2013 social media in learning development


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Presentation on Social Media in Learning Development given at the National Conference of the Association of Learning Advisors of New Zealand / Aotearoa in Napier, New Zealand on November 29th, 2013

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2013 social media in learning development

  1. 1. Using social media in LD SESSION AIMS Review online tools for communicating with students and colleagues Highlight challenges in the use of social media for learning Explore how ATLAANZ members could make greater use of social media to strengthen our communities of practice Martin McMorrow, Massey University Centre for Teaching and Learning
  2. 2. What is Social Media? Social media is an online environment opened for the purposes of mass collaboration, where all invited participants can create, post, rate, enhance, discover, consume, and share content without a direct intermediary (Bradley and McDonald, 2011). The term Media in this context is a collaboration environment characterised by storage and transmission of messages around and about content, while social describes the distinct way these messages propagate as one to many and many to many conversations (Minocha & Petre, 2013, p. 10)
  3. 3. Social Media includes Social Networking Sites (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc): “personal and personalisable spaces for online conversations and sharing of content based typically on the maintenance and sharing of ‘profiles’ where individual users can represent themselves to other users through the display of personal information, interests, photographs, social networks and so on” (Selwyn, 2009, p. 157).
  4. 4. Could also incorporate blogs and podcasts: http://blogs.city.ac.uk/educationalvignettes/ http://masseyblogs.ac.nz/thelighthouse Academic English Podcast http://tinyurl.com/6xy9hy http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/LearnDevDist/
  5. 5. … and media repositories such as YouTube and Slideshare http://www.slideshare.net/martinmcmorrow http://tinyurl.com/ctlvideos
  6. 6. How can social media be used in LD? It can be difficult for Learning Advisors to engage with students in the Social Networking (Facebook) environment • Student use of FB etc seen as a ‘backstage area’ for students, embedded in the identity politics of their offline social lives (Selwyn, 2009) – shown by Unirelated comments on FB wall mainly limited to: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) recounting and reflecting on the university experience; exchange of practical information; exchange of academic information; displays of supplication and/or disengagement; ‘banter’ (i.e. exchanges of humour and nonsense)
  7. 7. Students I’ve interviewed have spoken about using FB in this way (as a kind of ‘counterculture’ to the official, sparsely-used forums provided by the University) • „Cause I can‟t just rely on my own instincts. I don‟t know. • Yeah, because I think if I was to do everything all by myself, I would just … • Fail [laughs] • … be second-guessing myself and I‟d be like, ok, cause I‟ll write something and I‟ll make a point and I‟ll put that in and I‟ll be like „sweet. But [pause] I don‟t know if that‟s relevant‟ • So I‟d say to [other student], „I‟m thinking of putting this in‟ • It‟s kind of down to how vague the assignment direction is. • Because when we get directed to do an assignment, we‟ll say as a whole group on in our Facebook page, „What does this mean? What do you think this means?‟ And they‟ll say, „I thought it meant this.‟ And I‟ll say, „Oh, that makes sense.‟ So you‟ll do it based on what they thought it meant. But if you both got the wrong idea, even if you end up writing similar things, then she‟d say, “Plagiarism”.
  8. 8. •It‟s also very hard now because everyone‟s aware of the extent which they‟ll take what you‟re doing as collusion, or whatever it is and people are becoming very cautious and are less likely to help people out because people would be like, “Just what are you going to say?” • “Oh, we shouldn‟t talk about this” • Or if people ask me that, I‟ll just say something very vague, because I don‟t want to give them my points, because if they start writing about that • It looks like we‟ve been working together. •[interviewer] OK, so it might have the unintended effect of putting you off working together and sharing your ideas? • Yeah. • Which is a shame. • It‟s like, „cause we don‟t want to share ideas, but we want them to understand what they have to do.
