Social media and teaching



I had the opportunity to attend a session last week, hosted by Pearson, on how higher ed faculty use social media. Much of the content was quite interesting. You can download the full research report here.

Quite a bit of survey data was presented on the survey with 3,875 respondents, including that 34% of faculty use social media – blogs, wikis, podcasts, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – in their teaching.

The piece of information that caught my eye, though, was on what instructors consider the biggest barriers to using social media:


The second and third items on the list – concerns about privacy and separate course and personal accounts – impress me as nontrivial. Just in the past few weeks, we’ve seen some damage done in these areas. For example, someone recently post a comment on their Facebook account that they thought was private (and wasn’t) and various people and organizations, using social media content and channels, have been trying to discredit a young woman that asked a question at the town hall presidential debate.