Participants round the table were interested in developing personal profiles as academic professionals and researchers, and in the impact of such profiles on student employability. Other possible uses for social media were also raised, for example, to market the work of research centres, to advertise courses, or to keep in contact with alumni.
The discussion covered commonly used tools such as blogs, microblogs (i.e. Twitter), social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Google Hangouts, and social bookmarking sites such as Diigo, Delicious, and Mendeley. This served as a reminder of the vital need to be clear about what you want to achieve, as that affects the choice of tool and particular features that are important.
Issues raised included the irreversible nature of personal disclosure, etiquette about seeking permissions before sharing media from (or of) other people, the time needed for managing comments (whether deleting spam or responding to genuine questions) and how easy it is for others to sign up and view your contributions.
So the discussion covered a lot of territory, and there was interest in a more visual or hands-on session as a follow-up. Meanwhile a number of resources are worth highlighting:
- Examples of use of social media and links to further information – see the downloadable doc in the ‘e-learning ideas’ folder in the e-learning Knowledge Base
- Guidelines for using web and social tools in teaching.
- Guidance on checking and obtaining permissions on checking and obtaining permissions when sharing 3rd party media
- Webinar about LinkedIn by Sue Beckingham for the Realising Our Potential programme
- Video presentation and podcast of a Keynote on Social Media and Employability by Sue Beckingham for ULCC Future of Technology in Education
If you have further questions or would be interested in a follow-up session, please leave a comment or get in touch.