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teaching age social media

Teaching in the age of social media

Engaging with students – both inside and outside the classroom – who are continually linked in to social media and online devices presents a range of opportunities, challenges and pitfalls.

By DAVID SMITH | April 5, 2017
More and more of our public, private and professional lives are migrating online. There is little doubt that social media will infiltrate every aspect of our day-to-day existence. If used effectively, online tools are revolutionary for communicating and stimulating important conversations.

more on use of technology in the classroom in this IMS blog
more on teaching with social media in this IMS blog 

Technology Week: Social Media in Teaching and Learning
Top 10 Social Media Management Tools: beyond Hootsuite and TweetDeck

global education teaching learning conference

International Academic Conference on Global Education, Teaching and Learning in Vienna, Austria 2017 (IAC-GETL in Vienna 2017)

Conference Program Dates

Friday – Saturday, November 24 – 25, 2017

Venue Hotel – Fourside Hotel City Center Vienna
Grieshofgasse 11, A – 1120 Wien / Vienna, AUSTRIA

About the Conference

International Academic Conference in Vienna 2017 is an important international gathering of scholars, educators and PhD students. IAC-GETL 2017 in Vienna will take place in conference facilities located in Vienna, the touristic, business and historic center of Austria.

Conference language: English language

Conferences organized by the Czech Institute of Academic Education z.s. and Czech Technical University in Prague.

Conference Topics

Conference Topics – Education, Teaching, Learning and E-learning

Education, Teaching and Learning

Distance Education, Higher Education, Effective Teaching Pedagogies, Learning Styles and Learning Outcomes, Emerging Technologies, Educational Management, Engineering and Sciences Research, Competitive Skills, Continuing Education, Transferring Disciplines, Imaginative Education, Language Education, Geographical Education, Health Education, Home Education, Science Education, Secondary Education, Second life Educators, Social Studies Education, Special Education, Learning / Teaching Methodologies and Assessment, Assessment Software Tools, Global Issues In Education and Research, Education, Research and Globalization, Barriers to Learning (ethnicity, age, psychosocial factors, …), Women and Minorities in Science and Technology, Indigenous and Diversity Issues, Intellectual Property Rights and Plagiarism, Pedagogy, Teacher Education, Cross-disciplinary areas of Education, Educational Psychology, Education practice trends and issues, Indigenous Education, Academic Research Projects, Research on Technology in Education, Research Centres, Links between Education and Research, Erasmus and Exchange experiences in universities, Students and Teaching staff Exchange programmes


Educational Technology, Educational Games and Software, ICT Education, E-Learning, Internet technologies, Accessibility to Disabled Users, Animation, 3D, and Web 3D Applications, Mobile Applications and Learning (M-learning), Virtual Learning Environments, Videos for Learning and Educational Multimedia, Web 2.0, Social Networking and Blogs, Wireless Applications, New Trends And Experiences, Other Areas of Education

social media in classroom

Social Media in the Classroom: Teaching the tools at your students’ fingertips today will prepare them for what’s to come in the future.


Visual Literacy. Using Instagram to select a single photo to capture an overall concept would transfer to so many subject areas.

People, in general, love Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other networks, because they want to share their pictures, videos and thoughts with the world; this sort of sharing makes people feel important. When kids feel important about what they share, they, in turn, believe that what they learn is important. This is truly what 21st-century learning is about.

more on social media in education in this IMS blog

social media in your course

8 Things You Should Know before Using Social Media in Your Course

Jennifer Rafferty, Director, OLC Institute for Professional Development,

a variety of available platforms, and many creative ways that faculty are integrating social media into their teaching practice.

  • how the digital medium will foster engagement and enhance learning outcomes.
  • aware of the implications of having students post content on third-party services (those not provided or hosted by your institution).
  • Social media usage in the classroom intersects with both FERPA and Copyright Compliance, so keep this checklist handy as you develop your class activity.

Include details about the activity in your syllabus & course description.

