Professors and Social Media

Thanks to my friend Stuart Boon, for publishing this post, where he indicates that “At a recent study by Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson that shows about 91% of college faculty use social media as part of their job. This is in sharp contrast to other industries where just 47% of employees use social media as part of their work.” The infographic below, from, summarizes the findings of the study.

I would certainly count myself in that 91%, as well as the 70% of professors who use social media in their teaching.  I tried using a private blog for one of my classes last term, but this did not work well, since it’s difficult for non-administrators (i.e., the students), to add posts; they can only respond to a post that I’ve added, and these responses must be moderated first by me before being posted.  I tried this approach because I was concerned about using a public blog as part of the students’ participation mark, since my concern was with protecting their privacy.  On the other hand, opening the blog to the public might encourage interaction with other members of our profession, which can add greatly to the students’ experience.  We do have a blog feature in our online learning system, but it’s not the most user-friendly.   I think I’ll try the public blog feature in the Winter term for one of my courses and see how it works.  I don’t think that students were as concerned about privacy as I was, so perhaps I’m being overly conscientious.

I am still not comfortable using Facebook as a teaching tool; I still don’t befriend students in my personal Facebook account.  Has anyone tried creating a class-based Facebook account for teaching purposes?

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