Thursday, April 26, 2012

Professional Online Identities - Academia Embracing Social Media

Below is an overview/summary presentation of the online adjunct course I completed teaching to graduate counseling students this week. It was a great experience all around, and especially rewarding for me in that students appeared to have enjoyed the course as much as I did. We all learned quite a bit.

Included in the slides below are student voices via twitter that I thought were most profound. Hearing attitudes change and the "ah-ha" moments throughout the course, it became clear that students were understanding the potential impact of social media on their careers. In addition, the professional development benefits afforded them by following experts and organizations who wisely utilize social media became apparent.

For most of the students, it was a revelation to learn the extent that freely available social networks could be used for professional as well as personal purposes. The course also focused on tips and tools that could help as they planned their goals and strategies. And though we focused on using social media for a positive professional impact, the misuse of these tools can also impact careers.

It seems this past year was a turning point and the debate over the ROI of social media is about overSocial media and TV integration has increased and it makes sense that most businesses and organizations are incorporating social media into their overall strategies. And that includes higher education, where there is plenty of buzz and implementation-- Social media in higher education literature review. Higher education institutions are also developing helpful social media policy guides.

It's becoming increasingly important that college and universities provide some type of training in this area for students as well as staff. (And not just for business programs, which may have a jump but are still lacking per this recent Forbes report.) Whether it's for-credit elective courses for those in professional programs, seminars, or informal "lunch & learn" sessions, we can all benefit from understanding social media's potential. In addition, raising awareness of how its misuse can cause significant harm.

Students uploaded their finals for the class and all can be viewed on Slideshare from this TRMA585 tag list. I'm proud of their work and the course. Hope you enjoy the slides. (Click TRMA 585 Instructor Ashford link below for larger view on Slideshare)