Mindmap for Studying Social Media

Jun 18, 2012 by

For the last two years, I’ve been studying social media from all angles in anticipation of teaching a full course on Social Media (which I did in the Winter 2012 semester).  During that time, I tweeted all sorts of articles, videos, blog posts, and resources related to all aspects of Social Media.

Today I’m doing a 4-hour workshop on Social Media for the MCCVLCC, and in an effort to organize and make sense of two years of study, I decided to build a mindmap about Social Media from all the tweets I’ve made about this in the last year.

View of expanded mindmap for Studying Social Media.

 

There are eight major branches on the mindmap:

  • Guidelines and Policies
  • The Business of Social Media
  • Studying the Social Network
  • History of Social Networks and Media
  • Social Media and Education
  • Human Relationships
  • Technology and Tools
  • Legal, Ethical, and Privacy Issues

Keep in mind that this is not, by any means, a complete map of Social Media. This is just everything I’ve tweeted related to Social Media in the last year.

Mindmap: Studying Social Media

View of the eight categories of the Studying Social Media mindmap.

NOTE: Due to circumstances I can’t control, you will not be able to view this map from an iPad. Mindomo did just recently put out an App for building a mindmap on iPad, so I suspect viewing mindmaps of other people will be coming soon. Sorry! Please view with a computer for now.

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Teaching Social Media

Jan 22, 2012 by

You may have noticed a significant drop-off in posting here lately. Well, there are several big projects afoot and they rob me of writing time. While I can’t openly discuss some things I’m involved in, I can tell you about the Social Media course I’m teaching this semester.

I’m team-teaching the course with a colleague from the Business Department (@cvmuse) and it is cross-listed as a Business / Communications course.  We’ve been planning the course for almost a year and it’s been great fun to teach so far (we’re two weeks in to it now).  I will say that my day of teaching Calculus II, then Social Media, then Calculus II makes me feel like I have mental whiplash by the end of the day.  You couldn’t find two topics that are more different to study or teach than these two.

The course consists of three units:

  1. Relate (looking at the human-aspect: psychology, identity, psychology, anthropology, relationships)
  2. Connect (how we create communities, share ideas and information, interact, and manage all these things)
  3. Protect (examining the legal and ethical issues surrounding social media, like privacy and copyright)

Social Media is an open course, which means all the materials, assignments, and class summaries are publicly available and you can participate by using the class hashtag on Twitter (#297SM).  Just follow the RSS on the Studying Social Media site if you’d like to join us.

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Tweeting for Accountability in Online Classes

May 13, 2009 by

I am planning to ask my fall online calculus students to create twitter accounts in order to tweet their studying in hourly increments. As you are probably aware, this is the way I’ve been holding myself accountable to working on my dissertation (227 hours and counting).

Since time management is an issue for online students, I want them to be accountable to themselves that they are honestly putting the time in. In particular, learning in math needs to be spread out over time for long-term retention, but it often gets crammed in at the last minute before a test.  Also, I want to know how they are progressing and what their frustration level is with the material.

Logistics: The students do not have to put any identifying information on the accounts as long as I have the “handle” they have chosen on twitter. They will be required to put a hashtag and the hour number on each study tweet (see example below) so that we can easily see the studying habits of the whole class on one page.  There will be a minimum tweet requirement of 8-12 hours of studying a week (4-credit course) for a total of 150 hours by the end of the semester.  I suspect that it will become a bit of a contest to see who can study the most in the semester (but I may live in a world of rainbows and unicorns).

Why not just ask students to make a written log of their study time? Twitter provides a time stamp, which makes it a little harder to “throw together” a study log during the 10 minutes before it is due.

Why twitter and not something like a discussion board? The ease of posting from either a cell phone or any computer with Internet with minimal log-in (since you can have your twitter login “remembered” on your home computer or use a twitter application, this makes it much easier that logging in to our LMS).  Also, the brevity of the tweets are nice.  While I encourage writing about math, I do not need to read 150 paragraphs x 20 students worth of study habits.  150 sentences x 20 students will be plenty (and using twitter will ensure that it will be kept to a manageable level).

What if they want to share a math problem they are having trouble with? Have you heard of Jing?

How will I keep track of them all? Students will have to add a chosen hashtag (#m161f09 comes to mind) to each tweet so that we can all see all the study tweets on one page.  They will be free to follow each other, but they don’t have to.  Our LMS does not have a feature where you can see who else is online with you, so this will provide a little bit of feedback about who is studying when.

Good tweets / Bad tweets:

Good: #m161f09 (hr 103): Worked on the first two parts of the chain rule homework set, but I’m just not seeing how I choose the u-substitution, or really why I do it.

