Social Media Technologies by bestt571


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									                                      Social Media Technologies

Social Media, previously known as Web 2.0 technologies, has become ubiquitous in our lives –
personally, professionally as well as all levels of education. These tools are considered highly
collaborative with multiple ways for users to share and create content or communicate and brainstorm
on projects and ideas. As a result, it is beneficial to examine and evaluate their use as tools to enhance
teaching and learning in the higher education classroom. Most of these technologies are accessible
from the web or any mobile device.

The rapid growth and adoption of social media can be attributed to many factors, but probably one of
their greatest attributes is accessibility – the opportunity to access anytime, anyplace and from multiple
devices. This is largely due to the growth of ‘cloud technology’, i.e servers maintained at remote
locations by the providers who have create and distribute the specific technology.

Cloud Computing: No Longer If, but When

7 Things You Should Know About: Cloud Computing


To say that Diigo is a social bookmarking tool is somewhat ‘simplistic’. It is much more. As listed on the
website ( Diigo is a “personal research tool, collaborative research
platform, social content site, and knowledge-sharing community.” Diigo is a powerful tool that can
supplement the use of a course management system when the goal is to web-enhance your classroom
or utilize blended learning (mixing online and face-to-face environments). By listing all course resources
in a Diigo private group you will provide continuing access to your students outside the learning
management system as well as an opportunity to continue building their professional library after
completion of their degree. Students and Instructors can use Diigo to build an annotated bibliography
that can be accessed anytime, anyplace. Diigo is available on the web or from any mobile device.

Student Learning with Diigo – A tutorial for using Diigo in the classroom and setting up an educator

Vimeo tutorial for Diigo

5 Reasons Why I Use Diigo for Social Bookmarking


Evernote is a web-based tool that can be used to manage and organize a variety of resources, i.e. media
(photos, audio notes), notes, all file types, websites, etc. It is considered a ‘productivity tool’ and is
excellent to use for organization professionally and personally. In education, Evernote is useful for both
students and instructors as a means for research, collaboration, and knowledge-creation. As noted on
their website, with Evernote you can “capture, organize, and find anything fast”. Evernote can be
accessed from the web as well as any mobile device.

Evernote for Students: The Ultimate Research Tool – Includes organizing, web clipping and searching

Ten Evernote Tips for School – student’s view

Tim Ferris: ‘I Couldn’t Do My Job Without It’ – Entrepreneur uses of Evernote

Dropbox and SugarSync

File Management, accessibility, backup and security are a critical needs. Taking care of these tasks in the
cloud provides opportunities to share and access anywhere, anytime, anyplace. Two of the leaders in
this regard are Dropbox and SugarSync. Dropbox is widely used and well regarded and is accessible
from the web or any mobile device. Dropbox features are listed on their website as well as important
information about security. Encryption tools are available when additional security is preferred.

The Ultimate Dropbox Toolkit and Guide – Basics plus Tips and Tricks

Using the Magic Pocket: A Dropbox Guideline

The Complete Dropbox Guide for Educators


Blogging has gained popularity in all sectors – business, education, government, celebrities, news
channels, etc. Many believe it has ‘run its course’ and is less popular. However, from the classroom
perspective, blogging remains a valuable tool for student learning through communication,
collaboration, and knowledge creation. Including a variety of strategies to increase communication
between student and instructor as well as among students provides opportunities for sharing and
learning. Learning is social and as such the less it takes place in isolation, the better for all in the learning
community. Whether a blog is used as a reflective journal or a means for updating the instructor as
milestones for long-term projects are achieved, there are a multitude of strategies for using blogs to
enhance teaching and learning. Additionally it’s a great way to keep up with best practices in your field
by following experts who blog or other practitioners in your area of expertise.

Two of the more popular blogging tools are Blogger and Wordpress. Since Blogger is a part of the vast
array of Google Applications, it provides a quick and easy setup especially if you already have a Google
ID and password. Blogger is also accessible from the web or any mobile device.

Blogger Starter Sheet – easy and quick setup instructions

Teaching with Blogs – Good advice from a faculty member at the University of Illinois

How to Sign Up and Set Up Your Blog

Defining Tools for a New Learning Space: Writing and Reading Class Blogs


Like blogs, wikis are now widely used in all sectors and are beneficial for creating collaborative
documents that are easily accessible and editable by all invited users. In the classroom, a wiki can be
used for collaboration and co-creation of content for group projects. Using a wiki for individual papers
also provides an easy strategy for faculty to provide comments and feedback during and after
completion by students. Google docs, Wikispaces, and Wetpaint are popular wikis used in education.

Popular blog and wiki tools – note starred items

Comparison chart of wikis, blogs, and document features and functionality as well as examples

“Why Wikis” – Campus Technology article by Ruth Reynard is an associate professor of education and
the director of the Center for Instructional Technology at Trevecca Nazarene University.


