Data Use, Technology, and Educational Leadership
I’ve just been awarded a small grant to study social networks around technology in Catholic schools. In other words, I’m interested in systems of relationships — who asks who for advice; who talks to who regarding “stuff that will help kids.” I think this gets complicated when we think about the current pressures on Catholic schools to serve a unique mission, to compete with other schools, and to use data and technology in ways that might not come naturally.
After hearing so much about MOOCs (massive open online courses), I’ve decided to try one on Coursera. I saw it as a way to keep fresh on my social network knowledge. It’s fun! I’m liking it even better than TV.
I’m posting here some images from my first homework assignment, mainly because I’d previously been familiar with UCINET but am enjoying how pretty the graphs are in Gephi. These images are all of the same data: my Facebook friends and how they relate to one another.
Intuitively, you can see that my friendships have run in pockets, but that some of those pockets are better connected to each other than others. The colors represent male and female; one of the graphs uses size to show how some people have many more connections to others within this network. If this was a school, one might think about pockets of collaboration or innovation. One might think about who is “really” at the hub of information sharing in the school, and what the role of leaders are in connecting those hubs. There’s tons more that could be said!