feel it’s a benefit in their lives. The brief article also states that more than half of the teens surveyed feel like social media helps their friendships while only 4% of those surveyed felt like it hurt them.

Teens, Social Media and Technology Overview 2015 found on pewinternet.org

Libraries use the Pew reports all the time. This portion of last year’s report gives a comprehensive look at teen usage of social media and technology. I found it interesting that African American teens are more likely to have a smartphone over Hispanic and white teens and that more affluent teens prefer Instagram and Snapchat than those in families with lower income. According to this Pew report above, girls tend to use social media more than boys. If we’re still having issues with cyberbullying it means movies like Mean Girls is still relevant.

 

I really think it’s up to adults to make sure their children are using social media appropriately and keeping an eye on what’s going on. When I think of all of these articles and how much time teens spend on social media it makes me think back to my own teenage years, right before cell phones were widely used. I was the first of my friends to get a cell phone and I was 18. I didn’t use the internet to communicate with friends until I went away to college, after I earned my Associates Degree, by then it was 2002 (don’t go doing the math now!). I do, however, remember getting home from high school and wanting to call my friends asap. Many times my parents asked what was so important that I couldn’t talk to them the next day at school or ask what could possibly have happened in the 20 minute ride home from school that I had new news to share with them. I distinctly remember wanting to rehash crazy things that had happened during the day which couldn’t be done in a busy hallway during a 5 minute passing period. I see social media as new communication to keep in touch with friends across the country and I completely understand why teens want to use their favorite platforms all the time. Teens are constantly growing and changing and they just want to share their point of view, so instead of talking on the phone for hours, they use social media for hours.

Teens Sharing Their “Culture”

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Some of my library’s teens say they are not as addicted to social media as everyone thinks they are. Though when I ask them to talk to me about teens and social media they start yelling, “Dat Boi” at me. What? Apparently it’s a meme featuring a green frog, frequently on a bicycle. Some images aren’t great for all ages, but I asked and they answered.

I’m sitting in a room with five teens as they’re supposed to be working on writing. We’re here for my library’s Your Write program, which gives teens a chance to focus on writing their own stories or developing RPGs (role playing games). Three of them are drawing, mostly their own manga/anime characters, one is developing the setting and characters for a Dungeons and Dragons game they’ll be playing later, and the last is looking up random stuff online and commenting on what he finds.

Back to social media; last week when I asked some of the teens if they had a favorite app I got a few blank stares, but not because they didn’t know what I was talking about. “Do you have a smartphone?” I asked. Only one of the four did. What was his favorite app? Remember the Milk, an app that allows you to make to do lists and share them with others. Many of them don’t have internet to access the content of their iPod Touch or other devices. They hate Facebook and how their activity is tracked. They think Tumblr is okay, they say the people are trash, the people who run it don’t listen to them and their suggestions, but others re-blog their content so it’s good. Reposting in Tumblr is annoying and bad as the content created by someone else is reposted but information about who created it is not, which is rude, so the teens encourage re-blogging to give the creator credit. I’m learning so much!

Newsvine Frustration

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In my quest to become a full-fledged librarian I’m working on an assignment to play around in Newsvine. It’s a website where people can share and create news articles to share with others in their “nations.” I’m not at all enjoying this social media platform. When you join all you’ll see is political points of view, and that really isn’t my cup of tea. A few of my classmates were kicked out of Newsvine and they haven’t been told what they did wrong. I’m very hesitant to try to do anything including comment on other’s articles. Many nations are gated and require acceptance to be admitted and even though I signed up a couple of weeks ago, I’m still waiting for acceptance so it’s open nations for me with subject mater I have very little interest in. One article I looked at simply said, “I liked her reaction” and connected to the actual article to see what the poster was talking about. I think it’s safe to say that as soon as this semester is over I will be removing my account.

I wanted to look at other people’s comments to see how people are responding and tagging but many don’t seem to be leaving comments. Tags related to a post are very minimal, which I’m sure is part of the point of the assignment. The few tags I do see are directly related to the article written or linked. People over tag all the time, I think mostly in jest, but it’s done so much I think it may have lost all humor.