Social media in education - Friendly Creatives short course, August 2012


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From Created an delivered as a two-hour introductory course for professional tutors, this short slideshow provides a snappy introduction to social media platforms and how to use them in education, including inspirational case studies and a few surprise discussion points - such as what social media mean for introverts. The slideshow doesn't look in any depth at using social media to market to potential students but this is also well worth considering.

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Social media in education - Friendly Creatives short course, August 2012

  1. 1. Introducing Social Media for Education Ian Kennedy
  2. 2. About your tutor A decade working as a creative professional – BBC scriptwriter,producer of radio, audio, film, series and promotional videos. Web designer – creating user-friendly bespoke sites forbusinesses and organisations that would like to manage their sitesthemselves in future at no further expense – including new socialmedia sites. Part-time manager of social media, website and newsletter for theProducers Forum, an organisation by and for anyone working withfilm and video. Soon to launch own web video series through social media.
  3. 3. What are social media? - Discuss. SOCIAL – mammal brain. Bonds to others and empathy towards strangers. Collective activity and progress. MEDIA – means of sharing information or content across distances and time. At heart, social media are about making your individual use of media into a sociable or collective activity. A massive part of this is, of course, sharing.
  4. 4. What could you share? - Discuss. Your life! - textual information (diary, updates...), photos, videos, relationships(!)... Your interests – music, websites, information... Your work – resources, materials, research, links...
  5. 5. Why share? What are the benefits and risks? - Discuss. Personal benefits of sharing for users. Professional and marketing benefits of sharing – and why, in the age of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, why your social capital is a tangible and lucrative business asset. Risks of sharing – privacy, offensive or aggressive trolls, drivel, junk and spam. Social media as a potential black hole for your time and productivity. For professional or educational use, be focused - its important to have a clear strategy about why youre bothering to use social media at all, not just getting on social media because you feel its expected of you.
  6. 6. VERY brief introduction to different major social media platforms (part 1) Blogs – online diary type sharing, predominantly textual. Was a precursor to social media, but remains relevant, particularly within specialist subject areas, news and politics. Facebook – for sharing your life and news with your “friends” (or, more likely, your extended network of casual acquaintances, relatives, colleagues...). - >The difference between individual profiles, Pages, Groups and games. >Like This! >Change your Settings to optimise your experience and reduce the drivel!
  7. 7. Case Study 1 – The Producers Forum ( Organisation by and for independent film and video producers – providing training, networking and resources. So clearly an organisation with both an educational and a social side. Little-used previous website was built shortly before social media took off, and never really caught up, though it had individual profiles and sharing of documents and videos for members. Diversification onto new platforms, but without a Communications Strategy to coordinate efforts – some incoherence. New website – a social media platform. Gradually expanding into new features, eg video galleries, what members can do for you. Restricted content.
  8. 8. VERY brief introduction to different major social media platforms (part 2) Twitter – microblogging service. Share mini-updates, links, messages etc with the world instantly – but things said in haste or in context may haunt you forever. Relentless activity creates a dream service for our increasingly ADHD news and entertainments media... so take with a hefty dose of salt. - YouTube – for sharing videos of any type (but only up to 15 minutes). Now equally for professional promoters as well as lay users. A huge and growing influence upon the web, especially through integration with Google. - LinkedIn – for organising your professional networks. - Also: Flickr for sharing pictures, Google+ trying to rival Facebook, Tumblr for sharing the media you consume or create, social bookmarking through Delicious and others, etc. The “1-9-90” rule.
  9. 9. Social Media for Education – Discuss.Useful infographics about social media in higher education: examples of social media you can use in education, including blogging, collaborative calendars, podcasting, RSS, and lots more: of-use-of-social-media-for-learning/More info in this video: education-collaborationUseful video and guide from the University of Leeds at
  10. 10. Case Study 2: The Khan AcademyAccidentally turning the teaching and learning of mathematics and other areas on its head through web video. Inspirational for educators and the shape of things to come. And its free. Talk, “Lets use video to transform education”, including a standing ovation and a chance to see Bill Gates wowed and inspired, at vent_education.htmlIn groups, explore and discuss then present to the class about one of the following aspects of the Khan Academy: (1) how it started and got going – see first half of TED talk (2) How the Academy has grown, and transformed maths teaching and learning – see second half of TED talk (3) what videos are on the site now, and how people or educators can use them (4) other features of the site.
  11. 11. Build your own social network?Potentially greater control over members, access, utilities and restrictions.Ning - – free trial; from £2.95 per month for small groups. Excellent customisability and even profitability.Bloomfire - - Impressive customisability to share or block what you choose in a bespoke format. Free trial, but $99 per month afterwards.WebCT – demonstrates the potential pros and cons of not simply using free major platforms for educational social media. – brilliantly customisable platform for building your own blog, social network, e-commerce site, etc etc – all for free. My websites at
  12. 12. ACTIVITY – in small groupsThink of different educational projects youve been asked to undertake over the next year, or could be.Choose one that you think might particularly benefit from use of social media.Prepare an initial proposal to put to your manager, detailing how you would like to put social media at the heart of your project. Make reference to what further research you will need to do, how much time should be allocated to initialise and consequently manage the project through social media.Aim for a project in which the social media element will significantly outgrow your initial expectations – where user interactions will help to shape the project into the form that is of most benefit to themselves, rather than the tightly structured and constrained usage that you might instinctively favour! Think what you will and wont enable or allow users to do on the system.Present your proposal to the class.
  13. 13. A second Thought. What is an introvert? - Discuss, and discuss why Im raised this issue here.From Gifted Kids ( is NOT shyness...Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. They often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to "recharge."Being introspective, though, does not mean that an introvert never has conversations. However, those conversations are generally about ideas and concepts, not about what they consider the trivial matters of social small talk.Introverts make up about 60% of the gifted population but only about 25-40% of the general population.Naturally introverted people may have a highly ambivalent attitude to social media – and the more that social media become the normal means of communication and work, the greater the danger that introverts will become alienated. This is particularly relevant to educators considering the use of social media in their courses: its a useful way to organise activity, but may shut some people out.That said, traditional educational practices may favour introverts (“Children should be seen and not heard!”) so the use of social media may in fact be a rebalancing in favour of the 60-75%, by relating learning activities to the things that matter more to them!
  14. 14. Further areas of interestThe world has still barely scratched the surface of what social and collective media could do to transform education, employment, social problems, politics etc etc – the real revolution may still be ahead. The use of shared personal videos online and flashmobbing has been significant in the Arab Spring but also in the August riots last year.More services, resources, productions and writing from me:,,,