Use contracts.
Link to institutional policies.
Use aliases for social media accounts.
Teach your students to use digital media responsibly.
Know where to provide assignment feedback.
Don’t use personal accounts for university business.
Understand the Terms of Service.


Classification of Social Media Platforms, DelValle Institute Knowledge Base, Office of Public Health Preparedness. Retrieved on March 24, 2017 from

Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. 2005. Using Digital Content. Retrieved on March 24, 2017 from

Educause, Is Your Use of Social Media FERPA Compliant? Retrieved on March 24, 2017 from

Kind, T., Genrich G. and Chretien, K.(2010)  Social Media Policies at US Medical Schools. Medical Education Online.  Retrieved on March 24, 2017 from

Meyer, L., (2015). Six Alternative Social Media Tools for Teaching and Learning, Campus Technology. Retrieved on March 24, 2017 from

Orlando, J., 2011. FERPA and Social Media, Faculty Focus. Retrieved on March 24, 2017 from

more on social media for teaching practices in this IMS blog

social media collaborative learning

Zhang, X., Chen, H., Pablos, P. O. de, Lytras, M. D., & Sun, Y. (2016). Coordinated Implicitly? An Empirical Study on the Role of Social Media in Collaborative Learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(6).
PDF file available here:
Vlachopoulos, D. (2016). Assuring Quality in E-Learning Course Design: The Roadmap. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(6).
PDF file available here:


Ungerer, L. M. (2016). Digital Curation as a Core Competency in Current Learning and Literacy: A Higher Education Perspective. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(5).
Technology considerably impacts on current literacy requirements (Reinking, as cited in Sharma & Deschaine, 2016). Being literate in the 21st century requires being able to decode and comprehend multimodal texts and digital format and also engage with these texts in a purposeful manner. Literacy is not merely based on a specific skill, but consists of a process that embraces the dynamic, social, and collaborative facets of digital technology (Lewis & Fabos, as cited in Mills, 2013).
Mackey and Jacobson (2011) suggest reframing the concept of information literacy as metaliteracy (supporting multiple literacy types) because of a tremendous growth in social media and collaborative online communities. They propose that information literacy currently involves more than a set of discrete skills, since active knowledge production and distribution in collaborative online communities are also necessary.
 Mackey and Jacobson (2011) position metaliteracy as an overarching and comprehensive framework that informs other literacy types. It serves as the basis for media literacy, digital literacy, ICT literacy, and visual literacy.
According to Mills (2013, p. 47), digital curation is the sifting and aggregation of internet and other digital resources into a manageable collection of what teachers and students find relevant, personalized and dynamic. It incorporates the vibrancy of components of the Internet and provides a repository that is easily accessible and usable.

Pedagogies of Abundance

According to Weller (2011), a pedagogy of abundance should consider a number of assumptions such as that content often is freely available and abundant. Content further takes on various forms and it is often easy and inexpensive to share information. Content is socially based and since people filter and share content, a social approach to learning is advisable. Further, establishing and preserving connections in a network is easy and they do not have to be maintained on a one-to-one basis. Successful informal groupings occur frequently, reducing the need to formally manage groups.

Resource-based learning. Ryan (as cited in Weller, 2011) defines resource-based learning as “an integrated set of strategies to promote student centred learning in a mass education context, through a combination of specially designed learning resources and interactive media and technologies.”

Problem-based learning. Problem-based learning takes place when learners experience the process of working toward resolving a problem encountered early in the learning process (Barrows & Tamblyn, as cited in Weller, 2011). Students often collaborate in small groups to identify solutions to ill-defined problems, while the teacher acts as facilitator and assists groups if they need help. Problem-based learning meets a number of important requirements such as being learner-directed, using diverse resources and taking an open-ended approach.

Communities of practice. Lave and Wenger’s (as cited in Weller, 2011) concept of situated learning and Wenger’s (as cited in Weller, 2011) idea of communities of practice highlight the importance of apprenticeship and the social role in learning.

