Networked Community, Professional Development, Research, video, Virtual Communities

What Communities and Hashtags Connect You On Twitter?

Twitter is commonly used for learning & development. We know that hashtags are great ways to link conversations, trends, news, and happenings on this social network. In real time, you can follow a story, participate in a conversation, and contribute to a community by including a hashtag in your tweet. A hashtag community might be formed by an instructor for a specific educational course or program. Or maybe there is a hashtag you are following for a professional learning event or for a specific conference backchannel (I’ve been known to inquire about these before). Hashtags have the power to share learning/knowledge from a conference for participants who are on-site or at a distance.

GotHashtagFor example, Kimmons and Veletsianos (2016) examined the tweets shared during the 2014 and 2015 American Educational Research Associations (AERA) annual conferences by reviewing the #aera14 and #aera15 hashtag. They found that backchannels are a venue for both scholarly and non-scholarly communications. It’s used for more than just promotion — the conference backchannel offers a way to share work, engage in scholarly conversations, and discussion current events or issues relevant to education.  Want to learn more? Watch the Research Shorts video below:


Conference participants gave a nod to other educational communities online, such as #edchat or #edreform, who regularly dialog, share, and interact with one another on Twitter using their group hashtag.

Like a number of educators, I have an affinity to a few Twitter communities online based on the hashtags they share and use. Some of these groups have regular  Twitter chats, and a number of Twitter communities offer support, advice, and guidance within a field or discipline. I’ll give a hat-tip to (one of many) a hashtag that supported my own work as a doctoral researcher active on Twitter => #PhDchat. This informal, online network has been known to support many graduate students work through dissertation/thesis development, swap research methods, and learn about effective academic writing practices (to name a few). emergent, online community is an informal network. Learn more about the #phdchat community from Ford,  Veletsianos, and Resta’s (2014) as they share their examination of this emerging, online network:

As some of you might know, I am working with some stellar researchers to learn more about how these online, informal Twitter communities/hashtags impact professional development.  We are currently gathering hashtags that you connect to for conversation and community on Twitter. If you participate in a regular/semi-regular Twitter chat with other educations — tell us about it! Or is there just a hashtag you follow and use frequently in your tweets? Let us know! Share your hashtags & Twitter chats you have in your discipline, field, or occupation by ADDING  to this OPEN Google doc — SHARE your Twitter Community and/or Hashtag here: http://bit.ly/hashtagcommunity Thank you!

References:

Ford, K., Veletsianos, G., & Resta, P. (2014). The structure and characteristics of #phdchat, an emergent online social network. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 18(1).

Kimmons, R. & Veletsianos, G. (2016). Education Scholars’ Evolving Uses of Twitter as a Conference Backchannel and Social Commentary Platform. British Journal of Educational Technology, 47(3), 445—464.

Want to see more visual research? I suggest you go take a look at Research Shorts on YouTube => Subscribe & Watch NOW: http://bit.ly/researchshorts

#AcDigID

Social Scholarship: Being a Digital Academic #AcDigID

In thinking about scholarship today, I can certainly see how the web has influenced and impacted an academic’s professional life. Greenhow and Gleason (2014) outline the impacts of social scholarship using Boyer’s (1990) four dimensions of scholarship: discovery, integration, teaching, and application. In the social media age of academics, there are a couple of key questions that still need to be examined (Greenhow & Gleason, 2014, p. 1):

  • What is scholarship reconsidered in the age of social media?

  • How ought we to conceptualize social scholarship —a new set of practices being discussed in various disciplines?

Whether faculty are reluctant or embrace social media in their work life, it is apparent our institutions are not directing these online initiatives. Both policies and programs to support graduate students, researchers, and scholars have not met the needs of this growing social scholarship integration (Greenhow & Gleason, 2014). Social and digital spaces are thriving in academia. Academic social networks are on the rise and there are a number of reasons why scholars use social media and digital resources (Van Noorden, 2014). In thinking about how scholars interact and participate on social media, there are increasing considerations and questions faculty have about engaging/being online. Although I wish there was an “app for that” as an easy solution for an academic (see below), I think it takes some thought and intentionality for identifying and developing social/digital scholarship.

phd113016s

Image: Handy Academic Apps by PhD Comics

In the upcoming, Developing Your Social Media and Digital Presence for Faculty, Researchers, and Scholars (#AcDigID) online workshop, I hope to dig into digital identity development, discuss open and shared practices on social media, and share challenges and affordance being a networked academic. Whether you are a faculty who teaches online, face-to-face, or in blended learning environments, an early career scholar, or seasoned researcher — this workshop might be for you if you are interested in crafting your digital identity and interested in being part of a networked community of academics online. [Note: Future iterations of this OLC online workshop in 2017 will be targeted towards practitioners and administrators in higher education.]

