Social Media in Higher Education


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Social Media in Higher Education

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  • As social media continues to evolve and its uses change and expand, so does the definition of social media. In part, this is attributable to the fact that social media relates to the technology and platforms that enable the interactive web’s content creation, collaboration and exchange by participants and the public. Regardless of how you define social media, one thing’s for certain, it will continue to evolve and its use will expand. In the process it will become more integrated into not only our business and personal lives, but higher education as well.
  • Merriam-Webster’s definition of social media are forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content such as photos or videos.  
  • Researchers Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) applied a set of theories in the field of media research (social presence, media richness) and social processes (self-presentation, self-disclosure) to create a classification scheme for different social media types in their Business Horizons article published in 2010.
  • According to Kaplan and Haenlein there are six different types of social media: collaborative projects (e.g. Wikipedia), blogs and microblogs (e.g. Twitter), content communities (e.g. Youtube), social networking sites (e.g. Facebook), virtual game worlds (e.g. World of Warcraft) and virtual social worlds (e.g. Second Life).
  • Social media takes on many different forms including magazines, Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, podcasts, photo and video sharing, and social booking marketing to name a few. “The Conversation Prism” by Brian Solis (shown here) can be found in Part IV of the book, “Higher Education Administration with Social Media,” by Laura and Charles Wankel. Not only does this graphic show the different types of social media, but within those types it shows the tools used as social media outlets. The image also represents Social Media’s evolution as services and conversation channels emerge, fuse, and dissipate. The organization is the center of the prism (or for the sake of higher education purposes this can also be the college or individual course being taught). Conversations are constantly happening about the organization or what have you, and ultimately influences the brand or in the case of higher education, the learning outcome.
  • There are many different forms of social media as you can see.
  • Within the many different forms, there is an endless list of tools and technologies that surround social media.
  • Pearson Social Media Survey 2010 from Pearson Learning Solutions.
  • Pearson Social Media Survey 2010 from Pearson Learning Solutions.
  • Now that we know some of the surprising statistics, You are probably wondering what does this mean for higher education? Now we will take a look at the impact Social Media has on higher education, Specifically, continuing education and/or distance learning.
  • Social Media is intended for many different uses. Now we explore some of the ways social media is being integrated in our educational environments.
  • Check out Texas A&M University’s interactive Facebook page, which offers users a chance to explore latest campus news, discover university traditions, and experience school spirit. The strong brand awareness and variety of ways a user can interact has helped the school’s Facebook audience grow. Fans: 306,723 as of December 2011.The University of Georgia’s Facebook page gives users a visual introduction to campus life, from the academic side to the social scene. Prospective students that view the page can visit the admissions office, explore the school’s YouTube channel, and join the university’s conversations on Twitter. Fans: 86, 525Michigan State University’s Facebook pageallows others to do the talking for the school. Visitors to the page can listen to testimonials and stories from Spartan alumni, students, faculty, and staff. The page also allows people to share their own story about the university.The Facebook page for Biola University is an example of a creative imagination. Visitors to this page are drawn in to the interesting graphic and the statement, “College is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Make it matter.” From this page, users can explore Biola, find a major, and set up a future visit to campus.Webster University’s Facebook page offers videos aimed at inspiring prospective students to think about more than their major when considering colleges. The high-quality videos give the user incentive to explore the university and get more information.Source: US News & World Report
  • Now that you have heard the basics of social media in higher education, I encourage you to continue to explore this topic through some in depth links and resources I have provided for you.
  • There is an abundance of links and resources that can be found online surrounding social media in higher education. With a little digging, I have created some of the best resources and shared them to you through Delicious Bookmarks. I have created a stack titled Social Media in Higher Education and you can access that through the link provided on this slide. All of the information in this presentation are included in that link.I also recommend an eye opening video called “Social Media Revolution”—This video can easily be found by searching the title on It will really make you see that we could be easily become left behind in the technology arena if we don’t start integrating this into our educational environments. If you or one of your college administrators are interested in creating a social media campaign for your school, some helpful search topics are Creating, Administering and Editing Your Fan Page which can be found through the Facebook Help Center. It literally has everything you need to know about Facebook and creating and managing a school page. You can also “google” Twitter Terminology 101 to find out more about the basics on how to use Twitter and also Making and Optimizing YouTube Videos if you find that virtual tours or student testimonials might help with enrollment. Lastly, if you are serious about taking social media to the next level I would strongly recommend Laura and Charles Wankel’s book, Higher Education Administration with Social Media—including application in Student Affairs, Enrollment Management, Alumni Relations, and Career Centers. I just finished this book and it is awesome! This book specifically targets ways that social media can assist in Enrollment Management, Advising and mentoring, public relations, and alumni relations.
  • Author Mark Prensky states in his work, “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants”—“Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.” With today’s educators and college administrators being from a different generation than today’s students, there is an obvious technology gap and understanding of how we communicate as teachers and learners. I highly recommend Mark Prensky’s article to better explain why this phenomenon is and will cause many barriers in higher education. Part of this is how we are using technology to reach our students.
  • Social Media is sweeping the nation and world at a rapid speed. Education is an area that will be targeted, since this is obviously something that is part of everyone’s lives, including our students, teachers, and college administrators. Although, there are mixed opinions among educational leaders today whether or not this belongs in the classroom or at the college level, it is inevitable that social media will become part of our higher education environment no matter if we like it or not. As Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics would say, “It’s not a question of if we DO it. It’s how well we do it.” Personal views aside, we must find a way to connect to our current and future student population in ways that they understand. In order to utilize these social media tools effectively, college administrators and faculty must be prepared and educate themselves on social media so that they are ready to optimize these kinds of social media technologies to keep students engaged and successful during their college experiences.
  • Social Media in Higher Education

