Category Archives: Social Media

‘Safe’ Social Networking Tailored for K-12 Schools

This school year, the students in Robert A. Miller’s 5th grade class at Port Orange Elementary School in Florida have been chatting with historical figures. They’ve given Thomas Jefferson advice on how to write the Declaration of Independence and touched base with Benjamin Franklin. In early spring, they had conversations with explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as the duo made their way west. The explorers sent back detailed descriptions of prairie dogs and the sights they saw on their travels. Students had to restrain themselves from revealing to the explorers the pivotal role that the recent addition to their team—a pregnant Native American woman named Sacagawea—would play.

Students are having conversations with those celebrated figures (played by Mr. Miller), as well as each other and their teacher, using the social-networking site Edmodo, which is designed specifically for use in schools. “It makes learning more interactive” Mr. Miller said. “It’s a way to extend the classroom after hours, but I’m also using it to present lessons.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Kids & School, Social Media

Learning from Hollywood: Or How Twitter Made Me a SuperMom for a Day and Why it Matters

Last week I spent two days at the Learning from Hollywood conference put on by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and held at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. The conference brought together approximately 200 experts from entertainment, academia, philanthropy, gaming, libraries, journalism and education to talk about how these sectors can collaborate to harness digital media in support of education. The eclectic mix of leaders in their fields made for a constant buzz – and my still-tired synapses. I attended representing ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career and with much thanks to their friends at the Pearson Foundation for securing a somewhat last minute invitation. Here are a few of my takeways grouped by theme rather than chronology, though please note this post expresses my own opinions and experience not ConnectEd’s.

My five themes are:

  • Respect Your Audience
  • It’s the Participation, Stupid
  • Parent Attitudes Matter
  • Digital Media to What End?
  • Cool Stuff to Check Out

In order to respect my audience’s time, I’m going to cover the first two in this post and put the other three in this follow-up post. Here we go.

Respect Your Audience

“Respect your audience” became a conference mantra we all could have chanted in unison by the end of our time together. We heard it over again and again from the most expert storytellers. Producer Marcy Karsey of The Cosby Show and Roseanne fame said, “The very very basic thing is respect the audience. It’s the first and most important thing.” Producer Don Hahn of Lion King and Beauty and the Beast fame said, “Trust the sophistication of the audience.” Producer Peter Gruber of The Color Purple, Rain Man and Batman fame said, “When you try to move folks, are you audience centric? Otherwise you have no chance.”

Several speakers and participants quickly applied that mantra to students as the audience. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Change, Education, Kids & School, Parenting, Social Media

Learning from Hollywood Forum on Education

For the next two days, I’ll be representing ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career at the Learning from Hollywood forum put on by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and held at the USC  School of Cinematic Arts. The subtitle of the event is “Can Entertainment Ignite an Education Revolution?” Given the list of speakers, I can’t wait to hear how they’ll answer the question – famous film producers, Cisco, Hasbro, Microsoft, U.S. Department of Education Office of Technology, professors, and more.

Of course, my daughter has given me her own assignment which is to meet Kari Byron from Mythbusters and hand deliver the gushing fan letter she wrote to her tonight!

If you want to feel a part of this invite-only event, there are plenty of options.

Can’t wait to share what I learn!

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Events, Social Media

Things I Learned from Having My iPhone Stolen

A couple of weeks ago, on a weekend getaway, my family and I went for a hike – at 10:30 in the morning, parking at a busy trail head with tons of cars and people all around. When we came back to the car 45 min later, someone had smashed the passenger side window and grabbed my purse which was stuffed under the passenger seat. Fortunately my wallet wasn’t in it, but my iPhone was.  Here’s what I learned as I struggled to replace it. Continue reading


Filed under Social Media

“Taking A Man’s Name Opened Up A New World:” Why A Blogger Hid Her Gender

Gender assumptions still abound, even in the blogosphere.

Anne North of writes:

Blogger James Chartrand came out today as a woman — and her experiences reveal that the blogosphere, and the job market in general, aren’t as egalitarian as some people claim.

James — she’s still going by the pseudonym, hasn’t revealed her real name, and that’s not her in the pic — says she started blogging to help support her kids during a tough financial time. She began using a male pen name one day simply to distance a project from her still-struggling business, and, she writes, “jobs became easier to get.” She continues,

Taking a man’s name opened up a new world. It helped me earn double and triple the income of my true name, with the same work and service.

No hassles. Higher acceptance. And gratifying respect for my talents and round-the-clock work ethic.

Business opportunities fell into my lap. People asked for my advice, and they thanked me for it, too.

Did I quit promoting my own name? Hell yeah.

Continue Reading >>

Leave a comment

Filed under Assumptions about Mothers, Gender Issues, News & Commentary, Social Media

New Facebook Page

I invite you to visit the new Facebook page for This is Not How I Thought it Would Be. There you will find content, news and tips EXCLUSIVE to Facebook members!

Check it Out >>

Picture 1


Leave a comment

Filed under Announcements, Remodeling Motherhood, Social Media