The St. Charles Community College held its first Tweet Up this fall during a weeklong event open to students, faculty and the public in the St. Louis area. There were several events and discussions held on campus that week ranging from movie discussions, panel discussions, and presentations.
I was fortunate to be a part of the panel discussion on Social Media and the classroom. Since I teach a social media class (CPM 230) at the St. Charles Community College, I know our class uses it to communicate and collaborate with each other and the non-profit organizations that they are working with for their class projects. But we’ve just skimmed the surface of what is possible.
I’d love to know what other educators and students are doing in regard to how they are using social media in the classroom and how that is working for them. There is great potential using Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. I’ve reached out to the online community and did some Google searches and really didn’t find a lot.
My class seems to get the most out of using a LinkedIn group that I created for our class. It is a great way to ask for help, share information (links to great articles and blogs) and to communicate with each other. We have a Twitter hashtag (#STCHASSMM) that we set up, but it isn’t used as much as I would like to see – though hopefully that will change since we just covered Twitter in greater detail. Using social media as a research tool has been very powerful for the class – doing blog searches, searching Twitter, and joining other groups on LinkedIn provide great results for more up to date materials than what we have in our text books.
Some really interesting points were made during the panel discussion on using social media in the classroom. First, the separation of information as it relates to your private life and your educational life. I think this has been a big inhibitor in people using social media in education. Both students and faculty share concerns over the information that is available about them on social networks. Some students like to know what their professor is doing outside of the classroom as it helps them know them better, while other students don’t want to know.
@BrryanJackson tweeted – Why do you think people are afraid of the social media?
It’s also important to realize that if you put information online, it can be found. Employers use it for back ground checks as well as potentially for continued employment. So you have to take responsibility for what you post. Good rule of thumb – Use discretion. Don’t anything online that you don’t want anyone to be able to see.
The issue of privacy and security are the biggest hurdles to overcome to use Social Media in the classroom. Maybe something like Google+ will change this.
Social Media can enhance communication! Students learn differently and using something like Twitter can actually enhance communication. For hearing impaired students, Twitter can provide the captions as @BrryanJackson pointed out! What a cool thing!
Most recently in Missouri there has been a lot of discussion about how teachers can use Facebook with students under 18. There are some very valid concerns here, and the biggest thing that it has brought to light at the college level is a need for a social media policy.
Here’s a summary of #TweetUpSCC 2011
The day after I created this post, there was an article posted on How Facebook is Enriching the College Experience
Please share your ideas on how to best use Social Media in the classroom!