Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Posted by: Dr. Geleana Drew Alston, NC A&T State University
CDLT Networking and Social Media Blog
To begin my brief comments about why we as adult educators, adult learners, and administrators should embrace social media, I am going to try to capture the main point in 140 characters or less. As I struggled to condense my thoughts to 140 characters or less, I came across a meme that best captures why I am so adamant as to why the time is #NOW to embrace social media more than ever.
As the world continues to technologically advance at rapid rates, we should intentionally continue to consider the impact of social media and technologies on our field of adult education. For us, our customers are our current and prospective #AdultLearners, our #CommunityPartners, our #Alumni, our #Allies. Aside from social media, what other modalities do we have access to, not to mention that are currently free of financial obligation, wherein we can send and receive information about our graduate programs in adult education, program and services for adult learners within our various communities, expanding the readership and reach of our scholarship, etc.? For example, I am currently the coordinator and only full-time faculty member within our program and due to budget cuts, we are very limited in financial support for marketing and promotion. Therefore, social media offers me an additional space for recruitment and promotion of our program. I continue to meet more and more adult learners who learned about our MS in Adult Education degree program on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). I encourage our adult learners to share the great news about our program through social media because I am aware of their appreciation for these cyberspaces. In addition, my adult learners often “tag” me in a post if they discover an article, scholarly and non-scholarly, that connects to the topics discussed in current and previous courses.
Lastly, social media extends beyond the #UsualSuspects of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Instagram, which is affectionately know as the IG. One of the most fascinating social media technologies, Kahoot! was introduced to me by my adult learners who used this as a teaching aid to complement their class presentation. Specifically, Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform that creates a fun learning experience for any subject, in any language, on various devices (computers, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, tablets, etc.) for all ages. From another perspective, Unstuck is what I would consider an #AntiSocialMedia application that is great for adult learners. We know adult learners have multiple social and professional roles, and this application operates as if adult learners have one-on-one life coaches to help them become “unstuck” with a problem. This is great for negotiating tension from problems exclusive of the classroom that adult learners are not comfortable discussing with the facilitator but want to deal with so it does not interfere with their coursework. Lastly, Socrative is a social media platform that utilizes real-time questioning, result aggregation and visualization to assist with the formative assessments among your adult learners. A key highlight for all of the above mentioned social media platforms is they are all #Free!
All things considered, I encourage us to:
- #ACCEPT that social media is here to stay and impacts the process of teaching and learning for our 21st century adult learners and the administration of our degree programs and scholarship.
- #EXPLORE the various social media platforms that can enhance the learning experiences for our adult learners.
- #ENJOY the social interaction with your adult learners as you #DISCOVER innovative ways to co-create knowledge via social media.