The classroom has gone through many changes since in the past few decades, and technology has played a big part in that. Many teachers limit technology to high-tech projector systems and computers, and despise social media. After all, it’s distracting and irritating when students secretly peruse Facebook instead of take notes.
However, some teachers are taking a hint from Tarik Sansal and embracing social media instead of banning it. Here are just a few of the uses of social media in the classroom that Tarik Sansal and other proponents would certainly promote.
Kids in the Blogosphere
While kids probably aren’t using social media for marketing or business purposes like Tarik Sansal, they can still learn a ton. As it turns out, when kids are engaged with the material, they learn better, and one of the greatest learning tools is blogging.
How do papers and written assignments work? A student hands in the assignment to the teacher, who puts a smiley face on it, possibly comments on it, gives it a grade, and returns it. It’s not an especially interactive experience.
However, with blogging, a student realizes that she’s writing the assignment for her teacher but also for friends and potentially other bloggers to stumble upon. It’s at once empowering and enjoyable. Blogging has also been shown to improve students’ writing skills. The fact that the material is public holds students accountable for putting out good work, and inspires them to create something others would want to read.
Replacing Online Procrastination
The Internet can often become a black hole of procrastination. One minute, you’re researching post-Great Depression America, and the next, you’re looking up what happened to the cast of Full House while watching various kitten related videos.
Between 2004 and 2009, the amount of time kids aged 2 through 11 spent online went up 63%, which is a significant missed opportunity for those against the influx of technology. Teachers can find creative ways to implement social media to make some of that online time more about education and less about procrastination.
Teachers now create forums that included extra assignments to be completed after class. These assignments are highly variegated, from commenting on presidential debates to creating short videos displaying bad examples of sustainability. The main takeaway has nothing to do with grades or rewards. It gave the kids something to do and something to discuss later—it creates a productive online activity and makes use of the Internet’s first purpose (to share information).
There are indeed various dangers online and offline, but it’s important to teach kids about social media and its various ins and outs. At this point, it’s such a prevalent utility that to ban or ignore it would be completely remiss.
These days we tend to measure our personal success by the amount of friends we have on Facebook or the number of followers we have on Twitter. Social media is far-reaching, changing the way we navigate our everyday interactions. Tarik Sansal and other business owners have been able to build their brand with assistance from social media.
Real estate was once all about the ground game. You would put up your “for sale” sign and wait for interested buyers to call in, but times have changed.
Expanding Reach While Honing In
Social media plays a vastly important role in businesses of all kinds, including real estate. In real estate marketing, social media is an excellent tool for boosting your reach. Sites like Facebook and Twitter make it easy for users to share information with their friends. You can tweet or post a message to your wall that will be seen by all your followers and friends. Those friends can then share your post, expanding your reach dramatically.
At the same time, social media gives real estate the ability to hone in on specific groups. You can send private messages to just those friends and followers that might be interested.
As with any business, real estate is all about getting your message in front of people who might be interested in what you are selling. Whether you want to send flyers to an entire crowd or just target a select few, social media gives you the ability to market however you choose.
Marketing Property Properly
Once you’ve listed your company and signed up for a variety of social media services, it’s time to participate. Social media can be pretty intimidating at first and many first-time users have trouble marketing themselves properly. In most other media (newspapers, billboards, TV), marketing is a one-way street. You post an ad in the paper and that’s pretty much it.
Social media is not the same. You can’t expect too much from posting a single tweet or status update every six months. You should be posting your listings every day or a few times a week. Social media is a two-way street; this is your chance to interact with your customers and clients. Provide clients with expert information about the industry. If you’re seeing a question that pops up frequently, post a short video response or blog post. This will create more traffic for your website, and more traffic usually means more business.
As we all know, social media platforms have taken over and have played a big part in how we receive, share, and discuss information. These days Twitter has become one of the primary means through which users receive their news. People see the headlines on Twitter or Facebook before they see them on any major news outlet.
But social networks aren’t faceless, emotionless vacuums of information. There is a thriving sense of connection, strong bonds that are built over the Internet, creating actual character and provoking thought. This article made me realize that one of the key elements of any social network is the connector.
Understanding the Connector’s Role
Connectors, as you might infer from the name, are individuals within a social network that act as a bridge between other users, but they are a lot more than the matchmakers of the social media realm. For example, in a news platform, the connector would link together various stories and media outlets. They facilitate the flow of information.
As you might imagine, connectors serve the same role offline as they do online. They are those people who just seem innately skilled in making friends and acquaintances with complete strangers. They are energetic, curious, and willing to take risks when it comes to meeting new people. Connectors are generally known to be helpful; if they can’t help you, they know someone who can.
