A beginner’s guide to social media
We’ve pulled together advice from tech-savvy professors to give you the
resources you need to start incorporating social media into your teaching
by Christina Chant
You’ve heard of Skype and you’re tempted
by the idea of free Internet calls, but the
thought of downloading it seems mildly
exhausting. When asked repeatedly if you
want to upgrade to a new version of your
existing software, you hit “Remind me Later”
with a sigh, saving that technological challenge for another day when, well, you’ll just
feel much more up to it. And when it comes
to Web 2.0 technologies, you’re hoping that if
you ignore them they might just go away.
It may be that your course management
system (CMS) already has the requisite tools
to help you achieve your teaching goals. For
example, some CMS platforms support
threaded discussions that can help boost
communication among your students. More
innovative technologies that may already be
supported in-house include i Tunes U, wiki
services or streaming services.
“Technology Dreams” Contest
3 chances to win 1 of 3 Epson BrightLink 450Wi
Interactive projector for your school.
The bad news is that social media isn’t going
anywhere. The good news is that you’ve
come to the right place. We’ve pulled together advice from tech-savvy professors and
learning technologies centres to give you the
resources and advice you need to begin
incorporating social media into your teaching.
University Affairs and Epson Canada is providing 3 intelligent
Interactive projectors for schools to win as part of the
“Technology Dreams” contest. This interactive projector allows
educators to turn any standard whiteboard or smooth wall into
an interactive learning area. A winner will be announced every
2 months so your school has three chances to win.
Winner 1 - October 31, 2010
Winner 2 - January 31, 2011
For Sidney Eve Matrix, an assistant professor
in the department of film and media at
Queen’s University, the key is starting with
what you want to accomplish, rather than
with individual technologies. She recommends reviewing your teaching goals and
then choosing relevant technologies that will
help you reach those goals.
However, Alec Couros, professor of educational technology and media at the University
of Regina, notes that while IT departments
support technology, they often don’t support
innovation. The tools you need to achieve your
teaching goals might not be available. According to Dr. Matrix, even at relatively innovative
institutions, faculty sometimes choose to look
elsewhere for teaching tools. Course management systems don’t always represent the easy
route, and in some cases can require a lot of
time and expertise to master. In terms of ease
of use, the tools developed by private companies are often superior.
Winner 3 - March 31, 2011