The use of social media in today’s world should not be underestimated! Every other week I feel I learn of a new application or website meant to engage people in some facet of the human experience. Honestly, my use of social media was limited to sharing personal updates with family and friends and publicizing events and services to students. My use was limited to Facebook and Twitter with a little Instagram mixed in for fun.
All that changed when I started the doctoral program in #sauga411 – it seemed everyone was engaging on social media in some way and that conversations about this engagement were happening on and offline. I began to engage just to keep up with the many conversations that were taking place. Slowly, my understanding of the use of social media began to change and I could see that it could be a powerful tool, when used intentionally and responsibly, to aid in learning.
For one of my first classes as a doctoral student (#CSAAEcology), we were encouraged (not required) to use social media, particularly Twitter, to communicate our views of the environment outside of class. For examples, I looked to the vibrant Twitter community created by the master’s students and was instantly impressed with the many different types of posts and information they were gathering to inform their in-class experience (#ugacsaamp; #echd7430). Further, many of this sharing of information continued during breaks and even after the semester ended.
Through the process of seeing how the Master’s students engaged, I began to engage by posting articles and following #highered and #sapro accounts on Twitter. I unprotected my tweets (#shocking #iknow) and began to interact with #sapros from all around the country who were having conversations similar to our classroom discussions. Twitter became a tool for me to understand how social media and learning can be used in sync with each other.
Interacting on social media has really helped me to further appreciate a program that is looking to meet the needs of its students while also looking at how to engage them in learning. Our new #sauga411 represents a new foray into graduate preparation in student affairs. It demonstrates us changing with the times while also preserving the tenets of our field – developing the whole student.
In some ways, prior to this experience, I thought interacting on social media was an encroachment on the personal space of students. Since being in the #sauga411 doctoral program, however, my concept of how to use social media as both a learning tool and an informational tool has considerably changed. Now I cannot imagine my learning without it!
Follow me @jaymarjay –> I always wanted to say that #socool
Jillian Martin is a first year doctoral student in the CSAA-D program. She is an alum of the CSAA-M program, which she attended after completing her bachelors degree in biopsychology at Oglethorpe University (Go Petrels!). Jillian currently serves as a Doctoral Intern for University Housing for Assessment and Evaluation. An avid reader, Jillian has numerous research interests, including the socialization of new professionals and conference cultures.