Top-10 Questions to Consider When Implementing Social Media

Perspectives of Different Campuses: Shannon Ritter, Coordinator of Auditions, Interviews, and Admissions, School of Theatre, The Pennsylvania State University, Tanya Joosten,Interim Associate Director, Learning Technology Center, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, AJ Kelton, Director, Emerging Instructional Tech, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Montclair State University

Interactive learning rooom
The interactive conference space at educause10

Grr, due to stupid laptop problem I lost all my notes from this session ūüôĀ – blame windows update and rubbish battery.

Anyway, so trying to remember my notes with the help of the twitter feed:)

Would recommend Tanya Joosten’s blog at and the edusocmedia project ¬†at

Will try to get copy of the presentation – maybe someone will send me some notes via twitter, shame I didn’t blog on the fly which is what I was going to do.

Some of the top 10 questions are given here:

1.) What is the definition of social media?

No experts of gurus, we are all learning. Citation from Boyd and Ellison (2007) describe “web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system” (para 4). See

2.) How is your campus implementing social media?

Not about control, got to be grassroots. Find out what is going on in faculty areas – innovators and early adopters. If you control message, is not a conversation, different form of communication and is not social media.

3.) What are the costs associated with implementing the use of social media for faculty, staff, and students?

Technically free, but staff time to use it. ¬†Took about a year of using twitter and facebook for Tanya to feel confident about running sessions on this for staff. Now run 90 minute sessions which get start well up to speed on twitter and facebook. Then let them go and use it for themselves. Can’t teach people to use it as it is about culture. There are no gurus or experts with social media – we are all learning.

4.) What can students, instructors and administrators do with social media?

Communication, information, discipline specific. Varietyof uses, find those out on your campus. Engagement.  Improve information when first arrive on campus, induction etc. 1) Use it often, 2) Keep content simple. 3) Keep usage simple, 4) Keep it open

5.) How do we teach students and faculty to use social media appropriately?

What does “appropriately” mean? Means different things for different people. ¬†Not about control – like raising children you have to let them go. Show them what can do, then don’t try to lock down or control as is about communication and conversation.

6.) Do students want it?

Yes! Talked about creepy treehouse phenomenon – see¬† – but although students may not want you to be there “friends” they DO want information in their space and engagement in their space. So can use things like fan pages rather than befriending all your students.

7.) What concerns should we have about privacy in our use of social media?

Tanya- everything public, encourage staff not to lock down tweets or worry too much about privacy as social media is supposed to be public. BUT, we should be aware that providers are not there to project our identity. Everything we publish on the web, stays on the web. So we should publish with caution. Idea that if you wouldn’t put it in an email, shouldn’t put on web. ¬†Need to question and think about usage. Particularly if rolling this out across the campus.

8.) How do we evaluate the impact of social media?

Impact is difficult, have to think about what doing – what are objectives and outcomes and evaluate these, not evaluate the technology. Think about pedagogy. Ask simple questions – what did you like about it, what would you like to improve? Other ideas on social media websites listed above. Tools changing rapidly so need to not focus on technology eg two years ago not as much twitter usage.

9.) What are some best practices in using social media?

Using it and modelling the way important. Making sure it is about the pedagogy and not the technology. Look for innovators and use them to promote social media for/with you.

Know your audience, be careful of cross posting – eg brizzly posting on fb/twitter – could alienate people. Think about who you communicating with and if you wouldn’t write it in an email, don’t post it on social media.

Talk about everything you are doing – put on blogs, put on discussion lists etc, print timelines can be too slow but use other media. And collaborate.

10). Questions from us

Great session, informative and some good ideas. Felt inspired afterwards to do more with my blog etc.

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