Assignment #3: Social Media Reflection

=> Link for Assignment #3  due on November 22nd

Assignment #3 is a social media reflection, based on work you have done over the past several weeks.

You have two options for Assignment #3 — a Social Media & Digital Identity reflection or a Creativity and Collaboration reflection. Please read the options carefully and contact me if you have any questions. Post a tweet to @CT231, send a DM, or email me directly.

Week 7: Student-staff Twitter chat

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This week we engaged in an online conversation with NUI Galway academic staff taking the #cel263 Learning Technologies module to share ideas about openness in higher education. We engaged in conversation via a Twitter chat and were joined online by several others interested in this topic, including participants in the #iCollab project.

In CT231 we have been exploring social media, digital identities and privacy, as have been the lecturers taking #cel263. We met online for a 30-minute Twitter chat during our CT231 class, to share ideas about the advantages and risks of openness in higher education, including the use of open social media tools for learning and teaching. Over the course of about half an hour, we discussed openness, collaboration, privacy, boundaries, using Facebook and Twitter, power dynamics in higher education, and more.

Here’s a summary of our Twitter chat, curated using Storify.

John Davitt has described Twitter as “a tool for anarchic learning and peer support”. While it is often challenging to follow ideas in the chaos of a lively Twitter chat, conversations often develop, threads emerge, and connections are made. In our chat, many of these become visible when the chat was reviewed and curated, as illustrated in the Storify above. Engaging in a Twitter chat while sitting in a room with others (as we did in our CT231 class), gave us an opportunity to discuss the Twitter chat before, during and after it took place. The post-chat discussion was especially valuable, with many in the room sharing honestly about their fears and reservations, as well as their expectations and learning.

Advantages and disadvantages were highlighted for both Blackboard (as representative of VLEs, or Virtual Learning Environments) and open tools like social media. Perhaps, in higher education, we are moving towards more hybrid learning environments, where the relative advantages of both VLEs and open tools can be used to create multi-faceted learning environments, where student voices play a greater role.

We will continue to explore these issues within our class. CT231 students will have opportunities to develop and reflect on these experiences and ideas throughout the module — much of this will be aggregated via the hashtags #ct231 (for our module) and #icollab (as part of the larger #iCollab project), and shared here in our course blog and later in the  CT231 Student Showcase.

Social media survey

To start the 2013-14 academic year, 2nd year Professional Skills students completed a Social Media Survey so that we could get a snapshot of what social media we use, how we use it, and when. Here are the results (n = 52 students).

Figure 1. Device usage

Chart - Device use

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Figure 2. Smartphone operating system

Chart - Smartphone OS

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An  interesting counterpoint to this: CELT data for 4,467 Blackboard users at NUI Galway (students and staff) in September 2013 shows a different breakdown of Android/iOS operating systems. Our Professional Skills class found this interesting, but not altogether surprising. (Thanks to Sharon Flynn for sharing this data.)

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Figure 3. What social media/social networks do you use?

Chart - social network usage 2In

In addition to the applications listed above, several respondents listed other social media applications which they use. Those listed were: Viber, Raptr, Steam, Vine, GitHub, Torrent, StumbleUpon, Teamspeak, Boards.ie, Mydeal.ie, and PSN 2.

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Figure 4. What time(s) of day do you use social media most?

Chart - Time of Day

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Figure 5. How much time per day do you spend using social media?

Hours per day

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Figure 6. How do you use social media in general?

Chart - Social media use - general

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Figure 7. How do you use social media for learning?

Chart - Social media use - learning

Week 2: Search | Digital identity | Social media

Today in class we explored research and search skills, considered the concept of digital identity, and had a lively discussion about social media — including why and how we use various social networks. The following short presentation was used to start off our class discussion.

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i) Research Skills: Search

During the course of this term, you will research an IT topic, share some of your sources in a crowd-sourced Annotated Bibliography, and write a report. So how do you begin researching your topic? Most people in class said they’d begin with Google.  However, we discussed a variety of additional search and research skills in class which will help you to focus your research:

  • Google
    • Search tools (under Settings icon) to refine your search
    • Advance Search (under Settings icon) to hone your search terms and deepen your search
    • Google Scholar (under More and Even More, or directly from scholar.google.com) to search scholarly articles only
    • Library Links — add NUI Galway library (within Google Scholar, under Settings icon) so you can access many articles & databases directly
  • Beyond Google
    • Use other search engines (e.g. Bing, Duck Duck Go, etc.)
    • Use the NUI Galway Library to search a huge range of journals & databases. Check out the huge range of Support available at the Library for students.

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ii) Digital Identity

This week we also began exploring the idea of digital identity — basically, everything by and about us online. Have you Googled yourself lately? What about searching for your name on other search engines, besides Google? I asked everyone to do this before we meet again next week. See what you can find about yourself online, think about what you find, and think about what you’d like to be there in just over 2.5 years when you graduate with your BSc degree. Part of your work in the course will be to take a proactive approach to your digital identity.

We watched this Social Media Revolution video in class. This is about brands… are you a brand online?

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iii) Social Media

Thanks to everyone for completing the Social Media Survey re: your use of social media. I’ll share the results next week.

We began our discussion in class by identifying the top social networks used by everyone and then selected 4 of these to explore in more depth. In small groups, we discussed how and why we use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Linked In. These responses are shown below (click photos to enlarge):

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We’ll be using Twitter for class so it’s up to you whether you’d like to use your existing Twitter account (if you have one!) or whether you’d like to create a new account. Be sure to think about your profile name, bio and photo or avatar before you add them. We’ll be sharing tweets amongst ourselves, but also with a wider community — including some of the authors we’ll be studying. If you’re new to Twitter, or if you’re using it already and would like to get more out of it, Mashable has a great collection of resources:

Mashable >>  The Twitter Guide Book

Finally, check out Assignment #1 which will be posted shortly here in the blog

Please let me know if you have any questions. You can tweet to @CT231, send a Direct Message on Twitter to @CT231, or send me an email.