Please take a moment to view the tutorials and share with your colleagues in your school community. These “Twitter for Teachers” screencasts and tutorials are designed for education advocates new to Twitter and experienced social media users interested in developing new skills.  Check back for new posts in the series.

Tools for New Users

Screencast: Getting Started with Twitter. Brief (10 min) screencast for the brand new Twitter user. Includes news feeds, posting your first tweet, notifications, hashtags, and tagging within posts. Short-link can be embedded in emails and sent to general membership, retirees etc. Hosted on Google Drive, not Youtube, so viewers will be less likely to encounter filtering problems if viewed from school computers. http://goo.gl/tjd8gF

Tapping Into Twitter: Getting Started w/ Tweeting Basics (PDF). One page, printable hand-out good for new users, general membership, community advocates, and retirees. http://goo.gl/08NctP

Tapping into Twitter: More Tweeting Basics (PDF). One page, printable hand-out good for new users, general membership, community advocates, and retirees. http://goo.gl/ng6CqF

Screencast: Creating Lists. Brief video (4 min) shows you how to create lists on Twitter. With lists you can create custom news feeds and follow groups of users (teachers, local unions, administrators, bloggers etc.).  http://goo.gl/Wii3gQ

Tools for Experienced Users

Screencast: Managing Multiple Accounts on iPad and iPhone (2min).  Many Twitter users maintain multiple accounts to manage different aspects of their online presence. Learn how to easily access multiple accounts from the Twitter app on your iPad or iPhone. http://goo.gl/rtc02N

Screencast: Tweetdeck (4min). Tweetdeck is a powerful tool for tracking multiple twitter accounts, realtime viewing of lists, and scheduling tweets. It’s an essential resource for someone who wants to maintain an active social media presence throughout the day but doesn’t have constant access to their twitter account. Hosted on Google Drive, not Youtube, so viewers will be less likely to encounter filtering problems if viewed from school computers. http://goo.gl/Jw3DcB

Twitter for Teachers: Creating Lists

This short screencast shows you how to create lists on Twitter. With lists you can create custom news feeds and follow groups of users (teachers, local unions, administrators, bloggers etc.).

View the screencast here: http://goo.gl/Wii3gQ

Screen shot 2015-02-05 at 11.31.37 AM

View our complete series of screencasts and tutorials by clicking on the Social Media Tools link in the menu of this page, or by visiting http://goo.gl/2thG1t

Twitter for Teachers: Multiple Accounts on iPad and iPhone

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 9.28.37 PMThis short screencast shows you how to manage multiple Twitter accounts on your iPad or iPhone. Many Twitter users maintain multiple accounts to manage different aspects of their online presence.  You may have an account for parent and classroom communications, another for your local union, and another for personal use.  You can easily toggle back and forth between these accounts on your iPad or iPhone by tapping on the silhouettes next to the settings button on your profile page.

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 9.38.25 PM

View the screencast here: http://goo.gl/rtc02N

View our complete series of screencasts and tutorials by clicking on the Social Media Tools link in the menu of this page, or by visiting http://goo.gl/2thG1t

Across the state, NYSUT is encouraging members to become more active on social media. If you’re not already a Twitter user, I encourage you to sign up today and start engaging the media and our elected representatives online.  Many, many politicians in Albany, their staffers, and reporters from national to local outlets use Twitter to communicate with the public.  
 
Check out a brief tutorial screencast on Twitter online.
Please share this link with your colleagues and friends on Facebook who might not use Twitter.  It’s a great way to stay connected, it’s a great way to make your voice heard.

There are some great writers in the education blogosphere today, writers who focus on the facts and weave compelling arguments worthy of broader attention, notably Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post, Peter DeWitt at EdWeek, and of course the grande dame of education writers, Diane Ravitch. Their blogs show up in my news feed on a daily basis, reposted by teachers and parents again and again.  Their authors choose facts and persuasive arguments over vitriol and personal attacks.

Certainly there is always room for good-natured parody, mockery or general snarkiness, but too often authors rely almost exclusively on a certain brand of media sensationalism at the expense of accuracy.

David Brooks, of the New York Times, wrote thoughtfully this past week about the rhetoric and ridicule leading up to and surrounding the recent tragedy in Paris.

“Most of us move toward more complicated views of reality and more forgiving views of others. (Ridicule becomes less fun as you become more aware of your own frequent ridiculousness.)”

Unfortunately, for every well researched, credible article on the net there are at least two or three blogs that fein authority on a subject and lean heavily on just such ridicule.  They often preach fear mongering and divisiveness in an effort to enrage their followers with no real intention of winning people over to their views.  And they are almost never based on fact.

One such post came across my desk this week by a blogger in New York City.  The author, Arthur Goldstein, is a part-time teacher/part-time union rep in NYC.  He’s actually written some pretty good articles, a number of which have appeared in the Daily News (I especially like his piece on teacher tenure published last July).  But sadly this is not one of them. Rather, it is a regurgitation of personal attacks and baseless accusations against NYSUT’s leadership, a replay of skirmishes gone by (Mr. Goldstein ran, unsuccessfully, for NYSUT’s Executive VP position last April). These attacks sound more like sour grapes than scandalous revelations.

Mr. Goldstein recycles a string of predictable talking points which he has used many times before: NYSUT endorses Cuomo (not true), scandalous pension deals (see my response here), and painting UFT leadership as bullies.  In fact, none of this holds water.  His assertion that NYSUT’s Secretary-Treasurer, Martin Messner, and the union’s leadership are denying a former officer his severance package is an outright fabrication.

