Social media has rapidly come to be part of our lives - words like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Linkedin now have a media currency in the way newspapers and television had in the past. Bill Schackner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an article Colleges embrace new world of social media, writes that campus life is changing due to social-media becoming more and more part of everyday student activity.
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European Institute of Communications.
I welcome developments like this, though many people have concerns about privacy, data protection, and misuse of social media for things like bullying. Schackner writes that one College has 31 big screen TVs, more than a dozen of which carry social media - Wow! The social media screens carry messages about simple things like Be careful if you're on the roads and get enough sleep before exams. One College official states that It's empowering when students see their own posts, tweets, or photos show up on the campus screens.
There can be too much of social media in our lives - it can be hard to keep up with the myriad of different platforms. But one thing we can be assured of is that the current younger generation are well able to handle all the different social media tools and it is they who will drive future development in this area.
I would like to see Irish Colleges engage more with their students via social media. There are Facebook pages and Twitter accounts to follow, but so far not too much evidence of joined up thinking. There is a real opportunity to use these tools for a better and more involved experience at College. But I feel it is up to the students to demand and drive social media usage for education while our Colleges are trying to figure out the best way to use and develop the right tools.