My note: this article spells out what needs to be done and how. it is just flabeghasting that research guides are employed so religiously by librarians. They are exactly the opposite concept of the one presented in this article: they are closed, controlled by one or several librarians, without a constant and easy access of the instructor, not to mention the students’ participation

more on teaching w social media in this IMS blog



teaching with technology

Boulder Faculty Teaching with Technology Report
Sarah Wise, Education Researcher ,  Megan Meyer, Research Assistant, March 8,2016

Faculty perceive undergraduates to be less proficient with digital literacy skills. One-third think
their students do not find or organize digital information very well. The majority (52%) think
they lack skill in validating digital information.
My note: for the SCSU librarians, digital literacy is fancy word for information literacy. Digital literacy, as used in this report is much greater area, which encompasses much broader set of skills
Faculty do not prefer to teach online (57%) or in a hybrid format (where some sessions occur
online, 32%). One-third of faculty reported no experience with these least popular course types
my note: pay attention to the questions asked; questions I am asking Mike Penrod to let me work with faculty for years. Questions, which are snubbed by CETL and a dominance of D2L and MnSCU mandated tools is established.

Table 5. Do you use these in-class technologies for teaching undergraduates? Which are the Top 3 in-class technologies you would like to learn or use more? (n = 442)

Top 3 use in most of my classes have used in some classes tried, but do not use  

N/A: no experience

in-class activities, problems (via worksheets, tablets, laptops, simulations, beSocratic, etc.)  










in-class question, discussion tools (e.g. Twitter, TodaysMeet, aka “backchannel communication”)  















using online resources to find high quality curricular materials  










iClickers 24% 23% 16% 9% 52%
other presentation tool (Prezi, Google presentation, Slide Carnival, etc.)  










whiteboard / blackboard 20% 58% 23% 6% 14%
Powerpoint or Keynote 20% 74% 16% 4% 5%
document camera / overhead projector 15% 28% 20% 14% 38%


Table 6. Do you have undergraduates use these assignment technology tools? Which are your Top 3 assignment technology tools to learn about or use more? (n = 432)

Top 3 use in most of my classes have used in some classes tried, but do not use N/A: no experience using
collaborative reading and discussion tools (e.g. VoiceThread, NB, NotaBene, Highlighter, beSocratic) 43% 3% 10% 10% 77%
collaborative project, writing, editing tools (wikis, PBWorks, Weebly, Google Drive, Dropbox, Zotero)  










online practice problems / quizzes with instant feedback 36% 22% 22% 8% 47%
online discussions (D2L, Today’s Meet, etc) 31% 33% 21% 15% 30%
individual written assignment, presentation and project tools (blogs, assignment submission, Powerpoint, Prezi, Adobe Creative Suite, etc.)  










research tools (Chinook, pubMed, Google Scholar, Mendeley, Zotero, Evernote) 30% 33% 32% 8% 27%
online practice (problems, quizzes, simulations, games, CAPA, Pearson Mastering, etc.) 27% 20% 21% 7% 52%
data analysis tools (SPSS, R, Latex, Excel, NVivo, MATLAB, etc.) 24% 9% 23% 6% 62%
readings (online textbooks, articles, e-books) 21% 68% 23% 1% 8%

Table 7. Do you use any of these online tools in your teaching? Which are the Top 3 online tools you would like to learn about or use more? (n = 437)




Top 3


use in most of my classes


have used in some classes


tried, but do not use

N/A: no experience using
videos/animations produced for my course (online lectures, Lecture Capture, Camtasia, Vimeo)  










chat-based office hours or meetings (D2L chat, Google Hangouts, texting, tutoring portals, etc.)  










simulations, PhET, educational games 27% 7% 17% 6% 70%
videoconferencing-based office hours or meetings (Zoom, Skype, Continuing Education’s Composition hub, etc.)  










alternative to D2L (moodle, Google Site, wordpress course website) 23% 11% 10% 13% 66%
D2L course platform 23% 81% 7% 4% 8%
online tutorials and trainings (OIT tutorials, videos) 21% 4% 16% 13% 68%
D2L as a portal to other learning tools (homework websites, videos, simulations, Nota Bene/NB, Voice Thread, etc.)  










videos/animations produced elsewhere 19% 40% 36% 2% 22%

In both large and small classes, the most common responses faculty make to digital distraction are to discuss why it is a problem and to limit or ban phones in class.
my note: which completely defies the BYOD and turns into empty talk / lip service.

