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Plurk, Tweet, Poke, Ping, Post?: Using social media in the classroom

a talk in the Productive Scholar series, Princeton University, 10/14/10

Janet Temos

on 18 July 2013

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Transcript of Plurk, Tweet, Poke, Ping, Post?: Using social media in the classroom

welcome to the Productive Scholar.
today's presentation is . . .
Plurk . .
Tweet . . .
Poke . . .
Ping . . .
or Post . . .
when to use social media in the classroom
and WHY?
(This presentation is made in Prezi,
a social media tool used for making
and sharing presentations.)
"What matters here isn't technical capital, but social capital. [Social media] tools don't get socially interesting until they get technologically boring. It isn't when the shiny new tools show up that their uses start permeating society. It's when everybody is able to take them for granted . . ."
"Not to put too fine a point on it, the moment we're living through is the largest increase in expressive capability in human history."

--Clay Shirky, in his 2009 TED talk to the Department of State
Facebook: 500,000,000 users
MySpace: 162,000,000 users
Twitter: 75,000,ooo users
LinkedIn: 75,000,000 users
Flickr: 32,000,000 users
Blogster: 85,579 users

"Facebook, I believe, and to some extent the idea of social media in general, face a similar dilemma: the more they become everything, the less they mean anything."

--Jason B. Jones in The Chronicle of Higher Education, "The Difference between Twitter and Facebook."

One of the most common dismissals of Twitter sounds something like this, "I don't need to know what a bunch of people had for breakfast." My response to this is always, "if that what you're seeing on Twitter, you're following the wrong people." -- Ryan Cordell in The Chronicle of Higher Education, "How to Start Tweeting (and Why You Might Want To)."
"One of the most common dismissals of Twitter sounds something like this, "I don't need to know what a bunch of people had for breakfast." My response to this is always, "if that's what you're seeing on Twitter, you're following the wrong people.""

-- Ryan Cordell in The Chronicle of Higher Education, "How to Start Tweeting (and Why You Might Want To)."
"Too many of my colleagues, however, are afraid of Facebook. They are worried about their own privacy or possible repercussions from their employers. My advice: Facebook is public on so many levels, so evaluate what you want to share, and of course, untag any embarrassing photo. Keep your distance where appropriate. Never friend a student—let them “friend request” you and then keep them on a limited profile. This is all common sense, of course."

-- Denise Horn in INSIDE HIGHER ED, "Dear Professor, I Want To Be Your Friend."
When James Lee took employees of The Discovery Channel as hostages on September 1, 2010, his MySpace profile was posted on the internet within minutes.
When Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, was humiliated by secretly-taped videos his roommate posted to the internet, Clementi posted his suicide note to his Facebook page . . .
. . . and then killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge
a recent email I received from a Princeton alumna . . .

"I'm writing to request the removal of a page from a blog I maintained as a Princeton student . . .

As part of [a class assignment] as a Princeton freshman, I was required to put my final paper up on a website hosted by blogs.princeton.edu. We were also required to include an "About" page with information about ourselves, including a photo and our full names. . . ."
" . . . I didn't think much of it at the time, and our professor didn't encourage us to think of the privacy ramifications, either. This page now shows up on the first page of hits if you type my full name into Google. . . . "
". . . Five years ago, this didn't seem to be a big deal. But I'm going to be looking for a new job soon and I know that employers will search for me to check out my background before the interview. The outdated "About" page will give them a misleading idea of my interests and identity, and the silly photo that illustrates it may also discourage them from taking me seriously as a candidate."
How to get started in social media:

consider your identity and purpose. Is this communication meant for friends, family, professional colleagues or students?

consider an appropriate platform. These tools all encourage many, and various, channels of communication that many people can read. Are you more interested in conversation, collaboration, or gathering information?

consider your students' best interests. They may lose the ability to change their self-representation on the site once they graduate. The classroom is a professional space, and you shouldn't ask them to act in any other way.

consider using more than one network for different forms of exposure.
when in doubt, make a separate account.

both you and your students can have more than one identity in the maze of social networks.
a microblog that allows posts of 140 characters

You "follow" people on Twitter, and they may follow you in return

Many organizations, publications, special interest groups, and government agencies have Twitter accounts -- it can be used as a trending tool for specific subjects

The essence of Twitter is the retweet, which can make items "go viral." It's customary to thank people for retweeting your tweet

The syntax of Twitter is relatively simple. For instance, "@username . . . . " is the way to preface a response to another person's tweet -- so your user name should be on the short side so you don't use up too many of the respondant's 140 character count

Retweets, replies, and direct messages are the basic communication tools in Twitter
You can "favorite" a tweet to make it easier to find again later

There are many third-party Twitter tools that allow you to consolidate or archive tweet feeds, as well as feeds from other social networks.
Tweetdeck is an example of a Twitter management tool that can also reference other social networks.
Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn:

Facebook is the lingua franca of social networking. You can expect most people, especially your students, will have some presence on Facebook

Recent research by Eszter Hargittai has discovered very important divides between Facebook and MySpace users among college students. These divides are economic, cultural and educational. Facebook is the predominant network, but it is not universal

Many professionals use LinkedIn for networking. It is an important resource for job seekers, but not likely to be adopted by students while still in college

Facebook privacy settings were a major news item this year, and the granularity of them has changed dramatically after some security leaks.

If you use Facebook in the classroom, be very careful of the profile your students see -- or make a separate account. You should feel comfortable in accepting "friend" offers from your students, and with what they see of you in your profile and wall posts. Be prepared for what you might see of them.
i.e. don't expect to see a feature film about MySpace or LinkedIn anytime soon.
I have what may be the most boring Facebook profile in the world -- but my friends are pretty interesting.
a quote from Clay Shirky:
Social research in Twitter:
Princeton librarian @tadawes vs @ladygaga re: follower intelligence.
@tadawes wins by a landslide.
Why might I use these tools?

To create an environment that allows the students to create a body of communication or information relevant to the course

To create a "backchannel" to a classroom discussion

To educate about the importance of identity management in a digital age

To get out of the grip of Wikipedia
What tools are right for the job?:

There are hundreds of social networking tools that use text, sound, images, and links in ways that amass information and facilitate communication

You might want to choose a lesser-known tool to avoid intruding on your students' social space: i.e. Plurk instead of Twitter, or the tools developed at Purdue, Hotseat and Mixable, which are analogs or adjuncts for Twitter and Facebook

You might discuss this with students to see what they would like to explore, and where they'd rather not allow "work" to mix with "private life."
New tools are appearing every day:

Cinch is a voice-based microblogging tool

Gravity is a topic-based network where one "orbits" a topic or special interest -- a new version of the chat room or discussion board.
my avatar
Janet Temos
Higher Education/ jtemos
thanks for coming to this
Facebook, a US product, is the largest social network, but the USA is by no means the most prolific consumer of such social networking sites.
ETC Chronicle (ETC blog)
Full transcript