Networked Community

#NetworkedCoP: Networked Communities of Practice [RESEARCH STUDY]

The Networked Communities of Practice (#NetworkedCoP) study is created to explore how student affairs and higher education professionals participate in online networked communities. We would like to learn HOW and WHY graduate students, professional staff, senior administrators, and scholar-practitioners in higher ed are engaged with blogging, Facebook group discussion, Twitter chats, creating podcasts, using hashtags and more.

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We see higher education staff using social media to not only network, but also support one another, provide learning opportunities, share knowledge, and contribute back to the field.


 Please consider participating in our study to share with more about your digital practices:

  • What communities you participate and interact with online?
  • Why do you contribute or interact with these networked communities?
  • How does your digital practice impact your professional identity and influence?
  • What type of professional development, networking, and learning have you experienced from these communities?
  • What benefits, challenges, and affordances occur within this networked practice?

To learn more about our study and participate by telling us about your networked community involvement [SURVEY] or more share more about your networked self [INTERVIEW], please visit our research website:

https://networkedcommunityofpractice.wordpress.com/

This research project is being conducted by Dr. Paul Eaton (Sam Houston State University) and Dr. Laura Pasquini (University of North Texas) and has been approved by the SHSU Institutional Review Board (#30423) and the UNT Institutional Review Board (#16-310).

#AcDigID, #AcWri, #phdchat, Academia, Higher Education, networkedscholar

#AcDigID: Academic Digital Identity Matters

Over the last few weeks, you might have noticed the #AcDigID hanging off a few of my social posts. In between #OLCInnovate conference wrap-up work and the end-of-semester fun, I was designing a new workshop I’ll be facilitating via the Online Learning Consortium. This 7-day, asynchronous, online workshop is designed to support digital identity development for faculty and staff in higher education.

#AcDigID_hashtag

Developing Your Social Media and Digital Presence

Workshop Description: What does your online identity look like today? Have you Googled yourself lately? In academia, it is becoming increasingly vital to publish and share your teaching, service, and research knowledge. Besides developing an online presence and utilizing social media for professional development, faculty and staff are actively utilizing open and digital channels to support, learn, and contribute a thriving network of connected scholars. In this workshop, you will explore meaningful ways to craft an active, online persona, learn about strategies to effectively include social media and digital resources for your professional development, and understand how an online community of practice can enhance the work you do.

Learning Objectives:

  • Evaluate social media and digital platforms for faculty professional development, connected learning, and research impact.
  • Establish effective strategies for developing an online digital identity for open, networked scholarship.
  • Outline the benefits and challenges of open and digital scholarship while using social

Dates Offered: May 16-22, 2016 and September 26-October 2, 2016; Registration Page (if interested in signing up)

Initially, I was asked to create a workshop around social media; however I thought this could be more. There’s actually a lot more than just social media needed when becoming a networked scholar and in crafting your digital persona. Academic social networks are on the rise and there are a number of reasons why scholars use social media and digital resources (Van Noorden, 2014). This is an important topic we to talk about with our peers in higher ed, as we are all public intellectuals now – at least in some shape or form.

If you have ever attended a webinar and/or concurrent session with me on the topic, there’s way too much to share in just 45-60 minutes – so I was thrilled to think about these issues in an extended format and to figure out how to best support academics interested in building their digital presence. It’s been fun planning this workshop, as it has made me return back to my blog archive, review the articles I have curated, visit texts I’ve read, and also pick up a couple of new ones to learn more (future blog posts to review these books soon!).

Here’s the outline for the #AcDigID workshop this coming week:

  • Why Does Social & Digital Identity Matter in Academia?
    • Getting started, digital identity development, and state of scholars online
  • The Tools of the Digital Academic Trade: Social Media
    • Twitter, hashtags, blogging, podcasting, LinkedIn, and more!
  • Being a Connected and Digital Scholar
    • Digital research impact and influence, ORCID iD, academic social networks designed for scholars, and measuring impact.
  • Openness in Academia: Benefits & Challenges
    • Being open in higher education, the tension between challenges and affordances of online, and experiences from networked scholars.
  • Building Your Social and Digital Presence Online
    • Creating your own space and place for scholarship (at least 3 platforms)
  • Developing Your Digital Academic Identity
    • Bonus: ways to aggregate and showcase your digital/social profiles

I am looking forward to sharing ideas and strategies for digital scholarship and identity online this week in the #AcDigID workshop. I don’t claim to know all, and I continue to learn – however I will say I am grateful for those networked scholars who have supported my digital developing along the way. That being said, I know some of you might have suggestions, experiences, stories, and more when it comes to academic digital identity development. I welcome this. If you are or have been a higher education faculty/staff who is/was on social media, academic networking sites, or just online – please consider giving some advice to my #AcDigID workshop participants.

