Tag Archives: Twitter

Become a Pro at Social Networking

While it may not be the first thing you think of when you hear Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, these social media tools are not only for communicating with your friends—they are some of the best ways to professionally network.

If you have thought of using social media as a way to branch out professionally and connect with others, you should check out this great article we found here  for tips on how to start becoming an effective networker with these tools!

Your Summer Bucket List!

Finally, the weather is warm, the sun is out, and it’s clear that summer is finally on the horizon. With classes ending, you may find yourself with more time on your hands. Like last year, we are giving you a Summer Bucket List, Round 2. Here are 3 ideas for you to explore this summer.

1.       Engage yourself in the world of Social Media

While Facebook, Twitter, and blogging aren’t new to the technology world, they quickly reached the top. Social Media is everywhere and has a place in almost every industry-especially higher education! Chances are your students are on their phones, laptops, iPads and other devices all the time, so incorporating blogs, Twitter, and other social media tools into your classroom could be a great way to maintain contact even when class is over. This summer, create a Twitter and begin tweeting or start up a blog that you can integrate with your classes in August. 

2.       Liven up your Lectures

No longer is PowerPoint the standard for classroom lectures. There are now so many neat (and free!) tools available so you can escape the monotonous PowerPoint presentation. For other ways to present information, try checking out Prezi or SlideRocket. Or, if you are looking for something interesting and unique to incorporate into lecture, check out TED and Snag Films for great videos that will make your students understand classroom material from a broader prospective!

3.       Familiarize yourself with Free Web Resources!

This one may be one of our favorite ideas. We spend a lot of time searching for free web resources for higher education and share them with you through our blog. Be sure to continue to follow us for weekly posting that provide you with the scoop on what’s new, great, and free!

Check out a Google Site we’ve created where you can view an entire list of free web-based resources. Read their descriptions to learn more, and then instantly access their links to instantly begin using them!

Summer is a great time to explore new options and resources for the upcoming school year. When you’re not vacationing or lounging by the pool, we hope that after checking out these resources a little more you will be inspired to put them into use this August! If you would like more information on the tools listed above and many more ideas for creative ways to integrate technology into your classes, be sure to check out our past blog entries, our website, or contact us!

The new Cloud in the sky

Google Apps has taken over many of the things we use the internet for—email, managing schedules, organizing photos, creating websites, and so much more! Now, they’ve released Google Drive, the app that allows us to share and store files over the internet.

Google Drive is like Google’s version of “The Cloud” but it offers several additional features, including:  it integrates with your other Google apps (including Google Docs!), offers 5GB of storage for free, and it goes beyond other storage apps by offering live collaboration features.

Google Drive is an app that is downloaded to your computer. After downloading Google Drive, you will be able to sync your files on your computer to your Google Drive. They will then appear on the web for you to access whenever you need them! Any time you put a file in the folders synced with your Google Drive, they will appear in your Google Drive on the web. You will then be able to view, edit, share, and collaborate live on your files.

Google Drive offers many additional features for you to check out. The integration of Google Docs allows users to create multiple types of documents, there is a search feature that can help you find anything, and you can get Google Drive on the go through their apps for Android and iOS devices (coming soon)!

Make the Most of Twitter!

If you haven’t already given in to the Twitter craze and created an account, you may want to reconsider. Twitter is rapidly growing in popularity and is recognized as evolving into a valuable tool in education-particularly higher education. Most of your students probably have Twitter, making it a wonderful tool to use to collaborate and share ideas outside of the classroom. If you are new to Twitter, you probably know the basics-sharing, or “tweeting”, your thoughts and ideas with your followers-but you probably didn’t know that there are tons of great add-ons out there that allow you to customize your Twitter for your classroom. Here are two great ones to get you started:

Twellow

Considered to be the yellow pages of Twitter, Twellow allows Twitter users to browse categories and find people to follow who share their interests. This is a great way for your students to expand their interests and knowledge, and also to follow interesting people all over the world!

TweetDeck

This is the ultimate add-on if you are an avid Twitter user already. While there are many great features of TweetDeck that allow users to make the most of Twitter, a big draw is the ability to create groups to organize and manage contacts (think organizing your students into groups by class).

Twitter has a lot of great uses in higher education, and most importantly, keeps the lines of communication between your students and yourself wide open. If you are interested in Twitter but would like some advice on how to get started, feel free to contact us!

The world of Social Media in Higher Education

It seems everywhere you turn today there is some new social media tool that is instantly becoming viral all over the internet. As soon as you give in and create an account and learn how to use one thing-the next thing has already taken over. Here is a breakdown of some of the newest social media tools, and how they can be integrated into education to keep you and your students in sync with the evolution of technology!

 

Timely

If you are an avid user of Twitter, Timely is for you. It boasts that users get the most out of their tweets when they integrate their use with Timely. All you do is add your Tweet to Timely, and Timely will publish the Tweet so your Twitter followers will read it when it is anticipated to have the most impact and get you more followers, retweets and more. Seems like magic, but it is able to do this through analyzing your past Tweets and examining the patterns that have contributed to making some more popular than others. Amazing!