OVERVIEW OF THE WORKSHOP: What does your online identity look like today? Have you Googled yourself lately? In academia, it is becoming increasingly vital to publish and share your teaching, service, and research scholarship. Besides developing an online presence and utilizing social media for professional development, faculty, researchers, and early career scholars are actively utilizing open and digital channels to enhance their instruction, share research findings, and find support in a community of connected scholars. Scholars are using online networks to share syllabi, ask questions for research needs, solicit support for peer review, and be part of the sharing economy for research impacts. In this workshop, we will explore meaningful ways to craft an active, online persona that includes using social media and other digital resources for teaching, service, and research in academia.

Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate social media and digital platforms for faculty development, connected scholarship, and to enhance research impact.
  • Establish effective strategies for developing an online digital identity within the open, networked community online.
  • Outline the benefits and challenges of open and digital scholarship, specifically with regards to social media and other networked platforms.

This is an asynchronous, week-long online workshop which will begin on a Monday (1/23) and end on the following Sunday (1/29).  If you want a look at the #AcDigID workshop agenda, here is the outline for short-course:

  • Why Does Social & Digital Identity Matter in Academia?
    • Getting started, digital identity development, and state of scholars online
  • The Tools of the Digital Academic Trade: Social Media
    • Twitter, hashtags, blogging, podcasting, LinkedIn, and more!
  • Being a Connected and Digital Scholar
    • Digital research impact and influence: ORCID iD, Academia.edu, ResearchGate, etc.
  • Openness in Academia: Benefits & Challenges
    • Working “in the open”  and the tension between benefits & challenges of online
  • Building Your Social and Digital Presence Online
    • Creating your own space and place for scholarship
  • Developing Your Digital Academic Identity
    • Bonus: Ways to aggregate and showcase your digital academic self

Dates Offered: January 23-29, 2017; Registration Page (to sign up)

To prepare for the workshop ahead, I am adding articles, resources, and suggestions. If you are an academic who is/was on social media, academic networking sites, or just online – please consider sharing your #AcDigID ADVICE and KNOWLEGE below:

  • ADD TO THE TWITTER LIST: Are you on the“Academics Who Tweet” Twitter list? I would like to get a variety of scholars from all disciplines and areas in higher education. Let me know if YOU or someone else should be added.
  • USE the #AcDigID Workshop HASHTAG this week to introduce yourself, say hello, share resources, or offer advice. I am encouraging learners to follow, read, and use this same hashtag during the week of January 23-29, 2017.
  • TELL YOUR #AcDigID STORY: Interested in coming to talk about your #AcDigID development? How did you become a networked academic? Why do you participate in networked, online communities higher ed? Let me know – happy to have you join during our #AcDigID Online, Synchronous Meeting on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 from 12-1 pm CST. [Drop me a DM on Twitter: @laurapasquini]
  • PARTICIPATE & TWEET during the #AcDigID Twitter Chat: Join us for the LIVE Twitter chat on Saturday, January 28, 2017  from 10-11 am CST.  Using the workshop hashtag, #AcDigID, I will moderate a Q&A 60-minute chat digging into the questions, challenges, and ideas/suggestions for being a networked scholar.

I look forward to seeing some of you in the OLC workshop, and others joining the #AcDigID online meeting (1/25), Twitter Chat (1/28) and contributing to the conversation using the #AcDigID workshop hashtag soon!

References:

Greenhow, C., & Gleason, B. (2014). Social scholarship: Reconsidering scholarly practices in the age of social media. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(3), 392-402.

Van Noorden, R. (2014). Online collaboration: Scientists and the social network. Nature, 512(7513), 126-129.

AcAdv, ACPA, ACPAdigital, Blended Learning, Higher Education, Learning, Learning Technologies, Online Learning, Professional Development

Academic Support In A Digital Age

Although you might not advise or support students in an online degree program, there are increasing efforts for teaching and learning technology. Learning delivery and design does impact how we support our students, and we mediate much of our work in higher education using digital tools and platforms. That being said, any adoption of technology should be led with informed decisions on modifying pedagogical methods (Bates, 2015), which is directly related to our advising models and programs we offer in the post-secondary. Our students want the same flexibility, access, and online support.

