Engaging and Supporting Students when Using Social Media

Social Media Image Creating a engaging/support plan is very challenging. I have included a sample Social Media Support Plan. I have come to understand just how important it is to work with an Instructional Designer. The treasure of information they can share/offer for assistance is staggering.  Not only helping to make sure that the goals and objects are aligned but also knowing sharing information on the wealth of university recourse available. They are also well versed in most if not all of the university faculty services offered by their university.

I am finding more and more just how important is to know the difference between social media and programs that augment assignments. The article,  “50 Education Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About “ (GDC Team, 2015) has been extremely helpful. I am also learning how to use these programs not only from the “How to” perspective but also to foster learning and engage students.

I thought I understood large amount of time it takes to create such lesson/activity, support resources needed, and choosing software.  Surprise for me came from the fact that I did not fathom all the minuscule detaila of putting it all together. Workflow was another area I learned more about. The article, “Social Media Workflow – Optimizing your Time in Social Media” (Garcia, 2010) was enlightening on this subject. I especially liked organizing the task for your audience by such priorities as, listening, updating, distribution, blogging, planning, research, sharing, and engagement.

All and all I think it is well worth the time and effort. I clearly agree with most of the elements of “Engaging Students through Social Media: Evidence Based Practices for Use in Student Affairs”. (Junco, 2014)  Although he has proposed these elements with Facebook in mind and Student Affairs, I believe they are appropriate for using most social media in academia. They include: (Junco, 2014)

  1. Help peer leaders and mentors develop and maintain connection with program students
  2. Help students connect to each other and faculty and staff members
  3. Help students connect to groups and activities on campus
  4. Increase engagement of nontraditional students

I still have questions.  One that would be worth discussing is, “Is social media supported by the intuition or company more appropriate to use instead of programs like Emodo, Tumblr or Facebook as they can be problematic with security and privacy?” The second is “How can I interest faculty?” I think only time and planning with other supporters of social media in our institution will tell.

Support Students

Works Cited

Garcia, I. (2010, September 23). Social Media Workflow – Optimizing your Time in Social Media. (IG, Producer) Retrieved July 18, 2016, from Human Media: New Media: http://isragarcia.com/social-media-workflow-optimizing-and-managing-your-time-in-social-media

GDC Team. (2015). 50 Education Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know. (E. Staff, Producer, & Edudemic) Retrieved July 18, 2016, from global digital citizen foundataion: https://globaldigitalcitizen.org/50-education-technology-tools-every-teacher-should-know-about

Junco, R. (2014, April 3). Engaging Students through Social Media: Evidence Based Practices for Use in Student Affairs. (R. J. Blog, Editor, & R. Junco, Producer) Retrieved July 18, 2016, from Social Media in Higher Education: http://blog.reyjunco.com/using-social-media-in-student-affairs-an-evidence-based-approach-acpa14-slides

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenges of Designing Learning Using Social Media

Status

Designing learning incorporating social media is extremely challenging.  You really have to understand the separation of social media tools from tools that just enhance learning. I pursued this challenge to see what all it encompassed.  I have included my Learning Design Plan in detail.

First I determined what course to use it with, audience, course description, and type:

Course Name: How to Construct a Basic D2L Course

Course Description: The How to Construct a Basic D2L Course is designed to provide participants with an overview to the tools facilitators may use to build a D2L online course. In this introductory course, we will focus on understanding how the D2L tools work as well as some basic pedagogical use of an educational and social media tool.

Audience: Full/Temp Faculty, Staff, Ph.D. and Graduate Students

Course Type: Facilitator Lead Online Course

Researching I choose a combination of university-related social media tools and one non-university tool. The tools are:

  • Screencast-O-Matic is a fast recording app used to create a video file, share on YouTube, or even download to integrate with an LMS.
  • iblog is the blogging service for the university. It is hosted through Edublogs | CampusPress and runs on the WordPress platform. iblog is open to any active faculty, staff, or student at IUP. The service is also available to any class, organization, or department.
  • iwiki is the universities collaboration/repository tool. iwiki is divided into a team or academic spaces. Team and academic spaces are designed to allow for easy collaboration, documentation, and discussion of various points a team or course may need to engage in. Using iwiki allows for teams or courses to add resources, files and other important documents. iwiki has full version tracking and change logging.
  • Optional use of StudyMate, itube (university streaming service) or YouTube is possible.

I came up with three possible learning strategies:

PA Symbols Research
Objective:
Describe why, when, who/what the PA symbols are were chosen and their importance to PA history.

