Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Brian Croxall's Reflections on Teaching with Social Media

Blogs, wikis, Twitter, GoogleDocs, Zotero...  There are many social media tools that instructors are using these days to engage with their students and, more importantly, encourage their students to engage with the course and with each other.  We cannot ignore the Millennials' lifelong immersion in technology, and many studies have shown that this generation of college students tends to learn collaboratively.  Over at ProfHacker, Brian Croxall has posted an interesting piece reflecting on his experiences using these kinds of social technologies in his teaching.

Overall, he believes that adopting the tools is worthwhile, but he cautions instructors to be ready for technical problems from time to time and to watch for tool fatigue.  It's worth noting that, in his experience, students tend to not use these tools for coursework unless they are required.  It's a good reminder that while students these days may be plugged in, they are no more likely to voluntarily engage with these technologies for the class than they are to do their reading voluntarily.  Some will; many won't.  These are simply tools.

Brought to you by the Chronicle of Higher Education, ProfHacker is a great blog for those interested in using technology to enhance pedagogy.  It "delivers tips, tutorials, and commentary on pedagogy, productivity, and technology in higher education, Monday through Friday." Its content categories are editorial, profession, teaching, productivity, wellness, software, hardware, analog, and reviews.

Image: webtreats, Black Ink Grunge Stamp Texture Social Media Icons, 2009, available from Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Thanks for linking to my post. I think you're absolutely correct that the most important thing to keep in mind when teaching with these new tools is that they are just tools for us to teach the material that we were going to teach anyway. We can change and improve our teaching with them, but they themselves are not a point unto themselves.