When I was in school, checking my Facebook page (or MySpace when it was cool) would easily get you detention. In fact, I’m pretty sure the site was blocked on school computers. Recently, however, I thought since technology and social media communication permeates the modern world, why is it not part of the education system? Although most social media sites were created primarily for personal communication, now we are seeing how they can be assets in the professional sphere. In my opinion, students should be learning how to manage these sites responsibly and use them to their advantage.
I asked my younger sisters who are in high school and middle school if they had updated the computer class curriculum since I had been there, and I was shocked to learn they are still spending the class period learning to type!
Kids these days are basically born knowing how to type and manage electronic devices so why are we wasting time teaching them how to type? With all the instant messaging, texting, and computer usage by children and young adults, they are probably typing more wpm than their teachers.
That being said, it’s about time Facebook is introduced to the classroom because it can greatly benefit the younger generation to learn how to use social media sites correctly and in a way that can potentially enhance their future professional lives. One of the reasons social media sites are so shunned in school is because of the trouble kids find themselves in by misusing them – bullying, jealousy, illegal activities, etc. can all be attributed to irresponsible posts made by individuals. If children were taught social media etiquette from the beginning, and informed of the potential consequences of abusing Facebook, I think a lot of the stigma of social media could be erased.
Also, with computer technology being such a vital part of the workplace, I think students should learn more in-depth computer skills than typing. If students learned basic programming skills and how to operate more advanced programs than Microsoft Word and Powerpoint, we would be seeing incredible technological advances in our society.
If I were to re-write computer classroom curriculum, this is what I, Kimberly, would include:
1. Classroom blog (All students would take turns posting. This can enhance those typing skills while also including creative writing, social interaction, and expanded knowledge on a certain topic)
2. Social media etiquette
- Privacy settings
- How to present yourself in a positive manner (none of those self-pictures in your bathroom mirror of you making a duck face while giving a peace sign)
- Social media in professional setting (FB business page, marketing, etc.)
3. Basic computer programming (It is such a needed skill now! Imagine if it became second nature for the young generation)
4. Website construction (Using a basic site like Word Press or Google sites, students can make their own personal site or be creative by making a site for an imaginary business)
I have no background in education, so I have no idea how this would actually play out, but I think technology education needs a kick in the pants in some schools!
Does anyone know of schools that are taking this initiative to amp up computer classes? What else would you include in these classes?
Every NAFSA Conference I look forward to the NAFSA Tweet Ups. Usually because it is a space where I can meet and mingle with the people I tweet with all year. As some of you know you can go years without meeting some of the people who you have tweeted with and there may be some tweeps I never meet.
This year at the NAFSA Tweet Ups that will still exist but I have finally found a band of fellow social media nerds that have been willing to help me make this event into what I have wanted it to become - an interactive and engaging space for all social media nerds!
Photo Courtesy of GoAbroad.com
Now, not only will I get to meet my fellow tweeps, but we are having the first ever #TweetIEs, or Twitter Awards for International Education. This has been so much fun to put together. I must say my fellow tweeps are most generous and we have been able to gather more than twenty different prizes and most likely a prize for everyone who will be attending the final Tweet Up. More prizes keep getting sent to my office every day. No joke - I am going to have to take a separate suitcase for all the prizes people have donated. Thank goodness for Southwest baggage allowances!
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our great sponsors for donating prizes.
- Abroad 101
- Abroad Store
- Academic Programs International (API)
- CEA Study Abroad
- Chronicle of Higher Education
- CIS Abroad
- Cultural Vistas
- GlobaLinks Learning Abroad
- Go Overseas
- Mandy’s Mashups
- Melibee Global
- STA Travel
- Terra Dotta
The first Tweet Up on Tuesday will feature the "Best Social Media T-shirt Contest". I highly recommend you start searching the web and getting yours today.At the first Tweet Up we will announce the official opening of the #TweetIEs. There are several categories people can be considered for these awards. However, a few ground rules. You must use the #NAFSA13 hashtag in your post to be considered. Also, only posts after the official opening of the #TweetIEs on Tuesday will be considered. So save all your good stuff until then.The categories are:
If you have any questions Tweet Me @mandysmashups.Looking forward to seeing you there!!
