Educational Technology Consulting, LLC
Using Social Media in the Classroom
Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, family, and colleagues. As of September 2012, Facebook has over one billion active users, more than half of them using Facebook on a mobile device. Twitter has caught fire across many professional fields as well as personally. Twitter offers new and exciting ways to open up the lines of communication and to build community. Twitter, the popular micro-blogging site, publishes online messages with a maximum of 140 characters. Currently, Twitter has an estimated 4.1 million visits to the site and climbing per month in the U.S. alone. It is considered to be the fastest growing social network, and is one of the most viral social media tools freely available.
Step 1: What's your objective? Both Facebook and Twitter can be terrific tools for any of the objectives listed below. Which one will help enhance your course? •
Keep students engaged
Inspire conversation outside of the traditional classroom
Conduct polls and surveys
Share resources for a course
LAST UPDATED: 3/18/2013 2:11 PM
Discovering Content From learning how to use social media sites to finding useful information for work to practicing a foreign language, Twitter and facebook provides creative opportunities for learning.
Step 2: Who is the target audience you hope to reach? • • •
Social media (Facebook and Twitter) is an audience of influencers - activists, journalists, early tech adopters, listeners, bloggers, politicians, etc. Users have influencers in other channels and generates word of mouth Social media allows your students to connect with individuals in their field of study.
Step 3: Getting Started
Post updates/what’s happening
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Find topics by (hash)tag
Enter your message ( 150 characters)
Enter your message ( 150 characters)
current trends by (hash)tag • • • • • •
Think about how you will integrate social media into your routine. Decide whether you want to create a “course” account or use your personal social media account. Share the workload – allow students to post Sign up for a free account and fill out your profile by adding an image and bio and include a link to your course site. Read and write messages on the web or send messages to your phone or mobile client. Decide what works best for you. "Protect” your status updates or keep them "open." There are pros/cons to each.
Step 4: Your Profile 1. Take a look at different educator profiles to get inspiration and ideas. 2. Here are some design points: Create a custom Background/ Picture: Use the same colors that you have on your course or school website for consistency. Include an “Interesting Fact” on your background image or bullet points about your course or tag line. Location: Under the “Account” tab within the “Settings” area, enter your real name, city and state. This way, students and colleagues will be more likely to find you. page 3 of 9
One line bio: Write a bio that’s under seven words so students get to know you better.
Step 5: Develop Content Strategy • • • • •
If you plan to post 5 tweets/updates per day that’s 35 tweets a week. Decide when and what to post. You can save time by pre-scheduling tweets (using Hootsuite), but leave time to respond in real time. Begin with brainstorming some conversation starters around your course or program of study. Conversation starters are questions, follow up points, and follow up content. Consider What Gets Retweeted Most Often?
Course Content Assignments/Activities Related programs, events, etc. Next think about sharing other people's content, useful links, or having conversations page 4 of 9
with influencers. Here's a check list that can help:
Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Weekend Retweet Your Followers Share a link to news relevant to your field w/question Share a link to news relevant to your field w/summary of best point Inspirational quote Something funny Ask questions Introduce people in your network Answer questions Ask an industry expert a question or retweet Find an influencer in your network and be nice to them
Step 6: Enhance Your Course Through Social Media 1. Invite your students to follow you on Twitter. Start with posting a few course related topics. Then try retweeting course related resources, topics or events from other experts in the field. 2. Have conversations with influencers in your topic area. How to find influencers? Use Friend or Follow to download a spreadsheet of your followers and analyze who is influential.
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3. Once you've found people, keep them organized on Twitter's handy list feature. You can create open or closed lists. Create lists of people you find interesting. This helps you organize non-specific course topics that you may want to tweet to students. 4. Use the Twitter Search: Simple key word searches can yield valuable information. However, sometimes you'll need to hone your search using the "Advanced Search. A few minutes spent with key word searches may yield some good hashtags to search. 6. Participate in hashtag # referenced conversations or start your own conversation using a hashtag (#). 7. Be sure to track your click throughs and retweets with bit.ly and backtype.
Step 7: Add Twitter Apps To Be Efficient There is a whole ecosystem of Twitter applications that can make your Twitter work more effective. These include desktop apps, mobile apps, and tracking apps. Desktop applications built for Twitter allow you to read replies and direct messages and offer a more custom browsing experience. My personal favorites are Tweetdeck and CoTweet (a good client if you can't install software on your work computer because it is web based.) Mobile applications built for Twitter allow you to tweet while you are out and about. Choosing a mobile app depends on your personal preference and of course, what phone you have.
