#AcWri, #phdchat, Book Review, LPQ, Social Media

Book Review: Social Media for Educators #summerreading

After reading, Social Media for Educators by Tanya Joosten (a.k.a. @tjoosten), I decided to complete an #AcWri book review in the Learning and Performance Quarterly 1(2). Since this journal is online and open access, I thought I would blog a few key ideas and highlights from this #summerreading book. Book Review: Social Media for Educators [PDF]

Abstract: Social Media for Educators is an excellent book that interweaves theory, applications, and current pedagogical experiences for learning environments. For those in the learning and performance industry, this book provides insights and ideas to help guide social media use for both educators and learners. Joosten provides current examples, benefits, and considerations throughout each chapter. Whether educators are beginning to design their learning curriculum or learners are considering social media for organizational development, this book presents helpful insights and experiences that will potentially influence and shape effective engagement and learning with social media.

Keywords: Social Media, Education, Strategies, Practices Although I have previously blogged about strategies for developing social media guidelines — I thought I’d share a few other suggestions for social media engagement from the book. Here are a few ideas, but really I would just recommend reading the book if you’re interested in social media for learning, training or development.

Part One: Background I appreciate how Tanya Joosten lays out the history and evolution of what we now know as social media. Social media is defined by a number of educators and summarized as “A virtual place where people share; everybody and anybody can share anything anywhere anytime” (Joosten, 2012, p. 6). Social media encompasses Web 2.0 tools, social networking sites, and user-generated content where individuals engage and contribute to these digital spaces. This section introduces readers to how social media is being used to build a network, establish support systems, and grow relationships among peers. There are a number of examples where professionals can “get their feet wet” for using social media for professional/personal use. Finally, this section wraps up with implementation considerations and identifying the following pedagogical needs (Joosten, 2012, p. 30):

  1. Increasing communication and contact
  2. Engaging students through rich, current media
  3. Gathering and providing feedback
  4. Creating cooperative and collaborative learning opportunities
  5. Providing experiential learning opportunities

Part Two: Social Media: What to Do With It? I enjoyed how this section of the book presented practical case studies and useful ideas for social media communication and instructional design. The examples and “how to” guides for using social media are very helpful when considering how to enhance the learning environment. Many of these examples are excellent models for various types of learning experiences (in class, online, blended, etc.) and training opportunities (professional associations, affiliations, etc.). As an instructor/student, I agree with Joosten’s thoughts on how social media helps facilitate peer instruction and greater interactions. I also agree that social media features and characteristics often provide a richer learning experience (Joosten, 2012, p. 54), including:

  1. Provides a virtual space for storing, archiving, and retrieving
  2. Facilitates rich and current information
  3. Increases the ability to aggregate resources to share
  4. Offers immediate access to information through mobile apps or through RSS feeds

Part Three: Other Considerations in Implementation The last section of this book deals issues that often accompany social media in education, including policy, administrative and IT support, cost, user-generated media, support for educators, training needs, effective evaluation practices, and challenges for implementation and use. The last few chapters guides educators on how to go forth and create their own social media instructional plan at their home institution. Dr. Joosten provides evaluation instruments, suggestions for establishing learning outcomes, and assessment ideas for using social media in education.

References

Joosten, T. (2012). Social media for educators. San Francisco, CA: Wiley/Jossey-Bass.

Pasquini, L. A. (2012). Book review: Social media for educators. Learning and Performance Quarterly, 1(2); 83-84.

Higher Education, Learning Technologies, web 2.0

Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World

The Higher Education Academy and JISC have recently (May 12, 2009) published a new Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World report (also available as a PDF), which examines the projected future trends in the use of technology in higher education.

The group was created in February 2008 to conduct independent research and review policy implications for higher education, specifically around the experience and expectations of learners and the increase of emerging technologies.

higher ed

Flickr photo by jrodgers

The HE in a Web 2.0 World report analyzes the use of web 2.0 technologies at colleges & universities in the UK, with regards to the digital divide and information literacy. It is clear that various institutions are utilizing online resources in various ways to support learning and engagement.

