No, I am not kidding. While taking classes at UNI, my eyes have been opened to the possibilities social media offers the higher education classroom. I know some of the instructors I work with have already started to embrace this semi new world of social media in education. Lisa Williams at Kirkwood Community College connects with her student via Facebook. In her opinion, the students are already there so why not give them the important information from her class on that site. I agree that a closed Facebook group is a great way to communicate due date reminders and other announcements with today’s students, but I think we could be doing so much more. Why not tweet with students and challenge them to tweet with each other? Tweeting makes students really think about what is important in their message because the character number is very limited. Help them build critical thinking skills, technology skills and a sense of community all with a social media platform that so many of them are already using for non educational reasons. The faculty focus blog I was recently reading encourages instructors to integrate social media into their teaching. I like how the blog points out that social media can go beyond just posting announcements. It is truly an opportunity to build relationships and build a stronger community, between faculty and students and between the students themselves.
Here is a fun little fact. Did you know companies like KFC do not read through thousands of essays anymore to decide who is going to receive their scholarships? Heck no! It just takes one tweet to earn cash for college! CNN covered the story. By the time your students graduate, how many of them do you think will apply for at least one job that will require some kind of tweet, maybe even a resume posted to twitter?