Top 10 ed-tech stories of 2013, No. 9: Social media

“Flipped” and adaptive learning programs gained traction on campus. A high-profile internet hoax involving a college athlete propelled the term “catfishing” into the public consciousness. MOOCs hit some key stumbling blocks, while the notion of a college degree became more fluid.


These were some of the key ed-tech developments affecting colleges and universities in the past year—and we’ve got a full recap for you right here.

In this special all-digital publication, the editors of eCampus News highlight what we think are the 10 most significant higher-education technology stories of 2013.

To learn how these stories have made an impact on colleges and universities this year—and how they’ll continue to shape higher education in 2014 and beyond—read on.

9. Social media continues to alter the higher-ed landscape—while also challenging campus leaders.

Colleges and universities have further expanded their use of social media in the past year, both in the classroom and in administrative offices.

In the classroom, more professors have incorporated social media as a key instructional tool, aiming to reach a new generation of students where their interests lie. For instance, while many professors ban tweeting and texting in class, Temple University instructor Jordan Shapiro encourages it to broaden discussion. What’s more, he counts it as classroom participation—and he often tweets back.

Still, Shapiro’s example is more the exception than the rule. While a survey of 8,000 faculty members by Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson found that 70 percent of faculty use social media for personal purposes, just four in 10 say they use social media in the classroom.

In campus administrative offices, as in the classroom, social media are used to engage and inform. College recruiters say their first contact with prospective students typically occurs through social media, and University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono is among the campus leaders who are using Twitter to lessen the distance between themselves and their “constituents.”

eCampus News Staff