The Conversation Prism: Social Networks

If we consider the expectations of an educator, as to having the knowledge and understanding of technological trends, including social media. The overall aim is to ensure we are connecting to social networks, experience new ideas and remaining current. It also allows us to try new ways to do things, maybe without the need for any budget, which means other than our own time what have we to lose in trying something new? Take a minute to look at the visual map and put yourself in the centre of the wheel and reflect on the different social media you use, have tried and ones you are interested in for future use. Consider what your students now or in the future may use, remember the tools we use now may well be gone in 5-10 years time. Investing in technology for education purposes is a difficult task, as who knows what innovation is coming next?

What is The Conversation Prism?

According to Brian Solis who developed The Conversation Prism in 2008. The Conversation Prism is “a visual map of the social media landscape. It’s an ongoing study in digital ethnography that tracks dominant and promising social networks and organizes them by how they’re used in everyday life”. A new updated prism is due soon so keep an eye out at

Image:The Conversation Prism (Brian Solis + JESS3)

See my own brainstorm for developing social media and technology skills as part of becoming a networked educator.

Networked Teacher Brainstorm


Solis, B. & JESS3 (2017). The Conversation Prism

Nursing Education Network (2016). The Networked Teacher 


Digital Badges

Learning now happens everywhere, so how can we recognise this learning? One option is to receive digital badges for completion of learning tasks. Earn for online skills, completing modules or engaging in a community.

Digital Badges

Think back to your childhood, you may have been a scout or guide and been awarded a badge for attaining a proficiency such as knot tying or map reading. This reward provided recognition of an achievement for the person to record and demonstrate they had been assessed and deemed competent in a skill. With the online world increasing in education delivery it is important to recognise achievements. Digital badges are a method of recognition, you can then store them in a digital backpack.

Digital Open Badges are:

  • Free and open: “Mozilla Open Badges is not proprietary. It’s free software and an open technical standard any organization can use to create, issue and verify digital badges.
  • Transferable: Collect badges from multiple sources, online and off, into a single backpack. Then display your skills and achievements on social networking profiles, job sites, websites and more.
  • Stackable: Whether they’re issued by one organization or many, badges can build upon each other and be stacked to tell the full story of your skills and achievements.
  • Evidence-based: Open Badges are information-rich. Each badge has important metadata which is hard-coded into the badge image file itself that links back to the issuer, criteria and verifying evidence”.

From MozillaWiki (2014).

Digital Open Badges make it easy to:

  • “Get recognition for the things you learn,
  • Give recognition for the things you teach,
  • Verify skills,
  • Display your verified badges across the web”.

From MozillaWiki (2014).

Your Recognition For Reading This Blog

Claim you Electronic badge [link here] as reward for supporting Nursing Education Network and engaging in emerging technology and ideas.

Claim Code: A1E-D0FA-5D6

Creating a Badge

The below references provide a guide to digital badges, and the available resources to create simple digital badges. My experience was to try the free websites and use very simple processes for creating open badges, which you can see above as my first attempt. If I had the coding skills I would like to create, bake and complete a digital badge to share on open access (one for the future).


Mozilla (2016) Open Badges

Mozilla Wiki (2014) Badges

Badge Alliance (2016) Badge Issuing Platforms

Wikipedia (2016) Digital Badge

Blackall, L. (2015). Displaying ONPhD badges


The Networked Teacher

The Journey of a Networked Nurse

Networked Teacher Diagram - Update

Below is my brainstorm as I started to engage and use technology in education delivery and also as part my own education journey. These resources I have used both successfully and unsuccessfully on my journey to start becoming a networked teacher.


Wiki: One resource I have really found a greater appreciation for is Wikis, meaning Wikipedia, Wikicommons, Wikiversity and all the other amazing resources they create. What a collaborative effort and it really challenges the status quo on many fronts.

Blog: On the blog front, I have tried a few different resources but in the end my limited IT skills were probably the source of much frustration. ‘KISS’ approach on this one for the novice blogger and the learn as you go process, with a few temper tantrums thrown in for fun. You have to compromise on certain aspects but you can learn and develop skills as you progress. I run the most basic format (and cheapest), keep it all open access and the rest is trial and error. Just looking into copyright rules and creative commons is an experience in itself.

Social Media: For healthcare updates I have found Twitter to be amazing for the speed that discussion is generated on ‘right now’ healthcare topics. Why wait till the next conference, you can discuss and critique as the article is published. The community aspects, such as #FOANed and #FOAMed have kept me engaged and linked to an amazing resource pool. Social media allows everyone to have a voice as well so you see many differing ideas, so students to the experts can all engage in discussion- just focus on the positive aspect of having access to a global network.

YouTube: Instead of spending time creating lectures, I use the time to find quality resources that are superior in quality, finish, technology that I could ever dream of creating. Nurses are using these resources anyway (e.g. Khan Academy, Handwritten Tutorials and company e-learning packages) to learn so why not just get them accessing and engaging in resources they find interactive and engaging? The benefit of this approach is you have no connection to the resource, if a better one comes along or the old is outdated then you replace it. If you have put your own time and resources into a recorded lecture or presentation and your very proud of the work, how quickly would you replace this resource?

Resource: How to create a YouTube Playlist

Budget: The resources I have engaged have either been free or very low budget, this means I am happy to move on if they don’t work for me instead of persevering if I have invested money and time into something (is this the throw away culture?). The budget (approx €0; £0; $0) and all posts are completed in spare time around shifts. On the technology front I try to keep things simple for managing this blog, just a Twitter feed, image gallery and YouTube playlist are embedded into this blog. Any IT skills learnt have come from watching YouTube videos, Google+ and using the e-learning approach has been invaluable.

Personal Learning Networks: The most important part of this journey has been the learning community and the people I have come across and been inspired by. These educators, academics, doctors, nurses, students, IT specialists and school teachers provide me with a lens into different speciality knowledge and professional resources. They are inspiring and although I have never met most of them, they feel part of my day to day work life. This global network of resources provides ongoing resources and ongoing learning for networked learning.

Keywords: Networked teacher; personal learning network; networked learning; blog.


Baker-Doyle, K. J. (2011). The networked teacher: How new teachers build social networks for professional support. Teachers College Press. [blurb]

The Networked [and some additional resource links]

Lundin, R. W. (2008). Teaching with wikis: Toward a networked pedagogyComputers and Composition. 25(4), 432-448.