How to use social media to engage Gen Z in class and beyond

Colleges need to have a savvy social-media presence to attract and hold Generation Z’s attention as well as to address their academic, personal, and career needs. To reach students, colleges must develop effective digital tactics both inside and outside the classroom.

And to reach Gen Z where they live, you need to use their favorite platforms—Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, says Nicole Kraft, who teaches journalism at Ohio State University, which ranks sixth in BestColleges.com’s Stars of Social Media Colleges 2018.

Using social media in class
According to Kraft, professors need to teach students how to use platforms properly before giving assignments. “Just because students have been using social media for much of their lives doesn’t mean they know the right way to use it,” she says.…Read More

How to use social media for classroom assignments

Social media is embedded in our culture. Online users regularly visit multiple sites each day to interact with their online community of family and friends, post and distribute content, and consume information. Social media sites are databases where our students go to communicate before and during class sessions. Since our students are using the platforms regularly, I wanted to find a way to integrate social media assignments and interactivity within my courses.

Even though students regularly use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites to review a funny meme, watch a new reality series, re-tweet the latest celebrity news, or post pictures, they may not want to connect with their instructor away from the classroom on a platform they use as their daily communication tool. According to a report published for Pew Internet Research, 4 percent of teenagers said that learning new information was a positive influence of using social media according. Communicating with family and friends, interactivity, expression, and entertainment were much more important to young adults when using social media. Therefore, it is imperative for faculty to look for ways to use social media in the classroom so that students learn to use the sites as a tool for learning, engagement, and discussion of course content. Here are some things that have worked for me.

1. Start slowly by building community.
If you immediately add social media to your course, students may not feel comfortable connecting with you or they may not want to create an additional social media profile just for your course. First, build community with your program and content by introducing the idea of social media without requiring assignments or evaluation. Facebook lets you create Groups that provide an environment to discuss ideas and issues and share content. Create a Facebook Group and invite students to share articles, photos, opinions, and other forms of content relating to the discipline. A Facebook Group will help your students become comfortable interacting with you while learning new material that relates to the classroom discussion. Additionally, you can use the Group to show potential new students the type of issues and subjects your courses cover.…Read More

5 must-follow higher education Twitter accounts

eCampus News staff recommends following these prolific Twitter users for unique insights in higher education and technology

twitter-higher-educationWhether you already have a passion for education technology and are just looking for more sources of information, or if you are just beginning to take interest in higher education technology, there is always new information to learn.

Fortunately, education technology experts flood Twitter with new content everyday; however, with so much information it can be hard to decide who is best to follow. So once you have followed @eCampusNews check out some of these essential ed-tech influencers to stay up-to-date with the latest ed-tech news:

(Next page: Who to follow on Twitter)…Read More

Top MOOC experts to follow on Twitter

twitter
Top MOOC experts include Sebastian Thrun.

A simple search for massive open online courses (MOOCs) on Twitter will deliver a torrent of information, from headlines to insight to strong opinions on MOOCs, one of the most divisive issues in higher education.

Perusing Twitter in search of MOOC news is a bit like drinking from a waterfall: overwhelming.

That’s why eCampus News staffers have assembled a list of educators, technologists, policy experts and campus officials on Twitter who provide the latest news and insight into MOOCs and how these courses are evolving and changing the higher-ed landscape.…Read More

Oceanographer touts deep sea web surfing

Researchers and students can see what Ballard sees through the new Nautilus Live web site.
Students can see what Ballard sees through the new Nautilus Live web site.

Bob Ballard, the explorer best known for the discovery of the Titanic and other wrecks, has not only made deep-sea exploration more accessible for K-12 and college students, but he’ll feed them updates through two of their favorite web sites: Facebook and Twitter.

Ballard visited the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration in Connecticut June 23 to introduce his new Nautilus Live Theater, along with a new web site where people can watch his expeditions live.