  9. 9. •It‟s not like any of us kind of like leeches of each other; we all do our own work; we all are hard workers. But we do need to come together as a group to discuss things. • And check that what we are doing is OK • But now it‟s like, „Should we be doing this?‟ • And I also feel that the point of assignments is to learn something, and you‟re going to learn more if you build your knowledge from other people; all of their references coming in; all of your references coming in. And kind of bring in as much information as possible. To get a good outcome and the most learning from it. • But we‟re being discouraged from that • And learning less because we‟re being encouraged to work together but almost not work together.
  10. 10. There is a potential for Tertiary Institutions to help students develop social media skills for professional purposes (‘digital professionalism’) “Social media is not just for socializing. When handled correctly, you can use it to enhance your personal brand, establish your expertise, or demonstrate your digital fluency. Commit to using social media for professional reasons and be proactive about managing your activity and image. Consider what potential employers or colleagues will see - you don't want them to discover only pictures of you and your dog, or worse. Make sure at a minimum you have a LinkedIn account with a completed profile. Try tweeting or blogging about your area of expertise, thereby creating content that others can forward, retweet, or repost. This can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field.” Harvard Business Review Management Tip, 9 March 2012 (as cited in The Handbook of Social Media, p. 6) See also BBC resources on appropriate social networking: http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/0/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-16859744
  11. 11. Use of Social Media to develop our CoP The range of uses of social media by researchers, summarised in Minocha and Petre (2013, p. 27), would probably apply equally to Learning advisors: • • • • • • Formal dialogues (e.g. with supervisors) Informal dialogues (e.g. with peers) Document authoring, storage, exchange Space for reflection, working on ideas etc Engaging with the community at large Keeping informed It was interesting that despite the wide range of online tools used for these purposes, email was by far the most used and highly rated
  12. 12. To develop our Social Networking tools, I have set up ATLAANZ accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Slides hare and Flickr To learn about Twitter, I joined up the 10 Days of Twitter course for Learning Developers, run by Helen Webster from Cambridge University – details in the blog: http://ld5d.wordpress.com
  13. 13. The key to Twitter is the use of hashtags to link postings on the same topic • A hashtag is any word preceded by # in a tweet Useful hashtags to include in your tweets might be: • #studychat (when giving advice to students) • #loveLD and #ATLAANZ (when sharing with other learning advisers • # + name of your institution’s twitter account – for example #MasseyUni
  14. 14. This means that your tweet will come up in any search for that hashtag For instance, these are some tweets that included the tag #studychat
  15. 15. Social Networking Issues for ATLAANZ • Developing our own social media skills • Contributing to the development of students‟ digital professionalism / literacies • Using social media – whether based on emails, Facebook, Twitter or whatever – to enhance the cohesiveness and „organisational learning‟ of our members
  16. 16. USEFUL ONLINE RESOURCES http://www.paulselearning.com/education/resources http://imaturestudent.wordpress.com/a-z-of-web-2-0-tools/ • two lists of online tools for educators from Paul Andrews and Andy Mitchell from the UK http://socialmedia4us.wordpress.com http://tinyurl.com/gettingstartedwithtwittertips • a blog and presentation from Sue Beckingham, an educational developer at Sheffield Hallam Uni
  17. 17. http://tinyurl.com/socialmedia4researchers • A guide to using Social Media in research by Shailey Minocha and Marian Petre from the Open University http://www.scoop.it/t/social-media-for-higher-education • A „curated‟ collection of resources on social media in higher education
  18. 18. REFERENCES Minocha, S., & Petre, M. (2013). Handbook of social media for researchers: Digital technologies for research dialogues. Retrieved from http://www.vitae.ac.uk/CMS/files/upload/Vitae_Innovate_Open_Univ ersity_Social_Media_Handbook_2012.pdf Selwyn, N. (2009). Faceworking: Exploring students’ educationrelated use of Facebook. Learning, Media and Technology, 34(2), 157–174 Thanks to Ximena Riquelme for passing on some really useful articles on this topic, including the Selwyn paper – and to Helen Webster, Sue Beckingham, Sandra Sinfield and other Learning Developers from ALDinHE in the UK – Social Networking in action!