You want to collaborate on a project, potentially with people from around the world.
You want to encourage your students to work together through social networking.
You need a platform which is easy to manage.
You want it to be user friendly so that partners can contribute easily.
You know there are lots of social networks available, but which one would best suit your needs?
Benefits of using social media sites for teaching and learning
- student motivation through bonding with new peers and groups for support, creating a social community – particularly good for part-time, distance or flexible programmes
- creativity and personalisation
- gaining professional advantage
- empowers students to take ownership and responsibility for their own learning
- alters relationship between staff and students from one way to an ongoing two-way process
- some students feel more able to express themselves more fully and confidently, enabling concerns, issues and misunderstandings to be noticed when these might be overlooked in other teaching spaces
Risks when using social media sites for teaching and learning
- increased visibility brings exposure to vulnerability and potential for possible embarrassment or failure in a very public space
- loss of control
- encouraging staff and students to register and share personal information with social media sites, when we have a ‘duty of care’
- potential legal liabilities around libel, slander, defamation, breaches of copyright and IPR or commercial confidentiality
- social media tools have their own extensive terms, conditions and policies, which are often very long, difficult to understand and can change significantly with or without warning
See the full article which also includes ideas for using social media sites for teaching and learning - “Using social media in education: Part 1: Opportunity, risk and policy”, Nicola Osbourne, Social Media Officer, EDINA (JISC)
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/industry/library/ind-educ-social-media1/index.html (accessed 10th January 2013)
Plymouth University Policies and other guidance
- The University’s Social Media Strategy and guidance documents (login required)
- Copyright Guidance
- Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
- Harassment and Bullying
- Personal Information and Data Protection
- Web 2.0 Resources
- Web 2.0 Tutor’s Legal Issues Checklist (2009)
- Legal Aspects of Web 2.0 and Social Networking (PPT) (2010)
Web2Rights – IPR and other Legal Issues Toolkits
Before you go public
- Try the tool with peers to identify any problems or concerns before going public. It’s also sensible to plan time for staff to create, maintain, monitor and reflect on social media presences to ensure they are taken seriously and staff feel they have ownership and responsibility
- It’s important to manage expectations – ensure students are clear as to which channels they are required to use and which are optional.
Social networking sites/ tools investigated for this project:-
- Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/
- Google+ Communities – http://plus.google.com
- Google Sites – http://www.google.com/sites/help/intl/en/overview.html
- Ning – http://uk.ning.com/
- SharePoint – http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/en-us/Pages/default.aspx
- WordPress – http://wordpress.com
- Moodle – http://moodle.org/
- shared message board/ forum
- sharing documents, images and videos
- sharing a calendar of events
- sharing maps
- ability to poll
The main research was conducted using a mac, but collaborators accessed sites from a range of devices including PC, iPhone, iPad and Android mobile and tablet.
Quick reference matrix of sites and features:
Social networking sites/ tools explored in detail:
- Facebook Groups
- Google+ Communities
- Google Sites
- SharePoint Collaborative Site