Social networks: using Facebook and Tumblr to engage students

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Social networks like Facebook and Tumblr are very popular, with 1.35 billion and 450 million users respectively at time of writing. The likelihood is, many of our students are already using one or other of these platforms, and it’s possible we might also be able to use them for learning and teaching.

In this account (1267 words), two University of Kansas associate professors in journalism discuss the approaches they took to projects using each of the social networks – the comparison offered is different to most case studies as while one project was successful, the other was not.

It’s worth reading if you’re interested in how social networks and social media might be used for teaching and learning, and both accounts talk about they did and why. Interestingly, while both had specific topics and agreed that solid examples would be required to guide students, it was the one with the simplest idea – and the lowest barrier to entry – that was more successful.

The case studies are written around the following headings, making them easy to compare:

  • Finding the right topic
  • Start early and provide solid examples
  • Encourage participation
  • Offer incentives to post
  • Turn students into treasure hunters
  • Make it easy

Click here to read the case studies in full (1267 words).

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