Social Media

There is something happening right now through interaction. We are changing the conversation and we are using social networks as extensions of our mind and extensions of our brain. Right now we are rewiring the global brain literally through cyberspace. The mind is regulating energy and information in the ecosystem that we call the planet. With what we’re doing in cyberspace and with social networks we are rewriting the brain for a more peaceful, just, sustainable,  happy world.
Deepak Chopra

Watch AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY  on Netflix

Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.

Alison Klayman’s “Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry,” Funded by Kickstarter! This project successfully raised its funding goal on May 28, 2011.

What is Kickstarter?

Ai Wei Wei 

Social Media Accounts


Setting Up Twitter

What is Twitter? This video provides a good overview of how it works. Twitter also provides a helpful Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section for new users. Charlotte-Anne Lucas has a “Twitter 101” post too, which includes great additional resources and insights.

  • If you don’t yet have a Twitter account, learn how to sign up (including helpful tips for choosing a username).
  • After creating your Twitter account, we recommend that you customize your profile picture, header photo and background wallpaper. Be sure to include a description of your interests and the link to your blog, or page. This helps others to determine whether you might share common learning interests when they are deciding whether to follow you. If you stick with the ‘egg’ as your profile picture people might mistake you for a spam account or suspect that you might not plan to be a long-term Twitter user.
  • Take a tour of your new Twitter home page and learn how to tweet, how to monitor notifications when others mention you or contact you through a Direct Message (DM) and more!
  • Take a look at the information about using Twitter lists to organize your followers—which we recommend—is available here.
  • Twitter has its own language, which you can read more about here.
  • Wondering how to tweet? A basic guide is available here.
  • We also recommend both the Twitter (android) (iPhone) (Windows phone) and Hootsuite apps for beginners—both of which are free—for mobile.
  • Looking for hashtags that are specific to your area of interest? Try this list for educators to start. Are you in Higher Education? This list might be helpful.Overall, though, we suggest that you watch which hashtags others—who share your interests—use.
  • Be aware that there are spambots and other general malcontents who pop up periodically on Twitter. Here are some tips to spot—and stop—spammers andphishing campaigns. If you think you may have accidentally fallen prey to a phishing campaign, here’s what you can do about it.
  • Monitor your followers as they begin to follow you and try to ensure that they are human, not spambots. Nevertheless, if you suspect you may have missed some spam followers for any reason, here’s one way to help prune your list somewhat.

Finding and Connecting with Others on Twitter

The connections we make with others—our Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)—are incredibly important for our own learning both during and after the ‘workshop’ ends.

  • Hybrid Pedagogy recently published an article about PLNs that includes some helpful advice on PLN building within the context of setting a learning goal. This is particuarly relevant for our learning context.
  • Howard Rheingold (and some of his Twitter followers) have also provided some great strategies for finding others to connect with on Twitter.

General Twitter Advice

There are no hard and fast rules of Twitter—they shift and they differ depending individual networks. What is acceptable among some groups may not be okay with others. However, here are a few general tips that can be helpful for a new user:

  • Twitter’s nuances can feel a bit confusing at first. Check out Mediabistro’s great tips(with many, many helpful resources!) for new Twitter users
  • An important element of Twitter is giving credit to others. You might want to review this helpful article (note that we do advocate the use of MT and HT).
  • Heidi Cohen has provided some additional Twitter etiquette suggestions are worth a review.
  • Tweeting multiple messages or articles in a short timespan can reduce the effectiveness of what you are trying to share or convey. This slide provides some good advice about that.

Google+ Communities

Setting Up Google+ and Google+ Communities

  • First you need to set up a Google+ account.
  • If you’re new to Google+, before moving on you may want to become more familiar with some of its key features, including how to ‘share’ posts, reshare them and how to use Google+ circles.
  • Denis Labelle has created a series of 28 ‘how to’ videos on various aspects of Google+.
  • Kevin Brookhouser has created a great tutorial on some of the Google+ communities basics.
  • Hashtags work in Google+, too! Read here for more information.

The ‘Social’ Aspects of Social Media

The following is by no means an exhaustive list of the variety of social situations one might encounter on social media, and there may be more than one way to handle each situation appropriately. Below we’ve tried to provide suggestions on a few aspects of social media spaces that are important. Overall, it’s critical to remember that technology only augments our ability to communicate with one another—our ‘online’ presences are really inseparable from our ‘In Real Life’ (IRL) selves and the same goes for others. A good, general tip, then, is to guide your choices and actions by how you might handle a situation in your workplace or another physical social setting.

Similarly, bear in mind that your professional reputation (PDF) matters. The Innovative Educator has shared some tips on managing and protecting it that are worth reviewing. Social networking is also all about fostering conditions that support community, which includes building trust among individuals. Be a good digital citizen when interacting with others, help each other out and it will go a long way to helping form positive relationships and with each other.


If you do not have a blog, we will create one for you using EduBlogs.


Edublogs logo

  • Edublogs has create a comprehensive user guide for setting up and using an Edublog account as an educator here, including a section for additional support.

General Blogging Advice

  • Allow for comments to be posted immediately to your blog—this can help generate conversation more quickly.
  • Does the idea of openly offering your personal thoughts feel a bit daunting? Terry Freedman offers some tips. Still not convinced? Check this out.

Social Bookmarking

Did you know that there are a number of ways to save your links other than a bookmark in your browser? Social bookmarking allows you to access your bookmarks from any computer, anytime.

Diigo logo

  • Diigo is a great tool we highly recommend—it allows for bookmarking, annotating web pages and more.

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