Tuesday, April 16, 2013
What If Colleges Used Social Media Well?
Wise and worldly readers, what would colleges look like if they used social media well?
I've recently started to think that the Software Engineering programme that I'm involved with should have a Twitter presence; that would be another way of engaging with the broader community (potential students, alumni, current students). As you say, that's essentially PR & marketing (implemented in this instance by faculty).
Do you mean social media for credentialling? Community building? Or something else?
One of the things that strikes me, as someone who uses social media to learn, is how I feel ahead of the curve. If I were in a class, I'd feel like I had something to bring to the table, more than just having done the reading. To me, social media is kind of a mindset. It's looking for connections between things, thinking critically about the information that's coming through your stream, and, if you have a blog, writing those thoughts down, and then responding to feedback.
Imagine if that's what your faculty and students were doing on a regular basis. Maybe students wouldn't passively wait fior the teacher to pass on information, but would have sought out and watched a TED talk related to the class and would bring that up.
Even in classes like nursing or biology, where it seems like there's a lot of content to convey, what if students came together in a forum or google hangout to discuss the material before class, to help others understand parts that didn't make sense. What if they shared articles for further explanation? What if that was just expected behavior?
That seems a little bit like what you mean?
Other colleagues have maintained a Facebook presence which success went beyond coursework, they were even selling cars and used textbooks to each other.
There is no denying that the undertaking is time consuming: my colleague spent hours posting class notes on the web, but he is the small screen generation and teaches English, so a lot can be done with a keyboard.
Not practical for a Math person who would have to post graphical objects.
But these, of course, are actions take by individual professors, and not a college wide thing. If it becomes a college-wide thing, there will be issues of disclaimers and control of site content-- I pulled down a course website once because a big Kahuna started to vet/edit the website and there were no existing policies for the maintenance of such a site.
It is not yet the time for what DD suggests-- I have visited chat rooms associated with school I attended-- I never found anyone in the chat rooms there or contacted old school acquaintances, but did read some posts from former fellow students.
If you are talking about giving away much of what is done in a classroom in the form of free videos explaining how to do X or providing core course information in the free and open web, some professors at my college have been doing that (without extra compensation) for years.