Blogs, Social Media and other collaboration tools
Faculty at Bryn Mawr are experimenting with a variety of blogging, collaboration and social media tools for expanding learning and discussion in and out of the classroom. We are happy to help faculty members find the most appropriate pedagogical applications of these tools for particular courses. Some of the technologies we have consulted on include:
Developing Blog/Social Media Assignments
As with an in-class discussion, effective facilitation is key to a successful blogging or discussion board posting assignment. Here is a summary of best practices culled from faculty experience, with links to more detailed information below.
- SCAFFOLDING is key, especially at the beginning. You will need to artificially prompt students to participate until they begin to understand the online component as a natural extension of class discussion.
- If you want students to read and comment on each other's posts, make this an explicit part of the assignment. Start by giving a quota for posts and comments, and make sure students know that these will be monitored.
- Create and enforce a definite schedule for writing new blogs, posting comments, etc.
Faculty and Social Media
Resources to Share with Students
New to Instagram?
Instagram How To: An Easy Tutorial walks you through setting up and using filters.
The Beginner's Guide to Instagram looks at some unique features, use on phone and web, etc.
Already have an Instagram account and want to set up a separate account just for this class?
See Instagram's documentation about switching between multiple accounts.
Concerned about privacy?
New to Tumblr?
Getting Started on Tumblr in 5 Easy Steps is a very quick intro to the form.
Best Practices: Tumblr offers general advice, tailored to academic situations.
Already have a Tumblr account and want to set up a separate account just for this class?
You can add a second blog to your existing Tumblr account, or sign up for an account with a separate email to keep them even more separate.
Concerned about privacy?
How to Stay Secure on Tumblr offers good tips for all social media, tailored to Tumblr.
New to Twitter?
Getting Started with Twitter, part of Twitter's documentation, includes FAQs and a glossary.
This NY Times article gives a quick overview with some important tips.
Already have a Twitter account and want to set up a separate account just for this class?
Twitter's documentation for managing multiple accounts
Debating a public or private account?
Twitter is Public article explains ways in which Twitter's been designed to be "public" and what that might mean for you.