#AcDigID ADVICE and RESOURCES WANTED for how you share your teaching, service, and research scholarship online:

  • ADD TO THE LIST: to my “Academics Who Tweet” Twitter list? I would like to get a variety of scholars from all disciplines and areas in higher education. Let me know if YOU or someone else should be added.
  • SUGGEST A HASHTAG: Do you follow a particular academic hashtag that my #AcDigID community should know about?

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  • TELL YOUR #AcDigID STORY: Interested in coming to talk about your #AcDigID development? How did you become a networked scholar? Want to share your issues, challenges or affordances for your academic online self? Let me know – happy to have you during a synchronous, online meeting.
  • JOIN THE #AcDigID TWITTER CHAT: Join us for the live Twitter chat this coming Friday, May 20 from 1-2 pm EST – We will, of course, use the #AcDigID to ask questions and discuss the issues, challenges, and affordances of being a scholar online.

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  • USE the #AcDigID HASHTAG this week to introduce yourself, say hello, share resources, or offer advice.

Reference:

Van Noorden, R. (2014). Online collaboration: Scientists and the social network. Nature, 512(7513), 126-129.

Book Review, edusocmedia, Learning and Performance, Professional Development, Training & Development

#BookReview: The New Social Learning, 2nd Edition #NewSocialLearning

The first edition of this book, The New Social Learning, was published 5 years ago. I read and have a copy of it on my bookshelf; however, we know that emerging and connected technologies have continued to flourish and influence our organizations. The social technology landscape has changed since 2010. There are a number of new platforms, additional functionalities and communication channels, an increase of utilization and adoption by our organizations, and a much greater acceptance of social media being applied for learning and development. Marcia Conner and Tony Bingham have recently published an updated version of this book with The New Social Learning: Connect. Collaborate. Work, 2nd Ed.* The latest edition provides a number of excellent case studies for how social media is being implemented in workplace learning, development, and performance.

SocialLearningBingham and Conner (2015, p. 8) define social learning as the “joining with others to make sense of and create new ideas…[it] is augmented with social media tools that bridge distance and time, enabling people to easily interact across workplace, passion, curiosity, skill or need. It benefits from a diversity in types of intelligence and in the experiences of those learning.” What is really “new” about this type of social learning with emerging technologies is the impact these platforms and tools have to the experience. “Social tools leave a digital audit trail, documenting our journey – often an unfolding story – and provide a path for others to learn from” (Bingham & Conner, 2015, p. 9). Social media facilitates the empowerment of learning among your networked peers beyond the limitations of geography or time.  I appreciate how the authors identify what is NOT the new social learning (e.g. informal, e-learning, MOOCs, just for knowledge workers, in contrast to formal learning/education), and how this type of learning is meant to augment, not replace, training, knowledge management, and communication practices in our organizations. As technology has accelerated change in the workplace, Bingham and Conner (2015, p. 18-19) see the opportunity to implement a new social learning strategy based on these changes in work:

  • The accelerated pace of change requires agility. Consider agile values for the workplace.
  • Our technologies go where we go without any boundaries. Not all can be controlled, contained, or developed from within an organization.
  • Our shifting workplace demographics change expectations, with regards to generations, gender, culture.
  • People desire personal connection to communicate, collaborate, and share.

Although the authors share a number of success stories about individuals and organizations who are engaged in social media to enhance learning, they do offer potential critiques and considerations for governance of social tools. By including applied examples and practice to social learning theory, this book identifies suggested approaches and considerations for implementation of a new social learning program as outlined by its table of contents (TOC):

  1. Reach Out and Connect – Introduction to the book topic and focus (download the TOC and part of Chapter 1 here: http://www.thenewsociallearning.com/)
  2. Embark on the Journey – Setting goals and planning for the “new social learning”
  3. Transition and Engage – Strategic steps for implementation of social media for learning
  4. Never Give Up – Reminders, challenges, suggestions, and issues to consider
  5. Analyze Insights and Returns – Suggested methods and areas to evaluate and measure
  6. In-Person Learning Reimagined – Opportunity to engage in F2F social learning from the springboard of social tools
  7. Appendix: Social Media Governance – Examples of a few corporate policies and guidelines to consider for your organization

