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Using Social Media for Learning and 
Professionalization 
November 27, 2014
How and why do academics 
interact? 
What are the results of those 
interactions? 
Which interactions result in 
productiv...
Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you 
arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged 
in ...
Avenues of Access 
Burke characterizes participation in the conversation as open.
Avenues of Access 
For academics entering 70 years later, the open parlor 
becomes more akin to an endurance course.
How do you prepare 
for becoming active 
in the conversation?
Who is qualified to 
participate in the 
conversation? 
When?
How many conversations 
are there?
Opening assumptions 
• Professionalization is communication. 
• Learning to be social is a skill in itself -- and a 
proce...
Applicable DH Values 
•Multimodal 
•Adaptive 
•Ad hoc 
•Social
Most social media 
platforms are made to 
encourage sharing and/or 
conversing.
Sharing platforms 
• Encourage you to upload durable and sizable 
content 
• Provide infrastructure that encourages you to...
Conversing platforms 
• Encourage you to upload smaller, 
transient content 
• Provide infrastructure to help you 
interac...
Sharing 
Conversin 
g
Sharing platforms feel more 
similar to traditional academic 
publishing structures, but 
require greater commitments 
and...
Conversing platforms are 
dissimilar to traditional 
academic publishing 
structures; but are more 
conducive to experimen...
While both sharing and 
conversing platforms are 
useful, you need to be skilled 
in conversing platforms in 
order to use...
Why start with 
• It’s free! Twitter? 
• It’s flexible, but technologically simple to use. 
• It comes with a large, curio...
Ingredients for social media 
participation 
• Curiosity/desire to engage with people you don’t 
know 
• Varied interests ...
What do you do when you tweet? 
• Report on what you see, hear, or read 
• Ask questions (to specific people, or as part o...
What are you doing when you’re 
• Discover what otohenr p eTopwle airtet elearr?ning and doing 
• See academic and public ...
What are academics 
discussing? 
Academic labor 
Accessibility 
The Value of Scholarship 
Race & Social Justice 
Contingen...
Accounts & Hashtags to explore 
• #twitterstorians 
• @tressiemcphd 
• @erik_kwakkel 
• #academia 
• @roopikarisam 
• @Jef...
Questions of identity 
• Will you interact as yourself, or under a 
pseudonym? 
• Will you tweet with a specific focus? (a...
Building your own Twitter topic list 
(pick one of the following q’s) 
What are you working on currently? 
What would you ...
Are academics hacking social 
media? 
• Hacker: n. 
• 1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of 
programmable system...
Are academics hacking social 
media? 
• How do you measure the value of social 
media? 
• Commercial: through quantitative...
Are academics using 
Twitter to hack the 
academy?
Social media encourages 
the larger academic 
conversation to become 
more inclusive of multiple 
voices.
Participating in social 
media can help you 
become more aware of 
your own privilege, as 
well as broader issues of 
marg...
Understanding how the 
academy manifests 
beyond your own 
immediate experience of 
it is central to academic 
professiona...
PROFESSIONALISM: 
MORE THAN JUST GETTING A JOB
Building your own Twitter topic list 
(pick one of the following q’s) 
What are you working on currently? 
What would you ...
Basic Twitter Toolbox 
• Twitter’s List function: for filtering different types 
of content 
• HootSuite, TweetDeck: accou...
Ways to keep 
tweeting 
• Reading a Twitter list, or feed 
• Live-tweeting events 
• Participating in weekly chats #fyccha...
Other strategies 
• Use search.twitter.com to find people 
tweeting about things that interest 
youLive-tweeting events 
•...
Considering other social media 
platforms? 
• Read and explore them first, in order to get a 
sense of the culture of part...
“No! Try not. Do, or do 
not. There is no try.” 
--Yoda, Star Wars 
Episode V: The Empire 
Strikes Back 
(adapted)
Final questions (for now) 
• Who are the people that you want to connect 
with? 
• What knowledge/information would you li...
Next time... 
• Non-threatening coding exploration 
• Learning to think like a programmer 
• You’ve got data! What kind of...
Demystifying Digital Scholarship: Using Social Media for Learning and Professionalization
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Demystifying Digital Scholarship: Using Social Media for Learning and Professionalization

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Workshops from the second Demystifying Digital Scholarship workshop at McMaster University's Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship

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Demystifying Digital Scholarship: Using Social Media for Learning and Professionalization