Quite a number of other faculty (n = 18) reported putting the onus on themselves to plan engaging and busy class sessions to preclude distraction, for example:

“If my students are more interested in their laptops than my course material, I need to make my curriculum more interesting.”

I have not found this to be a problem. When the teaching and learning are both engaged/engaging, device problems tend to disappear.”

The most common complaint related to students and technology was their lack of common technological skills, including D2L and Google, and needing to take time to teach these skills in class (n = 14). Two commented that digital skills in today’s students were lower than in their students 10 years ago.

Table 9. Which of the following are the most effective types of learning opportunities about teaching, for you? Chose your Top 2-3. (n = 473)

Count           Percentage

meeting 1:1 with an expert 296 63%
hour-long workshop 240 51%
contact an expert on-call (phone, email, etc) 155 33%
faculty learning community (meeting across asemester,

e.g. ASSETT’s Hybrid/Online Course Design Seminar)

116 25%
expert hands-on support for course redesign (e.g. OIT’s Academic Design Team) 114 24%
opportunity to apply for grant funding with expert support, for a project I design (e.g. ASSETT’s Development Awards)  




half-day or day-long workshop 98 21%
other 40 8%
multi-day retreats / institutes 30 6%

Faculty indicated that the best times for them to attend teaching professional developments across the year are before and early semester, and summer. They were split among all options for meeting across one week, but preferred afternoon sessions to mornings. Only 8% of respondents (n = 40) indicated they would not likely attend any professional development session (Table 10).


Teaching Through Technology

Table T1: Faculty beliefs about using digital technologies in teaching

Count Column N%
Technology is a significant barrier to teaching and learning. 1 0.2%
Technology can have a place in teaching, but often detracts from teaching and learning. 76 18.3%
Technology has a place in teaching, and usually enhances the teaching learning process. 233 56.0%
Technology greatly enhances the teaching learning process. 106 25.5%

Table T2: Faculty beliefs about the impact of technology on courses

Count Column N%
Makes a more effective course 302 72.6%
Makes no difference in the effectiveness of a course 42 10.1%
Makes a less effective course 7 1.7%
Has an unknown impact 65 15.6%

Table T3: Faculty use of common technologies (most frequently selected categories shaded)

Once a month or less A few hours a month A few hours a week An hour a day Several hours a day
Count % Count % Count % Count % Count %
Computer 19 4.8% 15 3.8% 46 11.5% 37 9.3% 282 70.7%
Smart Phone 220 60.6% 42 11.6% 32 8.8% 45 12.4% 24 6.6%
Office Software 31 7.8% 19 4.8% 41 10.3% 82 20.6% 226 56.6%
Email 1 0.2% 19 4.6% 53 12.8% 98 23.7% 243 58.7%
Social Networking 243 68.8% 40 11.3% 40 11.3% 23 6.5% 7 2.0%
Video/Sound Media 105 27.6% 96 25.2% 95 24.9% 53 13.9% 32 8.4%

Table T9: One sample t-test for influence of technology on approaches to grading and assessment

Test Value = 50
t df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
In class tests and quizzes -4.369 78 .000 -9.74684 -14.1886 -5.3051
Online tests and quizzes 5.624 69 .000 14.77143 9.5313 20.0115
Ungraded  assessments 1.176 66 .244 2.17910 -1.5208 5.8790
Formative assessment 5.534 70 .000 9.56338 6.1169 13.0099
Short essays, papers, lab reports, etc. 2.876 70 .005 5.45070 1.6702 9.2312
Extended essays and major projects or performances 1.931 69 .058 3.67143 -.1219 7.4648
Collaborative learning projects .000 73 1.000 .00000 -4.9819 4.9819

