543 Social Media Policy (Module 6 Wk 2)

Real Estate Social Media Policy

This is a draft of a real estate brokerage social media policy for agents and staff, governing the behavior and content of materials posted online for public consumption. This policy should be thoroughly reviewed and vetted by owners and brokers prior to distribution to agents and staff with modifications made as needed to suit a specific office environment. This media policy is based on and the National Association of Realtor’s Social Media Policy guide as found HERE; and general business social media guide as found at http://mashable.com/2012/10/06/social-media-policy-update/.

Education, Information, & Stake holders

  • Management should come together to review and customize this or any policy to ensure relevance, customizing as needed to make relevant for their office and market.
  • Management should provide policy draft to agents before implementation for discussion and feedback to enhance agent compliance with guidelines moving forward.

Professionalism

  • Agents will not claim credit for or knowledge of materials falsely. This includes, but is not limited to false representation of designations or certificates earned.
  • Agents will conduct themselves in a professional manner in all interactions with the public online.

Integrity

  • Agents and Staff (non-licensed) will conduct themselves in a professional manner online maintaining the high moral standards of the company. This is including and not limited to personal photos as well as friends pages. Strict usage of permissions to control visible content is highly recommended.
  •  All content should be consistent with the Code of Ethics, local, state, and federal laws, licensing laws and regulations.

Identification

  • Blogs
  1. Agents will always identify themselves as real estate professionals when interacting with the public on third party sites when discussion real estate issues.
  2. Agents will clearly list the name and business contact information of their real estate office on any real estate website that they maintain for their own use. Business information must appear “above the fold” and be clearly visible.
  •  Third Party Sites (FB, YouTube, Twitter)
  1. Agents must disclose their status as a licensed agent when discussing real estate topics on any third party site.

Content

  • All original post content, any re-use of materials from a third party site must be linked and credited appropriately.
  • Photographs and images should be the agents original content, or used within the image creator’s license with proper credit being given.
  • Any content posted shall be the responsibility of the agent in regards to content, compliance with all laws and regulations including fair housing, antitrust, and real estate license laws.
  • No privileged or content that should only be available to licenee’s will ever be posted where it can be accessed by the general public.

Monitoring

  • Agents (and staff) should regularly monitor their posted content on their websites and blogs, as well as third party sites to facilitate ongoing discussion and to ensure that additional comments are appropriate and civil.

543 Personal Learning Environment Reflection

Creating the Personal Learning Environment was an interesting task to undertake. Firstly, it provided an excellent opportunity to utilize a recently discovered tool (Spicynodes) to map out the various into some semblance of order. As I was working on this project, I discovered that every time I opened the map to make an adjustment I thought of another node that should be added. There really is no shortage of learning environments to satisfy all possible interests thanks to the Internet. One of the limitations that I discovered within Spicynodes that I found particularly frustrating was an inability to control the nodes and their behavior directly. If I were to undertake this assignment again I might select another platform in order to exercise a little more control over the layout and formatting.

As this is the second part of a two part assignment, I found that I diverged fairly dramatically from my classmates in how we approached this task. One of my frequent work environment/networks is LinkedIn due to its extensive user base and smaller, targeted sub-groups in which you can discuss, interact, and learn from professionals from around the world in similar industries. Because I found such an extensive list of sub-networks within the LinkeIn platform covering a variety of business, personal, and education interests it seemed logical to focus and explore that avenue more fully. Based on what I have seen so far, none of my classmates took this approach; instead focusing on a variety of individual, external networks.

In an effort to more fully flush out my PLE I did expand to include other resources and networks that I use on an almost daily basis. It was not surprising that there was a fairly extensive list of sites and services that I found across many of my classmates projects as well as my own. Many of the major sites including Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Flickr were common themes throughout. These networks offer so much information that it’s not surprising that they are popular places to turn for information.  After spending a considerable amount of time lurking, reading posts and content from others without engaging, this assignment provided an outstanding jumping off point to get significantly more active and engaged in one fell swoop.

