Sunday, December 4, 2011

Guidelines for use of social networks for journalists

The report The 10 Best Practices for Social Media commissioned by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) contains guidelines and useful experiences to help journalists to manage their professional presence on social networks.

The Spanish version of the document: The 10 best practices for social media ( PDF ), the care of Guillermo Franco, is a highly recommended text as "framework to help publishers create their own policies" of social media.

In addition to the ten guidelines regarding professional ethics, relations with sources and readers, verification of information, transparency, exclusive management and confidentiality, the report contains a useful appendix which lists social media policies for several news organizations , including including: Bloomberg , Guardian , The Wall Street Journal , Los Angeles Times , The New York Times and The Washington Post .

The summary of key points:

1. The traditional ethical rules also apply 'online'

2. Assume that everything you write 'online' will become public

3. Use social media to interact with readers, but professionally

4. Publish breaking news (exclusive) on its website, not on Twitter

5. Beware of perceptions

6. Independently authenticate anything found in a social networking site

7. Always identify yourself as a journalist himself

8. Social networks are tools, not toys

9. Be transparent and admit when you're wrong 'online'

10. Maintain confidentiality of internal deliberations

Two of the most repeated messages on the recommendations of the ASNE is the life of the professional ethics of journalism in social networks and the need for common sense and prudence. In the words of John Robinson, editor of The Greensboro News & Record : "I've told my staff that my social media policy is this: do not be stupid."

The time of social algorithms

The evolution of the web from a consultation platform to a platform of participation affects the central role played until now Google, with its well-known algorithm and positioning strategies (SEO), and power distributed function of social networks as traffic source and scope of new strategies such as social media optimization (SMO).

If we have gone to seek information to find people , is that increasingly rely on our social networks in Google algorithms when it comes to access to information that we find it personally relevant.

The functions of prescribing and social recommendation that meet our online communities are becoming more sense in an environment characterized by info pollination.

The renewed commitment by Google to Google + , and the gradual sophistication of social algorithm Facebook ( edgerank ) should give pause to the media about the importance of implementing new mechanisms for ranking news , more social and more personal. Such web analytics should begin to show paths leading to the media not only to better understand their users, but more effectively design interfaces that will recognize and learn from their patterns of consumption information.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

how they did with school evaluation

When closing the first year of implementation of Decree 1290, Medellín educational institutions create support plans that allow a positive finish the school year.

The arrival of the decree of assessment 1290 which regulates the assessment of learning and student promotion levels primary and secondary education, proposed this year a great challenge for the institutions and the autonomy to evaluate.  Finishing the school year, this independence caught an alarm in the country for the possibility that many students can lose the year. "We knew it would to be a bit tricky adaptation. And of course, because as new generating a change in the model to assess. However, support plans are the solution to meet the needs of students. "Said Felipe Gil, Secretary of Education of Medellin.

The stall alarm and repeating national school until September, was about 30 percent. In Medellin, the Ministry of Education conducted a survey this month to review the city on him. The questionnaire results showed that there is a risk of loss of 20 percent in elementary and secondary education, especially in mathematics low performance by 56 percent.  

These results, as educational institutions, partnered by 67 percent to lack of interest, study habits of students and family support. 

Strategies to minimize the risk

of losing alarm originates year because "it came from a very lax system of assessment (Decree 230), where most people considered him the education sector that generated a greater responsibility for the students, "said Education Secretary Felipe Gil. As we know many criticisms of this system and to move to the end as proposed by the 1290 decree, the adjustment has an impact because there is a different method of assessment desubica both parents, and students and teachers. To minimize distress and adaptation of different educational institutions, the Ministry of Education proposed the development of support schemes, which allow to create a strategy for each institution to support the process students who are struggling. This strategy will enable students, through various activities, improve their academic performance so they can advance to the next grade. The idea is that between the last week of the school calendar and the first week of January when they start showing their progress activities and grade promotion and does not create problems. "The most important thing at this late stage of the year is to develop complementary, workshops, training activities and strategies that allow students to recover," said the Secretary. For Felipe Gil, another element adaptation that has affected the evaluation system referred to in Decree 1290, deals with most institutions that became the number system. So the issue is not so novel for adults, but for students themselves, so the support is crucial as they understand and embrace this type of evaluation.

