bring your own device

Social Media & Learning Engagement in Online Education

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At 9:00am On 11/8/16 I attended Social Media & Learning Engagement in Online Education presented by Laura McNeill at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

Social Media & Learning Engagement in Online Education

This was a really echoey conversation, and the online venue made this very difficult to follow. I had to turn off sound for several portions of the training, but was able to follow the bulk of the conversation. I added the links provided to some of the most echoey portions of the presentation.

As colleges and universities continue to expand online learning opportunities, student engagement, interaction, and participation, as well as the prevention of attrition, will be crucial to the success and growth of such programs. Researchers have observed that the most well planned online and explicitly laid out instructional environment is not enough to sustain learner interest or support engagement. Some studies have suggested increasing student collaboration through a variety of technology tools that simulate to face to face interaction. Social media is one option that shows much potential for positively impacting online learning.

Social Media Explained in Donuts (
YouTube Video (
Blogging/Podcasting: (
Twitter: (

As the BYOD (bring your own device) classroom becomes a more prevalent ideation, it will be interesting to see this approach continue.

Attrition in online classes tends to be a major, ongoing issue. Often this can be seen as an issue with the unreadiness of students for online classes. Again, this is a nod to our ELI and EPIC training on campus – well done team!

<h2>Reasons for attrition</h2>Low motivation and poor study habits, combined with confusion about course activities and deadlines, isolation from classmates and instructions, and slow internet connections often cause problems.

<h2>Crucial Collaboration</h2>Students can be less anxious and more connected when a variety of tools allow them to have the F2F interactions they desire. Student who collaborate and share: use more technology, have a better e-learning experience, and practice self-directed learning. In many cases, social media tools are the answer, but how can you integrate this in the classroom?

<h2>Social Media in the classroom</h2><ul><li>Facilitate informal discussion and collaboration<li>reflect on learning<li>enhance instruction with enrichment<li>Keep students engaged in a non-time-sensitive context.

All-in-all I thought this was pretty good, and pointed once again into what we can do for the classroom, but not a lot of good examples shown here.

NCCCFA 2013 Keynote: The Future of Community Colleges with Dr. Anita Brown-Graham

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The Future of Community Colleges

This morning’s keynote: The future of community colleges was interesting, but found difficulty bringing motivation. In her defense, Dr. Anita Brown-Graham is the director of the NCSU (North Carolina State University) Institute for Emerging Issues. The problem here really boils down to preaching to the converted. The REAL problem is that Dr. Stephen Scott and the rest of Wake Tech Community College’s administrative staff have been seeing this, telling us about it, preparing our faculty for this, and training us on how to deal with and be prepared for this… every single year I’ve worked here since 2005.

YES, we know about the rise in LMS (learning management systems) and the importance of keeping materials online and confidential for students. YES, we know about the conflagration of smartphones and mobile devices and how this will affect our classrooms. YES, we have been made aware of the possibility of a BYOD (brig your own device) classroom situation. YES, we know and have been experimenting with the rise of social media and how it will affect our classes. YES, we have been prepared for higher numbers of online, out of state online, and overseas online students. YES, we are ready and anticipatory of the rise in technology in the classroom and abroad, and YES we ARE prepared for our students to step from our classes to 4-year institutions and colleges.

In short, I was disappointed by the talk, because it seemed less about leading our students into the future, and more about getting us prepared for the present… even though we had already been prepared by initiatives started years back.