522 Module 3 Reflection – Online Learning Tools & Web 2.0

Online learning tools is a broad, fascinating and rapidly evolving topic that requires a fair bit of dedication to simply keep up with. The alternative may be a mere passing interest in Web 2.0 and the tools they make available for integration and use in online learning. Unfortunately, that leads to nothing short of a lifetime of playing catch-up. Personally, I find this to be a fascinating course of study; one that I’ve been following, more like obsessed with actually, long before beginning my EDTECH journey. The benefits to online learning as a system and resource seems quite obvious as not only does it break down physical and geographic barriers, but it also provides for some amazing and interactive learning experiences that benefits student comprehension.

There are so many benefits to online learning tools that it is hard to know where to begin. Collaboration however is one aspect that immediately springs to mind and several cloud tools have collaboration down pat. Both BOX and Google Drive, for example, provide users with a single document which can be edited simultaneously by multiple individuals. One of the obvious benefits of this approach is that it eliminates the possibility of having documents exchanged via email and the confusion surrounding who may have the most current version. Communicating while collaboration is also important and entirely possible on these platforms as well. Being able to communicate, while editing, with people who may be hundreds or thousands of miles apart geographically is simply astounding.

Communication is something that online learning tools frequently have in spades; from forums to email and various messaging applications the bring people together using typed text or even real time video chatting. I find that many tools that are dedicated to this end perform at a much higher level than those that try to be a jack of all trades. A prime example being the message boards contained within LMS like Moodle or Blackboard. These are vastly inferior to dedicated message boards like IPB or vBulletin. Email and instant message can transmit ideas around the globe in a heart beat, further shrinking the distance between us and allowing a much more enriching learning experience which can be shared with learners outside our specific geography.

Aside from being a powerhouse when it comes to communication, the Internet offers a wealth of sources of information from various sources from news outlets, educational institutions, wiki’s, blogs, forums, online magazine publications, and not to mention a wealth of professional and amateur images to illustrate anything under the sun. Of course, due to the mindnumbing size and expanse of the Internet, targeted search has become imperative. The Internet is, after all, only as useful as your ability to find what it is that you’re looking for!

543 Module 4 Wk1: Assessing Effective Content Curation

This assignment centered around working as a collaborative group to prepare fifteen (or more) criteria to use in the evaluation of curated content. I was vaguely aware of curation prior to this assignment, but had never given much thought to the process, how much it is needed with the constant addition of new information, and how every day tools serve to provide this service to the general public on a daily basis. It never occurred to me that web services like Twitter or Pinterest could be used in this capacity!

Creating the assessment criteria as a group was helpful as it enabled us to each head out in search of criteria that we thought were critical and then come back together and combine our results and discuss, modify, or remove items that didn’t fit the bill. I think that this completed list will indeed prove to be a useful tool in the evaluation of curated content in the next module.

543 Module 2: Non-linguistic Representation of CoP, PLN, & Cognitivism

Finding, creating, or otherwise preparing a representation without the benefit of linguistics sounds like it would be relatively straight forward and simple. In practice however I found this to be a much larger challenge than I had first expected. Through reading and reflection on Communities of Practice, Personal Learning Networks, and Cognitivism I continue to come back to structure and hierarchy. Attached is the image created for this Module 2, week 2 assignment. Below is the list of references in APA format.

(2009). 7 Things you should know about Personal Learning Environments. (PDF Document) Retrieved from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7049.pdf

Baker, T. (2011, March 30). Connectivism: A Theory of Learning for a Digital Age. Retrieved from http://oupeltglobalblog.com/2011/03/30/connectivism-a-theory-of-learning-for-a-digital-
age/

Bell, F. (2009) Connectivism: a network theory for teaching and learning in a connected world. (PDF Document) Retrieved from http://usir.salford.ac.uk/2569/1/ConnectivismEdDev.pdf

Buchem, L., Attwell, G., & Torres, R. (2011) Understanding Personal Learning Environments: Literature review and synthesis through the Activity Theory lens. (MSWord Document) Retrieved from http://journal.webscience.org/658/

Carter, S. What’s a Community of Practice? Retrieved from http://faculty.tamu-commerce.edu/scarter/cofp.htm

