2010 Social Media Trends to Influence Higher Education


a webinar hosted by Colt Alton, founder of Ednak

On September 2nd I was invited to hold a webinar for Ednak, a thought networking utility for online educators, discussing this year’s social media trends that could influence higher education. It was a topic suggested by Colt Alton, the founder of Ednak and inspired by  previous talk I delivered earlier this June.

I started my presentation from the premise that social media is a conversation around two major topics: technology and content. This enabled me to use and categorize some of the trends presented by Mark W. Schaefer on his blog such as treating everything as a service or mobile and real-time web as suggested by Richard MacManus in his Read Write Web post. Other resources for my presentation included Ron Callari’s Social Media Predictions for 2010, Adam Kleinberg‘s 5 marketing mega-trends or Barb Dybwad‘s 5 Social Media trends to watch.

If conversation was about technology and content, then social media in higher education should concentrate on social media literacy and social media in the classroom.

The literacies would ensure that students and educators alike are aware of the existing technologies and their use. This would lead to increased interaction within the classroom, increased awareness of the mechanisms of internet communications as well as prepare students for their after-university activities. One solution to achieve this would be to creating exercises where course participants are exposed to both best and worst practices related to privacy and intellectual property as well as to collaboration and networking and invited to analyze and discuss them. Another solution would be to create simulations and have the students discuss their experience. Similarly, using the students’ own experiences would be yet another option.

Social media in the classroom on the other hand could help lecturers meet their classes learning objectives. Whether it is the creation of a Twitter back channel to manage interaction with larger classes, using live video guest lectures to get in touch with experts or challenging students to create and publicize their own content, social media tools in the classroom should be used as a means of reaching the learning objectives.

Finally, since two of the questions I received during the webinar were requesting references to copyleft and crowd-sourcing I am including below links to Mendeley and Google Scholar Searches:

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