After reading, Social Media for Educators by Dr. Tanya Joosten (a.k.a. @tjoosten), I decided to complete an #AcWri book review in the Learning and Performance Quarterly 1(2). Since this journal is online and open access, I thought I would blog a few key ideas and highlights from this #summerreading book.
Abstract: Social Media for Educators is an excellent book that interweaves theory, applications, and current pedagogical experiences for learning environments. For those in the learning and performance industry, this book provides insights and ideas to help guide social media use for both educators and learners. Joosten provides current examples, benefits, and considerations throughout each chapter. Whether educators are beginning to design their learning curriculum or learners are considering social media for organizational development, this book presents helpful insights and experiences that will potentially influence and shape effective engagement and learning with social media.
Keywords: Social Media, Education, Strategies, Practices
Although I have previously blogged about strategies for developing social media guidelines – I thought I’d share a few other suggestions for social media engagement from the book. Here are a few ideas, but really I would just recommend reading the book if you’re interested in social media for learning, training or development.
Part One: Background
I appreciate how Tanya Joosten lays out the history and evolution of what we now know as social media. Social media is defined by a number of educators and summarized as “A virtual place where people share; everybody and anybody can share anything anywhere anytime” (Joosten, 2012, p. 6). Social media encompasses Web 2.0 tools, social networking sites, and user-generated content where individuals engage and contribute to these digital spaces.
This section introduces readers to how social media is being used to build a network, establish support systems, and grow relationships among peers. There are a number of examples where professionals can “get their feet wet” for using social media for professional/personal use. Finally, this section wraps up with implementation considerations and identifying the following pedagogical needs (Joosten, 2012, p. 30):
- Increasing communication and contact
- Engaging students through rich, current media
- Gathering and providing feedback
- Creating cooperative and collaborative learning opportunities
- Providing experiential learning opportunities
Part Two: Social Media: What to Do With It?
I enjoyed how this section of the book presented practical case studies and useful ideas for social media communication and instructional design. The examples and “how to” guides for using social media are very helpful when considering how to enhance the learning environment. Many of these examples are excellent models for various types of learning experiences (in class, online, blended, etc.) and training opportunities (professional associations, affiliations, etc.). As an instructor/student, I agree with Joosten’s thoughts on how social media helps facilitate peer instruction and greater interactions. I also agree that social media features and characteristics often provide a richer learning experience (Joosten, 2012, p. 54), including:
- Provides a virtual space for storing, archiving, and retrieving
- Facilitates rich and current information
- Increases the ability to aggregate resources to share
- Offers immediate access to information through mobile apps or through RSS feeds
Part Three: Other Considerations in Implementation
The last section of this book deals issues that often accompany social media in education, including policy, administrative and IT support, cost, user-generated media, support for educators, training needs, effective evaluation practices, and challenges for implementation and use. The last few chapters guides educators on how to go forth and create their own social media instructional plan at their home institution. Dr. Joosten provides evaluation instruments, suggestions for establishing learning outcomes, and assessment ideas for using social media in education.
Joosten, T. (2012). Social media for educators. San Francisco, CA: Wiley/Jossey-Bass.
Pasquini, L.A. (2012). Book review: Social media for educators. Learning and Performance Quarterly, 1(2); 83-84.