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?
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 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!
If you are interested in being a guest blogger please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many people in international education often wonder "Why should I use social media?" or will say "I work in international education so how does social media fit?" In this post I want to address this idea.
All of this, of course, is my opinion but it is based on over five years experience in the field of international education which includes starting my own office from scratch, working in a one-person office, as well as developing and implementing faculty-led programs among many other duties.
I have found social media to be a perfect fit for international education. Here is why.
It allows people who are being asked to do more with less to be able to continue to do more. For example, instead of having to read three or four newspapers every day or go to four or five different websites I receive the news instantly via my Twitter account or through Facebook. For instance, when the State Dept. posts a travel warning it hits Twitter first before it hits my email. This also allows me and others who I have talked to about this to actually more effectively and efficiently do our jobs because it saves time and we actually get the news much quicker and can respond, if need be, much faster.
In addition, I am also able to monitor much more closer what is being said about my programs as well as my office. Instead of waiting for a complaint to come in via someone calling or coming in in-person (which they still do), I can monitor the internet using key terms as well as various social media sites to see what students are saying about our programs and can address any issues (positive or negative) much faster. (People actually do say some really great positive things about what people are doing within international education that most won't know about unless they were on social media.)
Finally, I love using social media to promote our programs. I post photos, repost student blog entries, post news articles and much more. This not only allows me to let other students know about the great things we are doing but also lets faculty, other universities, our providers, as well as the general public know the great things our students are doing to make themselves citizens of the world.
Social media really does have reach. I have actually been contacted by the press after posting information about a program. So what you post really does matter.
These are only some of the reasons that international education and social media are a great fit. I encourage others within the international education field who are using social media to add further to my list by commenting to this post.
Thanks and more soon!
P.S. You can also find out about a lot of great free or low cost resources, workshops, and webinars by being on Twitter and Facebook. With these economic times that is a major plus.
Now that you are hopefully starting to monitor your international social media presence here are a few additional tips to increase the effectiveness of your monitoring.
It is extremely important to monitor what is being said about you in the huge sphere we know as the internet. Likely, for us there are a number of great tools available to help us be able to do this. Below are a listing of some great tools that will assist you in monitoring what is being said about you personally as well as your organization/institution.
Useful Tools for Monitoring Your International Presence
· Tweetdeck – http://www.tweetdeck.com– my personal favorite – let’s you monitor multiple Twitter accounts at one time as well as search for keywords
· HootSuite – http://hootsuite.com– great for scheduling Tweets
· Google Alerts - http://www.google.com/alerts - highly recommended tool – allows you to received notifications when items are posted on the internet about you or your organization/institution
· Google Reader - http://www.google.com/reader- great tool for being able to read all of your Alerts in one place.
· Social Mention - http://www.socialmention.com/ - like Google Alerts but for social media
· Addict-o-Matic - http://addictomatic.com/ - let’s you create a keyword social media search
· Tribe Monitor - https://www.tribemonitor.com/ - allows you to measure your presence on social media.
I hope you find some of these useful and use at least one of these to monitor your international social media presence.
This blog is all about social media. I hope to offer tips, tricks, advice and more on using social media within international education and international travel.