For online universities such as the Open University, promoting their courses and reaching their target market is mainly done via above the line marketing; with the internet being the main promotional tool. Considering the Open University’s target market is older adults, social media is an effective “free” tool to create awareness of different courses available. Below is a typical social media strategy that Open University could have used to promote their site.
Category Archives: Social Media
As discussed in previous posts social media is exploding on the internet and, if used accurately, can be an incredibly powerful promotional tool for not only online learning but any business. Take TED-ED for example, an educational channel as part of the successful and incredibly innovative TED “ideas worth spreading” video site; their social media strategy has helped spread these ideas into our living rooms, bedrooms, even into the classroom and lecture halls. TED is a primarily video on demand website which involves short under 18 minute talks about almost anything. They have used a multitude of social media sites to market their “mission” and although they are not for profit they still work hard to spread these ideas. TED have a Facebook page, Pinterest page and not one but two Twitter pages where they have successfully used #hashtags to allow TED to appear in search results on Twitter. To further promote their talks TED and especially TED-ED (which started early March 2012) could use more #hashtags such as #edchat or some of the other popular #hashtags for education from this great Twitter #hashtag dictionary. TED also allow users to subscribe to their website and create a member profile to interact and speak with other TED subscribers; this is also an excellent way to help promote TED as members can create discussions and will invariably stay on the site for longer if they can actively participate in conversations. A blog has also aided TED to be active in the classroom – this recent article highlights how one teacher (a TED Fellow) used TED conversations in her bioelectricity class.
TED-ED’s new YouTube channel has already generated over 2 million video views since launching their first video March 11th 2012. Check out their great introductory video below.
TED and TED-ED have implemented a successful social media strategy to spread their “ideas” – whether you love or hate social media it is the way forward in any business and TED have proved how to use it effectively. You can even download two free TED ring tones another easy way to get people talking about TED!
This week I will be discussing social media marketing strategies for online learning. Here is a brilliant video on why businesses should use social media as a powerful promotional tool.
The future of learning is crowdsourcing at least according to this slideshare it is! Personally, I feel this is a great idea; as the saying goes “two heads are better than one” what about thousands of heads?! Imagine the powerful learning resources that could be created from thousands of educators and experts – its very exciting.
Due to the nature of my previous posts this week I thought it would interesting to discuss the notion of teachers who use social media sites and the catastrophic consequences when their private posts are not so private after all! The rise of Facebook is undeniable and according to jeffbullas.com one in every 13 people on earth is on Facebook, this is a phenomenal number and with a selection of privacy settings it is easy to believe you could post anything in the safety of your own little Facebook “family”. But, as this post will highlight nothing posted on the internet will ever truely be private. Certain professionals should be careful about what they write or share on social media sites – especially teachers. June Talvitie-Siple a high school teacher from Massachusetts believing her Facebook posts were private made the detrimental decision to post her views about her students on her Facebook page – ranting that they were “germ bags” and parents “arrogant” and “snobby” the teacher was reported and forced to resign. EDIT: After posting this I was contacted by June Talvitie Siple who said my interpretation of her comments on Facebook were false. I then gave June Siple an opportunity to get her story across; this is what she said (completely unedited)
“What you wrote was two snippets or quotes taken out of entire sentences and then placing then in an entirely different context. I have never revealed the full story and may not ever. But even without the full story what I wrote in my comments on your blog still stand. I did not refer to my students in an intentional derogatory manner. I simply joke about I was constantly sick due to continued exposure to my students. I jokingly referred to them as germ bags. We are all germ bags in the literal sense. We all carry germs around and share them with each other. I lamented that I had been sick for 6 weeks with three different infections, including pink eye. I was on my third antibiotic and eye salves. Would it have been more PC to refer to my students a disease vectors? Saying that I called my students germ bags out of context was and is so damaging to me in so many ways, but that is exactly what certain individuals in the community and teachers union wanted to do to discredit me.
And yes I referred to the community as arrogant and snobby, and I have not apologized. I regret that in a fit of extreme anger and frustration with a few that I referred to an entire community as having these nasty attributes. However, we all make comprehensive comments in situations like this. When was the last time you said to someone, “You always…” when you know that no one always does anything. We over generalize without qualification.
I had my privacy settings on FB set so that only my friends and family could see my comments before Dec 2009 when FB changed their privacy policies, and arrogantly and rudely reverted everyone’s settings to viewable by everyone. I know this because my students had tried to get into my account and joked in one of my classes that it was “shut down.”. I never noticed the change by FB. Politics in the school district was so thick you could cut the tension with a knife. I was more than a teacher. I was an administrator 60% and a teacher 40% of the time. I was not a member if the union and my position was opposed by the union. It was my first year in the district and I walked into a hornet’s nest without warning. I was hated the minute I stepped on campus and the union executive council went out of their way to discredit me every day during the entire year. They solicited parents to help by feeding lies to them. Did it ever occur to anyone what those parents were doing snooping the Internet to find anything to ruin my credibility? Yes, I made a mistake saying anything of any substance on the Internet. Yes, I made the mistake of trusting FB privacy, but why would anyone care what I wrote in FB unless they were looking for trouble?
The story here is far more complicated than anyone has reported because I have tried to accept my mistakes without taking down anyone else in the administration or my students’ parents. But the reality is I lost more than my job. I lost my career, my livelihood, my self-esteem, and much, much more. All over two comments taken out of context.”
Perhaps a detrimental mistake, the same could not be said for Christine Rubino a Brooklyn teacher who thought she was safe to vent her anger behind a private Facebook page. Following the death of a 12 year old girl who drowned during a class trip to the beach Christine ranted “After today, I’m thinking the beach is a good trip for my class. I hate their guts” a fellow teacher and Facebook “friend” saw the post and reported it – Rubino was later suspended. A question of privacy comes into play after all Rubino’s page was meant only for her friends, but to post such hurtful and insensitive comments from a person who is suppose to be an intellect and role model is, in my opinion unacceptable. So, still think your Facebook posts are private?
Click here to read more stories about disgraced teachers using Facebook.
A useful slideshare presentation created by Dr Junco on the results of several studies he has undertaken – it includes graphs, statistics and interesting facts.
Have a look at college professor and researcher Dr Rey Junco’s blog all about the vast research he has undertaken in social media and college student’s and how Universities can use social media to their advantage. Packed with several interesting articles and infographics, Dr Rey Junco certainly sells the positive argument to social media in education. Listen to the podcast on this page where Dr Rey Junco discusses his latest findings on social media and students. Dr Rey Junco also discusses the digital divide and the need for Universities/College’s to be more supportive of students who may need training in using certain aspects of technology and social media.
The podcast interview also highlights that student’s sharing links and checking up on friends are “information collection and sharing activities” he argues although they may not be the same as academic activity of information collection and sharing when you do a research paper; “there is an overlap in the underlying elements of these behaviours – they are more academic type activities”
Therefore, a general use of social media can without a student realising help with information collection – this in turn may help research techniques needed in schools/universities. It does, however, according to Dr Junco depend on the links they share.
If you are a student and want to incorporate social media with learning why not set up a delicious account a site to “keep, share and discover the best of the web” It is a brilliant site to keep all your bookmarks in order and retrieve easily whilst studying/writing and best of all its free! You can also take a look at my recent delicious bookmarks in the side bar to learn more about how digital platforms can affect education and learning.