Mini-session: Social Media in the Learning Management System

David Lloyd from Georgia Southern University

Unfortunately this session was in far too small of a room! There was a huge line waiting to get in, and I was able to squeeze in with only two chairs left. The presenter was great, I picked up a number of great things – I think it is very possible to embed social media into a course without requiring that your students use and social media themselves!
Google Voice Widget on Course Homepage
Take away #1 – adding widgets into your course such as the Google Voice widget. This will allow students to call you without you having to give out your phone number or without your students having to give you their number!

So many of the different social media tools have widgets you can add right into your course. Another one shown by the presenter was your twitter feed. He added it to the footer of his course homepage – this would be very useful for an instructor to use twitter to send quick updates and announcements to their students who can view the updates in the Blackboard course or on twitter all without requiring students to have a twitter account. With all of the twitter widget options, you can embed various tweet searches for specific topics by specifying hashtags such as #BbWorld11 for Blackboard World 2011.
Embed into Discussion Threads
Another big take away for me was embedding items in the description/instruction area of discussion threads. I had never seen this, but it is so cool! An instructor could embed a specific YouTube video (or any embedable social media widget) into any part of their course in which html is allowed. In the picture I took, David embedded the YouTube video of yesterday’s keynote speaker Steve Johnson’s book Where Good Ideas Come From. The possibilities are simply endless.

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About Meegan
Meegan has over ten years experience working in higher education. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Statistics from Western Michigan University and a Master of Education with an emphasis on Instructional Technology from American InterContinental University Online. She is currently the Instructional Technologist/Designer at Grand Rapids Community College where her main focus is helping faculty to develop and deliver quality online and hybrid courses.

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