The new NYSUT leadership has never stood in support of Governor Cuomo.  The NYSUT Board of Directors voted unanimously in August to not endorse the Governor.  NYSUT subsequently sent nearly 400 delegates to the AFL-CIO conference in NYC and prevented a Cuomo endorsement by the state’s largest labor organization.  This move was unprecedented and sent a clear message to candidate Cuomo – teachers in NY are a force to be reckoned with.

Mr. Goldstein uses an old Republican messaging strategy made famous by Lee Atwater and Carl Rove – repeat an untruth enough times and people will start to accept it as true.  Thankfully, the facts say otherwise.

You don’t have to dig too deep into Mr. Goldstein’s blog archives to uncover other poorly sourced, unreliable articles that follow the same formula. A post from December claims that NYSUT Executive VP Andy Pallotta was planning on “sending a bunch of lucky NYSUT folks to a wing-ding over at the Governor’s mansion on December 31st.” Not true. Actually, NYSUT mustered over 100 teachers, parents, and students on a bitter cold New Years Eve day to protest outside the Governor’s mansion.  Their message was clear – Cuomo is clueless about education and NYSUT demands that he keep his hands off of our public schools.  It was quite a protest.  I was there, Mr. Goldstein was not.

As New York’s education professionals face attacks from the politicians and bureaucrats in Albany and the billionaires on Wall Street, what we really need is a clarion call to stand as one union.  It’s time for every teacher in New York to stand together, not support Mr. Goldstein’s brand of division.  As we face the new year and the battles that await us, we can either drift toward disunion or trumpet one clear voice in support of public education in our state.

Rank and file teachers can get involved right now to support a unified front against the enemies of public education in New York.  Speak up about your concerns and reach out with constructive criticism, but it is essential that we pull together toward a greater good for New York schools.

I’ll be standing up for my union and the kids we serve.  Will you?

My apologies to Robert Burns. Happy New Year?

Cuomo and His Clueless Friends
(to the tune of Auld Lang Syne)

Oh, Cuomo and his clueless friends are clueless as can be.
And yet they want to run our schools, they don’t care for you or me.

(Refrain)
Oh, Cuomo and his clueless friends are clueless as can be.
And yet they want to run our schools, they don’t care for you or me.

Our governor’s priorities are plain as plain can be.
He listens to the hedge fund boys but not to you or me.

(Refrain)
Oh, Cuomo and his clueless friends are clueless as can be.
And yet they want to run our schools, they don’t care for you or me.

He doesn’t care about our schools, we’re all the same you see.
It’s high stakes testing for our kids and no voice for you or me.

(Refrain)
Oh, Cuomo and his clueless friends are clueless as can be.
And yet they want to run our schools, they don’t care for you or me.

He’s jealous of his friend, John King, who’s headed to D.C..
His eyes are on the White House now but not on you or me.

(Refrain)
Oh, Cuomo and his clueless friends are clueless as can be.
And yet they want to run our schools, they don’t care for you or me.

(Refrain)
Oh, Cuomo and his clueless friends are clueless as can be.
And yet they want to run our schools, they don’t care for you or me.

EDUCATION MATTERS: an occasional review of the state of education in NY

12/8/14

Hunger Games comes to NY:  Zephyr Teachout and the Working Families Party released a scathing education report last week about corruption in the Cuomo campaign.  In it, they detail how Wall Street titans secured the allegiance of the governor thru campaign donations and outside spending. 12 individuals spent $4.3 mil on a PAC apparently designed to purchase control of State Senate education policy.  https://t.co/uInwTgASQD

NYSTRS retirement contributions are decreasing this year and districts are expected to save a bundle.  On Long Island, districts may save up to $100 million from lower pension costs. http://nwsdy.li/1APoLjy

Fed up with the climate of over-testing our kids? You can send a message to the politicians in Albany. Go to the NYSUT MAC (https://mac.nysut.org/custom-email) to send a message supporting a districts’ right to refuse mandatory, stand alone field tests.

Parents, teachers, students, and community members can visit NYSAPE (NYS Alliance for Public Education) to oppose the Board of Regent’s efforts to mandate Pearson’s field testinghttps://www.votervoice.net/NYSAPE/campaigns/37674/respond

Cuomo’s struggle to extend the school day continues as only 6 schools our of the state’s 700 have implemented longer days. http://capi.tl/1weCxxs 

United Federation of Teachers (UFT) president, Michael Mulgrew, offers his take on the state of education in NY. “It’s time to fight back, it’s time to show what we can do.”

Their agenda is the same as always, too: promote charter schools and vouchers and the privatization of education; roll back collective bargaining; and cut the public services on which we all depend.  READ MORE

The plaintiffs in Campbell Brown’s anti-teacher tenure lawsuit have filed an opposition brief against the city and state teachers’ unions’ motion to dismiss the case. NYSUT is pushing back, maintaining that Tenure Allows Good Teachers to Fight for What Their Students Need.

Many experts are weighing in on the real problems in education. This week, Forbes contributing writer, Nick Morrison, suggests The Problem Isn’t Getting Rid of Teaches, It’s Keeping Them.

Are you registered for Teaching Tolerance Magazine? It’s free for educators. Subscribe → http://bit.ly/YDxtCU 

An LSE study suggests that money, success, and good grades are less important than emotional health in children.  Emotional health in childhood is the “key to future happiness” .

Pro-Common Core Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana is ousted in a run-off election.  http://lat.ms/1A6y5ib

 

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