- Best #NAFSA13 Tweet
- Best Video
- Most Creative #IamIE
- Most Creative Exhibit Photo
- Most Creative Session Photo
- Most Creative Reception Photo
- Wittiest Tweet
- Best booth giveaway photo (Instagram photo)
Here is another post in our guest blog series. In this post a colleague, Kayla Patterson, talks about how she came to work in social media and the opportunities social media has afforded her. How did you build a career in social media? I often get asked how I came to work in social media, which is a valid question considering I never could have dreamt of being a social media manager as a kid! It all started during my junior year at Colorado State University when I was tasked with creating a marketing plan for my future. Inspired by the growing social media niche, I created a plan that included social media as the central aspect of my career. Little did I know, that marketing plan would actually serve as the foundation for where I am today. I began integrating social media in all my marketing projects, and started managing social media channels for friends and family. Concurrently, I landed an awesome internship with GoAbroad.com as the social media intern, where I had the fortune of helping grow GoAbroad's social media presence. That internship evolved into helping conceive GoSocial, a social media management and consulting service, in which I became a community manager for several international education organizations. I consider myself very lucky to have been given the opportunity to get real world experience in social media while I finished up my degree in marketing. Upon graduation, I accepted the position of GoMedia Coordinator, where I primarily oversee GoSocial, and our team of community managers. What opportunities has social media brought you? Because I just couldn't get enough, I also completed my senior honors thesis by creating a website and blog that was focused on social media. The goal of the site was/is to provide a resource for students to learn how to use social media to help promote themselves or a business. After being dormant for a period of time, I have recently revived SocialMediaForStudents.com with a new look, new content, and more consistent guest posts from other social media students and professionals. As a result of working on the site, as well as my own personal social media presence, I have added more opportunities to my resume, including acting as a mentor to HootSuite's Campus Ambassador program, and guest posting on blogs like Mandy's Mashups! And because I am a true social media nerd, I can't wait to get involved with whatever else social media has to offer.
How do you manage it all?
In terms of social media, management tools are my best friend! At work I'm overseeing and managing over a dozen social media presences, and at home I'm coordinating everything I do for SocialMediaForStudents.com, HootSuite, as well as the other brands I manage for family friends, all of which I wouldn't be able to manage without some handy dandy social media tools. At the top of my list is HootSuite, which is an invaluable social media dashboard, scheduler, team management tool, and report generator, among other things. I also use several tools to help curate content, including but not limited to Google Alerts, Pulse, and StumbleUpon. Beyond that, I find that keeping myself organized is the best way to stay efficient and consistent, so I actually have different browsers and calendars set up for each area of my work. For example, Chrome is all work and GoAbroad related, complete with relevant bookmarks, my Google Calendars, and saved passwords (life-saver!), whereas Safari is home to my personal email, my WordPress CMS for SocialMediaForStudents.com, and my blog's editorial calendar.
What is your favorite aspect of social media?
Results! While social media is notoriously variable, forever changing, and hard to measure, there is a kind of joy and excitement when your page or channel starts yielding engagement, growth, and results. I love hearing from my clients that they had X amount of leads from Facebook one month, or that Twitter was a top referrer for their website last quarter. The fact is that social media works as a marketing tool, and my favorite part is when people and clients accept that realization through results.
Kayla is the founder of SocialMediaForStudents.com, a site that aims to be a resource for social media students of all types to learn how to market themselves or their business through social media. She is also the GoMedia Coordinator for GoAbroad.com where she oversees a social media management and consulting service. Kayla has a passion for country music, travel, and social media, and enjoys a good chick-flick, any kind of shopping, and all kinds of dessert! Follow her on Twitter: @kaylapatt
Below is a special guest post by HootSuite Community Manager, Stephanie Wiriahardja. Stephanie runs the HootCampus Ambassador program for HootSuite which is a new initiative. Below is her post about a day in the life of a community manager for a social media management tool (among other things).
One of the questions I get asked the most as a Community Manager for a popular social media dashboard is "What's your day-to-day like?". I usually chuckle first before even attempting to put into words what exactly I do and what's my day-to-day like. Everyday is different, but there are a number of projects I oversee that involve a heavy usage of social media.
If you peek at my HootSuite dashboard, you'll see that I manage 38 different Twitter accounts, 8 Facebook Pages, 6 LinkedIn Groups, and 2 Google+ Pages. It will be such a nightmare if I had to log in and out to each one. Lucky for me, I get to use my company's product, HootSuite, to reach out to HootSuite users and promote HootSuite. Yep, it's that meta! I have actually used HootSuite for 1.5 years before I joined the team in 2011, so I didn't have to make any radical adjustments to my social media practice.
