Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Engaging Learning Through Social Media

In July, during a two-day institute in , funded through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, faculty at Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL learned how social media can be seen as “history in real time.” I spoke to the faculty on how they can use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and CNN iReports to help to engage students, and to make their curriculum more authentic and relevant.

During one of the sessions, faculty (and student assistants) learned how to create CNN iReports and upload their stories.  Within a hour, one faculty member already uploaded his story. That evening, faculty members were filling reports as late as 2:00am in the morning. The next day, 4 faculty members and one student had their iReports "vetted" by CNN iReport producers in Atlanta.  

In the end, faculty learned first hand how social media can be used to engage students into the teaching and learning process.  You can link to the CNN iReport on this experience by clicking here. 

The workshop was held in an innovative learning space in the library which provided rear screen projection, coupled with an innovative windowed design that doubled as a writing surface.  The motif of the classroom blends the old historical architecture from the campus beginnings in 1828, with the technology of today's "flipped classroom" philosophy.

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