Staff and faculty are using social media to help inform students and the community about upcoming events and what’s happening in classes
Last year, when Justine Connor, Central Oregon Community College’s Native American program coordinator, organized a showing of the Native American-themed film “The Next Seven Generations,” she expected attendees from the immediately nearby region, but attendees included residents from as far away as Warm Springs.
This was the result, Connor said, of her use of the social networking site Facebook. Facebook, she said, has allowed her to “cast a bigger net” and allowed students to “keep up on events” that were happening in the community.
Sheena Courtney, a Club Officer for the COCC Native American Program, is one of the site’s administrators and said that the site is “awesome” in its ability to help the club get out to the greater community and reach out to Native Americans in the area.
Twitter and Facebook are popular social media tools that allow users to post information about upcoming events. These tools have been used since Facebook was launched Feb. 4, 2004, to help keep users connected to social events and friends. The sites are becoming more prevalent in a classroom setting like at COCC.
Ralph Phillips, who teaches classes such as Computer and Information Systems and IT in Business, uses Twitter as an integral way to communicate with students.
ASCOCC, the Massage Therapy Program, and The Broadside all have either a Twitter, Facebook account, or both.
Another user is Barbara Klett. Klett is the Instructional Technology Coordinator, and Academic Computing Support for COCC. She provides technological support for faculty, in addition to multiple roles in managing technology on campus.
Klett uses Twitter to alert users about changes in the COCC website’s Blackboard service. She says that “it’s been a fabulous tool.”
Twitter and other social media sites allow users like Klett to relay information instantly and easily. Posts on Twitter can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection. Klett predicted an upward trend for social media when she said, “all mobile media is on the increase.”
This trend of increased use of social media on campus echoes a greater social trend of inter-connectedness.
Facebook currently has 500 million active users, 50 percent of whom access Facebook on any given day. Every day, 180 million unique users access Twitter’s webpage.
The impact that this will have on society, including academic settings like COCC, is still being revealed but it certainly is present both in normal social interaction, as well as the classroom.
With one movie opening recently, and one set to appear in theaters shortly about Facebook and its impact on people, social media is definitively a significant force in the way we interact and look at the world today.
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