Social Media & Educational Usage: Some (very) Preliminary Results

Today, I will be presenting at the Massachusetts Community College:  Teaching, Learning and Student Development Conference on the topic of social media and higher education.  For those that attended the session or are interested in looking at some of the resources such as the social media and higher education survey, its results, the presentation resources or the presentation itself (also embedded, down below), check out these links.  I will have a follow up post about the presentation and bit more details about the results.
The presentation abstract was as follows:  The rhetoric of social media boils down to being a miracle of the modern age or a clear sign of society’s self-destructive tendencies.  To this end, faculty and schools often fail in engaging their students through social media in meaningful ways.  So while colleges help equip students for the physical world, they poorly prepare them for the digital world.  This presentation looks at the ways and the whys for faculty and colleges to maintain a strong social media presence to aid and act as a role model for students in the digital world.  Just like faculty role model in students’ physical worlds, it becomes increasing important for faculty to be role models as digital citizens and work to develop students’ digital identities.  In an age in which applicants are Googled by interviewers, it’s important that faculty guide and encourage students to consciously maintain a public identity that both speaks to who they are and how they conduct themselves in this ambiguous and emerging new public sphere.  This workshop will address some of the concerns and misaligned fears about social media, identify some of the reasons and ways faculty can role model good digital identity, and provide some ways of constructing clear guidelines about productive social media between faculty and students.

The project as a whole has been a fascinating look at the experiences of students and faculty with regards to their interactions via social media.  It's a project I will continue to pursue and explore most likely as a central piece to a doctorate.

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