A social media revolution: Using social media to enhance teaching, student learning and engagement with professional networks’
‘A social media revolution? Using
social media to enhance teaching,
student learning and engagement
with professional networks’
Keynote Speaker - Anglia Ruskin University
Creative Uses of Social Media in Teaching and Learning
Sue Beckingham | @suebecks
National Teaching Fellow
Principal Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University
The Social Media Revolution
Some key messages
• Over 50% of the world population is under 30 years old. (UNESCO)
• Today’s college students have never licked a postage stamp. (NBC News)
• 53% of millennials would rather lose their sense of smell than their
technology. (The Motley Fool)
• The return on investment (ROI) of social media is your business will still
exist in 5 years. (Erik Qualman)
• 93% of buying decisions are influenced by social media. (Source: Nielsen)
• By 2018 video will account for over 2/3 of mobile usage. (Source: Cisco)
• More people own a mobile device than a toothbrush. (Source: 60 Second
• 1 in 3 marriages starts online. (Source: NY Daily News)
• The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is grandparents. (Source:
Global Web Index)
• Every second, 2 people join LinkedIn. (Source: LinkedIn)
"Social media isn't a fad, its a fundamental
shift in the way we communicate."
There are five fundamental digital literacies:
how we can use our attention to focus on the tiny relevant portion of the
incoming tsunami of information.
the quality of participation that empowers the best of the bloggers,
netizens, tweeters, and other online community participants.
how successful online collaborative enterprises contribute new knowledge
to the world in new ways.
4. critical consumption of information
(or "cr*p detection")
5. and network smarts
a lesson on networks and network building.
Mindful use of digital media
The Digitally Agile Researcher
"The digitally agile researcher is increasingly
digitally savvy, researching online, drawing on
multidisciplinary teams and international networks.
They use a mixture of methods to answer practical
as well as theoretical questions.
The digitally savvy researcher connects, builds and
sustains varied and global audiences interested in
their research. They are likely to blog, tweet,
geotag and produce multimedia content.
In brief, the digitally savvy researcher uses new
technologies to create and extend impact with their
Invites explicit review where
scholarly work is openly
accessible and implicit review
through tagging, bookmarking,
Facilitates large scale data
sharing and mining,
collaboratively, globally and
Offers spaces for digital open
community and global
Precipitate amplification and
disruption of existing practices.
Foster open and shared
Adapted from Greenhow and Gleeson 2014
Social Scholarship: social media affordances
Inspired by George Veletsianos
book 'Social Media in Academia:
With permission I will answer the
questions in chapter 3 asked of
Anna a 'social media advocate'.
"Could you please describe to me
an ordinary day at work as an
academic who uses social media?
How do you participate on social
media, which platforms do you
use, and what do you share or
My day starts with coffee and Twitter. This is
where I find most of my 'news'. What is relevant
to my network is quickly shared. Info relating to
my teaching is also given a #hashtag (relating to
the module). Topic-related posts will also be
pinned to Pinterest boards/Scoop-it collections.
I will then dip briefly into Facebook. Prompts
remind me of birthdays and forthcoming events.
As I commute to work by bus, I will continue to
read the news filtered by the lists I've created. If
there's time I'll look at updates on LinkedIn.
"When you're online, do the
people you connect with belong to
a group or multiple groups? And if
multiple, what are those groups?"
The people I connect with on Twitter belong to
multiple but often overlapping groups. For
example many in the #LTHEchat community also
contribute to #altc conversations. Conferences
provide an opportunity for short-lived groups to
form and share common interest and discussions
relating to the event using a shared hashtag.
I create lists to group people and organisations I
follow. This filters the tweets and using
dashboards such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck I am
able to view the ones I choose to.
"How do you think that the people
that you connect with would
I think the people I connect with would say I was
an active user of social media, and this is true!
Those that are less active online, would probably
say "Where do you find the time?" My answer to
this (as it's a frequent question) usually includes
a quote from Clay Shirky when asked about
information overload, that it is actually filter
failure that is the issue. I can skim through my
social media networks as a) useful and relevant
to me content has been filtered by my personal
learning network, and b) I've developed ways to
find information more effectively.
"How has your use of social media
changed over time?"
Over time my use of social media has evolved. It
began with Facebook as a place to share photos
and conversations with family and friends; and
LinkedIn as a space for a digital CV. I then began
to observe how people were using social media
in different ways and as I connected with them I
discovered a whole new forum for informal
learning. I've now developed an international
network, connecting with educators and
professionals across the globe.
"Was there any one memorable
response that stood out for you on
The response to a tweet in 2011 by Frank Steiner
made a huge impact on my career. I'd tweeted
that I hoped to secure a free ticket for the Future
of Technology in Education conference at ULCC
and he DM'd me to ask if I would like to be one of
the keynotes. This and other events led to the
ongoing focus of my research interest in social
media and invitations to speak across the UK and
in Denmark, Spain, South Africa and the US.
"What boundaries do you see
around what is speakable, or
disclosed online? And what gaps
do you see around what we don't
share or talk about?"
The boundaries between work and home,
professional and social are often blurred. Access
to a growing collection of communication
channels whenever and wherever we are means
that we can engage with conversations 24/7. In
relation to what should be disclosed, I think
sharing personal information needs to come with
a caution. Knowing about your music or food
tastes, pets or hobbies is fine but it is vital that
we continue to have conversations about the
implications of the digital footprints we could
1.37 billion daily active users on average for September 2017
2.07 billion monthly active users as of September 30, 2017
The combined user base of the top four chat apps is larger than the combined user
base of the top four social networks.
Messaging apps: WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat and Viber
Social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn
The International Federation of Library
Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
ONLINE PRESENCE Create a digital online presence
Develop a digital professional identity to
showcase your academic work
Build a personal learning network by
connecting with other academics
Interact by discussing
shared topics of interest
Steps to becoming a digital scholar
Acknowledge the digital scholarship, teaching
excellence and student learning gains shared by
peers and students.
Interact by commenting, asking questions, or
signposting related information that may be
Engaging with digital scholarship
• Carrigan, M. (2016) Social Media for Academics. London: Sage.
• Greenhow, C., & Gleason, B. (2014). Social scholarship: Reconsidering scholarly practices in the age
of social media. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(3), 392-402.
• Lupton, D., Mewburn, I. and Thomson, P. (2018) The Digital Academic: Critical Perspectives on
Digital Technologies in Higher Education. London: Routledge.
• Kucikrova, N. and Quinlan, O. (2017) The Digitally Agile Researcher. London: Open University Press.
• Mollett, A., Brumley, C., Gilson, C. and Williams, S. (2017) Communicating your Research with Social
Media. London: Sage.
• Perry, D. (2015) 3 Rules of Academic Blogging
• Qualman, E. (2010) Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way we Live and do Business.
New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.
• Rheingold, H. (2012) New Smart: How to Thrive Online. Cambridge, Massachussets: MIT Press
• Veletsianos, G. (2016) Social Media in Academica: Networked scholars. London: Routledge.
• Weller, M. (2010) The Digital Scholar: How Technology is Transforming Scholarly Practice. London:
• Useful resource: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2015/06/26/reading-list-using-
Sue Beckingham | @suebecks
National Teaching Fellow and Principal Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University
with a research interest in the use of social media in education.