The “Weekly Wrap Up” post is published every Friday and highlights the concluding week’s activities and events through text, images and video. I hope you enjoy and encourage you to subscribe via RSS and/or Email.
Each week I try to participate in as many Twitter chats as I can. One such conversation is #SMCEDU, hosted by the Social Media Club Education Connection. The #SMCEDU project “seeks to ensure that graduates from any college/university are media literate and are able to completely understand and apply the emerging lessons from social media in organizations.”
The weekly Twitter chat is held on Mondays at 12:30PM ET. I recommend logging into Twitter via TweetChat.com and following the hashtag #SMCEDU.
This week’s discussion evolved from the following question: “Is fear of failure stopping progress?” More specifically, are school administrators too frightened by unknown social media tools to adopt them as technological aids in new pedagogies?
I personally believe that social media can play an important role in education. In addition to improvements in hardware manufacturing, like the soon to be released Kno tablet, many institutions are beginning to adopt new technology to increase classroom participation and encourage conversation.
Dr. Monica Rankin, a professor of History at the University of Texas at Dallas has introduced social media into her lecture. Students have found the new format to be quite engaging, encouraging many of them to continue classroom led discussions over the weekend through services such as Twitter and Facebook. Dr. Rankin has found that allowing her students the ability to ask questions during class through Twitter to be very valuable.
Lectures with over 100 students do not enable individual voices to be heard. Individual students may not feel comfortable asking a question in such a large group, or may not be given the opportunity. By allowing them to post questions to a projector in the front of the classroom (via Twitter), Dr. Rankin has enabled fellow classmates the ability to answer their peer’s questions, while not asking any of her students to leave their comfort zones – what generation Y student hasn’t posted a status update?!
See the students’ views on the innovative teaching technique:
Dr. Rankin is not the only professor to adopt new technology into her classroom. Purdue University has recently launched a platform aimed at merging online conversation with classroom discussion. “Hotseat, a social networking-powered mobile Web application, creates a collaborative classroom, allowing students to provide near real-time feedback during class and enabling professors to adjust the course content and improve the learning experience. Students can post messages to Hotseat using their Facebook or Twitter accounts, sending text messages, or logging in to the Hotseat Web site.”
Don’t you wish we could use our cell phones in class!