Table T10: Rate the degree to which your role as a faculty member and teacher has changed as a result of increased as a result of increased use of technology

Strongly Disagree Disagree Somewhat Disagree Somewhat Agree Agree Strongly Agree
Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count %
shifting from the role of content expert to one of learning facilitator  
























your primary role is to provide content for students  
























your identification with your University is increased  
























you have less ownership of your course content  
























your role as a teacher is strengthened 13 10.1% 12 9.3% 26 20.2% 37 28.7% 29 22.5% 12 9.3%
your overall control over your course(s) is diminished  
























Table T14: One sample t-test for influence of technology on faculty time spent on specific teaching activities

Test Value = 50
t df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Lecturing -7.381 88 .000 -12.04494 -15.2879 -8.8020
Preparing course materials 9.246 96 .000 16.85567 13.2370 20.4744
Identifying course materials 8.111 85 .000 13.80233 10.4191 17.1856
Grading / assessing 5.221 87 .000 10.48864 6.4959 14.4813
Course design 12.962 94 .000 21.55789 18.2558 24.8600
Increasing access to materials for all types of learners 8.632 86 .000 16.12644 12.4126 19.8403
Reading student discussion posts 10.102 79 .000 21.98750 17.6553 26.3197
Email to/with students 15.809 93 .000 26.62766 23.2830 29.9724


Study of Faculty and Information Technology, 2014

Although the LMS is pervasive in higher education, 15% of faculty said that they
do not use the LMS at all. Survey demographics suggest these nonusers are part of
the more mature faculty ranks, with a tenure status, more than 10 years of teaching
experience, and a full-professor standing.
The vast majority of faculty use the LMS
to conduct or support their teaching activities, but only three in five LMS users (60%)
said it is critical to their teaching. The ways in which faculty typically use the LMS are
presented in figure 8.
Pushing out information such as a syllabus or other handout
is the most common use of the LMS (58%), which is a basic functionality of the
first-generation systems that emerged in the late 1990s, and it remains one of the core
features of any LMS.
Many institutions preload the LMS with basic course content
(58%), up about 12% since 2011, and this base gives instructors a prepopulated plat
form from which to build their courses.
Preloading basic content does not appear to
preclude faculty from making the LMS part of their daily digital habit; a small majority
of faculty (56%) reported using the LMS daily, and another 37% use it weekly.


Digital Literacy, Engagement, and Digital Identity Development

igital Literacy, Engagement, and Digital Identity Development




more on digital literacy in this IMS blog


Social network platforms for HigherEd

Social network platforms for HigherEd

Excellent discussion on the blend-online listserv on :

Can anyone recommend a good social network platform, preferably Cloud-based, that could be used to facilitate substantive organic communication and collaboration among past, present and future students on a handful of online and blended learning programs?

From: The EDUCAUSE Blended and Online Learning Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:BLEND-ONLINE@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Robert Tousignant
Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 11:50 AM
Subject: Re: [BLEND-ONLINE] Social network platforms for HigherEd


Also, as mentioned in my previous post, Schoology ( offers an LMS with a modern social media interface and integrations with Facebook, Microsoft OneDrive, etc… you might want to add it to the list as well.



From: Victoria Cardullo <vmc0004@AUBURN.EDU>
Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE Blended and Online Learning Constituent Group Listserv <BLEND-ONLINE@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 12:37 PM
Subject: Re: [BLEND-ONLINE] Social network platforms for HigherEd

I added both thanks for the update and clarification.