    1. 1. Brittney LydaWestern Carolina University
    2. 2. … are forms ofelectronic communication through which users create onlinecommunities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content such as photos or videos.
    3. 3. According to Kaplan and Haenlein there are sixdifferent types of social media:• Collaborative Projects• Blogs and Microblogs• Content Communities• Social Networking Sites• Virtual Game Worlds• Virtual Social Worlds
    4. 4. • Social Networks• Internet Discussion Forums• Weblogs• Social Blogs• Microblogs• Wikis• Podcasts• Photo Sharing• Video Sharing or Vlogs• Social Bookmarking• Emailing/Chat/Instant Messaging• RSS Feeds
    5. 5. • Facebook (social networking leader)• Twitter (micro blogging)• MySpace (music promotion)• Digg (news sharing)• Stumble Upon (content sharing)• YouTube (video sharing)• LinkedIn (professional networking)• Flickr (photo sharing)• Delicious (social bookmarking)• Skype (Internet Messaging)
    6. 6. • Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web• 25% of social networking users are between 35 and 44• 57% of users are older than 35• 80% of companies use social media for recruitment; 95% of those use LinkedIn• What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook…
    7. 7. • Facebook: – If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 3rd largest and 2x the size of the U.S. population – As of July 2011, there are over 800 million users with over 50% logging in at least once per day. – As of May 2011, Facebook has an estimated 138.9 million monthly users in the Unites States alone. – According to Social Media Today, in April 2010 an estimated 41.6% of the U.S. population had a Facebook account, with a growth rate of about 5 million users per month. – The average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook – Facebook Tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
    8. 8. • Twitter – There are nearly 300 million users as of 2011 – Generates over 200 million tweets and handling over 1.6 billion search queries per day.• YouTube – Over 1 Billion views per day – There are 20 hours of video uploaded every minute. That’s equivalent to 130,000 full-length Hollywood movie releases every single week. – YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world. Approximately 82% of Internet users in the USA view videos online.• LinkedIn: – There are over 60 million registered users with about 100,000 new users per week.• Blogs: – There are approximately 126 million blogs tracked by BlogPulse.
    9. 9. • The largest segment of social media users are the same demographic of non-traditional students• Nontraditional students are now the majority in many community colleges today• Colleges/Universities can reach larger audiences by embracing social media• Social Media applications allow students and teachers to be more “connected”• Potential and current students are making themselves known through social media
    10. 10. • A 2009 US Department of Education study revealed that online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction.• According to a recent study by Cisco, which surveyed 1,400 college students and 1,400 young professionals between the ages of 21 and 29 in 14 countries, some students would be willing to sacrifice salary and employment opportunities in favor of social media and technology freedoms.
    11. 11. • Some colleges use Facebook as a free service to recruit new students and keep current students, alumni, and faculty informed of what is taking place on campus.• Twitter has been used in some classrooms as a unique and interactive approach to teaching students certain parts of their curriculum.• Blogging has been used as learning journals.• Discussion Forums are the new way to collaborate and share ideas with classmates• Bookmarking can help students keep track of relevant resources relating to topics in class• Video conferencing and instant messaging are also ways to take online learning to the next level.
    12. 12. • Texas A&M University• University of Georgia• Michigan State University• Biola University• Webster University
    13. 13. Can using Twitter make you smarter?• A new semester-long study found that college students who used Twitter for educational purposes earned GPAs a half-point higher than a non-tweeting control group.• In a group of 125 students at an anonymous medium-sized public college in the Midwest, 70 students used Twitter to access information and complete class assignments; the remaining 55 students used a more typical Internet-based course-management system and billboard.• Not only did the tweeting 70 earn higher GPAs, they also reported much higher levels of engagement. The findings were reported in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.
    14. 14. • Delicious Bookmark Stacks – Social Media in Higher Education by Msbritty27) –• Social Media Revolution – Youtube Video• Creating, Administering and Editing Your Fan Page – Facebook Help Center• Twitter Terminology 101• Making and Optimizing YouTube Videos• Higher Education Administration with Social Media