There are varied and many opinions regarding the value and significance of the microblogging tool,
Twitter. When Twitter was originally introduced, its purpose seemed somewhat frivolous and
superfluous. For many, sending ‘tweets’ to friends and colleagues regarding minor events and daily
occurrences discouraged many users from trying this tool. Since that time, Twitter’s purpose and use
have evolved in many ways. More recently, Twitter has changed into a professional development tool
allowing users to follow experts in their profession, organizations, media, and colleagues around the
world who share resources, information and content. For businesses and corporations Twitter has
become a popular marketing tool providing product updates and specials for customers. In the
classroom setting, Twitter provides a way for students to ‘backchannel’ during presentations, sharing
ideas and brainstorming. For instructors, Twitter can provide quick and easy updates on course events,
information, announcements or even assisting individual students with questions. There are multiple
ways Twitter can become an efficient and effective tool in a variety of settings. Twitter is accessible on
all mobile devices and on the web.

Twitter Evolving Into Professional Development Tool

Why Every Student Should Be On Twitter

Twitter Blog

7 Things You Should Know About Twitter

Other Google Applications: Reader (RSS feed), Sites, Google+

Reader – Google Reader is an aggregator for RSS feeds from corporate or individual websites and blogs.
This tool allows users to visit a single location for updates from favorite web locations and simplifies the
process of staying up-to-date on news pertaining to relevant and critical topics. Users can quickly scan
updates to determine those of interest for further investigation.

A Quick Tour of Google Reader

7 Things You Should Know About RSS

Sites – Google Sites provides an easy way to create and manage a personal website. There are a variety
of templates available to guide novices through the creation of a personal, professional, group,
classroom, or company website. HTML knowledge is not required. Google Sites integrates with all other
Google applications. Authoring can be shared allowing more than one user to edit or contribute.

Welcome to Google Sites

Creating a Google Site

Tips and Tricks for Google Sites

Google+ - In July of 2011, Google announced the availability of a new social networking tool, Google+.
Preliminary reviews describe Google+ as a cross between Facebook and Twitter. At this time the tool is
in Beta and available by invitation only. Higher Education faculty are particularly interested in the level
of security as well as the relative ‘simple’ and clean interface without distractions. As users test out the
functionality of Google+, resources and best practices will be developed and shared.

Introducing Google+

Professors Consider Classroom Uses for Google Plus

Other Social Media Tools of Interest: Webconferencing, Podcasting, Video, Facebook, Skype

Webconferencing - Webconferencing tools such as Elluminate, Wimba, and Adobe Connect are
synchronous tools that provide the ability to interact with others using audio, video, and chat as well as

give presentations and demonstrations. These tools have become increasingly popular in all sectors as
funds for travel have diminished and work environments have become increasingly global. Interacting
with colleagues and coworkers around the world can be accomplished without the time and expense of
travel. For educational purposes, this Web 2.0 technology provides the closest opportunity to simulate
the face-to-face classroom. Claremont Graduate University has an Elluminate site license for use by all
faculty, staff and students.

Skype - Skype is another popular social media tool that provides the ability to make internet video and
voice calls. Although families have long used this technology to keep in touch, educators have begun to
discover its value for enhancing learning in the classroom. The synchronous features of Skype allow
educators to simulate the face-to-face classroom to include guest speakers from a distance, share with
other students in remote locations, or provide individual support for students with course questions or
problems. Skype was recently purchased by Microsoft.

Podcasting – Compared to many of the newer, cloud-based technologies, podcasts may seem almost
common place. Their use has become mainstream and ubiquitous. Podcasts are downloadable webcasts
(both audio and video) that are convenient and easily accessible through a computer or a portable
device such as iPod or MP3 player. They are easy to create and consume and provide flexibility for
providing content that is appealing and easily enhances the classroom. A quick internet search brings up
an abundance of ready-made podcasts that can be used in a variety of ways and multiple content areas.

Video Sharing – Another cloud-based technology that is now widely-used is video sharing. YouTube,
TED, and Hulu along with others provide quick, easy methods to create and distribute content in the
form of video. Like podcasting, this technology has become almost ‘common place’ with amateurs,
corporations, universities, etc. uploading video available to anyone or creating private group access. As
with other cloud based technologies, these are available on the web or any mobile device.

Facebook – Any guideline that does not include Facebook would be incomplete. Facebook, along with
LinkedIn and recently Google+, are referred to as social networking technologies. Although many faculty
remain hesitant about Facebook’s viability as a teaching tool, some have experimented with success.
Successful strategies include the use of the groups tool which includes greater security and useful
functionality. Ideas for use include using the site for additional dissemination of course information on
an optional basis as well as maintaining the site for continued sharing and learning after completion of
the course.

7 Things You Should Know About YouTube

7 Things You Should Know About Podcasting

7 Things You Should Know About Skype

50 Awesome Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom


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