Connecting vs. Networking
It’s easy to mix up the two terms. They do both deal with meeting new people, but networking is a means to an end. With networking, you meet people to hopefully build or act on new business opportunities. Connectors, on the other hand, are purely interested in meeting new people.
A person networking might try to meet the right people in order to achieve some business-related goal or get hired. A connector simply enjoys meeting new people and creating friendships to assist and engage one another in the future.
Becoming a Connector
Connectors seem born that way, but it is possible to become one early on. Forcing yourself to reach out to others is a big first step, which can be accomplished by joining clubs or organizations that focus on activities you enjoy.
If anything, connectors represent the sense of friendship and camaraderie that can be found within the cynical, kitten-video strewn depths of the Internet. While not all of us can become full-on connectors, it’s possible that we can take a page out of the connector book and understand that, while networking might be useful, having a deep connection with another human being over the Internet is something much more significant and important.
It’s interesting to think that the extensive, multi-billion dollar social networking platform that we know as Facebook only launched in 2004. Twitter started in 2006. In just a few short years, both those websites, and multiple others, have completely changed how we view and interact with the world around us. Whole businesses were created around creating a social presence, while other businesses were left in the dust by not utilizing these tools.
So where is social media headed now?
Social Media in Every Corner
Not to be outdone, Google launched its own social media platform this year, which met with lukewarm to middling response. Perhaps the most interesting part about Google+ was the addition of the +1 button. Much like the “Like” button for Facebook, the +1 allows users to give a little bump to sites that have good content. These +1s are then displayed in friends’ search results.
Social media has certainly blossomed into something new, something that pervades every corner of the Internet, even more than our search results. As far as the future is concerned, social media will continue to expand, extending into our real lives. Even now, we can share pictures with friends, inform them of our whereabouts, track our progress, and dozens of other things thanks to mobile apps that connect to our various social media outlets.
The +1s in your search results are a modest beginning to more personalized services. The fact is that Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Google have vast amounts of information about each of their users. Information regarding our likes and dislikes, our spending habits, and things we’re interested in.
As such, we won’t have to worry about searching for information. Instead, information will find us based on data collected by these various companies, simplifying how we receive information and navigate the Internet.
Social media has allowed everyone to take part in creating content, whether it’s poetry, art, music, or stories. The great thing about short-form texts, used by both Twitter and Facebook, is that they are easy to consume. The future only sees more development in this area as more people use short-form content and build on other existing forms to tell diverse, engaging stories. Users will begin gathering these small pieces to create larger narratives. Social media will only encourage a sense of sharing and relation to produce new thriving forms of creativity.
Why couldn’t there be an institution that would lend ordinary people who pass certain criteria $25,000 to $250,000 over time to get ventures off the ground (similar to criteria for applying for student loans)? The same repayment terms and conditions would apply, as well as recourse on credit, etc.
Given that most ventures fail and that the few that make it pay for the rest many times over, it could be argued that picking a venture should be assigned to probability rather than venture capitalists who can pick investments when their track record isn’t any better, consistent, or even available.
Another model to explore along these lines is one where the entrepreneur seeking an opportunity is required to pledge a portion of the needed capital in cash, and then to personally secure a portion of the venture fund being made available. For example, if you need $250,000 of startup capital, and you bring in $50,000 in cash—personally secure $50,000—then any institution should be able to give you $100,000 in cash to get started; with milestones, even add another $100,000. There would be conditions on personal salaries being low (e.g. $2,000 for a maximum of 12 months unless the company turns a profit), but these types of formulas should be automatic investment deals that would make cash available to entrepreneurs within 4 weeks if they meet these conditions.
These models would use a quantitative modeling approach to investing as opposed to fundamental analysis. It’s a similar model to computer trading, which buys and sells stock just based on the technical analysis and probabilities without knowing anything about the underlying companies. These trading models are used very successfully to drive hundreds of billions of dollars in investments and should work just as well when applied carefully to venture capital overtime.
Internet businesses and social networks in particular are not exploited properly to leverage the power of a community to help make people’s lives better. There’s a great deal of gaming, fun, etc but not enough in terms of of real life impact. Here are a few examples of how social networks can be better leveraged.
Facebook is a brilliant platform to experiment with introducing these types of apps. So far, social networking is largely networks of people broadcasting how much fun and wonderful everyone’s life is and one of the core drivers is vanity. Human nature gravitates towards the more fun and instantly gratifying.
It is difficult to ignore that a great deal of it is wasteful noise or terribly corrupting to the human character and spirit, where posts are compelled by the need to broadcast an action that shows the user in a good light. There’s an opportunity to introduce models that have a real direct life impact and could be even more fun.