PhD, Reflections

#sxswEDU: Thoughts, Reflections & Then Some…

Time sure flies when you’re conferencing, volunteering and travelling… so my thoughts on South By South West Edu (#sxswEDU), are delayed by exactly 2 weeks. My bad.

Due to my love of Austin and enjoyment of SXSW, I thought SXSW Edu would be a great conference to engage with other educators and expand professionally. There were a number of things I liked – such as being on public transit, new perspectives on learning, and connecting with tweeps (Shout out to: @tjoosten, @gsiemens, @veletsianos@audreywatters & more #iamEDU friends!). I also appreciated the lively banter our Social Media in Higher Ed (#smHE) panel had on the topic, and the great follow up conversations with other instructors, practitioners, and researchers. 

Essentially, I got what I wanted out of the #sxswEDu conference – connect, social, interact and learn. I sort of expected something else from this conference, specifically with regards to the education (K-12 and Higher Ed) involvement. I was a bit disappointed to see that the Panel Picker selected more sessions with industry, rather than any educators. It was odd. I was not alone in noticing the tensions were felt between the industry and educationWhy were the instructors, teachers, principals, faculty, higher education professionals, and educational administrators not sitting in these #sxswEDU seats?

Let's get ready to MOOC-off! Where art thou @gsiemens?

Although the education presence was not the “sage on the stage” approach, I am glad I was present to listen to what industry and technology leaders think the “future of learning” will be. I know that many of these sessions were challenged and talked about outside the formal #sxswEDU program, and I was curious as to how other educators interpreted the conference message(s). 

One thing that was very noticeable = the repetitive rhetoric being shared from room to room. To mix it up I, jokingly, initiated the  #SXSWedu Terms to Know, Use, Love & Hate Google doc to note the key words, terms or phrases I heard at the conference. Some might say I was being jaded (*cough* Siemens *cough*), but really I was just having fun with the common language of the conference. After curating this list, I decided to create a game (…which had multiple players, I might add): 

#sxswEDU BINGO Card #3

Note: Another suggestion was to draft a blog post with the complete list of terms. I decided to respectfully decline said challenge; however I will stay alert to the language and context of these words. It’s not a bad idea to keep your ears open and listen every once in a while… Thanks for reminding me of that #sxswEDU.

EdTech, Higher Education, Social Media, StudentAffairs

#SXSWedu Panel: Social Media in Higher Ed – Where Are We Going? #smHE

Are you attending the SXSW Edu (#SXSWedu) conference in Austin this week? Why not drop into our panel just after the opening of #SXSWedu? Join our session on Monday, March 4th from 1:30-2:30 pm in the Austin Convention Center Room #15. Here is the skinny on our panel:

Panel: Social Media in Higher Ed – Where Are We Going?

Social Media Propoganda

Image c/o Justonescarf

100% of Colleges and Universities are now adopting “social media” tools to engage students. While strategies and tactics vary per institution there has been little analysis into the effectiveness of these networks both from the student and institutional perspective. Social Media Managers have been hired, consultants have been giving “best practices” on how to use “free tools” but is all this network chasing really getting us anywhere? In this panel we’ll showcase examples of good and bad social media implementation, and use these as a framework to discuss what a meaningful social media strategy and guidance looks like.

Intended Audience: Higher Education; Student Affairs; Academic Affairs; Faculty; Ed Tech Start Ups

Join the dialogue with Tanya (@tjoosten), Brandon (@bcroke), Brad (@bradpopilolek), and myself (@laurapasquini) as we chat about these three central questions proposed by our panel:


1. What does a failed social media strategy look like?
How do we know social media failed OR was successful? Do we need social media strategy, guidance, or policy on our campus?

2. What does a successful social media strategy look like? What are three pillars every social media initiative should have? What works really well with using social media? What initiatives have you seen?

3. What role should institutions play in engaging students with social media? How should institutions engage  social media? Why should we use social media? How can the different players on campus (faculty, administrators, students, developers, industry, & start ups) work together and collaborate for purposeful social media use?

If you have a question and you want to chime in during the session (near or far), I’ll be tracking the conversation with the hashtag #smHE to collect your questions, thoughts, and contributions before and during our panel session. What questions do you have about social media in higher education? Let me know.

UPDATED: Slide Deck & #smHE Tweets Collected. Enjoy. 

#SXSWed Panel: Social Media in Higher Ed – Where Are We Going?#smHE (with images, tweets) · laurapasquini · Storify or http://bit.ly/Z422Pw

Higher Education, Social Media

Guiding Social Media at Our Institutions [ARTICLE]

Remember last fall when Tanya Joosten (@tjoosten), Lindsey Harness (@LindseyHarness) and I asked for your input on how your institution guides social media? No? Too long ago to remember? 🙂 Well regardless, we appreciated those who could respond as it helped us gather information on what we are (or are not) doing to direct social media use in higher education.

The results from the research are in, and published! Here is the recently published, peer-reviewed article for the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).

Access the article in PDF form here.

This article expands on Chapter 6 from Social Media for Educators to understand HOW higher education is guiding social media use. Through our open-ended questions, we learned more about how instituions are supporting and guiding social media. Often we see social media used a broadcast medium and there has also been a shift to designate new roles or responsibilities to support its use on campus.

Thanks to the SCUP Change-Disruption Mojo for featuring some of the findings as this week’s topic, specifically to Alexandria Stankovich (@thinkstank) for sharing both sides of the issue:

  • Concerns: monitoring online behavior, identity thief, privacy, FERPA/FIPPA, maintaining university image, control, ownership, required trainings

  • Benefits: interaction and engagement beyond the formal learning environment

Want to learn more about the research and/or article findings? Take a gander at the SCUP Google+ Hangout interview with Dr. Tanya Joosten, who shares her own insights and research highlights from this study.

Key takeaways:

  • Social media is often used as a “broadcast channel”
  • We should engage and develop a culture through the use of social media tools
  • Institutions need fluid access to information regardless of the technology
  • Simplicity principle to build capacity for the social web
  • We need to develop models of effective practice for LEARNING!
  • Trust the faculty you hire – they have some great ideas
  • Recognize that learners are MORE than sponges
  • Match technology with task & building digital literacy opportunities
  • Is social media in your strategic plan? Is social media or technologies part of your learning outcomes on campus? THIS is where your efforts need to be
  • Institutional encouragement is needed for collaboration ON YOUR CAMPUS to identify how to best guide social media models & effective practices
“The pedagogical benefit of social media use beyond its application as a motivational technique continues to be unaddressed by many universities.”

This study was just the tip of the iceberg. There is definitely more research on learning, social media use, and higher education to be done. Time to get at it (says my faculty advisor @drjeffallen)! Back to the dissertation proposal grind…

Reference:

Joosten, T., Pasquini, L. A., & Harness, L. (2013). Guiding social media at our institutions. Society for College and University Planners – Integrated Planning for Higher Education, 41(2), 1-11.