Some of my all-time favourites features are:
- Streams and tabs
- Geo-location search
Streams and tabs are the bread and butter of HootSuite and I could not imagine having to go to each account to search for something or tweet from it. I manage all 54 accounts at all times, which means I have listening streams that I organize to different tabs to help me monitor everything that is mentioned. Now that I have all my accounts connected in one dashboard, I can easily tweet or post from any of the accounts without the need to take a step back, log out, log back in, and try to remember what I wanted to tweet, or who I wanted to give a shout out to.
I must admit I am not the only one monitoring and managing all 54 accounts. I have my coworkers spread across many departments that also have access to these accounts, simply because the questions that we get from the users vary. For example, most of the mentions that our main Community team's Twitter handle, @HootClub, is about how cute our owl swags are. Once in awhile though, we get technical questions, affiliate-related, or hiring questions. Sure we can answer these, but would not it be better if we can assign someone else that is an expert in the topic to answer the question? Rather than emailing or pinging the person on chat to reply to a specific tweet, HootSuite has a built-in Assignment feature for its Pro and Enterprise users. Last year alone, I help host over 110 HootUps (similar to TweetUps, but with HootSuite as the main topic of conversation) in 43 cities, in 18 countries. Sometimes it's difficult to sift through the dozens of HootSuite mentions, but with the geo-location search, I can filter to only the mentions and conversations happening at a set location. This way, I get to tweet the people who are actually around the area of where the HootUp will be held. I also use it to give me relevant updates and insights. For example, if there's an event happening in town, I can see who's talking about it so I can create an opportunity to connect with them before the event. Serving 6+ million users worldwide is not easy, especially dealing with the different time zones. The scheduling feature on HootSuite is so helpful in making sure I tweet articles when the audience is awake and most active. This feature also helps in making sure there's always content going out, even when I am taking vacation or day off. However, don't mistaken this as your reason for not replying to any mentions. You are not a spam bot, so you have to show your followers that while you have content scheduled, you also engage with them.
So there they are, my top four favourite features of my favourite social media tool (slightly biased, but I swear I am telling the truth, only the truth, and nothing but the truth)! What sort of features do you need the most to be more efficient? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @stephawie. I'd like to hear them!
The NAFSA Annual Conference is just around the corner. I have been asked by many newbies to the conference if I have any tips and tricks to help them get through a very intense and exhausting week of activities. Below are my top tips and tricks for surviving the NAFSA Annual Conference. They are in no particular order and feel free to chime in if you have others.
1. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Ladies leave the high heels at home. You will regret wearing them at the end of the first day. One reason I say this is that the convention center tends to be huge and you could have to walk about a half a mile or more just to get from one meeting room to another. Additionally, the hotels are not all located right next door and neither are the restaurants for the receptions. So you will be doing a lot of walking and in many cases will need to do so quickly. You will notice most people are in their sneakers by Thursday or Friday.
2. Leave time between meetings. This one has gotten me many times. I book meetings back to back and forget that it will take me at least 10-15 minutes to get from the meeting spot to the exhibit hall (and find the booth I need) or vice versa. You need to leave time between meetings so you can transport yourself across vast distances.
3. A few money saving tips. Use the receptions for your dinners and other meals. Many of us get invited to multiple receptions every night. They normally don't have dinner but they usually have enough snacks that you can make a meal if you attend 2-3. This goes the same for breakfast meetings and luncheons. Plus, let's be honest, you will not have time to sit down for a real dinner or meal all week so you need to eat when you can.
4. Buy a power pack to charge your devices. If you are anything like me and are connected all the time via social media, email, etc., you will need an extra battery pack to charge your devices during the day because they will not survive from the beginning of the day to the end without a little help. I just purchased one and wish I had it several conferences ago. Click here to view the one I purchased. It seems to work pretty well.
5. Drink lots of water! I say this not only because it is good for your body in general but for several others reasons. One you will be doing a lot of talking and you don't want to lose your voice. Many of my friends lose their voice by the end of the conference. This may still happen but at least you can prolong it from happening possibly. Also, the convention center and the hotel rooms tend to be really dry and dry everything out including your throat. I always carry a bottle of water around with me and fill it up often during the day. They generally have either drinking fountains or portable water to fill up with around the convention center for everyone.
6. Have a plan of attack for the expo hall. The Expo Hall is huge. There are literally hundreds of booths throughout this massive space. This means if you are planning on gleaning any information from this expo hall you need to know who you want to visit and which booths you definitely want to stop by. If you don't, you will get lost in this massive space. Believe it or not I have gotten lost in there at least once every year. The booths all look alike after awhile. I suggest creating a list of those exhibitors you want to visit and then organize them by their booth number. Then start at one end of the Expo Hall and work your way to the other. You will need to do this over the course of several days since unless you are planning on spending 3-4 hours or more in the Expo Hall at one time, you will not be able to make it to all the exhibitors on your list at one time.
