Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Social media and National PTA

According to their newsletter, National PTA is using social media.

It looks like they are in the beginning stages. After a little time, I hope to see that they are engaging and listening. For instance, I hope to see the PTA Twitter account follow PTA members.

From their newsletter (at the bottom):

PTA Introduces Social Networking Channels

You can now connect to PTA through a variety of online social networks:

  • Facebook — Stay connected through PTA's Facebook Fan Page.
  • YouTube — Watch PTA videos and media moments.
  • Fotki — Photo galleries of PTA events and programs.
  • Twitter — Quick updates, perfect for mobile devices.

Some educators I work with keep saying "My clients don't use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc." My response generally is:

  • Use these tools to help yourself keep up and stay connected and learn from others.
  • Develop something useful with these tools so your clients can learn from you.
  • Eventually, they (your clients) will use these tools. You never know, some may already use them-you just don't know it.

In my explanation and response, I have not thought of how our partnering agencies maybe using these tools. National PTA is an example. Recently I discovered Covington County (Alabama) Red Cross is using Twitter. I already knew American Red Cross and my local county, Lee County (Alabama) Red Cross are using Twitter, but what I did not know is how much Red Cross is using Twitter. Local chapters seem to also have web pages, blogs or wikis.

Cooperative Extension cannot wait until the adoption is immersed in their local communities. The tools are already being used in their local communities, at least to some degree, and the use of these tools will continue to increase.

How should an educator get started?

  • Try something new. Try any social media tool (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picasa, LinkedIn, Ning, FriendFeed, YouTube, Slideshare--you get the idea--try anything!).
  • Listen with Google Alerts.
  • Learn to use a news reader.
  • Listen with Google blog searches and keep up with changes through a news reader.
  • Follow a few blogs by using a news reader.
  • Edit something in Wikipedia, particularly if you have found something that was not fully explained.
  • Create something new in Wikipedia.


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Friday, July 18, 2008


The attendees of the AUTweetUp were:

@gparmer @bowerep @bowerjb @sailingbo @JenniferRyan @snydess @matt1583 @Tex3911 @BrettPohlman @phunkit @jamersan @lawremc @aafromaa

Tweets about AUTweetUp can be found on Summize.

These folks are from Auburn University: College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, and the athletic department (well sort of); Office of Communications and Marketing; Natural Resources and Conservation Service; Lee County Red Cross; Jamersan Web design; and an Auburn University student.

Several people could not join us so I hoping in the upcoming weeks that someone will announce another AUTweetUp which will help us expand our group and let us get to know each other better.

This kind of gathering is always fun and I always learn something.

Maybe next time hopefully we can meet in a place where people can mingle more.

In addition meeting socially, what if also we meet for a cause, like a blood drive TweetUp? I am sure @JenniferRyan and others would help us identify an existing blood drive. We could publicize the blood drive in the ways we know how: personally, Facebook, blogs, radio, etc. And, of course we would also donate. This is not my original idea...they already did this in Austin, TX

I don't usually think "out loud" on my blog, but here is an idea I am throwing out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A thought about building your own professional online reputation

Kate Woods, an Auburn University student in a class project blog, The Loveliest Village, makes a great point about what happens to one's public image when mishaps happen.

We all make mistakes; but being in the spotlight can be tough when a goof occurs. An image of a person can take years to build up, but a mere second can crush it tremendously.

While she is on target about how fragile our reputations are, I also wonder what happens when the mishap is the only reputation you have.

What happens if you are not famous (outside of your physical community) and if you are not known (other than locally) for your professionalism, the good work you do, and your vast knowledge in a particular area when a mistake suddenly throws you into the media limelight or onto YouTube?

All of a sudden you or your organization is known only for mishap--the mistake--the goof.

Although we never want to make mistakes, we might, at some point, publicly misstep. Having built a credible professional reputation will provide something positive to point to in times of crisis.

What is your professional online reputation? What happens when you Google your name? What happens when you Google your organization's name? Where can potential clients find you? While there is much more to building a reputation than using Google searches, start there. 

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ways to share if you don't have time to comment

I often tell people before they started blogging to:

1. start using a News Reader (Google Reader).

2. start following blogs of interest.

3. comment on good posts by offering your insights and suggestions as a way to practice participation. Learning to comment is an easy way to step yourself into learning to blog.

However, overtime you may find that you don't have time to comment. Chris Brogan offers tips when you find interesting blog posts but don't have time to comment.

  • Bookmark the post in a social bookmarking site (so others might find it).
  • Share it in Google Reader.
  • “Like” it in FriendFeed.
  • Stumble it in StumbleUpon.
  • If it’s *really* good, Digg it.
  • Note it on Facebook.

Don't use these tips as excuse to not comment, but sometimes you simply may not have time. Mark the post in way that it is shared and referenced.

Of Chris' suggestions, I bookmark posts in del.icio.us and/or I share them in Google Reader. Those who follow my bookmarked items in del.icio.us or my shared items in Google Reader or who follow my FriendFeed feeds will see the page I have marked. By bookmarking in one site (Google Reader or del.icio.us) and feeding those bookmarks into other sites (FriendFeed), I am giving the choice to my colleagues to choose which way they want to follow my bookmarks.