Summify

Connect your Google, Facebook and Twitter accounts to Summify, and you will get everything you want to see the most in one place. Essentially what Summify does is delivers the top stories from these other resources and delivers them to you so you can view what is most important, and skip having to weed through the rest. It does this by looking at both your personal and global social networks and selecting the news that has been shared, re-tweeted, or liked by others the most!

Pinterest

Pinterest is essentially a virtual “pin board” that allows users to share images that link to websites of really anything on the internet. Categories range in everything from recipes and DIY home décor to sports, education, and technology! Pinterest is a great way to explore your interests and get creative new ideas in tons of topics. Particularly in higher education, pinterest is a great way for students to explore new information, news, and tools in their particular areas of interest!

Facebook and Twitter

I have no doubt these tools sound unfamiliar to you, however, recent polls show they have continuously increased in use since 2008 and are becoming very popular in education. Tweet your students news stories relating to your class, or create a Facebook for your class to gather as a central location to share and retrieve information.

Tips for you:

One helpful tip to make the most of using social media tools in your classroom is to mix up the information you are sharing-tweet links to current articles on material-related research, events, and share images and videos with your students to keep them connected to your classroom in a variety of ways. Make it an interactive experience, and you will best engage your students!

Stay on top of these tools because not only can the be useful (and fun!) for you and your students, but they are becoming the way the world communicates.

Using social media tools to voice your thoughts!

What if a student in your class started a campaign on Facebook sharing their opinions about issues that reached thousands of people across the world? What if they created a YouTube video being viewed by people everywhere at any given moment? College students are sharing their knowledge through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogs, etc. and making a difference by reaching people in other cities, states, and continents.

As I write constantly on this blog, technology is changing the way the world interacts. Years ago it would not have been possible for a student starting a campaign on AIDS awareness to reach thousands, even millions of people across the world, but technologies like Facebook make that possible today. Share a page with 10 people, each of those people share with 10 more, and it goes on and on. Within days, a page dedicated to AIDS awareness is reaching an extreme number of users. As an educator, inspire your students and encourage their involvement in using these social media tools by incorporating them into your class. What may start as an assignment may evolve into something much more impactful.

Visit UIS’ Sights and Sounds page for links to UIS’ official Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media applications. Click here to view a list of all the great Facebook Pages or Twitters for UIS departments and groups. These are a great way to stay updated on events at UIS and also see how others use these social media applications in education!

Get on-board the Twitter train

When Twitter first came out, some people loved it and some loved to not like it. Is it necessary to be so infatuated with a person that you want to know their every thought? Well, Twitter has evolved to something beyond reading about how celebrities feel about last night’s episode of The Bachelor. Twitter is being used by professors at universities all over the world, and is really proving itself to be an effective communication tool.

With its free cost and growing popularity, Twitter can be used by professors to communicate with students and promote more involvement and interaction with class material. Make announcements, brainstorm topics, share websites and information, or follow current events and leaders across the world.

In addition, apps can be used in conjunction with Twitter to facilitate communication between group projects, poll others for feedback, keep notes and tweets together, and much more. Twitter boasts a variety of tools, apps, and opportunities for learning outside the classroom. Check out the links below for more tips on how to integrate Twitter into your classes.

http://academhack.outsidethetext.com/home/2008/twitter-for-academia/

http://www.suite101.com/content/using-twitter-for-educational-purposes-a287131

http://bestonlineuniversities.com/2009/13-enlightening-case-studies-of-social-media-in-the-classroom/

 

Communication is the key to success!

We have all heard this at some point in almost any situation, but in college, good communication between educators and students really is essential. Not meeting face to face on a daily basis can be a disadvantage when it comes to students keeping up with assignments and current issues related to the class, and utilizing resources.

Students are always online. Most of them actually have the web at their fingertips at any given point of the day. For this reason, it is clear that the internet is one of the best forms of communication with college students. There are many ways to utilize the technology that is everywhere to easily communicate with your students and enrich their educational experience in your course. Here are a few examples of ways to keep your students updated on announcements, assignments, and current issues that you find relevant to class.

Blog!
Blogging is something we have all heard about, but most of us remain wary about it. I, myself, was one of those people until I started doing it, and realized it’s fun!

Blogging is a great way to establish consistent communication with your students. Post updates about current issues that are relevant to what is being discussed in class, and use incentives for your students to post back. It’s a great way for them to be involved in the class without actually being in class. Try Google’s free Blogger, or a blog meant to be used for educational purposes, like Edublog.

Wikis

Wikis are another great way to promote student involvement outside of the classroom. A wiki is basically a website where visitors can actually participate in creating and editing information. There are a variety of ways you, as educators, can incorporate this into your class; post and brainstorm different topics, give students a place to collaborate and share assignments and materials, assign each student a small part of a large, ongoing project, or create a student-published online resource center. Try the wiki feature in eDocs, Wikispaces or Wetpaint.

Twitter

Twitter may seem as though it has no purpose in a college classroom, but professors utilizing Twitter often have a good following by their students. Educators are able to share events as soon as they occur. Again, this is a great way to establish and maintain a connection outside of the classroom and keep students updated on issues relevant to class!

You will be surprised how much feedback and participation you receive from students when you prove yourself technically savvy and incorporate these tools into your class. I know I appreciate when a teacher of mine actively posts updates on their website or via other easily accessible forms of communication. If you have any questions or need any assistance incorporating these tools into your course, we would be happy to help!