Social Media – Beginners Guide

The Academic Practice Programme at the University, today welcomes a guest speaker, Eric Stoller. Eric will be delivering a lecture called “Why Educators Can’t Live Without Social Media”/ (Places are still available)

I saw these images, used recently and thought I would share them here. They make a good beginners guide!

Vintage Social Networking

Wrong Hands (2013) Vintage Social Networking (Accessed 21/11/2016


Social Media Explained.

Humphries, M. 2012. Media Explained by Donuts (online). Available at (Accessed 21/11/2016


Digi Know: How to Be a Digital Scholar

The world of research is growing bigger, faster, thanks largely to innovations in technology. At Derby our academics are using learning technologies in the classroom to teach in more dynamic ways, from in-class polling and quizzes to producing video case studies and creating virtual reality work environments. Resources such as Online Reading Lists and Box of Broadcasts are making it possible to compile content in a way that is responsive to our ever-changing and fast developing news cycles. We can use Open Access repositories to find research more readily publications and data that may have previously been unavailable to us or outside of our library subscriptions. Social Media is being used inside and outside the classroom to communicate and inform debates, and ever-evolving literature databases are making it easier for the online student or academic to find and manage their academic references.

The Digital Derby project is shining a spotlight on all of this good practice at Derby, and revealing ways in which staff can develop their  own digital capabilities across six identified elements


Credit: JISC Digital Capabilities Framework

Where does this leave the researcher? A couple of months ago I blogged about ORCiD, a tool to aid the academic researcher who publishes and wants to be identifiable and discoverable online. Since then I have been reading up more on the broader term of Digital Scholarship (one of the six elements pictured above) and produced a short presentation on what it is and how some of the professional services at Derby can support the academic researcher who wants to become more equipped, digitally. See the video below –

Don’t take it from me, I’m a humble Learning Technology Advisor / Librarian! If you’re interested in finding out more about being a Digital Academic, read this blog post from academic Jenny Delaselle.


Designing learning activities with social media

social media garden

Photo Credit: mkhmarketing via Compfight cc

Yesterday I delivered a staff development session called ‘Social Media for Learning and Teaching – Facebook and beyond’ as part of the Academic Practice Programme here at the university.  It was an enjoyable session and there was a lot of useful discussion from all of the participants.  One of the activities we did was to plan for where social media might fit across the academic calendar and I thought it might be useful to share that here.

5C Cycle of Social Media

5C Cycle of Social Media

Essentially, we were looking at the way in which social media could be used (retaining Course Resources (Blackboard) as the main learning hub) to enhance 5 key things, :

  • Community
  • Collaboration
  • Curation
  • Creativity
  • Careers

To help think about what activities might benefit from social media, I introduced a social media designer template which I developed based on Gilly Salmon’s e-tivity approach.  The social media designer template essentially gets colleagues to consider several key aspects – what is it that students are responding to, what is the purpose of what they’re doing (and how does it relate to learning outcomes) and what is the task they’ll be undertaking.  It then asks 6 further questions:

  1. When and how will you introduce it?
  2. Will is be assessed?
  3. Is it going to be open to the world or does it need to have access restricted?
  4. When will you brief students on copyright?
  5. What support will your students need?
  6. What support might you need?

I think the above additional elements are vital to think about when you’re designing social media into the curriculum in any way.  There are key skills of digital literacy which need to be thought about – for both staff and students – and being realistic about where it fits within a module, how you’re going to support and how comfortable you feel about providing that support needs to be considered as early as possible.  The benefits in terms of enhancing community, collaboration, creativity, curation and careers are there for the taking.

With a little bit of additional thought and design, there’s some rich learning just a click away!