Assessment Method:

  • Select one of the PA State symbols. (E.g. State dog, insect, animal etc.) Create a Screencast-O-Matic video ( the program is free) on your research on why that symbol was chosen, when that symbol was chosen, and who/what was behind that symbols story.
  • Your submission should be 3-5 minutes. It should include narration, smooth transition between elements, and webcam recording of you. A script of the video should be included.
  • Alternatively, acceptable submissions include a word document (3-5 pages) or an audio file. Examples of free audio recorders include Audacity or SoundCloud.
  • Upload your submission to the PA Symbols dropbox, itube, or the class Youtube channel. If itube or Youtube is used, upload the URL of the video to the dropbox. Audio files can be uploaded or a link to the audio file can be entered in the dropbox. A script of the audio should be included.

PA Symbols Research
This activity will support course goals by showing an alternative assessment method using a social media tool and an app that enhances learning.

Age of Discovery iblog Post:
Objective:
Analyze the value of the activity as a valid pedagogical endeavor.

Assessment Method:

  • Review the Age of Discovery Challenge or Quiz through the StudyMate web site.
    • Create your iblog (if you have not already). Choose a theme that is Accessibility enabled. Create a blog post on if you believe or not that if using StudyMate is a valid instructional strategy.  Determine why or why not this method satisfies direct, indirect, interactive, independent, an experimental instruction.
    • Remind the students that blogs by design are open. If the set the blog as private advise students.
    • Comment on two of your peer’s blog posts using the comment sections.
    • Copy and paste the URL to your blog post to the Assessment Tool in D2L Brightspace. Responses graded according to scale stated in the syllabus.

Age of Discovery iblog:
This activity will support course goals by reviewing the pedagogical use of an educational tool.

Curate D2L Resources:
Objectives:

  • Discover resources on D2L tool using curation.
  • Practice communication curating resources using the university wiki.

Assessment:

  • Use the iwiki tool to collect/curate a list of resources on how to use the various D2L tools mentioned in this lesson.
  • Include the citation of the sources of the  resources, URL or upload document to iwiki, and your reflection on why the resources have values to learn D2L
  • Comment on two of the D2L tools in the comment section as to how you could use the tool for instructional strategy.
  • Submissions can include files, video, audio, and text entered into the iwiki. For audio and video include a script of the content.

Curate D2L Resources:
This activity will support course goals by collecting, organizing, and sharing resources with others.

Pros  and Cons of the tools:

Pros:

  • iblog and iwki are university provided and they are supported by our university help desk (IT Support Center). If the tools do not to work, students can get assistance to correct the problem. Students are also provided with “How to” help to understand how the tools work. Instructors will need to help students with the content and area but are not burdened by technical issues.
  • There are no issues with FERPA, privacy, or security.
  • Clear accessibility features are found in iblog and iwiki.

Cons:

  • Screencast-O-Matic is not a university supported tool so the instructor will be responsible for all forms of technical, instructional, and content support.
  • iblog and iwiki may be a difficult learning curve for some students.

A Learning Design template outlines a sample of designing learning incorporating social media.

Curation Tools

I had only heard about curation tools with in the last year. I thought it might be good way to collect information at articles I was interested in instead of collecting a bunch of bookmarks.  So I choose to try a curation tool.  Because I wanted to categorize my information I choose Diigo  Diigo-Logo

Below are the links to my research topic on eLearning.

 

That said I am not sure that curation tools are worth the effort. Diigo says you can learn it in 5 mins.  Hah! I am a well-educated person and I found it a confusing and time consuming to learn.  Our faculty are pressed for time. I am not convinced these tools will help them manage the search for content.

The annotation itself does not seem to match what most annotated bibliographies contain.  The annotation reference from North Hampton Community College Learning Center, describes an annotated bibliography as, “is a list of sources (books, journals, periodicals, and websites) used in researching a topic. “ Also “…an annotation is a brief (usually a short paragraph) summary and/or evaluation of a source.” You can do this in Diigo as far as I can tell, however, a product such as EndNote would serve faculty and students much better. EndNote is a supported product for us as well. You can import references into EndNote as well as enter them manually.  There is also a web based and mobile app for the program. To be fair I do need to explore the Diigo mobile apps too.

Granted EndNote at this time does not work as a social media curation tool, but I find it more feature rich as well as having all the fields you need to have for a traditional annotated bibliography.  Plus it to can take time to learn, however, the output is better formatted. EndNote basically prepares a bibliography publish ready. Picking a tool to use may heavily dependent on your objectives for a classroom or research. To be far I do need to explore the Diigo mobile apps too.

