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December 15, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

How to integrate social media technology on the university campus with professors and administrators

* Educate clubs & teachers how to use WordPress. Have one centralized campus group which can set up websites quickly and easily so individual departments and professors don’t have to seek them out or drop $2000 on web design.
* Publication of professors work on the open web (the business model of academic publications is one of the worst. Professors create the content and then the school gets sold back the content. How backwards?)
* Aggregated news from departments and clubs in one place. Mary Washington University does this on WordPress I believe.
* One central help page for technology usage & education. Ideally a combination of text, short video, and links to other resources.
* Focus on the half-dozen or so tool that will actually help students and teachers. (Skype, WordPress, Video: Youtube, Vimeo, Quora, Google Apps, Online collaboration tools like Zoho, Slideshare, Academia.edu, Technorati, and Alltop) It will help the teachers if you divide the social web apps by function, so its not a list of random apps that are cool & nifty. You might include a ranking (there are what we thank are the top 7 tools for people and these are the 20-ish you might want to check out). Remember: these are just tools. They are fun and potentially tools for collaborating and sharing creative content, but they aren’t panaceas.
* Practical experiences and even testimony of people who have integrated the technology in their classrooms and/or assignments. This helps emensely, because it provides specificity and makes the potential real (but ideally not over-hyped on the social media tech panacea Kool-aid)
* Education integrated with how to teach (not just how to use technology, which usually isn’t any more complicated than email). At a minimum–an idea how to conceptualize what the goal of using technology is (not just its free and you can reach more people.)
* Speak to the advantages, disadvantages, and challenges of the technology, so the teachers and students have a context to think about it.
* Syllabi and other resources on blogs. I like this one for social entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan: http://cfe.umich.edu/sociale/
* Model what works. Examples help visualize and specify and provide someone to contact to share experiences with.
* Point out to teachers that the purpose isn’t traffic, but clear communication which helps students get access to information & transforms their thinking.

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