Sunday, July 28, 2013

Projects Done (At Least for Now)

This week I had a group project, which we finished on Saturday night. Whew! It felt great to finish two days ahead. I could now put my total attention on my first deliverable or part 1 of my final project. This was also due in two days so I knew I had to get going.

Earlier during the week I surveyed about 16 of my Facebook friends. Luckily, most of them completed the survey in 24 hours so I had my results. I just needed to analyze the results and link the results to other resources, find a Web 2.0 tool to share those results, and lastly, write a summary that highlight my findings. It’s Sunday night and I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I had a really hard time choosing the tool to showcase my results. I wanted to use a new tool, but I knew it couldn’t be a tool that was difficult to learn because I didn’t have much time. Needless to say, I was frustrated and grouchy for most of the day on Sunday. I forced myself to take a break and do some errands with my husband. I came back still lost but with a clearer mind.

I looked at the resource, 50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story. I previously watched many of the Dominoe stories using the various tools. I wrote down my favorites so I started with that. I made an account for Empressr then opened up my PowerPoint when I saw I could embed a slide show into it. I worked on my slides and got bored at around the third slide. I needed some new ways to present my survey data. I went to Google and I found Infogr.m. At first, I was just going to use that site to create a bar chart but then I saw some of the examples. I started to explore the site. I am proud to say that I played around with it and found that this was the tool I would use for my project.

Here’s the link to that part and below is my summary:

Analysis of a Social Media Survey

Amount of Survey Participants (n=14)
Men (n=4)
More women use social media.
Women (n=10)
20-29 (n=2)
Participants from age 30+ responded to survey and did it quickly. The two non-participants came from the 20-29 group.
30-39 (n=3)
40-49 (n=6)
  50+  (n=3)
Tools Used (Participants could choose more than one.)
Facebook (n=14)
Facebook was the most popular social media tool used. Two participants said that they use Pinterest but only when they have time and still use it infrequently.
Twitter (n=3)
Instagram (n=1)
Pinterest (n=3)
Frequency of Use

Once a day (n=1)
Most participants frequent social media sites more than once in a day. One participant commented that using social media tools takes a lot of time and can be highly addicting.
Several times a day (n=12)
Once a week (n=1)
Main Use (Participants could choose more than one.)
Social (n=12)
When given a choice to answer, their main use of social media tools was for social reasons.
Business/Work (n=2)
Education (n=4)
Other (n=2)

Out of 16 surveys I sent out, 14 people responded. Of these 14 people, 10 were women and only 4 were men. In selecting my participants, I set out on Facebook to get an equal amount of men and women to send my survey to. However, I quickly realized that I had more women as friends on Facebook than I did men. The obvious reason for this fact is that I am a woman so I have more women as friends. However, in the report on the Demographics of Social Media Users, from the 2012 Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, women were shown to more likely to be on social media sites than men. I also found that my older participants, those ages 30+, answered the survey and responded quickly. The two people who did not respond to the survey at all were from the youngest group (i.e. 20-29). I can only guess that my 20-year-old participants were too busy to respond to my survey. After all, the same Pew report mentioned above showed those 18 to 29 are the ones most likely to use social media sites.

From my 14 participants, Facebook was the most popular social media site used. It seems that this is true not only for my survey participants but also the vast majority. According to Digital Marketing Ramblings (DMR), a site that offers a monthly running tally of how many people are using social media sites. In their July 2013 report, Facebook has 1.15 billion users. My 14 participants and I are part of those numbers.

Along with this fact, this site offers many other interesting facts about Facebook and other social media tools. Clicking on the links will open new tabs so you won’t lose your way. I would highly recommend visiting this site, and thus I give it 5 stars.

Below is a list of other facts from the DMR report I found that highlight my survey results:
·      The amount of people using Pinterest had a notable change and rose from 47 to 70 million since their last report in June 2013.
·      Twitter has a total of 200 million active users and a total of 500 million users total.
·      Both Pinterest and Twitter shared the second spot for the most used social media tool from my survey participants.
·      Facebook has 699 million active users and another 819 million active users on a mobile device.
·      Since 86% of my survey participants frequent social media several times a day, I’m sure they are part of these numbers.
·      The average daily Facebook likes is 4.5 billion and Justin Bieber is the most followed celebrity on Twitter with 42 million followers (Isn’t the minimum age for a Twitter account 13!).
·      Liking someone’s post and following Bieber indicates that many people are using social media for social reasons. With that, the 79% of my participants who chose ‘social’ for the main reason they use social media echo those statistics.


Duggan, M. and Brenner, J. (2013, Feb. 14). The demographics of social media users – 2012. Retrieved from

Smith, C. (2013, July 14). How many people use the top social media, apps, & services. Retrieved from

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Remembering the Benefits

Next Tuesday is the first day back for public school teachers. For an elementary school teacher like myself, this means going back early to get the classroom ready. Since I’m a computer teacher, getting my classroom ready means that I had to put all our desktop computers back together. This was a task, but it was nothing compared to what I had to do last year to get my classroom ready.