Chapter 5 provided excellent considerations on how to analyze and understand stakeholders when considering a social (media) learning approach. This section outlines this lightweight analysis to help quantify social and digital tool adoption. As I tend to work with non-profits, K-12, higher education, and professional/trade associations, I modified the descriptions and questions from this section of Bingham and Conner’s (2015, pp. 206-252) book to focus the analysis for learning and development organizations:

  • Analysis 1 – Perspective: Do you have a sense of how people in your organization feel about the company/institution, each other, their clients, etc.? What if you could better map the perspective of your stakeholders? What is your priority with a new social learning approach? It will be critical to analyze patterns of attitudes, feelings, conversation tone, and individual voices in your organization by reviewing the unstructured data created by social and digital platforms.
  • Analysis 2 – Engagement: How important is it to have a large majority of your organization fully engaged in their work and/or learning? Are your stakeholders aware of the organization’s vision, mission, and purpose? What does it mean to have engaged educators and/or learners in your organization, with regards to online participation, generative production, and choices for collaboration?
  • Analysis 3 – Connectedness:  How do you want individuals in your organization to know each other or, at least, have a method by which they can get to know what skills and knowledge everyone brings to the table? Have you conducted an organizational network analysis yet? Do you have a method for sharing information, managing knowledge, and directing your organizational stakeholders to resources and/or other people?
  • Analysis 4 – Fiscal Fitness: Are you concerned that social (media) will be of little value to your organization? Are you afraid there is no way to measure the value many assure you is there with social media for learning? What is the ROI for social learning? Sometimes there might not be direct counts; however bench-marking our own performance indicators will help with identifying new opportunities to balance the reward-risk ratio. Outcomes of social learning might be noticed in the side effects, i.e., increased employee morale, a decline in sick days, or a growth in collaborative team projects.
  • Analysis 5 – Impact: How do you know what you are doing is actually making an impact to your organization? How have social (media) tools improved or supported your own learning and development? Is there a change in behavior, opinions, attitudes, and experiences of your stakeholders? Do you notice an increase in productivity or improved learning outcomes?
  • Analysis 6 – Influence: Do you know how collaboration and communication change measures of authority and the effect it has on who is “seen” to provide real value? Influence can come from a position of authority; however, it might also is socially and informally created with our digital, network tools. Involving all stakeholders to participate and identifying impactful messaging from leadership will be critical for open communication. You might not realize how pluralistic ignorance can impede social change in your organization.
  • Analysis 7 – Attention: Do you know how your own stakeholders can dramatically multiply the value of their own and their colleagues’ knowledge? Are your stakeholders paying attention to key messages and less attention to distracting noise? What are the key trends and movements in your organization on these social channels? Do you have a pulse of the conversation and needs on these platforms? Believe it or not, there is life without email.
  • Analysis 8 – Capacity: How do you want to expand the social learning methods and platforms you use to understand and maintain the critical skills needed for your organization? How can you analyze and foster leadership, interests, knowledge, content, or geographic distribution, for your social learning approach?
  • Analysis 9 – Change: How can you best understand your organization’s culture and the impact social approaches will have on transforming learning and development? How will you conduct a learning culture audit that includes the assessment of social media platforms for learning? How will you communication the transformation of your learning approach to the organization?
  • Analysis 10 – Fill the Holes:  How can you help others in your organization imagine a future and stimulate exploration of topics and ideas that might not fit into an existing structure? Can you conduct a personal network assessment to identify who in your organization might help to “fill in the missing holes” for your social learning approach? How might you analyze and review the real-time experience on your social media platforms?

Reference:

Bingham, T., & Conner, M. (2015). The new social learning: Connect. Collaborate. Work., 2nd Edition. Alexandria, VA: ATD Press.

*Full disclosure: The @NewSocialLearn book was sent to me by @ATD Press to read and post a review on my blog. Thank you for the read – it was enjoyed. 

