Marcus Messner and Jeff South and Learning with Social Media at VCU – Teaching, Learning and Technology

“Marcus Messner and Jeff South and Learning with Social Media at VCU  – Teaching, Learning and Technology” – Virginia Commonwealth University Centre for Teaching Excellence. [Available on iTunes]

  • Ran a course that combined US and Iraqi students to create a marketing campaign for Not-For-Profit organisations and implement that (with feedback from around the world
  • Social media as a medium we cannot control – students can contribute whatever they want on Twitter etc and we may or may not know. Backchannel to our teaching.
  • Social Media as software that we can comment on, build upon the contributions of others. Critical feature is that they enable community building.
  • Grey boundaries. Is Youtube Social Media? Interestingly, Twitter don’t feel that they are Social Media – they think they are a headlines service.
  • Need to get purpose right. Who is the audience? What is the message? Not about most friends but best impact.
  • Obvious need to teach students about how to negotiate Social Media in their field – avoid establishing a profile that could cause self-harm. Understanding how to manage privacy settings. How to access information and professional communities with Social Media. But also how to use Social Media positively, to establish a positive image on the web, and sell their Social Media savvy which may be valuable to employees.
  • It is impossible to know what Social Media will be relevant in two years, so it is critical to teach students the principles of working with Social Media rather than the platforms.

Also check the following article:

Charlotte N. Gunawardena, Mary Beth Hermans, Damien Sanchez, Carol Richmond, Maribeth Bohley & Rebekah Tuttle (2009): A theoretical framework for building online communities of practice with social networking tools, Educational Media International, 46:1, 3-16. To link to this article:

About matthewbower

Professor at Macquarie University.
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