Step 8: Advanced Engagement Techniques 1. Use hashtags for assignments. If you are using an LMS (i.e. Blackboard) discussion board forum, allow your students to participate in the discussion through twitter. Create your own hashtag, post a question and ask students to respond using the hashtag. Sample: March 18, 2013 Discussion: What do you think of Koreaâ€™s threat on the U.S.? #koreathreatPOSC401 2. You can also host different online/offline events through Twitter such as live events, tweetups, interviews and tweetchats. page 6 of 9
Step 9: Measure, Reflect, and Improve Twitalyzer calculates your influence based on your signal-to-noise ratio, generosity, velocity and clout, and it also allows you to calculate a score for any other Twitter user you wish to track. You're tracking relative increases and decreases to your influence over time and helps you refine Twitter strategies. Don't forget to track the funnel - from influencers, awareness, engagement and conversations.
Twitter Vocabulary @reply: The @reply means a Twitter update (a tweet) that is directed to another user in reply to their update. An @reply will be saved in the user's "Replies" tab. Replies are sent either by clicking the 'reply' icon next to an update or typing @ username message (e.g., @user I saw that movie too). BFN: Short for "bye for now." direct message (DM): Short for direct message, it is the function of the Twitter service that enables you to send a private message (direct message) to a person you are following. F2F: An acronym used on Twitter that means "face to face." Follower / following: On Twitter, blogs, and other social media sites, a follower is someone who subscribes to receives your updates. On the Twitter Web site "following" someone means you will see their messages in your own personal timeline. Twitter lets you see all the people you follow and also who is following you. FollowFriday (FF, or #followfriday): On Twitter, FollowFriday is a recommendation. It is used to call attention to a user's favorite followers and favorite people on Twitter. When you tweet a FF message, you are recommending that your followers also check out the people you mention in your post. When you send a FollowFriday message, you include #followfriday in your update so it can can be searched for using that hash tag. friendapalooza: A slang term used to describe a situation in which a twitterer adds many friends within a short time period.
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Hash tag: A hash tag or hashtag is a way of organizing your updates for Twitter search engines. Users prefix a message with a community-driven hash tag to enable others to discover relevant posts. One commonly used hash tag on Twitter is #followfriday where users network by providing the names of their favorite people to follow on Twitter. microblog: A type of blog that lets users publish short text updates. Bloggers can usually use a number of service for the updates including instant messaging, e-mail, or Twitter. The posts are called micro posts, while the act of using these services to update your blog is called microblogging. Retweet: Abbreviated as RT, retweet is used on Twitter to show you are tweeting something that was posted by another user. The format is RT @username where username is the Twitter name of the person you are retweeting. TFTF: Twitter shorthand for "thanks for the follow." Slang term used to describe selling (or promoting) an eBay item on Twitter. Tweeple: Meaning Twitter people. It is used to refer to or describe Twitter users. Tweet: Describes a Twitter update. A tweet is basically whatever you type into the Web box to answer that question, using 140 characters or less. People tweet personal messages, random thoughts, post links, or anything else that fits in the character requirements. tweetaholic: The term used to describe someone who has a problematic addiction to Twitter. tweeter: Refers to a person who send tweets on the Twitter service (same as Twitterer). Twitosphere: An expression used to describe the "World of Twitter." twitterati: Slang term that refers to 'A-list' Twitter users. Twitterer: Refers to a person who send tweets on the Twitter service. Twitterfly: A social butterfly on Twitter. A Twitterfly uses the @ sign in many messages, showing they have a lot of Twitter friends to talk with or mention in their updates. Twitter-ific: Short for "Twitter" and "terrific." It is a slang term used to describe something terrific you find on Twitter. Twitter Tools page 8 of 9
These tools will help you use Twitter more efficiently so you can make the most of what it has to offer and it doesn’t take up too much of your valuable time. • Twhirl. This desktop client helps manage your Twitter experience through such helpful features as URL shortening, new message notifications, image posting, and more. • QuoteURL. A great tool for summarizing a Twitter project, this tool will put different Tweets together on one page. • TwitPic. This app lets you share photos on Twitter, which can be useful for sharing visuals in class projects. • Tweetree. Put your Tweets in context with this app that groups entire conversations together. • bit.ly. Shorten URLs so that you use fewer characters when sharing web links with this tool. • TwitterNotes. This app makes it simple to keep private notes for yourself among your Tweets. • TweetScan. Get Tweets emailed to you based on keywords you select with this tool. • TweetDeck. This app allows you to create groups of Tweets to better manage all the information you receive. • TweetGrid. Create a customized search dashboard to facilitate your Twitter searches with this tool. • TwitterFone. For those on the go, this tool allows you to leave a voice message that will be turned into a Tweet. • Tweet Later. For reminders and announcements, use this app to write Tweets that you can schedule for posting in the future. Reference: http://social-media-lab.wikispaces.com/Twitter+Tip+Sheet+for+Experiments
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