I don’t use social media at school, 26%
Below are some highlights of the comments that followed, focusing on the “Big Three” – LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter – and how CCN members schools use them. More than one CCN school at the meeting reported using multiple social media channels.
LinkedIn – As expected, this website seems to be the platform of choice for connecting students to employers. It’s where recruiters are looking and where students need to go to showcase their skills. The National CTC has long heard the importance of LinkedIn from its National Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT). In fact, more than one CCN member school requires incoming students to spend part of their first week creating a LinkedIn account so they can add to it as they work through the program. An added bonus for LinkedIn is the ability to track the progress of graduates’ careers.
Facebook – This platform seems popular for connecting to students. Specifically, Facebook can be a good tool for recruiting new students or inviting attendees to campus events like job fairs. Employers and recruiters may view Facebook as too informal and casual. One CCN member school noted that some companies block Facebook altogether.
Twitter – This tool remains popular for real-time commentary on news and events, but at least one CCN school uses a specific Twitter hashtag to push articles and links relevant to coursework. The National CTC has also seen presentations on classrooms that use Twitter as a synchronous, back-channel resource for students to use during class lectures and discussion, projecting the feed on a screen over the instructor’s head.
An honorable mention should perhaps go to GitHub. Two CCN schools require their programming students to create a GitHub presence to post samples of their projects. This application’s reach may be soon expanding beyond the world of programmers and developers.
As for the National CTC, news and events are published simultaneously on both Facebook and Twitter. As often as possible, National CTC staff will live-tweet education conferences and workshops. The National CTC also maintains a special LinkedIn page related specifically to its BILT meetings, posting monthly polls and updates on meeting content.
To learn more about social media in education, visit Educause’s social media topic page.