Downes, S. (2007) Learning Networks in Practice. Retrieved from http://nparc.cisti-icist.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/npsi/ctrl?action=rtdoc&an=8913424

Kop, R., & Hill, A. (2008) Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past? International Review of Research In Open And Distance Learning, volume 9, No 3. Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/523/1103

Murray, P. Personal Learning Networks; Creating lifelong learning. (PDF Document) Retrieved from http://erhs.ercu1.net/sites/all/files/1/file/startech2012/Personal%20Learning%20Networks%20Keynote(1).pdf

Tarr, P. (2010). Tangled Threads: Mentoring within a community of practice. (PDF Document) McGill Journal of Education, volume 45. Retrieved from http://www.erudit.org/revue/mje/2010/v45/n2/045608ar.pdf

Wegner, E. (2012, June 1). Communities of Practice a brief introduction. (PDF Document) Retrieved from http://wenger-trayner.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/06-Brief-introduction-to-communities-of-practice.pdf

522 Module 1 Reflection

A definition of online teaching and learning:
The basic definition of online teaching and learning is as simple as the conveyance of knowledge and or information to students through the medium that is the Internet. In reality, online teaching and learning opportunities are almost limitless due to the nature of the medium. Courses can be video tutorials that are archived for review as needed; courses can be conducted in real-time using video conferencing, chat, or VOIP software; or course materials can be delivered using a combination of methods from discussion boards, recorded presentations and slide decks. Students benefit from the removal (usually) of a geographic requirement to participate in the course activities due to the nature of the materials being online. The definition of online learning opportunities for organizations that facilitate these courses is profit! Online courses eliminate restrictions of geography as well as brick and mortar facilities to house students during the course.

Are learning outcomes in online courses/programs comparable to face-to-face courses/programs? Why or why not?
Learning outcomes in online courses are absolutely comparable to face to face course offerings. The courses themselves may vary greatly in the methods used to engage students and relay information in an online medium versus an in-person lecture. Despite these differences it is absolutely possible for students both "on the ground" and attending online leave a course having achieved the same learning outcomes. This is accomplished in several ways. 1: Instructors both online and in-person can base their courses off the same materials, while exercises and deliverables may differ, thoughtful and ongoing evaluation could confirm that the same learning outcomes are being achieved by utilizing the strengths of each medium to achieve understanding of the materials among the student body. One common misconception however is that an in-person course can be recorded and made available online and just like that, it’s now an online course. Nothing could be further from the truth in my opinion. While courses both in-person and online have strengths and weaknesses they do not directly translate and maintain full functionality and the highest benefit to the student without significant modification.

The strengths of in-person course materials are they are timely and in real time. Instructor(s) and students are together at the same time and place allowing for prompt q&a, discussions, and deliverables are all introduced in unison. Classes typically meet several times per week which can help keep student engagement high as the material is regularly refreshed throughout the week. Online courses benefit from a flexible schedule which allows students to tackle material on their own schedule when they have time, materials are typically archived for easy reference, and media resources that support the course material are never more than a link away.

EDTECH #505 Reflection 9 – Data Representation

It was very helpful to spend some time reviewing good practices for data representation in print.  While I have frequently made use of charts and imagery to highlight or break down data, I never gave much thought to how that information could be prepared to present the strongest statistics possible without misleading the reader.  My lack of thought in this regard may stem from my lack of use of pictures in charts, leaning more towards graphs or pie charts.  After processing the readings and reviewing samples however, it became clear how easily images can distort and mislead a reader.  The problem arises from the fact that scaling an image up or down changes more than one variable.  As an image scales up or down both width and height change which conveys information that is not necessarily relevant or true to the data collected.  The whole point of conveying data in the form of charts, tables, graphs, and images in a scientific or educational presentation is to support the relevancy of the material contained within the presentation.  Using supporting data that misleads the reader or audience completely defeats the purpose.

I think that moving forward it will still require a fair amount of practice and simple trial and error to determine which forms of data presentation are the most appropriate in any given situation.  Moving forward in evaluation and Education Technology, I do not expect that finding evaluations to practice on will be a problem, and for the most part, any presentation can make use of the accurate portrayal of supporting data!