Bad: #m161f09 (hr 103): Studied for one hour.

Training: Yes, I am going to need to teach them some twitter etiquette (e.g. tweeting is not IMing), and I haven’t done that yet, but when I make that video for students I will post it around here somewhere, never fear. 🙂

Couldn’t students cheat? Sure, but they will have to remember to log 150 time-stamped hours spread over 15 weeks at a rate of at least 8 per week and it will have to correspond with the material that is being covered and their actual login hours in the LMS.  I think it would be easier just to report what they are doing as they do it.

There are some other benefits to twitter that I am hoping to see:  I want students to “plug in” to the network of other students while they study.  They do this with the discussion forums, but only when they need help.  However, they might find that other students in the course struggle with similar concepts without explicitly asking for help on a discussion board.  I am hoping this fosters more collaboration and a sense of “classroom community” that we still struggle with in online math.  Personally, I’ve struggled with ways to add more sense of community to my online classes in a way that is similar to student interaction that is face-to-face.  I think this could do it.

Another benefit I’m hoping to see is more students watching the videos before they do the homework.  I know they are well-watched in the process of homework completion, but there are some video lessons about foundational concepts that probably get light student coverage for lack of directly corresponding homework.  Perhaps when faced with an hourly requirement as well as an assignment completion requirement, this will make it more likely that the videos get watched before the struggles begin to complete problems.

I am also hoping that students begin to see the value of a learning network (as opposed to just a social network) and learn a method of accountability that can help them when they take on large projects (whether it is in school or for work).  In this “age of distraction” that we live in, it is important that we teach our students how to focus when they need to (and learn how to do this ourselves).

Of course, I have to wait until the fall semester to try it myself, but if you give it a try before then, let me know how it goes!  For now, I’m back to work on that pesky dissertation (and hour 228). You can follow me toiling away @busynessgirl if you’d like.

UPDATE: After thinking about this quite a bit, I am making one tweak.  I don’t want the need to count the hours to make this just another bad educational metric.  Therefore, although I will ask students to tally the hours, I will not require any specific amount – just a guideline that 8-12 hours per week would be what I would consider necessary to pass a 4-credit online calculus course.  I will prod students with low study times and low grades to try to put more time in, but I will hope that the social nature of the interactions will simply drive students to work hard.  At the end of the semester, I will ask students to write a 1-page summary of the experience and what they learned about their study habits.

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A Clever Video about Fair Use

Dec 23, 2007 by

Fair use is an interesting and thorny topic. Here’s a video montage (using Disney Films) of a short course on Copyright and Fair Use. Very clever!

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“Out of Control” blogger

Aug 12, 2007 by

Like my brother-in-law Chris, I am joining the “Out-of-Control” bloggers with two blogs … aiming for a different readership on this one.

The Teaching College Math Technology Blog [Update: No longer online]  will be devoted to teaching math online and technology that you can use to teach math both online and in the classroom. Those of you who are technology afficianados might like to follow along even if you don’t teach math… some of the technology is pretty cool after all.

For those of you who insist on watching and listening to the “purple-skinned bald math teacher with yellow sunglasses” more than once, you should know that you will be limited to only 2 listens per week (hey – it costs money to have an avatar and you are limited to a certain number of streams per month).

Would you go to online class more often if your instructor’s appearance and location changed daily?

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Peer pressure has forced me to blog…

Jun 24, 2007 by

When my husband (who generally does not advocate me doing any more than I already do) suggested that it was time for me to start blogging and stop sending mass emails with funny pictures of “what the dog did,” I finally decided that it was time to dive into the blogging world.

(what did the dog do? She ate my husband’s Master’s diploma… which was framed and under glass.)

Blogging is a strange beast in academia. The Chronicle of Higher Education has logged several stories related to how blogging might damage the credibility of academicians during their job searches. So their advice to the blogging academic might be to remain completely anonymous, with nothing to link your blog back to the school that you work for.

However, I don’t see how it’s possible for me to divorce myself from my academic life. Nor is it appropriate to separate myself from my business (Andersen Algebra Consulting LLC) or my other web presence (http://www.teachingcollegemath.com/). So, I’ve decided to launch an experiment in careful blogging. I hope I can find a way to strike a balance between sharing the events in my life (for those that would like to read) without damaging my credibility or getting myself in trouble at the institution that I currently work for (Muskegon Community College).

Why “Busyness Girl”? At a birthday party long ago, when I was working on an M.B.A. at the University of Wyoming, my husband put “Happy Birthday Busy-ness Girl” on the cake. Those of you who know me, know that “busy” is a way of life for me, so it seemed like the appropriate title for a blog.

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