Posts Tagged ‘Social media’

Colleges Try to Find the Best Online Communication Tools

Colleges Try to Find Best Online Communication Tools

Photo: ehow.com

Imagine that your university president has an important announcement about the graduation ceremony this Saturday – two days away. If you don’t get this message, you may not be able to walk across the stage! What is the best way for the president to contact all potential graduates? Should he or she send an email or a Facebook post? What about text messages? Or can he or she simply tweet it?

At many universities across the country, academic communication problems like these have called into question the best ways to reach the student population en masse. According to a recent article in The Chronicle, students are using such a wide variety of social media and online communication technologies that schools are having a hard time keeping up. Since the industry changes constantly, administrators find it difficult to choose the best means by which to reach all of their students quickly and effectively.

When you enrolled in school, you were given an email address. While this is typically the primary method of contact between you and your professors, what happens if an important email (about graduation, keeping with the above example) goes unnoticed or is sent to a spam folder? The article mentions administrators fear students only check university emails once per week, as opposed to checking Facebook multiple times per day. However, not every college student has Facebook. Amy Ratliff, program coordinator for cooperative education at the University of Alabama, says that she sends out campus emails in the evening to increase the likelihood that students will read them. She also is more selective about information she sends out so the school doesn’t bombard students with information. Does your school send out too many campus-wide emails? How often do you read them?

Some schools list important information in more than one place to increase the number of people who see it. However, students grow weary of stock paragraphs and impersonal posting. Boston University dean Kenneth Elmore posts all of his own blogs, tweets, and Facebook updates. While The Chronicle article doesn’t state whether or not he has more success with this method, students may follow him with greater loyalty or look to his posts for information because it’s not an automated, mass email. Do you follow your school or professors on Twitter or Facebook, or do you prefer to keep these social sites separate from school?

There are no easy answers in the age of online communication. Share your thoughts with your school! Student feedback is necessary for universities to improve.

In addition, if you have not yet declared a major, you may want to look into social media for higher education administration. It looks like your perspective could make a big difference!

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How to Use Social Media Effectively

Categories: College Life

How to Use Social Media Effectively

Photo: blog.socialmaximizer.com

Social Media: web and mobile technologies that promote interactive communication between communities, companies, groups, and individuals. Social media sites include everything from Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn to YouTube, Flickr to Pinterest, and many more.

As a college student, you may use social media sites for fun and entertainment at first. Facebook is an extremely popular way to get to know fellow students you meet around campus.

However, you are also entering a new stage in your life. What you say, do, type, and post online carries weight and can follow you for years down the road. It is important to be savvy as you navigate the online world of social media.

Remember that you may be a college freshman now, but in four years you will be a college graduate competing with the rest of the world for a job. Before graduation, you will probably apply for internships. Employers are not strangers to social media and can easily look up your online profiles if they so choose. Stay one step ahead and protect yourself from potential pitfalls of social media.

DO NOT

  • Don’t hide behind your computer. When you type comments or blog personal feelings from the safety of your living room, make sure they are things you’d say in real life, too.
  • Don’t post questionable photos. Photos of students partying or making crude poses might be funny in the moment, but if they go up on your Facebook timeline, they will reflect on who you are and how you spend your time.
  • Don’t go overboard. This applies to any student currently internship or job hunting. If you post too frequently or bombard your contacts with information, this may turn them off to the prospect of being connected to you.

DO

  • Be yourself! Just because you are wary of what you post doesn’t mean you have to turn into a drone. Maintain your personality on your online profiles! People use social media to get to know you as much as they can before they meet you. Keep that concept in mind when interacting online. Use it to your advantage.
  • Watch the time. Use social media, then take a break. The world outside awaits! Also, when contacting potential employers, be mindful of the time of day. Sending an email at 2am might give off the impression that you are a night owl. This is not necessarily good or bad – just be mindful that they may interpret it one way or the other.
  • Take your time. If you are about to post something in the heat of an intense moment, save it as a draft or come back later. Again, once it’s out there, it’s out there!

Social media can definitely be harnessed to help you find work and meet amazing people. Use it to your benefit, not to destroy your stellar reputation.

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How Social Media and Game Mechanics Can Motivate Students

laptopStudents rejoice! According to this Mashable.com article, social media and game mechanics could actually positively affect you. So next time your mom tells you to get off the video games and set the table–well, you should probably listen to your mother.

But, you can explain to your mother later that social media and online games can teach skills that can be difficult to teach in normal school curricula–like time managements, teamwork and creative problem solving.

Here’s how Mashable breaks down how social media and gaming mechanics can have a positive affect on education:

Status Update and Checkins
Whether high school students or college students send a tweet or a Facebook status to their entire network about a goal they have, it becomes more real, especially if people comment on it and provide feedback. As with the status updates, checkins make people feel like they’re not alone–they’re traveling with someone else. Plus, it also adds a bit of a healthy competitive edge. Both of these things are factors that could motivate students to work harder to reach their goals.

Leaderboards
Today in school, everybody is a winner; there are no losers. Leaderboards bring back that competitive edge to school in a way that’s completely powered by students’ own desire to do better. By comparing progress with each other’s peers, students are driven to move up the leaderboard. This tactic can give mundane school assignments a bit of a makeover.

Move Up the Levels
A little positive feedback never hurt nobody. Offering levels for students to move up in is a great motivator. Take the Cappex Cap Challenge (log in and start playing now!), for example. Not only do you get further in your college search, but the more you do for your college search, the more you move up levels and are rewarded virtual caps and real prizes.

What’s your take on social media and gaming in school?  Comment and share!