Define your goals and objectives
“Planning with Technology in Mind: How can technology be used to support teaching and learning” discusses 6 categories of technologies to help promote teaching and learning. We have applied this categorization process to social media tools, and added one additional category: research.
- Communication - used for both managerial and instructional purposes
- Presentation - allow students and teachers to create and show presentations offline
- Collection - allow both teachers and students to house a collection of links to important websites, primary sources, and music and art collections in one place
- Organization - provide Scaffolding, Guided Practice, Graphic Organizers, Timelines
- Collaboration - provide student group work
- Interaction - allow students to grapple with content through tools that require critical-thinking or application of knowledge.
- Research – allow students to deeply explore content through tools by collecting resources, gathering evidence, assembling images, music, or videos.
Using Goodwin’s (2008) Matrix of Web 2.0 technologies, we have combined these ideas with functions commonly used in the process of teaching and learning, and added ideas that have appeared since its inception.
- Identify the content you have to share. Is it primarily news updates, research developments, or networking information? Photographs? Video?
- List the content you will be sharing via social media. Who is generating content? Where is the content hosted? How will people access content shared via these sources.
- Who can originate conversations? Who is the audience for each content producer or communicator?
- How does this frame the structure of the communications or interactions?
- Who has access?
- Is it restricted to the course participants?
- Is there a plan for including outside participants? For example, will the faculty survey the social media landscape for the “thought leaders” in the field to determine what people are already saying?
- List the topics, people and sites that are leading the conversations that are relevant to you. Is it appropriate to include them in the conversation in the class?
Monitor, moderate, comment
- How do you conduct yourself?
- How do you interact with your students?
- How do you write or submit information in this format?
- How do your students interact with you?
- What policies, protocols or norms have you established for them?
- How do you define appropriate and inappropriate content?
- How do your students interact with each other?
- In what ways (if any) does your class interact with an audience outside of your class?
- How do you capture data generated via social media tools?
- What type of data can you ask students to share via social media tools?
- Content and the source
- Is it primarily news updates, research developments, or networking information? Photographs? Video?
- Who is generating content? Where is the content hosted? How will people access content shared via these sources. How long will they have access to content?
Reflect and improve
Assessment and Evaluation: Determine how you will measure the success, or lack of success, of communications or interactions between participants. Set a timeline for when you will conduct an evaluation of participant content, using predetermined goals and objectives. At that time, be prepared to realign your site’s content. Ongoing evaluation should also be part of your strategy. Define your timeline.
Zakharov, W., Horton, A., Reid, P., Willis, J., & Attardo, D. (2017). Social Media: An Integration Guideline for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. In Learning and Knowledge Analytics in Open Education (pp. 149-169). Springer International Publishing.