Social Media & Grad Students

Why should grad students use Social Media?

Here are 5 reasons why graduate students need social media:

  1. Connect with others
  2. Make research accessible
  3. Mobilize your research
  4. Make yourself the expert
  5. Alternative- or post-academic careers

These five reasons are expanded upon in the article this is excerpted from: From Ph.D. to Life in University Affairs. The author shares some good reasons and good ideas. I like the idea of doing a one minute summation of research/thesis on video – put on YouTube. I might do that and post on my main blog. Chack out the entire post at the link above.

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Academia?

I have several pieces of unfinished research that I intend to self-publish over the next few months, as I have a lot more time now than I did in the university. I do not intend to bury my research in inaccessible journals; instead, I will disseminate it digitally. I am also in the process of turning myself into a public historian. I will promote history everywhere and anywhere I go, for as long as I can.

I want to live a meaningful life and feel that I can offer more to the public than I could do under the constraints of a thoroughly bureaucratic and inflexible university system. 

this is from: The Guardian, a post about leaving academia by Constantina Katsari

I found this interesting in light of my own recent contemplations of academia (see the related post on my main blog here). While my experience is perhaps not the same as this, I am often frustrated by the world of academia – not enough to leave though. I do love the work I am doing, the freedom to pursue my work and set my schedule (to an extent), the people I have met. However, the amount of work is sometimes overwhelming (often by pressure on myself and the fact I am also attempting to complete my Ph.D.?), and the game to get published articles only , it seems, for the sake of publishing, is a bit of a drag 

Student Voice?

 My point with this little wander through video is let’s advocate for student voice but not fake ones. Our students do have a voice. Most of them are childlike, full of child like ideas and most aren’t as eloquent as adults because they aren’t adults. That’s what we’re supposed to be doing, helping them develop that voice.

from: http://ideasandthoughts.org/2013/11/21/fake-and-real-student-voice/ (Dean Shareski)

and in a related post in response by Gary Stager at http://stager.tv/blog/?p=3158;

However, if one is truly committed to making the world better for kids, “voice,” is nice, but inadequate.“Voice” absent of power is often little more than propaganda or exploitation.

These two posts talked about student voice – real vs fake. Student voice – if their voice – is powerful & important for educators to hear. Allowing real student voice empowers kids. Both are good reads – how will you give your students authentic voice?

Leadership & Modeling

 It is up to the educational leaders to set the tone that technology, social media, and overall connectedness should not be feared. Rather they must be incorporated into the curriculum so that the students become comfortable, proficient, and responsible with it. Since most teachers did not have the chance to experience it as students, they need to see their leaders and administrators using it in order to make the change.

source: Our Educational Leaders Must Get Aggressive With Technology in HuffPost

The author writes about the importance of leadership and modeling in terms of using social media. I believe this is true – and try to set an example in my own role(s) – previously as a school principal and now as a a teacher educator & researcher.

Privacy?

Privacy: to lock or not to lock. If one opts out of privacy, how does one decide to share the combination or key with a select population or leave the gate wide open? Purpose really should drive this decision, but often the purpose of various social medias is initially vague, requiring some effort and research to understand it. Along with this, one needs to consider their own purpose in the context of a given social media community.

Just like technology, the popular choice of social media tools is changing all the time. It’s hard work to keep up, but we have a responsibility; whether we are simply tolerating SM use or we are encouraging it, we must remain informed and engaged. It’s our job as the adults.

from: http://edtech.uvic.ca/tanyaros/2013/11/16/privacy-and-purpose/

This post examines privacy & public in terms of social media use & teaching our kids about it. Worth a read.