The HEA’s ‘Changing the Learning Landscape’ workshops on Social Media

heaThese are my notes and thoughts from the following two workshops:

Lots of interesting presentations – some were overviews of what social media is and how it supports teaching & learning, some covered digital identity and your ‘footprint’ (what you say about you) and ‘whispers’ (what others say about you) and some were project reports. The key things I took away are summarised below:

1) Apps and portable devices (phones, tablets, phablets?)

  • Encourages students to be more involved
  • ‘Something new and shiny to play with’ and are therefore more engaged
  • Cloud storage provides easy of uploading, sharing and accessing data from any location where there’s a connection to the Internet
  • Helps students to be come more tech savvy and allows them to try new software and work it out for themselves
  • See Reading Uni’s ‘Enhancing fieldwork‘ blog post

2) Video production

    • Students to create their own ‘how to’ videos & to be shared as a resource with their peers by using a YouTube clone. Students can then view, rate and comment on each upload
    • By creating these videos their knowledge and ability to store facts regarding the subject matter become more ingrained – the example here was carrying out different experiments in a lab
    • Students were therefore picking up new digital media skills – filming, editing, adding effects and showcasing their work (enhancing their cvs – ‘do you have any experience of making videos?’)
    • Many students had no experience beforehand and felt that the process brought out their creative side – some of them didn’t know they had one!!!
    • See slides from Dr Stephen Maclean:

3) MOOCs

  • Completely different approach to course design is needed in order to have a successful course
  • Online learning is rather prescriptive, do this, then do that, use this for this, that for that – NO! This wont work for moocs
  • Lecturers teaching on moocs need to become more like a facilitator rather that teachers – laying the topic outlines, setting targets & deadlines, moderating and giving general feedback
  • Must allow the students to figure out what tools to use, eg: “Discuss with peers the value of online PLNs during the research stage of a project. You can use whatever tools you like but we have provided space in our course forum if you’d prefer to use that”. The students could then use a variety of tools for communication eg: a Facebook group, google plus group, google hangout, Skype, twitter hash tag, a wiki, other discussion forum, email etc
  • Allow students to choose any medium or online tool in order to create their final assessment piece Eg: Timos used Go Animate, YouTube and Facebook (for feedback) for his, Gav (my Fiance) chose SoundCloud & Blogger for his

4) Online learning communities

  • Website to house contributions from community
  • Encourage students to create their own resources to put across their thoughts
  • Examples such as pictures, videos, timelines, learning objects (xerte)
  • See Soton Uni’s project website: Portus Project

5) Cool tools for engaging, creating and interacting

You can also view the HEA’s ‘Storify’ version of events here.

Ok – lots to now explore and work on 🙂


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