Book Review, Social Media

Book Review: The Etiquette of Social Media

At the end of last year, I was a lucky GoodReads.com winner of Leonard Kim’s (a.k.a. @MrLeonardKim) book – The Etiquette of Social Media: How to Connect and Respond to Others in the World of Social Media. As I teach a professional development class and write/research this topic, with regards to social media learning and performance, I thought this might be an interesting read to add to my shelf.
Thanks for the book @MrLeonardKimOur lives are more social and online. For those who say “in real life” or “IRL” – let me just tell you, social media is real life. There are less distinctions and divisions between our online and offline selves. That being said, there has been little provided to model good behaviors and polite encounters on social media platforms. Little Miss Manners ought to write a quick overview for social media; however I think that Leonard Kim got to it first with this book. There are a number of questions and situations that need to be addressed with individual use of social media, and Leonard Kim attempts to provide examples and strategies the following questions he introduces in this book:

  • Should we act however we want online?
  • Should we censor ourselves?
  • Are we supposed to act civilized on certain platforms but casual on others?
  • What happens if we encounter a bully [online]?
  • How do we start a conversation with a potential business partner, client or future employer?

When I read these questions, I immediately thought about the number of questions I am asked about using and interacting with social media on a regular basis:

  • Do I have to have a professional photo/avatar?
  • Should I include my full name on my social media platform or website URL?
  • Should I start a blog
  • Who should monitor our office social media account(s)? And how should this be done?
  • Should I have more than one profile to interact with my colleagues vs. students?
  • What social media spaces should I be active on to learn or network within the field?
  • Who can I go for help with my own social media development/use?

With in the influx of social media platforms and increasing amount of users within our professional online networks, there are a number of questions being added to both lists. This book was a light read, with some great points and examples for both my students and early career professionals/academics who frequent social media – or want to use it further learning and performance.

Kim’s book addresses the individual use of social media, and implications using these platforms might have in your personal and professional life. In other social media books, there is a directive for organizational content development, marketing, and/or business; however these text rarely mention how professional should interact and behave online. Kim offers examples of interactions and posts from common social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora. Although these tools might be used right now, he addresses acceptable behavior online in any forum and encouragers his readers to be nice and respectful. Other segments of this text address personal/professional goals that includes research, building a good reputation, being polite with interactions, connecting with others, and seeking out a mentor for advice. Many of these concepts can be applied to online communication and development; but really have a greater focus on professional growth and life objectives. In contrast, later chapters do detail the potential negative aspects for being active on social media, such as  negative comments, how to manage online attacks, and how to deal with cyber bullying.

The bonus final chapter identifies how to effectively reach out to a new contact and how to avoid awkward interactions with digital messages. This section is dedicated to supporting those who want to gain experience with effective “cold call” social media messages to potential peers, collaborators, employers, etc. To be honest, a number of my students could use the basics for effective e-mail drafting and see the examples provided in this chapter, including these common denominators for a successful message (Kim, 2014, p. 92):

  • Grammar is properly used.
  • Address the respondent by name.
  • Each message has a unique sense of personality, reflecting the messenger.
  • A heartfelt and genuine compliment is stated at the beginning.
  • Build common ground on points and based on initial research.
  • Show that you respect and value the time of the message recipient.
  • Provide a reason behind the message.

Overall, I appreciate how this book deals with social media and the individual use, specifically personal interactions and polite communication. For staff and faculty in higher education, Kim provides some helpful examples and useful facts throughout the book, and it is a quick read for your students.

Reference:

Kim, L. (2014). The etiquette of social media: How to connect and respond to others in the world of social media.

Social Media

The State of Social Media @ #edu14

State of #SocialMedia in Higher Ed (2)

Looks like EDUCAUSE 2014 (#edu14) is just around the corner.

I am heading out to Orlando on Sunday and will be sharing my dissertations research at the #edu14 Virtual Seminar with Tanya Joosten (@tjoosten) on Monday, September 29, 2014. Interested in learning more about it? Sign up (HERE) for the online, half-day seminar to help with your social media planning:

Seminar 2A – The State of Social Media Guidance: Implications of Guidelines, Policies, and Practice in Higher Education (separate registration required)

Higher education institutions are using social media to communicate and engage their campus community; however, very few are examining the impact and implications of social media guidance. From research to practical applications, this seminar will detail the current state of social media guidance in postsecondary education and identify key elements of guiding principles that offer suggestions for student support, teaching, training and development, research, infrastructure, and more.