 Facebook Group “Groups for Schools” feature today which will allow American colleges to create Group pages accessible only within the school community.
 LinkedIn LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service. Founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking.
 K-12 Edmodo Edmodo is a social networking site for teachers and students where over 46 million teachers, students, and parents are connecting to collaborate on assignments, discover new resources. Edmodo is a web 2.0 social networking tool for educators to use to communicate with students and parents.
 Microsoft OneDrive  A file hosting service that allows users to upload and sync files to a cloud storage and then access them from a Web browser or their local device. A free management education and business education platform for management and organization of business or education.
 Yammer Yammer a private social network collaboration software and business applications that allows the user to connect to the right people, share information across teams and organize around projects.
Celly Celly is a platform for ad-hoc social networks that is accessible via iPhone, Android, Web, SMS text and even email. Networks connect individuals and communities for instant and easy communication.
Jive Jive is a communication and collaboration platform solution for business. Jive enables employees, partners and customers to work together.
 Twitter Twitter is a powerhouse for marketing, communication, business, and even education, letting people from around the world work together, share ideas, and gain exposure to concepts.
 Google+ Communities Google+ is a place to connect with friends and family, and explore interests. Google+ allows the user to share photos, send messages, and stay in touch with the people globally.
Hive Social Hive Social is a specialist Social Media consultancy, that helps businesses and brands find, connect, build and engage with their online audience through Social Media and Digital Marketing.
Enterprise Hive HiveSocial for higher education is an enterprise social software, communication and collaboration platform with embedded game mechanics
Socialtext Socialtext applies Web 2.0 technologies such as enterprise microblogging, enterprise social networking and wikis to the critical challenges facing businesses. Socialtext’s platform allows employees to share expertise, speed workflows, and get their jobs done faster.
 Elgg  Elgg an open source social networking software that provides individuals and organizations with the components needed to create an online social environment. It offers blogging, microblogging, file sharing, networking, and groups

Dr. Victoria Cardullo

Auburn University

Assistant Reading Professor

Curriculum and Teaching


“Learning is finding out what you already know, Doing is demonstrating that you know it, Teaching is reminding others that they know it as well as you do. We are all learners, doers, and teachers.”

—  Richard David Bach


From: The EDUCAUSE Blended and Online Learning Constituent Group Listserv [] on behalf of Kampmann, David L [David.Kampmann@SOUTHEASTTECH.EDU]
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 3:02 PM
Subject: Re: [BLEND-ONLINE] Social network platforms for HigherEd

A Facebook group is probably the quickest, easiest, and will give you the best engagement. Data shows that in the under 25 age group, Facebook groups is still popular.

If you were trying to reach mainly current and future, I would shift to LinkedIn.

All of those other social networks and white label networks require people to remember another log in, site, and place to check and update. You might get good engagement up front, but it will deteriorate.

David Kampmann, M.S. in Ed, CFD | Southeast Technical Institute

Instructional Facilitator | p: (605) 367-5531 | @mrkampmann


From: The EDUCAUSE Blended and Online Learning Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:BLEND-ONLINE@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Ed Garay
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 11:07 AM
Subject: [BLEND-ONLINE] Social network platforms for HigherEd


Can anyone recommend a good social network platform, preferably Cloud-based, that could be used to facilitate substantive organic communication and collaboration among past, present and future students on a handful of online and blended learning programs?


I am familiar with Google+ Communities, Yammer, Jive and Socialtext, but I am wondering if there are other solutions worth investigating. Facebook at Work might be a possibility, but it is too early to tell. Elgg is also a viable option, especially, a hosted Elgg instance, but identifying a fully functional, customizable and super easy to use and administrate Cloud-first solution is most desirable.


Thank you very much.

— Ed Garay

University of Illinois at Chicago



social media and freedom of speech

the use of social media, personal versus institutional, or personal in the context of an institutional repercussions, is a complex and thorny issue. How much can one criticize the institution in their personal social media? And if the institution responds, when does it become silencing the social media as expression of free speech?

Is the article below touching only a specific [political] issue, or academia, as an institution, goes beyond this issue in imposing on freedom of speech?

Why I Was Fired

My tweets might appear uncivil, but such a judgment can’t be made in an ideological or rhetorical vacuum. Insofar as “civil” is profoundly racialized and has a long history of demanding conformity, I frequently choose incivility as a form of communication. This choice is both moral and rhetorical.

Academics are usually eager to contest censorship and deconstruct vague charges of vulgarity. When it comes to defending Israel, though, anything goes.

