Social Media Unplugged


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This was presented as a workshop at the Literacy Assistance Center. It looked at how adult literacy programs can use social media to improve recruitment and retention, engage students in the classroom, and build student's social capital.

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Social Media Unplugged

  1. 1. Emily May [email_address] Social media unplugged
  2. 2. Three goals <ul><li>Using Social Media to improve recruitment and retention </li></ul><ul><li>Using Social Media in the Classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Using Social Media to Build Social Capital </li></ul>
  3. 3. GOAL 1: Social media to improve program performance <ul><li>OBT: Programs and Students </li></ul><ul><li>Case Study: Using MySpace to improve OBT’s recruitment and retention </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook: the New Frontier </li></ul>
  4. 4. OBT: our Programs <ul><li>OBT offers a range of services to that are geared to helping people jump start their careers including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Youth Employment and Training Program. Serves 240 youth per year, ages 17 – 21, and provides an intensive business skills training with an option for GED classes, if needed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adult Employment and Training Program. Serves over 100 adults per year, ages 18 +, and offers business skills training and/or direct placement services. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity Knocks, Young Adult Internship Program. Provides business skills training followed by a paid internship to 90 young adults, ages 17 – 24, per year. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adult Literacy Program. Provides ESOL, GED, and Pre-GED classes to over 300 adults per year. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. OBT: our students <ul><li>Disconnected: economically disadvantaged minorities with barriers to self-sufficiency including lack of a high school diploma, deficiency in basic skills, no marketable job skills, chronic unemployment, single parenthood, past drug abuse and/or criminal records, and limited English proficiency. </li></ul><ul><li>Connected: In a survey of our youth, we found that 66% of them have MySpace pages, 88% have cell phones, 40% have facebook pages. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Their space v. our space
  7. 7. Matching program goals <ul><li>We used MySpace to: </li></ul><ul><li>Announce upcoming events or agency news. </li></ul><ul><li>Educate current and past students on issues they may be facing. </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate social networking among past and present trainees. </li></ul><ul><li>Compliment OBT’s alumni program by facilitating easy access to OBT after trainees graduate. </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance agency marketing materials and proposals. </li></ul><ul><li>Give new recruits a way to explore OBT from a distance. </li></ul><ul><li>Check it out at </li></ul>
  8. 8. Student engagement <ul><li>OBT’s MySpace page is presented at orientation. Within 24 hours, about 1/3 of the students present at the orientation will have requested to be friends with OBT totally unprovoked. </li></ul><ul><li>On the first day of classes we collect student emails, Instant Messenger information, and MySpace page information. </li></ul><ul><li>OBT’s MySpace page has given students a forum to express their feelings towards OBT, and consequently, has strengthened their connection with OBT (see </li></ul>
  9. 9. Engaging staff <ul><li>Our Myspace page was developed and launched by a cross-section of our staff, using input by students </li></ul><ul><li>The idea was unveiled at an all-staff meeting along with Instant Messenger and email as one of five strategies for connecting with our young adults (the first two being phones and snail mail) </li></ul><ul><li>A set of protocols was developed </li></ul><ul><li>Staff were encouraged but not required to use the technology </li></ul><ul><li>Success stories were circulated around the office </li></ul>
  10. 10. protocols <ul><li>Staff will not use what is on trainee’s MySpace pages against them. </li></ul><ul><li>All trainees will be encouraged to switch their MySpace page to a “friends-only” view (versus public). This will help protect them in the event that an employer looks them up on MySpace. </li></ul><ul><li>All friend requests to the OBT MySpace page are vetted to ensure that there is a genuine relationship with OBT. This is done by sending a message to friend prospects to confirm why they are interested in OBT. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite OBT’s involvement with MySpace, trainees will still not be allowed to access their MySpace page during class time unless a staff member specifically directs them to the page as part of an activity. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Protocols cont. <ul><li>Staff will be encouraged but not required to create a MySpace to use with trainees. Staff wishing to be “friends” with OBT’s MySpace page must set up an OBT-specific MySpace page. You should not use your personal MySpace page under any circumstances; even if your page is professional, your friends’ pages might not be. When creating your OBT MySpace page, you must use your work email address and your headline should be “Job Title” at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow. The only allowable friends are: trainees, alumni, or staff. All other friend requests should be denied. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff may use their OBT-specific MySpace page or the “OBT” MySpace page to contact students. All communications must be professional. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Myspace Outcomes <ul><li>More than 5,000 page views; </li></ul><ul><li>180 friends; </li></ul><ul><li>35 comments; </li></ul><ul><li>15 blog entries viewed by over 1,600 people </li></ul>
  13. 13. Facebook, the new frontier in social networking <ul><li>Facebook is on the rise, more slowly replacing MySpace among disadvantaged and minority populations. World wide data: </li></ul>
  14. 14. OBt’s facebook page <ul><li>Be a friend: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(76 friends) </li></ul><ul><li>Be a fan: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(115 fans) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Goal 2: Using social media in the classroom <ul><li>The power of self-publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Cell phones = (PC + internet)^2 = unprecedented opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Using social media to increase time-on-task and ultimately improve education </li></ul>
  16. 16. More fun = more education <ul><li>At St. Mary’s in Ohio, there were two classrooms of 5 th graders. One used mobile technologies in the classroom, one didn’t. Here are the results: </li></ul>71% 42% Math 46% 15% Reading With Without
  17. 17. visualizing the neighborhood <ul><li>Brings the neighborhood module alive. </li></ul><ul><li>Students can pinpoint on a google map anything from their home to their favorite pizza shops. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be texted </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Can create multiple choice poll or free text polls. </li></ul><ul><li>An Educator's Introduction to Poll Everywhere: </li></ul>Poll everywhere
  19. 19. <ul><li>Text 87884 with message: @wif9143 + Your favorite tool so far. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  20. 20. Goal 3: Using social media to improve social capital <ul><li>80% of jobs are obtained through people who know people who know people… </li></ul><ul><li>That means many of our students are fighting for the scraps: the 20% of jobs that are left. </li></ul><ul><li>Can social media change this? </li></ul>
  21. 22. Discussion <ul><li>What are meaningful social networks online? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the incentive for someone who is well-networked to network with our students? </li></ul><ul><li>What kinds of people would be most likely to network with our students? </li></ul><ul><li>What are your ideas for how to push this forward? </li></ul>
  22. 23. To sum it up <ul><li>Technology works in the classroom because it is fun, increasing time-on-task. </li></ul><ul><li>Cell phones have democratized the internet and are the next technological wave. </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking can mean social capital for students. Let’s figure it out. </li></ul><ul><li>We are at the tip of the iceburg. </li></ul>
  23. 24. Resources <ul><li>Wired Magazine, The New Literacy : . </li></ul><ul><li>New York Times, Twittergraphy; Argues that shortened language like Twitter, which is limited to 140 characters, and SMS texting, which is limited to 160 characters, is not new. In fact, it started with the telegraph, where text was limited to 150 characters. </li></ul><ul><li>Crystal, David. Txtng - the gr8 db8. Oxford University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Bates, A.W. & Poole, G. (2003). A Framework for Selecting and Using Technology, In A.w. Bates &amp; G. Poole, Effective Teaching with Technology in Higher Education (pp.75-108). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Retrieved July 2009 from </li></ul><ul><li>Cell Phones as Instructional Tools. Webinar. </li></ul>
  24. 25. Contact information <ul><li>Emily May </li></ul><ul><li>Special Projects Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>718-369-0303 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>