7. If you are presenting, do not count on the internet working. Make sure you include screen shots in your presentation in case the internet doesn't work. I have given too many presentations and been in too many rooms where the internet doesn't work or is so slow you can't do what you want. This also includes embedding videos into your presentation vs. counting on the internet to play them. If the internet works great but, if not you still can show what you want people to see.
These are some of my favorite tips and tricks for newbies to the NAFSA conference as well as a refresher for the veterans. If you have any great tips please let feel free to add them here.
A dear friend and I in Toronto, Canada
This may be a bit dramatic, but I am convinced I would not survive before the existence of Internet connections and online communication. Granted, this has to do with perspective; of course, I would not realize I was missing such an awesome tool for information and keeping in touch if it had not existed yet. All I know is I am thankful to be alive in this current age because I am not much of a snail-mail girl.
These thoughts came to me recently as I have been in the Dominican Republic for the past two and a half months. I found myself missing my friends and family back home when I realized I have nothing to complain about. With such easy access to social media due to the ever-increasing availability of Wi-Fi, I am frequently in contact with people from home. All I have to do is scroll through Facebook and I am immediately filled-in on people’s lives. Instagram, however, has been my preferred medium because it’s fantastic to just browse through photos without the clutter of lots of text and ads that Facebook can have. (It also makes me feel like a professional photographer with all the fancy filters.)
The benefit of using social media while abroad is a two-way street, however, because friends and family can keep up with me as well. Instead of calling or emailing parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends, all of these important people in my life (plus random acquaintances and the occasional stalker) are updated on my life in one fell swoop as I post photos and status updates.
One of the greatest ways social media has impacted my abroad experiences, however, is by giving me an ability to maintain friendships that began abroad. My Facebook friends consist of people I met on various trips, and I am so glad to be able to maintain those friendships today. I can honestly say if it weren’t for social media, I would never be able to communicate with so many people I met abroad. Although they were in my life for a brief period, we can maintain a relationship thanks to the upgrade from snail-mail.
All these advancements in social media communication, however, do come with a few drawbacks: it can be way more impersonal when I am not contacting to loved ones directly, so I make an effort to call or email those exceptionally special people (consider yourselves lucky ;)) Also, constantly being connected to people from home can distract from your abroad experience if you are not careful. Especially if you are only spending a semester abroad, it is important to take advantage of every minute in this new and exciting place. Home will be there when you get back, and I can bet you that not much will have changed in four months. I met too many people as an undergrad who I believe missed out on their experience abroad by being on Skype for hours at a time every day with people from home. Doing this, unfortunately, makes you miss home way too much and keeps you from making great connections with friends abroad.
I encourage those of you planning on going abroad to set a certain time of day or week for social media use, and catch up with friends and family during that time slot only, so you can take full advantage of exploring your surroundings!
How have you seen social media while traveling help or harm you?
Are there any apps or websites that are particularly helpful for communicating while abroad?
-Kimberly, Mandy's Mashups Intern
Hi everyone! My name is Kimberly Wilson, and I am the new Mandy’s Mashups social media intern. My role here will be updating the blog, website, and Facebook page, as well as brainstorming other ways to branch out with new projects.
I am currently on track to graduate in May from Clemson University with a degree in Spanish & International Health, so the International Education aspect of Mandy’s Mashups really appealed to me. Throughout my undergraduate career, I have had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Spain to study and intern. Thanks to these experiences, I have developed a passion for travel, studying abroad, and all things international, so I am incredibly excited to merge this interest with social media.
I will be very honest and admit that I have ZERO experience using social media in a professional setting. I, like all college students these days however, have plenty
of personal experience using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, among other social media sites. What else are we supposed to do during a 90 min lecture when the next exam is weeks away??
It has been enlightening to see, however, that social media can actually be something productive and useful, not just a time-waster when putting off that ten page paper or final chemistry exam (or cheMISERY as I liked to call it).
By working as an intern with Mandy’s Mashups, I hope to continue expanding my knowledge of social media’s professional functions as well as its relation to international education. What are your first experiences with social media? Did you jump on the Facebook and Twitter bandwagon from the start or did you hold out until it was only completely necessary to have an account?