Students are capable of serious discussion, of formulating responses, of thinking through discomfort. They like my teaching because I refuse to infantilize them; I treat them as thinking adults. My philosophy is simple: Teach them the modes and practices of critical thought and let them figure out things on their own.

Professors are often punished for disrupting convention in informal ways, however. My case is interesting because administrators ignored the de facto standards that regulate our behavior and exercised their power directly. This should be worrisome to any scholar who isn’t a sycophant.

The coming of “academic capitalism” has been anticipated and praised for years; today it is here.
Benjamin Ginsberg points out that in the past 30 years, the administrator-to-student ratio has increased while the instructor-to-student ratio has stagnated. The rise of untenured, or non-tenure-track, faculty exacerbates the problem; a significant demographic in academe lacks job security or the working conditions that allow them to maximize their pedagogical talent. Over a recent 10-year period, spending on administration outpaced spending on instruction. At American universities, there are now more administrators and their staffers than full-time faculty. In the past 10 years, administrative salaries have steadily risen while custodians and groundskeepers suffer the inevitable budget cuts — as do the students whose tuition and fees supplement this largess.

When so much money is at stake, those who raid the budget have a deep interest in maintaining the reputation of the institution. Their privilege and the condition of the brand are causally related. The brand thus predominates. Its predominance often arrives at the expense of student well-being.

critical thinking is a terribly undesirable quality in the corporate world, much more damning than selfishness or sycophancy. Let us then be honest about critical thinking: On the tongues of cunning bureaucrats, it is little more than an additive to brand equity, the vainglorious pomp of smug, uptight automatons who like to use buzzwords in their PowerPoint presentations.

Critical thinking by faculty is even more undesirable. In research institutions, we are paid to generate prestige and to amass grant money; in teaching-centered colleges, we enjoy excess enrollments according to fine-tuned equations that maximize the student-teacher ratio. (In elite liberal-arts colleges, we pamper the kids with simulations of parental affection.) Critical thinking is especially harmful to adjuncts, reliant as they are for income on the munificence of well-paid bosses who cultivate a distended assemblage of expendable employees.

more on social media in this IMS blog:

social media and critical thinking

Does social media make room for critical thinking?

social media critical thinking

social media critical thinking

Sinprakob, S., & Songkram, N. (2015). A Proposed Model of Problem-based Learning on Social Media in Cooperation with Searching Technique to Enhance Critical Thinking of Undergraduate Students. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 174(International Conference on New Horizons in Education, INTE 2014, 25-27 June 2014, Paris, France), 2027-2030. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.871

Bailey, A. (2014). Teaching Alice Walker’s The Color Purple: Using Technology and Social Media To Foster Critical Thinking and Reflection. Virginia English Journal, 64(1), 17.

Eales-Reynolds, L., Gillham, D., Grech, C., Clarke, C., & Cornell, J. (2012). A study of the development of critical thinking skills using an innovative web 2.0 tool. Nurse Education Today, 32(7), 752-756. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2012.05.017

Baldino, S. (2014). The Classroom Blog: Enhancing Critical Thinking, Substantive Discussion, and Appropriate Online Interaction. Voices From The Middle, 22(2), 29.

Ravenscroft, A., Warburton, S., Hatzipanagos, S., & Conole, G. (2012). Designing and evaluating social media for learning: shaping social networking into social learning?. Journal Of Computer Assisted Learning, 28(3), 177-182. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2012.00484.x

finding ways to capture meaningful informal learning experiences by explicitly linking these to formal structures, and providing frameworks within which informal learning can then be validated and accredited (Cedefop Report 2007).

