Social media as a teaching tool: 9 cool examples
by Loreal Lynch | April 25, 2011
While academia has long been criticized for its failure to embrace modern technology, professors today are proving to be quite tech-savvy. In fact, a recent study by the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson shows that more than 80 percent of faculty are incorporating some form of social media into their teaching. Who knew academics were so cutting edge?
From YouTube to Wikis, social media is now widely accepted as a valuable teaching tool at colleges across the U.S. Below, browse a selection of some innovative ways college professors are using Facebook and other social media tools to teach.
Presidential Levity. "President’s Day at Macalaster College" is a 5-minute YouTube video featuring Macalaster president Brian Rosenberg. In it, Rosenberg performs humorous tasks that showcase the school and its spirit in an effort to connect with the student body.
Playacting. San Diego State University literature professor Edith Frampton had her students create a Wikipedia page on an obscure, 18th century novel. She has also had students create original wikis on Renaissance theatre, culminating in the students producing and uploading a scene from a play on YouTube.
Mindcasting. Instead of using Twitter to lifecast, Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at NYU, uses his Twitter account to mindcast by critiquing the press to his audience of more than 55k.
Facebook Psychology. BJ Fogg, PhD, runs the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University where he teaches about the psychology of Facebook. Recently he taught a course during which his students' projects persuaded more than 16 million people to install the apps they created.
Community Sharing. Conceived by Rhode Island School of Design president John Maeda, our.risd is an open forum for sharing thoughts and ideas about life at RISD and connecting with the larger RISD family.
Holy Tweets. Stephen Prothero, a professor in the Department of Religion at Boston University, uses his Twitter feed as a forum for discussions on world religion.
Discussion Aid. UT Dallas History Professor Monica Rankin uses Twitter in the classroom to pull students into the lectures and discussions.
Barf Blog. Dr. Doug Powell, a professor of food safety at Kansas State University, blogs credible, current, evidence-based information on microbial food safety—the things that make people barf—on BarfBlog.
Media Studies. Professor of cultural anthropology Mike Wesch uses YouTube videos to explore the ideas of media ecology and cultural anthropology.
About the Author
Loreal Lynch is a content editor at QuinStreet who is passionate about issues of education. She received her Bachelor's degree in Spanish from Tufts University and currently volunteers as an ESL tutor in the San Francisco Bay Area.