Tonight’s Social Media: Impacts on Learning and Teaching panel discussion was very interesting….
I’ve never sat on a panel before and was a bit nervous. There were four of us; me, a faculty member, student, and administrator (from the registrars office).
We were all asked three questions that were sent out to the panel and the college community ahead of time.
1. What is working now regarding our use of social media?
2. What are further opportunities in the future that we can take advantage of to enhance learning and teaching?
3. What might be one or two challenges that we would face?
I decided to edit the questions slightly and setup of a google form to crowdsource my answers (I’ve always wanted to use the term crowdsource :).
Here is a link to the google form (I’m still accepting responses if your interested in providing input).
I sent the form out to my work team and an academic school I’m closely aligned to as well as sending it out to twitter 3 or 4 times. I recieved many thoughtful responses to the questions and I was overwhelmed with the information that was shared.
You can view the results at this link. I synthesized the results and used them as the basis for my answers. (who’s kidding who - they were my answers :)
When the time came for the formal panel discussion to begin, I was so proud to state that I had crowd sourced my answers and explained how I had setup up the form and sent the link out to my network on twitter and through email at work. (and that I got responses :). I was able to share such great suggestions and information while also showing how powerful and engaging using social media with a specific purpose can be.
The discussion after the panel questions were very interesting and were mostly about the pros and cons of facebook but there was one moment in particular when a student…
(side note: the panel was setup to run in the pub on campus, the pub was to be closed during the panel and only those staying for the panel were encouraged to stay in the pub - this wasn’t clearly communicated to the students who were in the pub - but once that was cleared up a table of students stayed to listen to the discussion… now back to the story)
…shared what he his school experience was with using facebook groups for studying and group work and the website that he and others had used to create flashcards as study aids for the I.D tests (This was held at our School for Natural Resources campus - they have to acquire a mastery level of I.D. for different species of plants, animals, trees, etc., depending on what program they are in). He had a bit of trouble finding his words but once he found them… they were priceless.
Our registrar’s office had also setup a facebook page as well as a twitter account for posting information for students and for timely answers to their questions.
All in all it was a good session, a good start to a conversation that will continue to happen as we expand our use and exposure to social media as a communications/learning tool. During my last chance for comments I shared the work of Danika Barker and her Brevity is the Soul of t(wit) Project as an example of social media (twitter, blog, etc.,) being used to follow the tale of Hamlet and the stinky state of Denmark.
The cute little peanut in the front row is Kyla, she sat and listened (and played with my ipod) for the whole session, it was so nice to have her in the audience and know that she is a happy little learner who is comfortable in her own skin.