Education is clearly a social process but it is probably much closer to an ongoing discussion or debate than an extended celebration with an ever-expanding network of friends (p. 179, Ravenscroft et al.)

the community of inquiry (COI) model developed by Garrison and Anderson (2003) and social network analysis (SNA). European Commission-funded integrated

project called MATURE (Continuous Social Learning in Knowledge Networks), which is investigating how technology-mediated informal learning leads to improved knowledge practices in the digital workplace
Fitzgibbons, M. (2014). Teaching political science students to find and evaluate information in the social media flow. In I. Management Association, STEM education: Concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Retrieved from
Cheung, C. (2010). Web 2.0: Challenges and Opportunities for Media Education and Beyond. E-Learning And Digital Media, 7(4), 328-337.
Pattison, D. (2012). Participating in the Online Social Culture. Knowledge Quest, 41(1), 70-72.
Key to using social media is the ability to stand back and evaluate the credibility of a source of information, apart from the actual content. While developing this critical attitude toward traditional media is important, the attitude is even more crucial in the context of using social media because information didn’t go through the vetting process of formal publication. Can the student corroborate the information from multiple sources? How recent is this information? Are the author’s credentials appropriate? In other words, the ability to step back, to become aware of the metatext or metacontext is more important than ever.
Coad, D. T. (2013). Developing Critical Literacy and Critical Thinking through Facebook. Kairos: A Journal Of Rhetoric, Technology, And Pedagogy, 18(1).
Many instructors believe that writing on social networking sites undermines the rhetorical skills students learn in class because of the slang and abbreviations often used on these sites; such instructors may believe that social networks are the end of students’ critical awareness when they communicate. Johndan Johnson-Eilola and Stuart A. Selber (2009) contended that electronic writing forms actually require “sophisticated skills of understanding concrete rhetorical situations, analyzing audiences (and their goals and inclinations), and constructing concise, information-laden texts, as a part of a dynamic, unfolding, social process” (p. 18). It is this dynamic process that makes social networking a perfect match for the composition classroom and for teaching rhetorical skills: It helps students see how communication works in real, live rhetorical situations. Many students do not believe that communication in these media requires any kind of valuable literacy skills because they buy into the myth of how the news media portray social networks as valueless forms of communication that are decaying young people’s minds. This is why I introduced students to the passage from Invisible Man: to get them thinking about what kinds of skills they learn on Facebook. I found the text useful for helping them acknowledge the skills they are building in these writing spaces.
Stuart A. Selber (2004) in Multiliteracies for a Digital Age criticized so-called computer literacy classes for having “focused primarily on data representations, numbering systems, operating systems, file formats, and hardware and software components” rather than on the task of teaching students to be “informed questioners of technology” (p. 74). In a time when, as Sheelah M. Sweeny (2010) noted, “the ability to stay connected with others is constant,” it is increasingly important to engage composition students in critical thinking about the spaces they write in (p. 121). It is becoming clearer, as technology giants such as Google® and Apple® introduce new technologies, that critical literacy and critical thinking about technology are necessary for our students’ futures.
Valentini, C. (2015). Is using social media “good” for the public relations profession? A critical reflection. Public Relations Review, 41(2), 170-177. doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2014.11.009
p. 172 there is no doubt that digital technologies and social media have contributed to a major alteration in people’s interpersonal communications and relational practices. Inter- personal communications have substantially altered, at least in Western and developed countries, as a result of the culture of increased connectivity that has emerged from social media’s engineering sociality ( van Dijck, 2013 ), which allows anyone to be online and to connect to others. Physical presence is no longer a precondition for interpersonal communication.
(Jiping) The Pew Research Center ( Smith & Duggan, 2013 , October 21) indicates that one in every ten American adults has used an online dating site or mobile dating app to seek a partner, and that in the last eight years the proportion of Americans who say that they met their current partner online has doubled. Another study conducted by the same organization ( Lenhart & Duggan, 2014 , February 11) shows that 25% of married or partnered adults who text, have texted their partner while they were both home together, that 21% of cell-phone owners or internet users in a committed relationship have felt closer to their spouse or partner because of exchanges they had online or via text message. Another 9% of adults have resolved online or by text message an argument with their partner that they were having difficulty resolving person to person ( Lenhart & Duggan, 2014 , February 11). These results indicate that digital technologies are not simply tools that facilitate communications: they have a substantial impact on the way humans interact and relate to one another. In other words, they affect the dynamics of interpersonal relations

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