Profes recharge batteries for mobile learning

A new school year began and with it the unique challenges of education and everyday as the use of new information technologies and communication in the classroom.

But the challenge comes with the added value is that the use of ICT is no longer limited to the computer connected to the Internet, because they are already available to other technological tools that can complement learning, such as mobile devices.

And is that the headache issue for many teachers means class while students are distracted by your cell phone or music player, will in the near future an opportunity to be part of what is known as m-learning or mobile learning.

It is understood then the m-learning as learning that uses mobile devices such as cell phones, PDAs, tables, ipod, and all handheld devices easily with wireless connectivity. 

Rene Cruz Flores, professor at the Institute of Engineering of the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California said in his presentation "mobile devices in education: the future of learning" that the m-learning began as an aggregate of online learning (e-learning ): "looking through the phone that I could connect to the Internet and the resources wirelessly wherever she was and when I want."

However, those first strokes were confined to, to allow access from a mobile device and replicate them with information already available on other platforms.

Today, according to René Flores Cruz, there are several projects in countries like England, Germany and Japan, which advanced in this regard, and have dared to create new models and new teaching materials exclusively for mobile tools.

Thus, many students around the world and know not only what is to obtain their qualifications through the cell, but what is to bring their classes, lessons and assessments in English, mathematics or social science anywhere and anytime you want . 

A challenge for teachers today

That is what mobile learning for teachers in Medellin, because if either is just something that you're talking education in various areas of the city, it requires prompt attention to who will face this new conception education and who in turn should be familiar to learners.

As said Ramon Cruz Flores, classes may not be the same and teachers should devise other ways of imparting knowledge, because with these tools, it is possible for example that for natural science classes is not required and chalk board, but to bring mobile devices to the botanical gardens and see first hand the object of study. It is a dynamic in which students can explore and deepen knowledge at will, without being in the classroom, but always important to the accompaniment of educators.

And is that going further, Ramon Flores Cruz to imagine classes is reached where a student's absence will not justify that he is not attentive to the lessons or not present their assessments of written or oral ... all through a mobile device . 

Prevention before cure
Each day students and the community at large are more familiar with mobile devices, so that their arrival to education may be a matter of waiting.

This is an excuse for teachers and directors from and to raise and discuss this issue, thus making this new relationship between ICT and education do not take them by surprise. This issue will then be on the agenda.

This discussion should focus on what the educational objective that justifies the inclusion of mobile devices in the classroom and what software and technological tools needed to carry out this purpose. 

It's time to talk in the classroom

The advent of mobile devices to education and their possible use in the classroom in Medellín, is a suitable excuse to reflect with students and parents about the use of these technological tools. Attention to the following recommendations:

- What mobile devices are the students? Open space for students to tell you what kind of mobile devices used, which are so important in your life, what educational and recreational activities and how much they are required to spend their free time to use them.

- Are the students ready for mobile learning? Tell students about the possibility that future cell phones will become part important classes imagine how the tests? What difficulties have?

- Fear of technology? We are in the information society, so that technology makes important part of everyday life. Fear could pose a problem for students. Ask them about their fears and familiarize with ICT, including mobile devices.

- There was a phone in class? The misuse of mobile devices is a constant in today's society, so we have to instill in students the need to respect the spaces. It is wrong that in a class at a dinner or a play, people use the Blackberry chat or make use of other mobile service.

- One thing at a time. Talk to parents about the importance of students acquiring mobile devices according to their age and social needs and the need for parents to monitor and guide the proper use of these tools.