With a digital presence Students can easily contact us. Students become aware of our areas of expertise. We increase our visibility to the new administration and other GMU units. We are more likely to establish contacts with colleagues from other universities. We can provide a centralized access to resources. We give a response to new trends in Higher Education (technology-enhanced teaching, service and communication)
New trends… maybe not that new Students are more and more demanding in terms of online communication with their teachers. Students are getting used to other ways of sharing and getting knowledge. Students are increasingly looking at the Internet for information about their teachers: http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ https://twitter.com/#!/GMUStudentMedia/gmu-professors New President´s emphasis on online communication and transparency. Institutional “pressure” to innovate in IT.
But not only at GMU Teaching with Twitter: how the social network can contribute to learning. June 11, 2012. http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education- network/blog/2012/jun/11/teaching-with-twitter Social Media Ruminations. July 29, 2012. http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/student-affairs- and-technology/social-media-ruminations Social Media in the business of higher education. The Huffington Post. June 6, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-james-michael- nolan/social-media-in-the-busin_b_1607245.html And many more…
Can I use social media in a non-disruptive way?
How do we describe our work? Teachers Effective, honest, respectful, fair, thorough, enco uraging, inspirational… Scholars Serious, accurate, profound, ethical, diligent, ing enious, insightful, objective… “Service providers” Collegial, hardworking, generous, collaborative, considerate, polite, supportive, reliable, accounta ble… Inspired by Brooks. Criteria for University Faculty. 1976 http://www.cs.gmu.edu/~offutt/thoughts/GoodFaculty.txtI also recommend: Wycoff s Advice on the care and feeding of a professor. http://www.cs.gmu.edu/~offutt/thoughts/care.pdf
Ideas for social media integration Use technology to work more effectively Presenting lectures Enhancing communication with students Managing and updating teaching materials Helping students succeed in class. Use technology for professional advancement. Use technology to support institutional growth.
Student challenges Lack of academic and personal preparedness. Financial obstacles. Wrong expectations about course/major/university. Colleges often do not deliver the type of education students need/expect. Lack of flexibility from the college side. Scheduling conflicts. Changes in family or job circumstances.
Hints Prepare informational materials and study guides accessible to all students which address most frequent challenges but remember that a conversation may be more productive than a brochure. Conversations also happen online. Monitor student progress by other means (surveys, blogs, etc.) in addition to grades. Follow-up.
Professional Advancement Collaborate with professionals all over the world. Share teaching and research materials with other professionals in your field. Get invitations to conferences. Keep up with professional development opportunities.
Institutional Growth Provide opportunities for open and honest discussion about the role of higher education in the society, and how students’ expectations compare to those of professors and administrators. Report clearly the pro´s and cons encountered in your courses so other instructors can learn from your experience. Participate in the institutional debate knowing what social media integration requires from faculty and students.
In conclusion There is a pressure from students to communicate with their teachers in a different way. Administrators also wants us to increase the use of technology in teaching, scholarship and service. Having a digital presence may help university professors do their work better at these three levels. Using social media, as any other type of technology, has to be done within a context and with a clear goal in mind.
Create a learning and workingare proud of environmentcolleagues that you, your students,