Poking around more I finally found a couple of other ways that Diigo can work with blogs. However, one is to generate a DiigoReport that you can only print. The other is Publish to a blog but unless you use WordPress or Blogger it is difficult to use.  I tried adding my blog but could not. There online help is lacking! I purchased the basic subscription to

This particular tool I doubt I would use in teaching unless what I was going to have students do is very basic.  Perhaps I need more time with it, but I find Diigo dissatisfying at the least. i may have choose the wrong product as well.

These tools could most definitely improve collaboration and engagement. In the classroom.  An idea for use of such tools could be asking students to create a list of references, let say on  a literature topic that students can share. In this fashion they would be contributing to course content. Another idea could be to have students collect annotated references and comment  the pros vs cons on the references of their peers in a discussion topic.  This would help the student to engage each other an give encouragement or constructive criticism on the material.

#OLCsmed

Pow, Gami, Mate Oh Me Oh My!

I have used a few tools for my projects.  When I created these I was doing different responsibilities, some of which will continue in my new Instructional Design position.  Others may or will not. I say this for you to understand with the purpose was behind these projects. I have experience with the tools PowToons, StudyMate, Tellagami.

Tellagami Animations  I would say that I have a tie for my favorite. One is Tellagami.  Telligami fun. I have not tried it but I believe it would be appropriate for students to learn by creating. I believe it would also be useful for instructors and students to use Tellagami® to create book reports, solve math problems and recite lessons. It has short comings, such as getting it to work in D2L, or getting the character to say where you put it, and you cannot get back to the gami when once posted online except to make minor text changes.  If you use it for specific purposes, it can be useful.  The product currently is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, IOS 6.0+. I use my iPad. You can share it with a link, embed code, or save it to your IOS device. Output is in all browsers.. The help consists of an FAQ and email contact. No bad for a small product. When I stared using it I can concerned about accounts required by students, support, usefulness, and ease of use. If the instructor is the only one using the program, then many of those concerns are not a problem.

I use it as my welcome message for our online student orientation course for D2L.  I call it a NancyGami. I made a quick Tellagami to show everyone.  I would call this an Introduction and App Samples. I believe the Tellagami Edu is the better version.  You do have to pay for it.  Unfortunately, I do not remember the price.  I am to finding the price. The question(s) I ask myself is can I find other ways to include it in and online class.

StudyMate Authoring Tool My other favorite is StudyMatSe Author. Our state system provides us with 2 products, Respondus and StudyMate.  We have StudyMate Author. Pricing is done through our state system. Using StudyMate Author student can master the material for a course by using learning activities, self-assessments and games. Students select activities that appeal to their learning style, making the whole experience personalized and effective. The help is actually very good. They have tutorials, user’s guides, and email support. I have used this and it is actually very good. It can be use in LMSs and  all browsers.

Creating the questions to use can be time consuming unless you have quizzes in Repondus that you can use by importing them in Study Mate.  If you are creating questions from scratch, they have to be formatted in a specific way.  For example, an M/C question has to be formatted as below. Basically there has to be an ) or . after number of question an ) and . with an a * showing the correct answer. Plus, only one line between a question or answer choices.  Not hard but tedious.

3) Who determined the exact speed of light?

a) Albert Einstein

*b) Albert Michelson

c) Thomas Edison

d) Guglielmo Marconi

Here are some Product Samples.  Here are those products used with a History Example. You can upload products to StudyMate.com or export as html or some file types. Questions I have include, will they ever update the types of choices you can create?  Some seem rather childish for Higher Ed. Will the standard for formation questions in word or text files get easier?

PowToon AnimationsLastly, I have used PowToons. This product does have a free version but of course it is not full featured.  There is also Educational Pricing.

I found creating this not quite as easy as they claim. They claim 5 mins.  However, anything with substance will take longer. They do have tutorials, an FAQ, email contact, help tickets, and a PowToon’s blog.  It can be use in LMSs and  all browsers. You can also go from a PowerPoint to a PowToon.  You can upload your work to PowToons, export them, and use embed code to share them. I created a Cybersecurity Awareness piece on phishing emails. I may still use it for our online student orientation.

My biggest concern with using PowToon or Tellagami with students is the fact you have to create accounts. You can log in with Facebook or Google accounts. However, to me that could be a security and privacy problem.  Our students complain about “another password” to remember.  Plus, how will that work for elementary school or special needs children. All this is going to need more experimentation.

