College Social Media

Learn how colleges and universities are using Facebook and other social media tools in the service of higher education.

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As new technologies are continuously integrated into the classroom, more colleges are using social media in higher education.

Universities are at the forefront of social media in the workplace. A recent study found that on average, 91 percent of faculty members use social media in some form, compared with only 47 percent in other fields.

So how exactly are professors and other college employees using social media?

Social Media vs. Course Websites: What’s the Difference?

Many professors set up a website for every course they are teaching. These sites serve a slightly different function than social media outlets. Course websites provide an overview of the class. This is where you can find a syllabus, exam schedule and general information about books and coursework.

Social media takes on a much more interactive role and go beyond the classroom. You can ask and answer questions with your classmates and professor, get reminders about homework and other smaller assignments, and stay up to date on campus events.

Social Media and Education

Here are some of the ways universities across the country use social media to make the college experience all the richer.

  • Twitter: Colleges use Twitter deliver updates for nearly every area of campus life. For example, Ithaca College lets students know about free chocolate-covered bacon available at the University Farmers Market and Princeton University lists dining services and menu options.
  • Facebook: The College of Charleston has a Facebook page with an interactive feed featuring campus news. Students can post requests, comments and questions, and a college representative will provide a response in a timely manner.
  • YouTube: Professors sometimes post lectures or link to helpful videos via YouTube. USC Spanish professor Charles Praus uses YouTube to show clips of Spanish television and movies to his language classes.
  • Blogs: Are you struggling to fit in as a first-year student? John Hopkins University has a freshman blog in which students share tips and experiences as a resource for the rest of the campus.
  • Podcasts: Many professors at Emerson University record lectures as podcasts. If a student has to miss a class, she can go to iTunes and download the lecture to her personal computer or MP3 player.
  • Wikis: Stanford University has a Wiki that can be edited by any member of the student body. The site includes information about academics, administration and campus life. Among topics are public Internet options and study groups.

While social media can greatly enhance your college experience, it can’t take the place of classes. Use any resources your professor provides you with to supplement your lectures, seminars and discussions, but never think that they are adequate replacements.

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