Monday, December 12, 2011

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

The following question was posed to me recently:

“Can you explain Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to me?” where to start... ???

Image from

Social media has become so pervasive throughout our lifestyles that we  – or in this case, I – don’t often stop to think about the components that make these tools similar and different

Only after stumbling through several answers to some really good questions did I find the following:

Social Media (i.e.: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and like a bajillion other similar services)



YouTube 101 (series of how-to videos):

And, on a related note, YouTube just posted this video about YouTube for Schools:

So How Did You Actually Answer The Question?
  1. All are considered "Social Media," allowing users to create and share rich content.
  2. All have an element of adding one's own comments and opinions to be shared and re-shared. This can be tricky for classrooms, but there are ways to protect kids' anonymity & emotions so each tool can be used for safe and legitimate classroom purposes.
  3. All allow varying degrees of privacy and security, which require the administrator of the social media site - in schools that's usually a classroom teacher - to oversee what is/is not visible and who can/cannot participate.
  4. There are private versions of the sites above (for example, SchoolTube allows private video sharing for schools, Ning Edmodo offer private social networking tools, etc.) that schools & districts might consider. There are literally thousands of social media sites available for individuals and schools to use. Some are free; some charge annual fees. Generally, the more secure you want to be, the more you'll have to pay.
  5. Schools and Districts should, in my humble opinion, develop & have approved social media policies on-file before beginning such endeavors. Examine your school's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for details and decide if it needs updating. If it hasn't been updated in the last 5 years, it probably needs an upgrade to include language about social media tools.

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