Sometimes, I also share links via Twitter depending on the topic.

There are probably other ways. What methods do you use to share interesting posts?


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Disruptive innovations and education

While being interviewed for a Business Week podcast, Clayton Christensen co-author of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns how disruptive innovations will transform education. Disruptive innovations can help can cater to the way students learn. 

My favorite quote is his describing disruptive technologies as a way to ..

give tools to plain ole students, teachers and parents to develop these learning tools themselves to help each other to learned the way their brains are wired.

The podcast can be found at http://www.businessweek.com/mediacenter/qt/podcasts/innovation/innovation_06_11_08.mp3 

The Innovator's Battle Plan is another article on disruptive technologies. 


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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I am tagged

Janyne Kizer tagged me which means I am supposed to share 5 things about myself that relatively few people know about me and then I am supposed to tag five other people. This is great exercise to show who I am--the person behind the blog posts. Maybe this will lead to easier conversations and better understanding.  If you are wondering about tagging John Dorner explains it on his tagged post.

What was I doing 10 years ago?

I had just started my co-leadership role with Jonathan Davis in the Computer Technology Unit.

Five snacks I enjoy:

  1. Dark chocolate.
  2. Peanut butter spread on graham crackers, vanilla wafers, or a caramel rice cakes.
  3. Roasted peanuts.
  4. Light popcorn.
  5. My own version of cereal mix--usually Honey Nut Cheerios, Life, Corn Chex, and Nuts (and occasionally I mix in a few chocolate chip pieces).

Five Things on My To-Do list today:

  1. Cook dinner and I still do not know what we are having (by the time I finished this post we decided to eat leftovers or pick up something depending on who is where).
  2. Jog at least 3 miles (I jogged 4.2 at 6 AM).
  3. Teach a session in a for-credit class, Extension in Aquaculture.
  4. Send emails about up-coming training sessions and web conferences (finished all but two of these).
  5. Finish this post.

Five Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

  1. Write books
    • a fictional book that would make my mother blush.
    • a book on how people who are going through tough times teach us all by their reactions and how we have opportunities to do great things during these their tough times.
    • a book on parents' tip on being involved and supporting their kids in school and sports activities--it would be about behavior and kids' and parents' goals.
  2. Hire a full-time housekeeper, and possibly, an assistant.
  3. Create a charity organization which provides financial support to organizations whose goal is to change bad behaviors.
  4. Hold babies in the pre-mature baby ward when parents cannot be there.
  5. Have a house on the water, does not matter--lake, river, bay, or beach. Hey, I am a billionaire--how about all of the above.

Five jobs I have had:

  1. Harvested and sold produce on the farmers' markets, including Birmingham and Montgomery. We were known not only as the Mims girls, but also the corn girls.
  2. Served as Hall Director (like a dorm mom).
  3. Interned with Federal Land Bank.
  4. Worked as an IT specialist, particularly in IT training.
  5. Led and managed a computer support department.
Five of my bad habits:
  1. Drinking too many diet sodas.
  2. Getting too easily distracted.
  3. Writing wordy sentences
  4. Not following up and staying connected to good friends.
  5. Giving advice too readily and too often.

Places I have lived:

  1. Haynes, AL (20 miles west of Prattville, AL).
  2. Daphne, AL (on the east bay across from Mobile), more importantly, less than 45 minutes from Gulf Shores).
  3. Auburn, AL.
Five Random Things:
  1. I feel special for being tagged.
  2. My oldest sister called me Annabelle when I was pre-teen and I hated it (@rbrekke this was the thing I blurted out that no one in my office knew).
  3. I think it is absolutely great that Harrison Ford could still fit into his Indiana Jones' pants from 20 years after he made the first movie--that's impressive!
  4. I want my kids to learn that their behavior is more important than their accomplishments.
  5. My husband was one of my college professors. In case you are wondering, there was no inappropriate behavior, otherwise I would not have written about it. I was finished with graduate classes when we started dating. When I had him for class a few terms earlier, a friend of mine and I made fun of the way he dressed (was not then, nor now is he very stylish). Also, I hold the highest B he ever gave in Econometrics. You would think that during our 20 years of marriage, he would have considered changing that grade.
Seven people I would like to get to know better. I wanted to tag about 15 people. I hoping some of my colleagues will tag the other colleagues. These seven people are officially tagged!
  1. Tony Glover I know you usually blog about gardening, but let us learn something else about you. Your clientele, too, would love to know more about you.
  2. James Robinson (I really want to know your favorite recipes).
  3. Asim Ali I know you write about technology support for the College of Education, but I bet faculty would like to more about you, too.
  4. Kenny Smith I don't know you, but your Twitter messages make me curious--tell me more.
  5. Jerry Thomas You don't blog often so this will be a great reason to write a post.
  6. Becky Nibe  I know you are not shy, tell us more.
  7. Jennifer Jahedkar We have not had enough interaction and I really would like to know more.