Please feel free to write me with any suggestions for the website and social media channels below as a comment or through the contact
I recently learned about this great program offered by HootSuite for all those social media saavy college students. I thought I would post it here since it is a great way for college students to have their voice heard and increase their understanding of social media from a great company. If you don't have HootSuite I highly recommend it. It is the only way I am able to manage my time on social media.
According to HootSuite the gist of the program is
In one sentence, the program helps empower students to connect with each other, become leaders in the social media space at their school and community, as well as be the voice of HootSuite on campus. This program will give students a unique opportunity to build your own campus community and gain recognition by effectively using social media. By becoming a HootSuite Campus Ambassador, you will join an exclusive network of students from around the world, while at the same time gain valuable career experience.
I highly recommend that you share this with interested students you may know. Happy Hooting!
A topic that always causes people a little bit of concern when they think about social media use is using students to generate content. I wanted to address this topic in this post because I feel it is important for people to face their fears in some cases and hopefully this post will help alleviate some concerns.
Starting in the fall I employed a student, who had previously studied abroad, to be our Global Ambassador. One of the major duties of this position was to take on our social media campaigns. Rather than give her all our social media channels to work with I limited it to Facebook to start since this was the channel she has the most experience with.
I am here to tell you that our Facebook page has exploded with more interaction because of her work. We worked together to start and she came up with a theme each week to post on the page. She only works in the office about 5 hours per week so she doesn't have a huge amount of time to post. However, with the ability to schedule posts on Facebook pages, she has been able to work for only one hour per week and schedule posts for the entire week in that one hour. Some of the themes have included particular countries where we have programs, scholarships, and deadlines.
Her fellow students have loved her posts and I am able to track the interactions with Facebook insights. She also created a campaign, on her own, to increase the number of Fans we had and we were able to get 40 new fans in just a little less than a week.
Whenever I mention using a student as mentioned above some people cringe because they fear the additional work monitoring a student would entail. In all honesty I have done very little monitoring of her posts. What I did was explain to her in the beginning what I was looking for and emphasized the fact that she was representing our office and our institution and should keep that in mind when posting. That is all it took. Now, I know that not all students work out as nicely as she has but with a little guidance and some patience you can really make student work count. Her fellow students relate to her posts and we have made it seem as it is coming from our office which is a great for us.
I have posted a few screen shots of our page below.
I would love to hear what your experience has been with working with students in regards to social media. No story is too small.
It has been a really long time since I have written a social media blog. It hasn't been for lack of information or wanting to contribute. Unfortunately, everyday life and extensive travel has interfered with all my best laid plans.
I don't really set New Year's Resolutions but more New Year's Goals and one of my goals is to be more consistent with my blog posting. Hopefully I can make that happen. Sometimes having a full time (more than full time) job and doing something like this on the side doesn't always go as planned.
With that being said, just because I haven't posted a blog in awhile doesn't mean I haven't been using social media or presenting on it. Right now I am trying to challenge myself when it comes to social media. Not that I think I am an expert in social media use or particular platforms but, social media changes so rapidly I feel like I need to try out some of the latest and greatest and keep up with the ever-changing social media world.
One area of I have expanded on is within Pinterest
. I was using Pinterest before but I have really started to get into it. One thing I have tried to do is use each of my social media platforms for a different purpose. Twitter is for updating throughout the day/week and while I attend events like conferences. Pinterest
has become the place that I post all the great infographics I have found as well as other things I am interested in. I have a board just for social media and there are some great social media infographics out there that everyone should check out. I love infographics since I am a more visual learner and can grasp information easy in picture representations vs. just text. If you are like that as well then Pinterest
is for you. I encourage you to consider using Pinterest as a way to let your students, colleagues, etc. understand visual aspects of what you want them to know or understand.
One other platform I have begun to start understanding and using is Google +. Originally, I was like a lot of people I know and really disliked Google + and saw it as another social media channel to post the same information I am posting in other spots. However, since my institution made the switch to Google Apps for Education I have started to use it more and more. I have found it is a means of reaching out to people who don't know what I do related to social media as well as have expressed an interest in study abroad or other aspects of international education.
Posting to Google + is relatively easy and similar to posting to Twitter or Facebook. However, you can target your audience more and it combines the "likes" of Facebook and the "retweeting" of Twitter.
It will be interesting to see how my use progresses with this.
If you have experience with either of these two platforms please chime in and let me know what you think. Also, let me know
if there are topics you would like to see me cover.
Make sure you check out the workshops
I am offering in March and April of this year.
Hopefully you will hear from me soon. :)