This topic idea is taken from Chris Brogan’s 100 Blog Topics I Hope YOU Write About (No.12).
When I was in university, social media wasn’t being really used that much. I mean, yes, students use them for personal use, like Friendster, Multiply, YouTube and instant messaging, but for the school itself, they didn’t really utilize it that much. That was in 2002 to 2007.
Right now, social media is everywhere. Businesses, organizations, academic institutions, and just about everyone else uses social media. If you don’t use it, I’d say you are way behind with the times. The community and the world constantly changes. Lots of new things are being developed and it is always good to know what these are so you will be able to know if you could use it as you continuously try to improve yourself and your organization.
Let me talk about how I think schools could use social media. Firstly, I think the most important thing is that a school should have a website. With a website, its students, alumni, faculty will have easy access to general information including student registration, events and important announcements.
However, just having a website is not enough. I have noticed that there are those who are satisfied with having the same content on their website for months, maybe even years. It is important that the school’s website content be regularly updated. Setting a regular schedule weekly or monthly, if not daily, would probably be sufficient. At least one event does happen every month after all, right?
A Wikipedia page would be helpful as well. In addition to a website, I’d say an online forum will be a great addition. This will be a great venue for students to speak out their concerns to the administration, the student government, the student clubs, or any other relevant groups or purpose.
Speaking of a venue for students, faculty, and administration to connect and interact, a Facebook group would be great, too. Many students are already on it; all it needs is a common place in it where they could all gather.
Another idea is the use of video-streaming or even just regular online video. According to Mary O’Malley, executive producer of University of New South Wales’ YouTube channel, “This is a vehicle for communicating research and selected teaching material and is part of an overall strategy of publishing content where it can be most easily accessed.”
Richard Buckland, a computer science lecturer at UNSW, has used YouTube as his classroom allowing students to earn college credit. This strategy may work for some schools, while some it may not. It all depends on every situation the school faces.
One last thing, email is also important. Sending out newsletters or regular communications through email would also be a good idea for schools to implement. With this, students will be informed directly even if they do not use all the other social media.
I’m definitely not an expert in social media, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on this and I am always open to more ideas.