“The idea is to have millions of people follow these expeditions,” said Peter Glankoff, the aquarium’s senior vice president of marketing and public affairs.…Read More

Software helps schools monitor athletes’ postings

Athletes' tweets have rubbed some college coaches the wrong way.
Athletes' tweets have rubbed some college coaches the wrong way.

Last fall, before he got fired, Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach banned his Red Raiders from using Twitter after a player tweeted that his coach had been late to a team meeting.

Twitter and Facebook were “stupid” distractions, Leach said, and only narcissists want to “type stuff about themselves all the time.”

Yet, that’s what tens of thousands of college athletes are doing—sending a flood of mostly inane and meaningless chatter that sometimes includes something of interest either to their school or the NCAA. Finding those comments can be overwhelming—but schools now have an app that can do it.…Read More

How colleges can drive traffic to their web sites

Colleges should closely track their web site's "bounce rate," Joly said.
Colleges should closely track their web site's "bounce rate," Joly said.

Digital marketing guru Karine Joly told a group of college technology officials June 8 that it’s time for them to stop relying on gut instincts when devising ways to increase web traffic and start relying on data that can attract prospective students online.

Joly spoke during a morning session at the annual EduComm conference in Las Vegas, where 800 campus IT officials and staffers attended workshops and keynotes addressing the latest in education technology. The conference ended June 9.

Joly, founder of Higher Ed Experts, an online service offering professional development, released a survey in May showing that three out of four university IT officials said they spent fewer than two hours a week on web analytics, or studying their school’s web site traffic, including who is visiting the site and which search words guide them to the site.…Read More

Colleges click the ‘like’ button on social media classes

Drury University students can earn three credits if they complete the new Social Media Certification Program.
Drury University students can earn three credits if they complete the new Social Media Certification Program.

From public relations in social media to the potential marketing power of “mommy bloggers,” colleges and universities are offering graduate-level certificates focusing on the business side of Twitter, Facebook, and a host of other sites that draw Americans from every demographic.

Social media courses have sprung up on college campuses as social media web sites—once seen as a virtual playground for bored college students—have become central to marketing campaigns, branding items, and communication with customers, group members, and alumni, for example.

Drury University in Springfield, Mo., announced this month that it would join a handful of schools nationwide offering social media certificates geared for graduate students and business professionals hoping to learn the latest in Facebook and Twitter-based marketing and how search engine optimization can bring more web users to a company’s web site.…Read More

Are today’s students addicted to social media?

One-third of teens surveyed said they send more than 100 texts every day.
One-third of teens surveyed said they send more than 100 texts every day.

University of Maryland students who went 24 hours without TV, cell phones, MP3 players, and laptops during a recent study reported symptoms you might expect from someone struggling with substance abuse, including an “unbearable” need for electronic communication, persistent anxiety, and a frantic “craving for some technology.” The study’s findings have prompted some observers to ask: Are today’s students addicted to technology—and if so, what implications might this have for education?

The university’s International Center for Media & the Public Agenda (ICMPA) on April 21 released the findings of its study, “24 Hours: Unplugged,” which had 200 undergraduates go without access to any form of media for one day, even requiring study participants to leave their dormitory if a roommate was watching TV.

The students blogged about their technology detox afterward and compiled more than 100,000 words on the study’s web site, roughly the length of a 400-page novel. Responses varied from aggravation to frustration to isolation, which was especially keen for students without access to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, or the ability to send dozens of text messages throughout the day.…Read More

Social media: Colleges’ newest battlefield for students, alumni donations

Seventy percent of higher-ed officials say colleges should engage students using social media.
Seventy percent of higher-ed officials say colleges should engage students using social media.

Colleges’ unending campaign to attract more students and alumni donations has higher-education officials looking to two technologies that consume a growing chunk of people’s free time: social media and video games.

University admissions officers are fielding prospective students’ application questions on Facebook and keeping alumni up to date with multiple daily tweets that could grow campus coffers if graduates feel more connected to their alma maters.

Some colleges lure potential students with walking, talking digital characters, or avatars, that guide visitors through an application process that sometimes frustrates prospective students and results in hundreds of unfinished online applications.…Read More