Issues that will continue to prompt change in higher ed include:

  • Tradition
  • Environmental factors
  • Diversity in the learner population
  • A richer educational experience
  • Practice in schools
  • Open source materials and online universities
  • Skills development
Higher Education, web 2.0

Higher Education 2.0

worldonshoulderswos

Technology has become quite accessible, especially in higher education. Whether you like the term web 2.0 or have caught the social media bug, the fact is, technology is present in many learning environments. The “alternate” forms of education are no more – it’s now just learning.

“Web 2.0 technologies and open education learning design, employed by imaginative teachers, create a landscape of learning–collaborative, problem-based, experiential–that is closer to our nature than the ranked, single voice classrooms so abundant in recent times. The single voice classroom developed because of the lack of other ways to help students learn. We no longer lack the resources and tools to develop learning designs that fit how people learn.”c/o Why Web 2.0 is Important in Higher Education, T. Baston, Campus Technology

Although this though is not widely embraced by faculty and administrators alike, it will be the challenge for the new generations of students entering into our colleges and univerisities.

Here are some interesting comments about this Campus Technology article’s message about web 2.0 in higher education:

Wed, Apr 15, 2009

I want someone, an actual human to talk to. Interaction with other humans. and the Web is not personal. I enjoy learning on line but getting the information and hearing the emotional delivery of a lecture is critical.

[Who is talking about online lectures? We are talking about engaging students in 2-way conversations online. Dialogging about relevant course material. Sharing ideas, thoughts, facts and opinions.]

Wed, Apr 15, 2009 tim

I still don’t see this. With the busy lives most of our students (mine are older) live, they need a lot of direction to get things done. My job as an instructor (I hate the instructor/professor paradigm) is to provide them with the initial stimulation to show them what they need to know and to make it interesting enough for them to pursue later (Web?). My students actually WANT me to talk to them, to help them see the framework things can be seen in, and to set the challenges for them. I wouldn’t dare say this always happens, but I try. And it is congruent with my own experience. I always loved great lectures from people who thoroughly understood and integrated knowledge (perhaps that’s why I still spend so much money on Teach12.com). I don’t say this as a Luddite. I’ve been involved in technology education for 25 years, and I am still uncertain where it can help ….

[GREAT! Keep talking to your students in-person… then engage & challenge them online and beyond the classroom/office hours environment – to share research, ask questions, and grow your learning community.]

Perhaps the misconception for technology in higher education is the thought it has to be ALL or NOTHING. I would encourage educators to think more broadly on how to support those adult learners, and seek out online mediums to to compliment and make your teaching practice more effective to cultivate learning communities at your institutions. It is never about the technology, it’s really the reason and purpose it plays in education.

Collaboration, web 2.0

Web 2.0 Tools for Effective Teaching

There are a lot of different ideas for teaching & learning with web 2.0.  I have been fortunate to share with the Web 2.0 Tools for Effective Learning group on SlideShare.  I would like to extend thanks to Elaine Talbert (etalbert) for archiving and collecting presentations & information about what educators are doing with web 2.0.  I think this is a valuable resource for those of you interested in engaging with online learning & development at your institutions.  Check it out!

connection20

etalbert is “Keen researcher of technology and education. Fascinated by the potential of web 2.0 applications to transform learning.” And I happened to stumble upon Steven Downes’ post about Elaine’s contributions on SlideShare today, which made me think of the community of collaboration there is for education.  Keep connecting & learning from those around you and online.

Collaboration, web 2.0

Web 2.0 Goes to Work (for Education, Too!)

The McKinsey Quarterly presented a great business model of 6 ways that web 2.0 technologies can go to work for managers:

1. The transformation to a bottom-up culture needs help from the top.

2. The best uses come from users—but they require help to scale.

3. What’s in the workflow is what gets used.

4. Appeal to the participants’ egos and needs—not just their wallets.

5. The right solution comes from the right participants.

6. Balance the top-down and self-management of risk.
I would argue that these business practices can also support best practices in higher education. If we think about our students, faculty & staff in our “business model” this might be a few things to consider on how to get web 2.0 to work for education:

1. Students need to part of the development & process of education.

2. Go to where students are – use the technologies are being used.

3. Incorporate web 2.0 tools into current resources & services

4. Interact & provide feedback to activity online.

5. Target tech-savvy students & staff to help facilitate online learning initiatives among peer groups.

6. Encourage online contributions from students with some moderation.