What does this have to do with anything that this class is about? Well, keep reading . . .

After reading other classmate’s blog posts, one being Berna's, about how social media is affecting them in their lives, I couldn’t help to think about how I used social media last year to help me get my classroom ready last year. My classroom, the computer lab, was a mess! It was dingy and dirty. I hated everything about the room. I knew everything had to be cleaned, but I wanted to paint all the walls too. I knew this would be an impossible task for me to take on by myself, but I was determined.

I went on Facebook and posted a plea for help. Here’s my actual post:

Just got home from looking at my new classroom...our Computer Lab. It needs a new paint job badly. Anyone know of a painter who would donate his or her services? I can get the paint and I am willing to help, but I couldn't do it myself. Please help!!!

From this post, I got many comments from friends offering help. I’ll keep this short . . . yes, I got the people to help me paint the room and I even got paint and money donated. I couldn’t have done this huge job without participating in social media.

The differences in the room showed on the kids’ faces…simply priceless. That first week of seeing each grade level, 5-10 minutes was given to them so they could talk about the changes they observed. I decided to let them do this because of the chatter that was occurring as they entered the new lab. Throughout the year and all the way to the end, students, teachers, and other staff members commented on how wonderfully different the lab was.

I’m still reaping the benefits of this event. This year my room was easy to set up and I had very minimal cleaning to do…and, thank goodness, no painting!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Getting Lost

I love sites like Pinterest and the ning for Elementary Tech Teachers! I enjoy getting lost in all the wonderful ideas and then to the blogs that originally posted the idea. Because of these sites, I have bookmarked so many blogs that I've made different folders for the different types. Because of the ning site, I found not only blogs, but other sites that relate to my job. You just have to walk into my classroom to see all the great resources I've received from these wonderful educators who participate in this ning.

I could relate to Rheingold's scenario in the part about Infotention in Chapter 2. I was just like him; I would get so lost sometimes when on those sites that I didn't know where I started off. Everything that I clicked, led me to something else. All of it I felt was valuable and useful. I am aware that I need to get better at crap-detection when it comes to these types of sites. Instead, for now, I just stay away from Pinterest and the Elementary Tech Teachers ning.

I've had to prioritize how I spend my time once I started this master's program. Funny though, I now get lost in reading research articles when I'm doing an assignment. I realize that I love reading research, but I've also found that not all research is worth reading. I guess when it comes to crap-detection, I have learned to allocate my attention efficiently, for the most part, when deciding what to read for the research topic.

Check out Pinterest and the Elementary Tech Teachers ning...that is if you have the time to get lost for awhile!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Comfort in Sharing

In the real world, as my husband will joke, in 5 minutes of meeting a new person, I tell him/her my life story. Of course, that's not true, however, I am a friendly person and "open" myself up in order to connect with people. I'm one of those people that you can put in a room full of people who I don't know, and within minutes, I'll be talking with someone as if I've known that person all along.

Am I that same person when it comes to online communication? I like to think that I'm not. I thought I was trying to "enclose" my identity as much as possible when I was online. However, I just Googled my name, and boy, I was wrong! My name (and pictures of me) showed up on three pages!  I clicked on each link and found that by just knowing my name, anyone can find out how old I am, where I live and what my home phone number is. They would enough information to know that that I'm a teacher and how long I've been teaching. Because of Geni, they would even know the names of my family members. Knowing all of this, I now have to say that I definitely am the same person in an online environment without knowing that I was!

The difference is when I speak to a person face to face, I make a conscious choice of what I share with them. I choose what I want to share and what I want to keep private.  I was shocked to see what someone could find out about me just by Googling my name. I may not have been consciously choosing to share this information, but really, do I have a choice? It seems that any account I set up with  my name will show up. This could be an easy fix; set up an alias! However, I even found my Healthy Living paper that I wrote for a class. I realize, I would not be able to "enclose" myself totally.

So, to address Dr. Bert's question, I am somewhat comfortable in sharing my information online. I'm not going to go crazy trying to change things. I will, however, be more aware of where I'm using my name. I've come to realize that some of the information about me is going to be out there as long as I'm using the internet.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Great News

Today I received a letter from Kamehameha Schools' Financial Aid and Scholarship Services notifying me that I was selected to receive the 'Imi Na'auao merit based scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic school year. To say the least, I am truly blessed!

How does this relate to this class? I heard about this scholarship through Facebook. Well, in an indirect way, that is. You see, before this master's program, I took many Kamehameha's Distance Learning classes to learn the Hawaiian language. They have a Facebook page so I was linked into their site. It was through this way I learned about the different scholarships Kamehameha had. This is my second year receiving this scholarship. This is one way that social media helped me in education!

After summer classes, I will be in my second year of this program. I also have a family and I work as a Computer Teacher (and Tech person) for a public elementary school. In this class, I hope to learn the different ways social media can be incorporated into elementary schools. I also want to learn about other social media sites are out there and how they are being used to engage students.