by Amanda Surgens, Resident Director
I’m pretty hip… I have a myspace. Wait, myspace isn’t hip anymore?
I can’t keep up with this online stuff – it’s too complicated and there’s way too much to try to do and still get my work done.
How come no one knows what’s up in our department – we’re sending emails!
If you’ve said these things in the past six months – you might need some refreshing with social media trends… Ed Cabellon is just your man!
On Tuesday, February 8, 2011 during the lunch hour, Ed Cabellon (man of many talents, including Director of the Campus Center) hosted a Professional Development session about Social Media in Student Affairs. About ten people attended, but many more could benefit from the information presented at this informative session! Have no fear, the blog is here!
Ed talked about the three popular Social Media Trends. First up: Facebook!
Brought to our attention was the fact that many clubs and organizations and departments on campus do have a Facebook fan page, but are they using them in a way that engages students? Participants were encouraged to enlist their students and their audience to respond to statuses, pictures and media posted on the site. Engage your students by asking questions and using your facebook fan page as more than just a one way conversation (much like your website already does for your organization). He also shared ways that your fan page can entertain its viewers or “like-rs”
Clearly, many of us know, use, and love Facebook. Therefore that social media trend was easy to buy into and share the excitement about. However, it seems that the Social Media Trend 2: Twitter; just plain has a bad rap. I too admit, that before hearing Ed talk about the professional benefits of Twitter (at a previous presentation, I was a skeptic and pretty much anti-twitter). However, Ed explains that Twitter is a way of helping you to connect with people you WANT to know – whereas Facebook is a connection to people you DO know already. Twitter is a great place to connect with other people who do the same thing you do at a different area, school, state, region, or country. If you haven’t crossed over and become a twitter user, Ed explains that you can sign up and observe others using twitter before you fully commit! Some of us need to see how others are doing something before we jump in… with Twitter, that’s ok!
The third Social Media Trend discussed was the use of a Blog. Ed explains that having a departmental blog can give your students a place to reflect and share. Ed gave great tips on how to manage who posts to your blog, what is posted, how to monitor the content and schedule the updates.
In addition to discussing the three popular social media trends, Ed talked a lot about your own digital identity. How to figure that out, how to get the most out of the services you do use and how to minimize the time spend but maximize the result of your social media usage.
There was a good conversation had about how some people have no problem tweeting during a presentation while still paying attention but others not only couldn’t do it, find it distracting when others are! Ed suggested having conversations about this and setting limitations when it comes to different presenters allowing people to be tweeting during the presentation. I think this has to do with different learning styles. Some people can type, listen, react, and participate with no issues. Others need to be completely engaged without any distractions. For me, I find even someone leaning over to whisper something to me is a big distraction – way more than someone else typing in the seat next to me. But to each his own, and I think that’s how Social Media is for everyone…
What’s your take on Social Media? Are you on the same page as your students? Could you be more effective in engaging them if you were?