Why I Love SM (Um Social Media That Is)

****Warning. I feel sometimes I need to warn. Blogs are a place for reflection.  I am reflecting here and not all of it focuses on education. I know this is an “edublog” but this is my life and yes there is some “education” stuff here.****

Today is Saturday. I am exhausted. This has been a weirdly busy week.  Lots of ups and downs and just otherwise interesting stuff.  Now my niece was born this week, that was biggest up, but the rest of the ups and downs really had social media to blame.  I just wanted to point those things out, let me think out loud for a minute.

Monday started with my email saying I had a “pingback.” This is a cool point of the week. I do not only follow educators on twitter.  I follow people from all walks of life.  A follower who I have gotten to know over a little less than a year is Kary Delaria. She is this PR/Social Media genius (would say guru but not a fan of that word and she is too cool for it), well any way she wrote this blog post about my trip to Promethean to speak with them about using social media to connect with educators. It was odd how the edu part of my twitter world and the personal part collided. But I think that is what social media is about. Connecting. It is OK that we connect people from outside our small world of our PLN. We have offline friends that are not educators, so let that reach out online as well.

Monday afternoon  I asked a simple question on twitter.  This caused a weird reaction I was not expecting.  I had a chick moment and really took it personally.  I went on this rant about how educators need to stick together.  We do not need to use social media as a place to always look for a debate.  Debates are great, that is what makes #edchat such a great thing, but some times we need to just let people ask for help and ignore if we do not agree.  After my rant, I had social media hit me over the head again. Many many messages from educators I love and/or respect. I was like the opposite happened.  There were also more blog post written about how we need to stick together and more conversations started.  Conversations are so important, more important than debates.  I know we should not sit around and tell each other how great everyone is, but we need to treat other online as we would face to face.

Tuesday was an exciting day in Birmingham for social media.  The Alabama Social Media Assoc was announced.  Why was I excited about this? Well if you haven’t noticed, most social media organizations or meetings focus on PR or marketing (and sometimes foodies or stay at home moms).  It is almost like the outside world is never included in this.  Well the AlSocMe is focusing on everyone that is interesting in social media.  If you haven’t noticed using social media for education and getting more educators online and connecting through it is a huge passion of mine.  Now I feel part of something local that I will not so much be an outsider. I cannot wait to summer gets here so I can participate in events from this new organization!

So social media sometimes spills offline.  That is where #EdCampBham comes in.  This whole idea was passed on through twitter and blogs.  After some ups and downs in planning on Thursday (major drama) we pretty much mapped out the entire day (well weekend). I am so excited to be an organizer of this event.  We are now up to 106 people registered and number grow every day.  It will be amazing to see teachers learn from teachers at a free casual event!!

Ok one more thing.  My kids are blogging.  YAY! This week I conferenced with each about their blogs.  So many are on the right track and doing some amazing work! Next week (holding my breath) we are going public.  The blogs before had been private just for the classes to see.  They need time to privately make mistakes and learn.  Now we are ready for a global audience. I am beyond nervous about parent reaction, but after chatting Friday with Brian Mull then listening to Alan November’s TEDxNYED talk today about global audiences, I feel better about my decision.

SO anyway, there you go.  Social Media is extremely large part of my life.  In addition to all this I also have been asked to help with a few other projects this week, I am keeping on DL for now.  This is my passion, connecting others, connecting with other, mostly, learning from others.  It was a big week, no wonder I am so exhausted!

5 thoughts on “Why I Love SM (Um Social Media That Is)

  1. Chris Davis says:

    Amanda,

    Great post but just reading about your week makes me tired. Looks like you had a lot of great things happen. ALSocMe is going to be amazing and your #EdCampBham sounds like a high value event. Do you all have a website? Looking for sponsors? Need volunteers? Need help getting the word out. As a dad of 2, I’m always looking to supporting teachers.

    Last week was also crazy for me – so much that I couldn’t get on Twitter that much. I really missed that interaction and support (and sometimes debate) that helps not only with my work but also emotionally. I learn, get feedback, offer advice and even laugh (mostly from you and Stacey Hood) when I’m engaged in social media. Social Media is kinda like the online backyard fence… get a cup of coffee and talk about whatever. Sure, some people can drag you down there but for the most part people are respectable. Hopefully this week will be a more tame for both of us. See you on Twitter.

    1. amandacdykes says:

      Isn’t it funny how we miss our online friends when we aren’t around!

      EdcampBham is going to be an awesome event! Always looking for sponsors! We have a few but little costs/need for help (and swag) start adding up. We were discussing last week setting up our own wiki. Right now we are linked to the edcamp wiki here: http://edcamp.wikispaces.com/edcamp+Bham

      Thanks for comment!

  2. franze98 says:

    I totally agree that one’s PLN should include people from all aspects of life. The more people feeding into your the PLN, the better the “answers” will be.

  3. Brian Mull says:

    Can’t wait to hear the reaction. Let me know when the blog opens up so I can see what the kiddos are up to. 🙂

  4. howell wright says:

    You are right on target with opening up communication to others outside of the education world. How else will we learn from others? Many times if we include those outside of education we have the opportunity to peer into our often misunderstood world.

    It is exciting to hear about your state’s free conference that you helped organize. You are a leader in your field and an assett to educators across the globe.

    I am sure you will let us know how your student blogging goes, especially with the public. If you don’t take the risk (with permission) you won’t know how their thoughts will be percieved by others outside of the classroom…and isn’t it about time that we get outside of the four walls for students to learn?

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