Our students want the same flexibility, access, and online support they often receive from instruction and other services they use. When learning with technology, our students are accustomed to having access to student support or other features alongside their online/blended coursework; however, the digital student success side is frequently an afterthought for these technology determinations. We need to have more student success and academic advising programs consider the best technology to provide advising content and service delivery (Steele, 2015) for a more learner-centered approach.

digital DNA

Digital DNA by Adriana Varella and Nilton Malz 

Whether you are leveraging technology to optimize your student support services or your campus is transitioning to either a blended or online learning model, there is both a need and desire to improve technology for academic advisors and student support practices in higher education (Pasquini & Steele, 2015). During your planning, it will be critical for your institution to ask the following questions before selecting technology-mediated environments for advising and learner support: 

  • What technologies is your institution currently utilizing for academic advising or student support?
  • How does your division or unit on campus decide on the most appropriate mode of technology delivery? [Will this be a campus-wide decision?]
  • What factors should be determined when designing technology in advising program and/or student support functional area?
  • What other strategies and structural support might benefit your campus in preparing  staff as they support learners digitally?  (e.g. training, skill development, etc.)

Join me as I discuss this further next Wednesday, September 14th from 12-1 pm EDT for the ACPA Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education (CASHE) Presents Webinar: “Selecting Technology for Advising and Supporting Your Students.” During this online event, I will be sharing a few evidence-based ideas and practical resources to help your advising team address these questions. This webinar will introduce your campus planning group to a few strategies and structures as they select technology for advising and student support. Sign up for this FREE webinar sponsored by ACPA CASHE here: http://goo.gl/tR8THa 

References

Bates, A. W., (2015). Chapter 9: Modes of delivery. In Guidelines for designing teaching and learning for a digital age. Open Text BC.

Pasquini, L. A., & Steele, G. (2016). Technology in academic advising: Perceptions and practices in higher education. figshare. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.3053569.v7

Steele, G. (2015). Using Technology for Intentional Student Evaluation and Program AssessmentNACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources. 

Higher Education, Professional Development, Reflections, Uncategorized

Digesting #dLRN15: Making Sense of Higher Ed

In the midst of the death of higher ed headlines,the  disruption of HE,  and all the higher ed is broken rhetoric tossed out, a few of us took a pause last week to discuss how to deal with the issues and challenges facing the post-secondary education sector at #dLRN15. I felt fortunate to be able to connect with a number of colleagues to talk behind the buzzwords, and dig into a the real issues challenges our colleges and universities face. It’s time and there is a need to take time for making change in higher education (thanks for the prompt post, @KateMfD). I am not sure that “change” was made, but I am proud to be part of the discussion and momentum that will move some of it forward.

pre-con Qa

Many thanks to the conference organizers for bringing a few smart kids around the table to discuss the following issues:

  • Ethics of collaboration
  • Individualized learning
  • Systemic impacts
  • Innovation and work
  • Sociocultural implications

The panels, sessions, and keynotes left me with more questions than answers – and that is a good thing. Beyond the formal program, the sidebar chats over coffee/snacks/pints were not to be dismissed As Mike Caufield said, I will need to process discussions had at #dLRN15 for weeks. There were some deep discussions into complex issues that could not be dealt with in just two days.

In our pre-conference meeting, each group picked a question/issue based on the themes the conference was focused on (see above). One the groups developed a question that resonated with me the most:

keyquestion

We always want to push forward with big change and innovative ideas in higher ed, but really do we sometimes forget to recognize the incremental changes occurring within our institutions? How do we acknowledge the slow movements and progress we make in HE or that it is an on-going process of change? There are many micro-movements occurring within our learning spaces to help us evolve. I know there are a number of amazing things happening within our colleges and universities — sometimes it’s these slow contributions that make the difference and we often fail to recognize this gradual progress. Slow and steady does win the race.