  1. 1. Using Social Media for Learning and Professionalization November 27, 2014
  2. 2. How and why do academics interact? What are the results of those interactions? Which interactions result in productive conversations?
  3. 3. Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent, depending upon the quality of your ally's assistance. However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress. --Kenneth Burke, The Philosophy of Literary Form, 1941
  4. 4. Avenues of Access Burke characterizes participation in the conversation as open.
  5. 5. Avenues of Access For academics entering 70 years later, the open parlor becomes more akin to an endurance course.
  6. 6. How do you prepare for becoming active in the conversation?
  7. 7. Who is qualified to participate in the conversation? When?
  8. 8. How many conversations are there?
  9. 9. Opening assumptions • Professionalization is communication. • Learning to be social is a skill in itself -- and a process, rather than something that happens instantly. • Your value as an academic is more than merely your finished articles or dissertation. • Scholarship is cyclical, not linear.
  10. 10. Applicable DH Values •Multimodal •Adaptive •Ad hoc •Social
  11. 11. Most social media platforms are made to encourage sharing and/or conversing.
  12. 12. Sharing platforms • Encourage you to upload durable and sizable content • Provide infrastructure that encourages you to organize content in specific/customizable ways; and develop individual aesthetic design preferences • Allow others to navigate freely through present and past content as it accumulates
  13. 13. Conversing platforms • Encourage you to upload smaller, transient content • Provide infrastructure to help you interact, rather than organize • Focus on the present, and allow limited views of past content, especially to anyone other than you
  14. 14. Sharing Conversin g
  15. 15. Sharing platforms feel more similar to traditional academic publishing structures, but require greater commitments and more skill.
  16. 16. Conversing platforms are dissimilar to traditional academic publishing structures; but are more conducive to experimenting, and learning online communication techniques.
  17. 17. While both sharing and conversing platforms are useful, you need to be skilled in conversing platforms in order to use sharing platforms to the greatest effect.
  18. 18. Why start with • It’s free! Twitter? • It’s flexible, but technologically simple to use. • It comes with a large, curious, and supportive community. • It provides you with a rehearsal space. • It allows you to control information overload easily. • It’s popular enough that junior and senior academics from a wide range of disciplines use it, and are accessible through it.
  19. 19. Ingredients for social media participation • Curiosity/desire to engage with people you don’t know • Varied interests and playfulness, which allow more than academic interactions • Awareness, which allows you to choose how you’re using various tools
  20. 20. What do you do when you tweet? • Report on what you see, hear, or read • Ask questions (to specific people, or as part of thinking out loud) • Describe what you’re working on • Experiment with different ways of phrasing ideas • Agree, and disagree • Share content that you think other people should be aware of
  21. 21. What are you doing when you’re • Discover what otohenr p eTopwle airtet elearr?ning and doing • See academic and public contexts side by side • Watch projects and ideas evolve through conversation • Find out about processes and practices at other institutions (academic and non-academic) • Support peers and colleagues by showing interest in their work • Find content through your contacts (rather than through search engines) • Learn through dialogue and interaction
  22. 22. What are academics discussing? Academic labor Accessibility The Value of Scholarship Race & Social Justice Contingencies & Budgets Privilege Comparative Pedagogies
  23. 23. Accounts & Hashtags to explore • #twitterstorians • @tressiemcphd • @erik_kwakkel • #academia • @roopikarisam • @JeffSharlet
  24. 24. Questions of identity • Will you interact as yourself, or under a pseudonym? • Will you tweet with a specific focus? (an aspect of your research, of your discipline, etc.)
  25. 25. Building your own Twitter topic list (pick one of the following q’s) What are you working on currently? What would you like to work on in the future? What’s the last thing that you read and enjoyed? What did you like about it? What’s a non-academic thing that has a connection with your academic interests? What would you like to know about using social media? What topics/activities could you help people understand? (academic or non-academic) What would you put on your Twitter profile page? What’s the most valuable advice you’ve been given recently? What’s a photo you took recently? If you were to tweet as a parody of your field/specialty, what would your persona be?
  26. 26. Are academics hacking social media? • Hacker: n. • 1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary. • 7.One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations. • --The Jargon File, http://www.jargondb.org
  27. 27. Are academics hacking social media? • How do you measure the value of social media? • Commercial: through quantitative metrics, i.e., number of followers, site visits, etc. • Academic: through qualitative results, i.e., confidence and experience gained, contacts made
  28. 28. Are academics using Twitter to hack the academy?
  29. 29. Social media encourages the larger academic conversation to become more inclusive of multiple voices.
  30. 30. Participating in social media can help you become more aware of your own privilege, as well as broader issues of marginalization within academia.
  31. 31. Understanding how the academy manifests beyond your own immediate experience of it is central to academic professionalism.
  32. 32. PROFESSIONALISM: MORE THAN JUST GETTING A JOB
  33. 33. Building your own Twitter topic list (pick one of the following q’s) What are you working on currently? What would you like to work on in the future? What’s the last thing that you read and enjoyed? What did you like about it? What’s a non-academic thing that has a connection with your academic interests? What would you like to know about using social media? What topics/activities could you help people understand? (academic or non-academic) What would you put on your Twitter profile page? What’s the most valuable advice you’ve been given recently? What’s a photo you took recently? If you were to tweet as a parody of your field/specialty, what would your persona be?
  34. 34. Basic Twitter Toolbox • Twitter’s List function: for filtering different types of content • HootSuite, TweetDeck: account management platforms for reading and managing multiple feeds • Storify: for archiving tweets and conversations • Tweet-a-friend: ask Twitter!
  35. 35. Ways to keep tweeting • Reading a Twitter list, or feed • Live-tweeting events • Participating in weekly chats #fycchat, #prodchat, etc. • Schedule Twitter time: 15 minutes per day? 2 hours per week?
  36. 36. Other strategies • Use search.twitter.com to find people tweeting about things that interest youLive-tweeting events • Find a twitter list curated for a particular theme (googling is a good way to locate these) • Set goals: respond to 2 people per day; share one link per day, post one thing you've learned
  37. 37. Considering other social media platforms? • Read and explore them first, in order to get a sense of the culture of participation. • Investigate your options for exporting/backing up your content. • Think about how your audience will find you, and what sort of commitment the platform requires of them. • Consider integrating with Twitter in order to promote and discuss your project.
  38. 38. “No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.” --Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (adapted)
  39. 39. Final questions (for now) • Who are the people that you want to connect with? • What knowledge/information would you like to have access to that you don’t currently have access to? Who can give you that information? • What aspects of discussing your work give you energy? How can you create more opportunities for that sort of discussion?
  40. 40. Next time... • Non-threatening coding exploration • Learning to think like a programmer • You’ve got data! What kind of data is it? Demystifying Digital Scholarship: Exploring Programming for Digital Scholarship January 2015

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