Social media may help us solve one of the biggest problems facing higher education: student engagement, as featured in today’s article from Ecampus News. Technology experts and other people from business and academia, convened in five cities across the globe (New York City, San Francisco, London, Sao Paulo, and Toronto) for Social Media Week to discuss “how media sites like Facebook and Twitter are shaping global culture.” During a Feb. 6 session called “The Future of Social Media in Higher Education,” a panel explored the following topics:
o How colleges can use social networking to communicate with traditional and nontraditional students,
o What impact the new Apple iPad might have on student-faculty communication, and
o Why Blackboard is not meeting some students’ social media needs.
For all its merits, nationwide studies reveal that some education officials have been reluctant to embrace social networking because of safety and security issues. The article cites a recent survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project that nine out of 10 American teens use some form of web-based social networking, and 34 percent of parents are aware of the inherent security risks of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, and teen sexting has become a big concern among educators and parents alike.
With 1 out of 4 students dropping out of college, it’s high time we learn how to use this powerful medium to engage and retain all types of learners and create a more qualified workforce.
How can we increase incentives for professors to innovate ways for engaging students using social media?
What can we do to address security and cyber-abuse issues to help diminish the apprehension some instructors have about social networking?
How can the U.S. lead the world by effectively using technology to enhance learning across all disciplines?
by Dennis Carter
Keeping college students and their professors connected through social media outlets could be key in boosting graduation rates, education technology experts said during a panel discussion at Social Media Week in New York.
Social Media Week ran through the first week of February in five cities worldwide—New York City, San Francisco, London, Sao Paulo, and Toronto—and authorities from the business world, academia, and other fields discussed how social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are shaping global culture.
During a Feb. 6 session called “The Future of Social Media in Higher Education,” a five-person panel explored how colleges can use social networking to communicate with traditional and nontraditional students, what impact the new Apple iPad might have on student-faculty communication, and why Blackboard is not meeting some students’ social media needs.
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