FinalPanel

Ethics of Collaboration & Closing Remarks: Random Dude, Mike, Barbara & George

Fast-forward to the end of the conference, after a number of thoughtful conversations, this final panel reminded all of us of the call to action => to provide evidence for higher ed to shift. George Siemens asked us to utilize research to fuel the fight around the issues raised. Beyond collaboration, what are we really going to do with what we’ve talked about now? It’s great to hear that we are not alone in our discussions however we need empirical evidence to support the change ahead in higher education. I appreciated how this panel spoke about getting beyond the dichotomies and encouraged us to think about research in collaboration with our students and work. We really need to listen to our students and amplify their story/voice in the research we do. It’s easier to move and change when there is already momentum for systemic change, and perhaps #dLRN15 titled the scale for a few. There are a number of challenges and questions from #dLRN15 to consider with our research in higher education, including:

  • What were the foundational assumptions and purpose we thought about at the #dlrn15 ?
  • How do the threads of the conference fit together in a framework to support advancing higher ed? 
  • What does it mean to have a US-centric focus in higher education? How does it impact HE on a global scale? Does it?
  • Was there enough systems-level research or research on systems change at #dLRN15?
  • Is there a need for systematic-change at all levels to advert change in higher ed?
  • How can higher ed research impact practitioner-based work?
  • Is research is the lever for change for us? And does empirical evidence have the potential to change the higher ed system?
  • How can we create a true design jam process — where research is reviewed and reflected?
  • Why should we trust the researchers?
  • We are able to get learners to the institution, but just not to get them through
  • economics of higher education — and the future of higher ed
  • Do we have enough divergent thoughts or ideas shared? Is this an echo chamber or do we need to invite others into the room/discussion for HE? 

This conversation (thankfully) is not over. Here’s a snapshot of my #dLRN15 Reading List with reflections and then some. Let’s keep this conversation and momentum going.

Learning Community, Rhizo15

Thinking About Communities for Learning {#Rhizo15 Week 5 – Catch Up}

Q: What a #Rhizo15 post? But Laura, I thought the course was over? Is this not true?

A: The #Rhizo15 is never over with a community like this one. #truth

Week 5 poked and prodded at the notion of community for learning, with questions like:

  • How do we make sure there is always room for new and contrarian voices?
  • Do we need to create a them to have a we?
  • How do we cultivate a community learning ecosystem so that it continues to grow outward rather than inward?
  • What does that mean for learning?
  • Must rhizomatic learning be an invasive species?

In my efforts to set up my 10-week Summer courses (why I dropped off the #rhizo15 path as an “active participant” both blogging, tweeting & on the Facebook group), I thought more about how communities can enhance learning, both the informal and formal sides. As I read the #rhizo15 week 5 blog posts and thought a the questions above – it made me consider access and agency to learning – my own and others. Whether it has been a course, certificate, professional meeting or a training seminar — the best experience in learning has been the people and their contributions. The opportunities to dialog and share experiences have lent to stickier and more meaningful learning — for myself and others. There is great knowledge With regards to facilitation and instruction, I would agree with Lisa’s sentiments from week #4 where the fearless #rhizo15 leader, Dave has “chosen words, for every one of his prompts, that are very open to interpretation.” Others interpreted this prompt with metaphors and ideas, including cultivating a garden of learning/teaching, thinking about spontaneous growth, and considering lines of flight for the #rhizo15 course/community.

I agree with these sentiments for my informal learning practices. In a number of my personal learning networks and communities of practice, there are always issues of cultivating a broader network and experience for those involved with learning. It is critical to avoid the online echo chamber when surrounded by like-minded people. This notion of echos in the network vary for #rhizo15 learning community. Some believe this community provides learning support and outlets to challenge the norm, while other community interactions or experiences might be determined by an algorithm. It is important to find ways to challenge and engage the learning community to reflect upon their practice and consider contrary points of view. Sometimes it is a good idea to step back to assess the conversation and learning in the community. I think it’s healthy to have a critical eye when reviewing the participation, discussion, and contribution in the learning community. How can we evaluate and reflect this practice more in our own learning networks?

echochamber123

The Echo Chamber [Revisited] by @gapingvoid

In my efforts to set up my 10-week Summer courses (one of the reasons why I dropped off the #rhizo15 path as an “active participant” both blogging, tweeting & on the Facebook group for a while), I thought more about how communities can enhance learning, both the informal and formal sides. In reflecting on my own formal learning/teaching, I have always valued individual contributions and experiences shared by others. Whether it has been a course, certificate, professional meeting or a training seminar — the best experience in learning has been from the people. We typically have been prompted to respond, answer, or be involved in some sort of interaction — however the learning happens more when the group of learners actively participate, chat, and share. This got me thinking about how to develop a learning community in a formal course curriculum and consider ways to personalize the learning experience.

Forcing or facilitating openness? You decide.

