Archive for March, 2011

Social Media in the Classroom

I noted in a recent tweet that “Social Media will not change (let alone improve) how we mine for ore, fish or farm for food, or plant tree saplings.” It is not a panacea for industry. It also won’t revolutionize teaching and learning: Teachers, in person or in a virtual space, will still be pointing the way, encouraging attentiveness, curiosity, and tenacity (and serving as an example of these qualities); students will still be digging in, digging up, and learning for themselves. I have certainly found, however, that social media (specifically, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter) can be a wonderful supplement to class lectures, activities, and assignments. Read what students in my professional communications classes have been digging up recently.

Hitchens Interview

Does writer/debater Christopher Hitchens think he has been a good person? “No, not particularly. Not as the world counts these things, because the world expects, for that definition to apply, a good deal of selflessness. And while no one scores very high on that, I score lower than most. I don’t do much living for others, I really don’t.” Mick Brown’s interview with Hitchens is marvelous. For a person who himself is rarely perfectly sober, Hitchen’s assessments of himself typically are, admirably. It’s a rare thing.

April Smith of Aha Media To Give Keynote at Vancouver Social Media Conference

This week in my professional communications class I showed a short video of one of my heroes, April Smith, of, discussing how she uses Social Media. I am pleased to let you know that this wonderful, bold person will be the keynote speaker at the 2011 Northern Voice’s Personal Blogging and Social Media Conference in Vancouver, May 13-14. Here‘s the conference information. I hope some of you can make the trip out to UBC to catch April’s talk and take in some of the other speakers as well.

He would have loved this

My good friend, the esteemed geologist John Fraser, passed away last July. His widow, Monica, commissioned in his memory a beautiful statue made from a stone filled with fossils. She has surrounded it with a collection of John’s favourite rocks, drill core from his exploration projects, and some of his ashes.

Teaching Social Media

Not easy! I’ve given modules to a group of faculty and to three classes of students in the last few months. Each time all I could give was a taste. It’s been like giving a tour of the USA and leaving out Chicago, Houston, and New Orleans, and thousands of towns and villages.