Using Social Media

There has been a lot of discussion of social media, the use of the internet, and how it affects teaching. A former student sent me this link about the Phillips Collection in DC and their creative uses of technology to connect the public to art. Thoughts? See the video clip from the BBC (about four minutes) here. I must admit that I cringed a bit when I saw how they’ve synched up Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, but then I thought, oh, why not?

We will be talking later this semester about ways in which social media can be used to reach students. More information to come – but the date will be Tuesday, October 26 at 11:30.

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3 Responses to Using Social Media

  1. Bob Trader says:

    How do I make this {insert words such as ‘work of art’, ‘example of classical literature’, ‘formal report of a research study’…} come alive? How do I get students to engage with it and really think about what went into creating it, conceptualizing it, expressing it…?

    It seems from the video that social media can be used for the above purposes. Great! šŸ™‚

    I wonder though if there is a novelty effect. I know when the Internet first came out, I was heavily involved with forming relationships online, joining and actively participating in online communities, and learning/using/buying the latest and greatest technology. After around 2 years though, the novelty wore off, and my engagement in such activities dwindled. I’ve read that the popularity of various social media has declined within the original population of users.

    The other challenge is the availability of technology on campus. We do the best with what we have. We don’t require students to buy or bring laptops, smartphones, or whatever to school. It is difficult to integrate social media into the classroom without creating a digital divide when students are not required to have these various technologies (and we may not have them ourselves). I, for one, have a really old cell phone that can’t do text messaging.

    It is relatively easy to require use of various media/technology outside of class, but then I can’t see what students are doing or how they are reacting or interacting. I always find myself asking myself and the students in my classes if this is the best way to do something or even if it is worth doing at all. Students hate doing “busy work”, and I hate requiring them to do things to just kill time.

    So, I think social media are great within certain contexts and unnecessary to a large degree on such a small campus. Given various constraints, social media seem more appropriate for out of class interactions than in class.

  2. Robin Armstrong says:

    I think that we need to play with, and experiment with, new programs/platforms/technologies before we can really know how/if it will work for education in and out of the classroom. I think anything that encourages folks to interact and participate with any and all of the arts is very cool…. as i saw folks captioning the painting i recalled many conversations with friends in museums where we would caption the painting softly in an underbreath among ourselves, enjoying the works of art with a bit of humor, but feeling a bit furtive. why not make it publically allowable!

    Gretchen- thanks for the link. i posted it to my pedagogy classes blackboard assignment because on monday we begin a week of talking about education and tech. your timing could not have been better.

  3. gretchenmckay says:

    Robin – glad it was of help and interest.

    One thing about technology in the classroom that you note, Bob. I often ask my students to bring laptops if they have them — but they are for group projects. I’ve never had a case where one person in a group of three did not have a laptop on which s/he could look on at the images. I usually have them examine paintings or groups of paintings that way.

    But I do worry about that digital divide very much.

    And I agree — just tacking something on because it’s new or technology can come back and bite you. I tried wikis ’cause I thought they were cool, but the students ended up not liking them that much and the assignment, while not a total bust, still did not get at what I wanted. However, writing as a committee on a WiKi is SO MUCH BETTER than “drafting by committee,” an activity that makes me truly want to stick something – anything sharp will do – in my eye. Make that both of them.

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