I like the idea of openness guided by the instructor. I enjoy finding meaning and ways to interpret the discussions; however I knew that most of my learners need directions and clear targets. This prompt encouraged ways to facilitate “openness” in my own teaching/training to revitalize a sense of exploration for my learners/participants. I want to facilitate a space that is structured “enough”; however it  does make room for all voices and galvanizes my learners to contribute to include their different perspectives and experiences. How are you encouraging these type of “open” learning experiences in your courses? How are they being interpreted/received by your students?

This past Monday kicked off the Summer sessions at UNT, and I was excited to welcome my learners in #LTEC3010 (Personal Development) and #LTEC4000 (Introduction to Training and Development). Both courses guide career and professional development either as individuals or within an organization [both course syllabi are posted here, if interested]. Interestingly enough, these two different courses have a lot of similarity in understanding organizational learning and individual performance in the workplace. There is enough “structure” for our online undergraduate courses; however I have made room for research, questions, creativity, and contributions from the learners. To be intentional about community learning, there are a number of activities (e.g. discussions, research projects, etc.) and examples to encourage self-directed learning offered in each class. As per usual, I hope to model the impacts online communities of practice and professional mentoring can have on individual academic/career development, while also introducing how informal and online learning networks can support new modes for training and development.

We shall see how these learning communities develop and grow… more to share soon (I hope).

Higher Education, Professional Development, Training & Development

#SAreads: Students, Ethics, and Online Engagement @ #ACPA15 the #ACPATrendingNow Session TODAY!

Join Courtney O’Connell and myself in a roundtable discussion about online student behavior in higher education during the #ACPATrendingNow Session (TODAY at 12:30-1:30 pm in the Marketplace):

SAreads #ACPATrendingNow Session @ #ACPA15

#SAreads: Students, Ethics and Online Engagement

campus book launch ad.003

An excerpt from the What Happens on Campus Stays on YouTube book on cyberbullying:

cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is defined as teasing, insulting or making fun of another person online. The intent is often to soil the target’s reputation. If you are a cyberbully, STOP! Your bullying could be the byproduct of social anxiety or low self-esteem and it is important that you seek help. Educators, friends, parents and counselors are increasingly aware of the signs of cyberbullying and will eventually confront you.

Cyberbullying is often considered a criminal offense and offline bullying laws apply to online behavior.

  • Cyberbullies leave digital fingerprints and often are easier to prosecute than traditional bullies who do not leave as much incriminating evidence.
  • Bullying can ultimately lead to a victim’s suicide. Victims of cyberbullying are twice as likely to commit suicide as those who have not had a cyberbullying experience.
  • 1 in 4 teens report that they have experienced repeated bullying via their cell or on the internet
  • Over half of all teens that use social media have witnessed outright bullying online, and an astounding 95 percent of teens who witness bullying on social media have ignored the behavior
  • We all must serve as upstanders and not bystanders to cyberbullying.
  • Colleges and universities have their own rules and procedures for dealing with cyber-bullying, cyber-harassment, and cyber-stalking. If you know something that is occurring, tell a faculty or staff member. They can help and give you options.
  • Being harassed or bullied online can be mentally draining. Reach out to others to help you process through it. The counseling services on your campus can also help.

Also in a recent study on cyberbystanders, nearly 70% of respondents who noticed the cyberbullying and who didn’t respond directly to the abuser gave bad marks to the chat monitor and/or didn’t recommend use of the chat room – both of which were classified as indirect intervention. This is happening at your institution and this is an important issue that WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT NOW! 

Sneak Peak of the Book (Preview Copy Only!)

More #ACPATrendingNow Sessions to participate in TODAY from 12:30-1:30 pm (in the Marketplace).

Becoming a Leader in Professional Associations – Facilitated by Cissy Petty
Hate Speech and First Amendment Rights – Facilitated by Kathy Adams Riester
Implications of Systemic Oppression – Facilitated by Tori Svoboda
Working with Undocumented Students – Facilitated by Ray Plaza
Personal Mental Health as Professionals  – Facilitated by Kalie Mason
Media Scrutiny of Higher Education – Facilitated by Gretchen Metzelaars
Supporting Veteran Students – Facilitated by Monica Christensen
Athletes as Students – Facilitated by Markesha Henderson (U West GA)
Title IX and Transgender Protection – Facilitated by Finn Schneider
Reclaiming Language as Means of Peaceful Protest – Facilitated by Dan Sym