Working amongst knowledge professionals within the international development sector, we were dazzled by the rise of Web 2.0 or Social Media (as it is now referred to) and the opportunities it offered. The information age is characterized by the enormous amount of information made easily available online, but a new challenge arises. Namely how do you discern efficiently and effectively which information is relevant for you without spending tons of hours googling? And how do you ensure you have the most recent relevant information so that you are asking the right questions?
I will not quickly forget when Nynke Bos* declared in 2009: “Smart phone ownership has grown to 50% in one year amongst our students.” A mouthwatering statistic for an ICT in education policy maker! Something you can bite into and use to anticipate future service and teaching/learning opportunities. When she started working at the Faculty of Humanities, and planned to hold the same survey amongst her ‘new’ students, I jumped on that band wagon and suggested we hold it amongst the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences as well. And as a good idea often does, it ballooned into a survey amongst all students of the University of Amsterdam.
Behold, the result of our toils (with a huge thanks to everyone who helped us on this endeavor!): “How do students use ICTs in Higher Education?“.
Is it acceptable for a student of the Social Sciences to progress through his/her study without once citing a source found outside of the Library? If the education we provide is with the goal to create knowledge workers who can engage in a career in the current landscape of information and communication technologies, then I would conclude it is unacceptable.
Last Wednesday I was at a seminar on social media in education, organized by the Social Media Club Amsterdam (SMCadam). Wolter Mooi, a Professor of Pathology at the VUMC, shared his experience with applying social media in his Bachelor class. In 2010 he created a facebook profile and he now has 1004 ‘friends’.
He uses his facebook profile to decrease the distance between him and his students. He does this in a balanced fashion, no flooding of the status stream with inconsequentials but once in a while a witty reflection on his personal life, a response to a BBC documentary on labor clinics in Sierra Leone and sharing interesting readings relevant to the course. By doing so he
Oh dear, not another infographic. I am afraid so. But to introduce the topic, this is a pretty good one. For example, How schools are using Social Media:
- In the classroom
- School Pride
- Potential students
- Professional development
- General outreach
I hope it will have the desired effect I am looking for which is to help explain to some what a natural extension it is to use social media in education and learning processes.
And for those looking for a little more “meat” to this topic, why not try A literature review of the use of Web 2.0 tools in Higher Education. Happy reading!
I think the increased attention for learning analytics is valid. A lot of learning and teaching taking place today takes place in digital environments. It is implemented more structurally, which means patterns of behavior may have more meaning as they have increased context. Yes we should be leveraging the vast amount of data to better tailor education. But unless I missed something, I am afraid this year’s Horizon Report focusses heavily on what the educational institute can do with the data, and what the teachers can do with the data, and less so (or not at all) on what the students can do with the data.