[NOTE: I previously posted on Blogger on May 31, 2010.]
I am in Austin, Texas presenting at the NISOD conference. Yesterday I had the good fortune to facilitate an all-day pre-conference institute with Robb Sherfield (author of Cornerstone) and Amy Baldwin (author of The Community College Experience). One of the topics we discussed was how to use social media for motivation and engagement in the classroom. This was (probably) the 6th or 7th time we have worked with this topic in a workshop setting. This morning, I did a solo session titled “The Dot Commies Are Comin’ The Dot Commies Are Here!” Again, this was about social media in the classroom. No matter where in the country we do this workshop, there are a couple of recurring points:
- NO matter who your audience may be, when using social media KNOW why you are using it. In other words, don’t use it to be cute. Use it with a purpose. Match your strategy to the goal. This holds true for the classroom or the boardroom.
- People are interested in SKYPE. The ability to video conference (two people) computer to computer for FREE and with good quality is attractive. Audio conferencing with more than twenty people at a time is also available. One participant yesterday was excited about the prospect of using this technology to connect with students on various campuses.
- Digital video cameras allow you to develop quick (and high quality) learning objects for students, staff, community groups, and the like.
- No matter how good the technology is there are bound to be glitches. Recognize that, accept that, and plan for it. BUT do not avoid social media and technology because there MIGHT be a glitch.
- As a teacher it is my responsibility to let my students know this technology exists. They can choose to use it or not…but they need to know it is there. And it is not going away! Which leads to my last point…
- As Eric Qualman points out in his book Socialnomics (http://socialnomics.net/), social media is not a fad. It is not going away. We should do what we can to help shape the discussion about appropriate uses of the technology for teaching and learning. Again, this is important for the classroom and the boardroom.
I welcome your thoughts on the best way to use social media to connect in education–and in the corporate world.
© Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog, 2010.