Archive for the ‘Social media’ Category
Recently a number of colleagues have asked whether there is a guide to Twitter aimed at academics who have never previously tweeted. Fortunately there is – an excellent introduction, produced by Amy Mollett, Danielle Moran and Patrick Dunleavy of the LSE Public Policy Group, and made available under a Creative Commons licence.
This is full of sound, practical advice and is the best guide I’ve seen.
See also the social media guidelines produced by Marketing and Communications here at Loughborough.
My Teaching Centre colleague Maurice Fitzgerald has featured Faculty Focus several times in posts over on the Teaching and Learning Blog. Based in the United States, Faculty Focus provides various free, as well as paid for, resources in the form of newsletters, downloadable reports, etc., regarding learning and teaching issues.
In the latest Faculty Focus article, Nisha Malhotra, a lecturer in economics at the University of British Columbia, talks about her positive experiences of using Facebook to support a research methods class. Read the full article here.
Here at Loughborough, the Learning and Teaching Committee (LTC) recently considered a document setting out a draft approach to the use of social media and other Web 2.0 services in teaching. The approach recommended (by my colleague Martin Hamilton, Head of Internet Services, and myself) was that the institution should support the use of such services in teaching where appropriate and with due consideration for the associated risks. What this means is that module tutors (and programme leaders) need to think carefully about the specific details of how they would like to use such services, and thus avoid negative outcomes relating to copyright, data protection, etc. LTC accepted this general approach which will now be formulated into a policy statement.
Colleagues should note that, where they are using other online services, Learn [our Moodle-based VLE] needs to remain the ‘online hub’ of every module.
If you’ve been using the SAP Twitter tools for Powerpoint, about which I blogged back in the autumn, you’ll be disappointed to here that because of a change to the Twitter service itself, they will soon stop working correctly, according to a newsflash on Timo Elliott’s website.
There are some alternatives you might like to consider. Of course, if you’re using the the tools together with Twitter as a way of getting students to ‘vote’ / answer questions in the classroom, you could use the Turning Point dedicated voting system instead.
Or if you were using Twitter to get informal, unstructured feedback from students, you could use a Twitter ‘visualisation’ service such as Twitterfontana. Here’s how one Loughborough colleague has been using Twitterfontana.
If you’re a Twitter user, you’re probably aware of various high-profile cases where tweets have got their authors into serious trouble. Here’s a useful guide, published today on the BBC News website, to staying on the right side of the law. It also points to areas where the law (or intepretation of the law) is changing.
Historian Dr Marcus Collins is another ‘early adopter’ of the BoB (Box of Broadcasts) service and, as with his colleague Prof Chris Szejnmann, he has been combining it with Twitter in the classroom. He comments:
I’m also a great fan of both BoB and Twitter. So far, I’ve been using both in just one module: a third-year seminar on the Beatles and the 1960s. I’ve used Twitter as a way of encouraging directed small-group discussions at various stages in the class, then using their Tweets in discussion within the whole group of 37 students. The students are initially bemused by the idea that Twitter has educational uses, but soon get into the swing of things and end up talking more in the seminars than they’d otherwise do. The only problem I’ve found is that not every small group tweets every time. [...]
As for BoB, I’m using it in a slightly different way from Chris. The first thing I’ve done is to show the Beatles’ students its riches as a research tool. They’re all writing papers comparing the Beatles and another musical act, and I’ve created playlists of documentaries and performances of the Beatles and their contemporaries for this purpose. Next semester, I’m considering asking each student in my class on twentieth-century Britain to pick a documentary and write an essay suggesting revisions on the basis of their reading of written secondary sources. I am open-mouthed at the extent of the archive and its ease of use.
If you’re a member of staff at Loughborough, trying logging in to http://bobnational.net and searching for ‘Beatles’ and you’ll see what Marcus means. Remember that all the programmes and playlists that are displayed in the search results are material that can legitimately be shown in the classroom.
Having recently conducted an audit of all modules on Learn, we are aware that some modules really do push the boat out and try out new things. If you are one of those who specifically make use of social software for instance wikis or Facebook within your module then a new JISC-funded project is looking to develop a handbook to disseminate the effectiveness of social software initiatives.
If you would like to share your findings and contribute to the project, please contact Dr. Shailey Minocha, firstname.lastname@example.org
[News release from JISC Announce 16.8.2012]
Celebrating 10,000 followers… and our resources to help engage students through social media
To celebrate our ten thousandth Twitter follower, we showcase some resources that can help you blog, tweet and interact your way to better student retention, marketing and teaching online.
1. Listen to a podcast on developing your social media strategy with Steph Gray of Helpful Technology
2. Read JISC CETIS’ ideas about using Twitter in the classroom
3. Learn how Cardiff (@cardiffio), Northumbria (@NUSSW) and Bristol (@UoBristol_Intl) universities use Twitter to support international students
4. Reflect on how your PhD students are using social media and other new technologies to collaborate and stay up to date using the biggest ever survey of PhD students
5. Read the London School of Economics’ guide to Tweeting for academics
6. Compare your university to other universities.
Find out which social media networks others are using on the UK Web Focus blog post <http://ukwebfocus.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/guest-post-further-evidence-of-use-of-social-networks-in-the-uk-higher-education-sector/>
7. Read a case study on engaging students through blogging
While you’re keeping up to date online, don’t forget to follow us @JISC on Twitter.
What’s this? Google+ is Google’s new approach to social networking. It builds on top of many other Google services, and Google intend for it to become a key feature of most of their products.
Why am I writing about it here on the E-Learning Blog? Well, Google+ has a number of features that may be interesting for educational institutions. I introduced a few of these in a recent UCISA presentation with Google’s William Florance. We recorded the session, and a copy of this is embedded below:
Read on to find out more about Google+ and its potential in Teaching and Learning…
Did you know…
∙ Twitter and Facebook are blocked in most parts of China by the Great Firewall of China?
∙ China has 485 million Internet users, more than any other country in the world?
∙ WeiBo.com, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, already has 195 million users (almost as many as Twitter)?
∙ Manchester Business School has 22,000 followers on Kaixin (the Chinese equivalent of Facebook)?
∙ Loughborough has 1200 Chinese students?
On September 21st, André Schappo (Computer Science) and his student Christine Liu will be giving a session demonstrating the use of the main Chinese social networking services. They argue that international Universities such as Loughborough should become more aware of non-Western social networking and exploit the opportunities they offer to communicate with both current and prospective students. Lboro staff should get in touch with me if they would like to attend.
In the meantime, you can find out more about the non-Western Web on Andre’s personal blog at http://schappo.blogspot.com/. In particular, for a list of Western organisations / companies with a presence on the Sina Weibo microblogging site, see http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6fab54120100wohn.html .