Social Media Tips

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Social Media Tips & Best Practices

In general, pick one or two NEW! EXCITING! THINGS! and see how those take off- don’t try to introduce too many new things. As a rule, people do not want to have to log in to more than two things to access information. They’ll want to feel like they’re getting something extra from it to be encouraged to use it. Providing links in your course site, perhaps to helpful instructions or YouTube tutorials for those unfamiliar, will keep them thinking about these alternate ways to reach you & additional information. Remind them of their digital footprint, acceptable use still applies. The internet lasts forever.

Twitter

  • Following profiles will bring their content into your Twitter stream. Consider searching for experts in your field, professional organizations, fellow GAs/TAs, dissenting opinions, local organizations.
  • Use the Retweet function like the Share button on Facebook: bring new relevant content into your stream without taking credit from the original source. (This also often introduces new profiles to follow.)
  • Twitter is about conversation- reply at least as much as you tweet your own thoughts.
  • Hashtags (#) are clickable curated content. If you add a hashtag to your tweet, others will find it along with similar tweets containing that hashtag. Likewise, you will find a lot of relevant content (and some not-so-relevant!) by clicking on hashtags that interest you.

Pinterest

  • You can gather links to material relevant to your subject matter, organize them in a way that works for you, and they’re easier to recognize based on the photo used to “pin” the link.
  • Students who have (or get) Pinterest can pin to a board that you open up to a group. You would have control over who is invited to pin to that board. This opens up the collaborative process and also introduces you to content you may not have found.
  • Infographics are easily found on Pinterest. Search “[your term] infographic” and you’ll be presented with some well-presented information in a fun, strategic way.

Google Apps for Education

  • Group projects are easier to manage through shared files in a user’s Google Drive. You can upload a Word file into Drive and it will format correctly with Document.
  • Caution: multiple users can simultaneously edit the same document, though you are able to see who edited the content & when.
  • Logging into Google with your UWin Gmail account, clicking on the “apps” icon (six small squares in a square pattern) and then clicking More- will take you to new fun applications available to you. There are book searches, and Google Scholar for academic journal searches.

Facebook

  • Facebook is a social media tool that has many elements in it such as individual pages, groups, ability to upload pictures, videos and comments.
  • Using a business or group page prevents the ability to follow back your students. It’s a “push out” page, meaning you can share content with those who “like” your page, but the group does not have its own Newsfeed. Students will be familiar with the platform, so more likely to use it, but this level keeps you from being “friends” with your students and seeing their…particular social atmosphere.

Considerations and Cool Free Tools

The Help Wiki article [provides links and descriptions to several online tools, most of which are free, to help instructors provide an enriching online environment and save time].

The article from Educause discusses the issues to consider when linking third party applications into sites. You might find it helpful to point out some issues you may not of thought of. Educause - Policy as an Enabler of Student Engagement EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 45, no. 5 (September/October 2010): 104–105 by Merri Beth Lavagnino

A recent literature review article The role of social media in higher education classes (real and virtual) – A literature review details some of the issues and questions that currently exist in the academic dialogue on this topic. Several studies are included in this paper from September 2013.

For more help and information on using Social Media, please contact the Office of Open Learning.

Related Articles


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