Monday, February 22, 2010

Un-Impressed by Social Networking

My regular Agony Aunt Column for teachers in NZ schools came across an interesting case last night, and I thought to share this very interesting exchange with you!

Dear Eva-Maria

I'd like to know your views on the latest scandals about social networks and how this is negatively impacting schools. We all know with new age comes change, and this generations' it's unfortunately the opportunity to hide behind a computer screen and write anything they want about the people who truly care about them - their teachers. You've grown up in this age Eva-Maria - what do you think - is it fair our students are allowed to post such public and hurtful comments for the entire world to see?



Dear Un-impressed

Do you remember a teacher you didn't like, and you felt you may have to tell your friends about your frustrations too?

Social networking = same thing, except online.

Whether there is a social network or 'group' dedicated to something bad about a school or teacher, it does NOT make any more or less students feel this way. There are always different
people, different teachers, different students. The internet has given people all over the world an environment and an opportunity to voice their opinions, but this doesn't necessarily convert
people. It may bond together the like-minded, but that could happen in real life too if the internet didn't exist. I find the same mind-boggling thing with adults who won't put their photo up on the internet because they're scared someone will steal their identity or something. Realistically, these people leave their house, and any person passing them, if they wanted to, could take a photo of them and steal their identity. Putting a photo up online is just as dangerous as leaving your house!

The main point is to use the internet for positive purposes. If you're annoyed at all the hate groups online, make an 'I Love My School' group! Like-minded people will join you, and you will be making a positive impact in the internet world - impacts will be made through the internet - it's up to you if you're going to contribute to them in a good or bad way! "Be the change you want
to see in the world" - famous words of Mahatma Gandhi, and I cannot agree more.

But bottom line, no; I'm not impressed either because students should respect their teachers. Perhaps this whole social networking business is a point you can raise at your next class - what are their views on this? You both have alot to learn, and a different point of view to see from each other - they may just surprise you!

Trust Your Future - it depends on you too!


To see more Agony Aunt Columns, or perhaps ask your own question
you'd like answered, click here!

So what are your thoughts on Social Networking?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Professional Speakers Ignite Wellington!

With my latest appointment of youngest Chapter President in the History of NSA History (BIG news internationally, let me tell you that much!!), the Wellington Chapter of the National Speakers Association of New Zealand is finally in action!

I am very, very pleased to say that the third-time-lucky Wellington NSANZ Chapter has officially started up with a bang on the last Thursday of January! And this time, I am sure it will stay this way!

I must say, this time, I truly understood the power of networking - it truly brought us all together, and we had so many different ages and people working on inviting people to the night, and let me tell you – the power of networking is the same, whether you’re 19 or 99! We had a successful amount of over 60 people come along to enjoy our very first evening of 2010!

MC-ed by well-known Toastmaster Dave Stonyer, opening the night was Mark Blumsky. Being heavily involved with the business community, he genuinely acknowledged the starting of this chapter, and shared some insights into the necessity and value of professional speaking from his experiences of being Mayor of Wellington – how this was a key skill to getting things done, and the huge difference between reading a speech (especially one written for you), and telling a speech (straight from the heart!).

Following Mark, we had Wellington Chapter’s NSANZ veteran John Faisandier, who shared his journey into professional speaking, and the great benefits NSANZ had in store for him, just from being a member which gave guests a fantastic insight into an association, some of them, had never heard of before!

And wrapping up the evening, we had the lively Billy Graham. As said in one of the feedback forms: “It’s been said before ‘He’s in a league of his own’” and it was absolutely true. Billy is one of those people who are truly ‘On Platform, On Purpose and On Fire’ absolutely 500% of their time, and it was an absolute pleasure seeing him in action, but to learn about the entertaining tips to be the best speaker (one of them is actually to always believe you’re an entertainer, no matter what your subject!)

We had a fantastic response and an overwhelming amount of feedback (over and week onwards and I’m still receiving e-mails every day), so with more people excited about the future of the chapter, our next meeting will concentrate on branding. Which we figured will be the perfect starting point for our current and future members in Wellington (I’m sure you’ll tell all your friends in Wellington about this one!), presented by NSANZ member Mike Handcock, called ‘Rock Your Personal Brand’ on the 24th February, and the only way to find more information about it, will be HERE!

See you there!