OUTCOMES
Participants will be able to:

  1. Articulate current higher education social media guidelines and policy document trends, categories, themes, and patterns emerging from research
  2. Identify practical components for effective social media guidelines for campuses
  3. Create meaningful guidelines and policies to positively impact teaching, learning, research, and development at your institution

Since I am only at #edu14 for a short stint,  I plan on making the most of my time. Here is my quick hit list of sessions that are in line with my research agenda:

If I was staying longer at #edu14, I would most likely attend these sessions:

Will you be at EDUCAUSE 2014? What is your focus and objective for attending this year? More importantly, will we be able to have a bit of a chat around these issues. I hope so. See you @ #edu14!

Dissertation, PhD, Social Media

Your Higher Ed Website + Search: “Social Media Guidelines” or “Social Media Policy” = A Database for My Dissertation Research

Yes. I know that this may be my  LONGEST blog post title ever. I created it for one reason. It is the equation which will help me move my research forward for my dissertation.

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You may recall a previous request for this from an earlier blog post: Gathering #SocialMedia Guidelines from #HigherEd. So, basically what I’m saying is…

I NEED YOUR HELP! => Submit Your Social Media Guidance Please!

My dissertation research methodology (good ol’ Chapter 3) will involve text mining analysis for reviewing all these many social media guidelines (policies, strategies, beliefs, regulations, etc. included) I am gathering right now. The caveat for this type of research is –  I need to build a large enough database of documents to examine and evaluate. BONUS: After collecting all of these documents, I will share this Social Media Guidance database AND my research findings for you here: http://socialmediaguidance.wordpress.com/

As of today (4:30 pm CT), I have collected approximately 176 Social Media Guidance documents from 13 different countries. Hoo-ray!

Check to see if your institution is listed below, and if it is not – please SEARCH YOUR COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY WEBSITE to see if you might just happen to have social media guidelines, a policy, a directory, and/or anything that might be related to social media. Thank you!

Social Media

Do You Have Social Media Goals?

After participating in today’s Social Media Metrics in Government Using GSA Guidelines webinar hosted by Hootsuite, I began to think more about the WHY and HOW social media guidelines and policies develop. This session discussed how the government developed their guidelines around their GSA social media goals which were connected to their strategic communication plan and web presence.

Obviously this webinar had a focus on measurement and assessment for social media use using both free and paid tools, like Hootsuite; however it offered some sound advice to organizations that are just developing social media guidance or for those who are re-thinking their social media policy. Instead of starting with a policy, strategy, or guideline list of what to do or not do, it would be more helpful for institutions to think through the WHY of social media. This process provides organizations focus, sets out objectives, and creates a rationale for social media use and how these goals might be measured and assessed. For example, the GSA wanted to use social media and social data goals, included:

  • Be more effective in how they distribute critical information to citizens & communities
  • Engage citizens to help shape to public programs
  • Better inform strategies leading to greater efficiency
  • Increase use of innovative tools and services to further development

It is important to consider your institutional goals when organizing your social media guidance, here a few suggestions given from the webinar – but I am sure your organization has many others.

Internal Considerations:

  • Collaboration
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Cost saving & cost avoidance strategy
  • To be transparent
  • Talent acquisition

External Considerations:

  • Citizen engagement – Active use and participation (2-ways)
  • Promote services and resources
  • Provide customer service – feedback
  • Provide real-time resources – expand upon current communication channels

Here are a couple of examples shared from the GSA for their use of social media goals:

Example of Goals for Using Social Media in Government

Another reason to consider developing social media goals before establishing your guidelines is to consider how you will evaluate social media use for your organization. Social media management of your resources is critical. To help assess social media engagement and use it will be helpful to align your goals to evaluation as part of your strategic communication plan. Social media analytics and metrics through different 3rd party tools and social dashboards; however what will be relevant for your organization to track and use for assessment purposes. You want to connect your goals to your key performance indicators (KPI) and desired evidence-based outcomes.

Planning for Measurement

One example was the use of hashtags from the Twitter for Public  Health case study to outline a clear system for planning social media management. This public health group utilized a hashtag, #SM4PH, to build hype around the start of a regular, organized Twitter chat and to launch a hashtag for community development. Their goal was to measure the impact of the hashtag use, conversation, and community involvement before, during, and after this first chat to assess the long tail of this campaign.

Does your organization or institution have social media goals? How do these goals support your social media spaces? How do you assess and measure your social media goals? Let me know.

Reference:

Macey, B. (2013, November 14). Social media metrics in government: Using GSA Guidelines – Webinar. HootSource. Retrieved from http://blog.hootsuite.com/social-metrics-gsa-guidelines/

UPDATE 11-19-13: If interested, this webinar is available for viewing on demand.