#SMCEDU Chat Recap: We need more fighters
He said, "Social media in higher ed isn't just a battle that's worth fighting for, it's a battle that needs more fighters."
As I looked at our panel, I saw how on-point this statement is. We need proponents from every aspect of higher education, from students to professors to administrators to alumni, all rallying around the need to teach what "this" is.
It's not a trend, it's Web communication. Recent generations are never going to use traditional mediums, like television or newspapers, like older generations. They're going to use the Internet for nearly all of their information and many of their entertainment uses, and they're going to be talking to other people and businesses that are doing the same.
So we talked about the need to find the people that can recognize the void that's created when colleges and universities ignore social media, and can also help to create the message and action that will fill it. You can find the transcript here. It was one of the more inspiring chats we've had.
I've been participating in this struggle for a year now, and have been fortunate enough to meet others with the same concerns. To borrow from Steve again, these are the people that "will take risks, stand up for what they believe in, take the initiative, and make a change."
We're out there, but we need to start collecting our efforts and promote what we're doing. I don't care if it's through SMCEDU, Classroom 2.0, Social Media Classroom, or any other network with the same goals. What's important is that the people fighting the fight know that others are challenging the same traditional thinking in college classrooms, and learning from each other will help expedite the effort.
Here's how we can start spreading the word...let's focus on educators and how it can help their classrooms. Teachers are overloaded as it is; they need good reason to change what they've been doing. The reasons to start teaching and using social media exist, they're good reasons, but the message needs to be conveyed in a way that's brief and powerful.
Let's come up with a list of why it's important to answer the "What's in it for me?" question that's inevitably asked. Let's champion the teachers that are using social media effectively, teachers like Prof. Ronald Yaros at the University of MD, or Prof. Bill Handy at Oklahoma State University. Let's have resources ready (i.e., videos, case studies, METRICS) that show how and why these pedagogies work, and just how effective they can be.
Let's also focus on students and why they should be active in social media. Every student is in a state of preparation, taking the steps that will get them to the next stage in life. If you're a communications professional, welcome to tomorrow, today. Social media will have a huge impact on what you do. If it's not being taught to you in the classroom now, you, as the person who's putting the investment into your future, should be concerned about that. If you're not a communications professional, social media can help you find the people that will help you get to where you want to go.
Students, connect with other students that are doing the "social media thing." Chances are they're in direct communciation with the people in their chosen industry. Why start looking for a job after you graduate when you can start building experience right now? Join your local Social Media Club chapter, or start one of your own. Don't sit still and think you have no say in this.
Administrators, we're still thinking of ways to reach you. But please know this: social media isn't something that will just go away. It's not something that's a trivial way to post mundane details of one's life. It's a tremendous source of information, and knowing the skills that will help you navigate this abundance is an essential skill in today's world.
We have some fighters now that see why this is such an important battle. We need more.
Find a complete transcript of today's chat here.