I was asked by a colleague to document my practices for social media in the classroom. Probably not overly innovative, but hopefully useful to those just dipping in their toes.
First of all, create a fan page for the class, or the text. Since Listening to the Future was the text, I just used its page. This avoids the issue of students becoming “friends” of the instructor – they can become a fan of the class or of the text. The instructor can still moderate and post, but need not worry about any issues of over familiarity.
I required twitter. I asked students to post tweets of their findings. We were exploring the future of education. When they found something relevant, I asked for a tweet. Officially, they needed about 20 tweets. 10 on uncertainties about the future, and another 10 links that illustrated how the uncertainties were playing out in realitme. Create a twitter list for your students. Make sure you follow all of them. Also, create a hashtag for the class (make it short, but unique) so you can filter through twitter and find your student’s work.
Hopefully the class will fill up and I will teach it again this Winter. I am currently preparing a version of the class that uses TheBrain (www.thebrain.com) to create a visual environment for exploring scenarios and their implications. My “brain” will be hosted and students will be able to interact with the brain on the web.
That’s it. I hate e-mail. I want all “stuff” to move to shared spaces. The class also used Microsoft SharePoint, which is OK as a repository, but I hope TheBrain will connect the students more holistically to the material.
Daniel W. Rasmus
Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst of Serious Insights, is an internationally recognized speaker on the future of work and education. He is the author of several books, including Listening to the Future and Management by Design.