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Another Take: Seeds of Possibility in Higher Education

This week, I’m completing our first featured Take Two.  For more info on Take Two and to read the first post, check out Shannon‘s blog entry last week, Take Two: Seeds of Possibility in Higher Education.

“Right beneath the surface are seeds of possibility, if conditions are fertile people will flourish and grow.” Sir Ken Robinson

Much like Shannon, I found Sir Ken Robinson quite inspirational.  In fact, I’ve already blogged about my reflections on his thought that the current education system often stunts creativity.  Last week, Shannon shared that this quote got her thinking about some of the big picture challenges facing higher education and how social media can help us all address them.  Maybe it’s because I’m rethinking social strategies I manage, or maybe it’s the Northeast heat wave (who knows), but this week, the quote has me thinking about the potential for increasing engagement using social media on both sides of the higher ed divide: curricular and extra-curricular.  Let’s take a closer look.

1.) Research says: it’s time to promote, not prohibit, social for the classroom.

In the 1 credit course that I teach on social networking, I’ve given my students the option to use Twitter and a class hashtag to count for the course participation part of their grade.  With the summer off from teaching, I’ve been reviewing my syllabus and evaluating each class session to determine what I need to tweak and upgrade.  Given that social changes in an instant, I know this is a must.  Well, I found some inspiration on the blog of Dr. Rey Junco in the form of his post on Twitter’s positive impact on the educational experience.  I urge you to click the link and read that entry, but just in case you want the Cliff Notes version, the researchers found that students who took to Twitter to discuss their classes were more engaged and had better grades.  Next semester, Twitter just might be a requirement in my course.  Talk about possibility!

hashtag-for-class1-6542249

Research has shown that requiring Twitter for education improves student engagement and grades. Imagine that!

2.) Outside the classroom, the entire campus community can be involved to increase your university’s profile online.

Yes, that really does mean everyone, from the university president to the MBA Admissions team to current students participating in a flash mob.  From my experience, I’ve found that getting students involved in the process at several points in the planning and implementation of a social campaign is critical.  Not only will they feed you fantastic ideas or elevate what you’ve already started, they’ll also save you from making any campaign-killing social mistakes.

Do you have examples of social media engagement inside or outside the classroom?  Don’t be shy – tell us about it and let’s continue to spread the social revolution!

By Kevin

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