What is meant by "Social Media"? They are web-based media for sharing images, writing and voice. Using appropriate social software tools and web hosts, we can write and share blogs, record and share podcasts, upload photographs for nominated friends or all to see, make internet TV, or upload and share videos, and much more. Perhaps most importantly we can create, join and participate in virtual communities, form new friendships and reconfirm old ones, recommend websites or products, share jokes or sad stories, and in many other ways engage socially on the Internet.
There is a lot of buzz about the social use of communication media. Whether you are sharing your words, video-sharing or photo-sharing, the most important aspect is the control that the user has to publish whatever they want to the web. Internet users are no longer passive recipients of information placed there by organizations and institutions. Instead they are active contributors and publishers. Social software tools have levelled the playing field.
They are designed to build a sense of community amongst the users. So working on a computer is no longer a private, individual pastime - it can be a communal activity. The communities might be mirrors of physical communities (e.g., universities, cities, football clubs) or might be virtual communities based on interests. The use of social technology in education is becoming ever more important as children are brought up surrounded by its use.
Another important aspect of the social revolution we are experiencing is in the speed at which our ideas can be communicated over vast distances and with huge numbers of people. Twitter is a prime example of the way in which communication has been changed in this respect. Major events can be described, and even world-changing demonstrations can be organized by using just 140 characters in a tweet. The infographic below shows the growth of Twitter and its prospects for 2012.
Using #hashtags makes it possible to search easily for tweets on a particular topic. Here is a poster of the most popular educational Twitter hashtags:
Compiled By: OnlineCollegeCourses.com
Collaborating online is so much easier now with the social software available. Instead of sending drafts of documents to all those working on a particular document, it is now possible for them to work together modifying documents stored online. This is particularly useful for teachers wanting to share information and collaboratively create courseware. It is also useful for class work in which groups of students work together on a project.
See the "Google Docs in Plain English" video by Lee Lefever on how to create and share documents, spreadsheets and presentations online.
Check out the videos in the right column. Also check out the following pages:
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This week's featured on-campus schools are:
Wanjira Kinuthia, Georgia State University
Stewart Marshall, The University of the West Indies
This book integrates research, action research, best practice and case studies detailing how some educators have embraced the opportunities afforded by mobile learning. [... read more ...]
Military friendly colleges welcome military applicants - those who are serving, or have served, in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or National Guard.
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MBAs are the most popular programs. They are ideal for people in management and administration wishing to upgrade their qualifications.
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Social media is best understood as a group of new kinds of online media, which share most or all of the following characteristics:
Social media encourages contributions and feedback from everyone who is interested. it blurs the line between media and audience.
Most social media services are open to feedback and participation. they encourage voting, comments and the sharing of information. there are rarely any barriers to
accessing and making use of content – password-protected content is frowned on.
Whereas traditional media is about “broadcast” (content transmitted or distributed to an audience) social media is better seen as a two-way conversation.
Social media allows communities to form quickly and communicate effectively. Communities share common interests, such as a love of photography, a political issue or a favourite tv show.
Most kinds of social media thrive on their connectedness, making use of links to other sites, resources and people.
A video introduction to "Social Media in Plain English" by Lee LeFever of CommonCraft.
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