WHILE STANDING IN FRONT of 24 third level educators at the Dublin Institute of Technology to present my after-lunch views on social media in education [28 minute MP3], I realised I was going to show some things that would have no traction. I also know a few of my reliable social media tools would get a good review. In a nutshell, here are free or low-cost social media tools I use in the creative multimedia degree programme at Tipperary Institute. Some of the tools I use were in a single-page handout at left that I gave to the audience.
Text Reviews of Art Exhibits. Media Writing and Media Studies students walk through exhibitions and designated spaces, then share their thoughts in a Jaiku channel or via a hashed comment on Twitter. We aggregate the thoughts in a Socialtext wiki where the composite viewpoint helps create a 600-word critical review of the artwork or space.
Twitterfone Summaries. We use a single Twitter account and a single mobile phone to call in a comment about a lecture, film or event. By clipping the audio files together, we get up to three minutes of lucid commentary that can be used to produce a press release or venue review in the Media Writing and Public Relations modules.
Soundscape Audio Fills. We used the on-board MP3 recorder in the college's Nokia E90 handset to capture sound scenes that are later remediated by the Mass Communications students. The sounds are mashed up with backing tracks, shared or created by students, to good effect, creating interesting eulogies and thoughts of the day.
Support for Jaiku Channels. We provide extended hours of support for skunkworks (tech questions) and Irish Open Coffee (raw material for video classes). Some students have received lecturer support late in the evening over these channels. Some students get these channels as text messages on their phones and use the text messages as a revision tool.
Online Meeting Rooms as a Team Presentation Tool. We evaluate several submissions made by teams of two or three students. When presentations are made with Online Meeting Rooms as the back-end, one or more students provide the main audio and another student flips content onto the screen. The person flipping the content normally records the presentation for internal sharing as well. All participants receive marks for their presentation and content development skills.
Qik Video Sharing. More than half of our third level creative students own Series 60 third edition mobile phones. We arrange for them to install and use free video upstreaming from Qik where they produce several minutes of narrated video that can be used to produce a storyboard for a short spot or a longer three-minute video. This learning objective fits into all four years, in various degrees of sophistication.
New: Mail-to Rooms. In our newly semesterised academic programmes, we will award academic credit to students who add content to FriendFeed rooms, a Socialtext wiki or a Moodle News Forum. Adding content is as easy as sending an email or image attachment from a mobile phone.
I believe all these activities embellish learning material with student perspectives, enhancing the material with shared meaning through a community of peers. I'm eager to share snapshots of these examples of social media with our educators as I start a three-year term as an external evaluator for the Higher Education and Training Awards Council of Ireland. In the meantime, we will restart our podcasting channel by incorporating samples from the 2007/8 academic year.