Academic Uses of Social Media

I can’t remember how but (It was via Joss Winn’s shared Google Reader posts – which makes this post somewhat circular) a link to a recent Harvard University seminar on Academic Uses of Social Media: Exploring 21st Century Communications ended up in my in tray via John Naughton’s Memex 1.1 blog.

I always find it interesting to view how other academics are addressing social media so to find a recording of the panel session which was packed to the gunnels with noted American academics talking about their own uses of social media got my attention.

The speaker who I found most engaging was Nancy Koehn (@nancykoehn) Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School. Nancy did a great job in setting the scene highlighting the importance of social media in a wider context (business and humanitarian), but also that the pace of technological change is now so fast that it requires a lot of rapid fire experimentation to discover the best processes or tools to support learning.

This aligns closely to my own thinking and in my own research, increasingly I find my focus is around the rapid development of tools to support all aspects of teaching and learning.

This leaves me wondering do institutions have the framework or capacity for these ‘zero day hacks’ which are increasingly becoming necessary to align teaching and learning with what is going on out there in the wider world. With so many institutions tightening the screw on learning support units I fear that their not getting the bigger picture.

There are however some exceptions. For example, if you haven’t already I strongly encourage you to read about University of Lincoln’s LCND group which for very little money is supporting staff AND students who “wish to contribute to the rapid innovation of appropriate technology for education at the university”. Read more in Joss Winn’s Technology for education: A new group post.

Here is my annotation of the Academic Uses of Social Media video (here’s the original). Feel free to add your own comments.

[utitle mode=2 comment=yes]_OdaDJ2PLmQ[/utitle]

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