Creating an Online Teaching Philosophy

technology_tools_online_teaching_learningWelcome to Educational Technology in Online and Blended Learning


Creating this philosophy, I came across some quotes that I found intriguing as well as inspirational.  One by Jennifer Fleming states, “Teaching in the Internet age means we must teach tomorrow’s skills today.” (Nunez, 2015) Fleming’s statement is intuitive as well as correct.

The other, I believe, is the most prevalent today is by Cammy Bean, “People expect to be bored by e-Learning—let’s show them it doesn’t have to be like that!” (Nunez, 2015) This quote made me think about the online course I have seen. Just a series of links to publisher content and publisher PowerPoint slides.  Nothing at all like I believe an online course should be.

I feel an online teaching philosophy encompasses several factors but no limited to; engagement, community, collaboration, student orientated, facilitation and more. I believe that the days of teachers standing up and lecturing are coming to an end.  I strongly feel it is more import to create an environment where the focus is no the student. This encourages critical thinking and self-sufficiency.

Using various types of social media works to create community and collaboration. Students cannot meet in an online class as they would in a podium class to interconnect. Therefore it is critical to create an atmosphere where everyone is comfortable and willing to contribute without fear or feeling left out. Use of social media in the classroom can also help students gain a social network that can lead them to professional connections for the future. Especially in their specific field.

Communications is vital in online learning.  The facilitators must outline what they expect of students but what students can expect from them. Communication student to student is important as well.  Twitter, Facebook and other social media programs can be an effective tool in encouraging this element. Bard has it right!

“To utilize social media tools effectively and properly, you must absolutely generate spontaneous communications in direct response to what others are saying or to what is happening in that moment. Be yourself. Be conversational. Be engaged.” (Bard, 2016)

Privacy, security, and technical ease of use, and support are another critical area that I believe is paramount. With the prevalence for viruses, malware, and social engineering the need to be keenly aware of these elements. Keeping as much as feasible in an LMS is one of the best solution. Students can then use the blog, discussion, and chat tool in confidence for privacy and security. This also protects the facilitator and university in the event a student posts items that are unacceptable.

I find that making sure students know where to find technical support is fundamental for online learning.  Facilitators need to be free to concentrate on the content.  The break fix or technical questions should be directed to a university support team. I put contact information in my syllabus and introductory module overview so our student technical know where to find the support area.

I am careful choose the types of media tools for my courses as these tools are becoming indispensable in online education. “Teaching with technology isn’t just about staying current on the latest tools, it’s about knowing how to successfully incorporate the best tools into your teaching when and where it makes sense.” (Faculty Focus: Higher Ed Teaching Strategies from Magna Publications, 2016)

There is definitive criteria for selecting education tools for a course. Get to know your students and their learning styles. Technology must benefit and enhance the learning environment. If most students in the class are non-traditional then the students may have technical phobia. The tools must be easily accessible to the students, easy to use,  and know what support materials are needed. Are the tools cross platform? An instructor cannot expect students to use and Apple based tool if most of the students use Androids.

I work to avoid the social media mistakes that can be made. Mistakes are similar to ignoring the community. Instructors must give regular feedback to the students so they feel a part of the online community. Another poor use of social media involves properly broadcasting information to students. Not all communication media is the same as the others. “Essentially, the rules to good, creative content applies across social networks, while still taking into account each platform’s audience.” (Giuliano, 2015)

Using social media for e-Learning is here to stay.  The Babson Survey Research Group reports, “90% of all faculty are using social media in courses.” (Moran, Jeff, & Tinti-Kane, 2011) Educational trends can change rapidly. I am sure I will be updating my online teaching philosophy over time.
Works Cited
Bard, M. (2016, ). 99 Favorite Social Media Quotes and Tips. Retrieved June 22, 2016, from www.mirnabard.com: http://www.mirnabard.com/2010/04/99-favorite-social-media-quotes-and-tips/

Faculty Focus: Higher Ed Teaching Strategies from Magna Publications. (2016). (Magna Publications) Retrieved June 22, 2016, from Teaching with Technology: http://www.facultyfocus.com/topic/articles/teaching-with-technology-articles/

Giuliano, K. (2015, July 2). CNBC Social Media. Retrieved June 22, 2016, from The 5 biggest social media mistakes to avoid: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/02/the-5-biggest-social-media-mistakes-to-avoid.html

Moran, M., Jeff, S., & Tinti-Kane, H. (2011, April). Teaching, Learning, and Sharing: How Today’s Higher Education Faculty Use Social Media. Retrieved June 22, 2016, from ERIC: http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED535130

Nunez, M. (2015, March 31). Famous Quotations (#My Fav.#). Retrieved June 18, 2016, from http://margsjemkristelnunez.blogspot.com/