Social Media Assignment

Social Media Mindfulness Study

Rationale: The rise of social media has influenced many aspects of society, including education. As teachers, part of our work is to prepare students to navigate the digital terrain themselves so that they become proficient in leveraging the affordances of social media, while also mitigating limitations and drawbacks (Krutka & Carpenter, 2016). In addition, social media is now used by educators for professional development, communication, activism, and in- and out-of-class activities (Carpenter & Krutka, 2014).During this semester, you will be asked to complete numerous activities as part of a semester-long “Social Media Assignment,” including creating a Twitter account and tweeting professionally (see Syllabus “Professional Social Media Use” section for more). In the following video, Nicole Damico and I will preview the “Social Media Assignment” that we created. 

Part 1: The Mindful Self

(A) Initial Exploration (SURVEY LINK; 1 point; Due: 01.22)

  • Class participants will engage in initial thoughts and reflection about social media from a “beginner’s mind” approach, including reflecting on our own understandings and uses. You should interrogate your assumptions about the purposes or influence of social media in both your personal and professional lives. To begin this process of mindfulness about social media, you will complete a short, initial survey in module 1 of the course.

(B) Social Media Diary (DOWNLOAD DIARY TEMPLATE; POST COMPLETED DIARY; COPY/PASTE POST – 300-words minimum; 1 point; Due: 01.22)

  • Before we start using social media professionally in this class, I would like for you to take stock of your current uses. As a way to prompt reflective practice concerning your usage of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc). You should keep a diary that is a typical representation of your social media uses within a 24-48 hour period and include a minimum of 6-8 entries. If you are a heavy social media user you may only need to keep a diary for 24 hours, but if you are a light user then you may require several days of entries. In addition to filling out the diary template, write a 300-word reflection where you should aim to unpack trends, observations, and practices as you analyze your entries. 

Social Media Diary Example

Social Media Action Description Medium Device Time Briefly identify whether you view this experience as

beneficial (1),

neutral/Unsure (2), & drawback (3) and explain why.

Scrolled through Twitter feed Twitter Laptop 9am The experience was neutral. I was taking a break and caught up on some interests and news for 10 minutes.
Continued…

Note: Instructor should provide class feedback on social media survey and diary as a way to provide students a foundation for reflection in subsequent tasks.

Part 2: The Mindful Exploration

(A) Joining the Conversation (Twitter List; 3 points; Due 01.29 – tweeting continues all semester)

  • Class participants will set up, or modify as appropriate, Twitter accounts, make intentional decisions about personal/professional uses, and gain familiarity with the platform. Class participants should seek out help if needed.
  • Class participants will follow a minimum of five required accounts, five in your content or grade level (see me for help), and five accounts that can bring perspectives that might otherwise be missing (e.g., cultural, racial, socioeconomic, ideological). You can find a list of accounts HERE or via Twitter HERE. Choose accounts to follow that you think are important, impactful, or insightful in some way. We encourage you to follow additional accounts from this recommended list or others that you find. In summary, you are required to follow a total of fifteen active education accounts that does not include class participants, but please contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or requests.
  • Class participants should post at least two “substantive” tweets using the #EdFound class hashtag (and #edchat when possible considering character limitations) per class session or week that contribute to the class dialogue with at least one being a response to a classmate’s tweet. The content of the tweets can range from questions related to your practice/teaching; continuation of discussions relating to our readings, in-class dialogue or activities; problems of practice you want to inquire about; or other educational issues you would like to explore in a social platform.
    • What is a “substantive” tweet? A substantive tweet builds upon co-learners’ ideas, poses questions, makes connections, shares advice and resources, and/or offers another critical perspective that draws directly on course content; It adds something to the commentary, rather than simply congratulating co-learner on a well-written post.

(B) Twitter PLN Exploration (Twitter PLN Exploration POST COPY/PASTE – 300-words minimum; 1 point; Due 02.05)

Take 10-15 minutes to analyze tweets from the educational accounts in your “PLN” (specifically, the recommended accounts you were to choose from – see  HERE or via Twitter HERE),  and be prepared to delve into questions like:

  • What purposes in general do the accounts you follow seem to have for tweeting?
  • Are educators sharing their work, asking questions, seeking commune, participating in moderated chats, curating the work of others, etc.?
  • Are they using their accounts strictly with other educators or do they engage with communities or students?
  • How often do they tweet?
  • Do they use hashtags to connect with others?
  • With whom are they interacting?
  • What sort of grade level or content-based patterns are evident among accounts your follow?
  • Post your Twitter PLN Exploration in THIS SURVEY in addition to posting it in the assigned space.

*Several components of this assignment are dependent on your completion of the required number of tweets.

Part 3: The Mindful Reflection

These three reflection assignments will be turned in together

(A) Technofast (Technofast Post COPY/PASTE – 300-words minimum; 1 point; Due 04.23)

  • Class participants will choose one 24-48 hour block of time to “technofast” to give up social media and/or a device (e.g., cell phone, laptop, tablet) towards the middle part of the semester (end date will be specified). You should write a reflection considering your experience with technofasting. Consider questions like: which social media platform or device did you decide to give up? For how long? What do you think was gained or lost? How did you feel about the experience? Would you have your future students technofast in some form? Why or why not? (300 words minimum).

(B) Reflection and Social Media Plan  (COPY/PASTE ASSIGNMENT -600-words minimum; 2 point; Due 04.30)

  • Write up a short reflection on your practices and plan for social media moving forward. Use the following questions to guide your response (though, you are not limited to them). (600 words minimum).
    • What purposes in general did you mostly seem to embrace through your tweets? Did you share your work, ask questions, seek commune, participate in moderated chats, curate the work of others, etc.?
    • Did you use your account strictly with other educators or did you engage with communities, students, others?
    • How often did you tweet?
    • Do you use hashtags to connect with others?
  • Considering all aspects of this assignment throughout the course of this semester, develop a professional plan for how you can use social media for your own professional learning and with your future students. Consider questions like (make sure to answer the final question about using social media with your future students):
    • What do you need to be able to continue to use this Twitter for your professional growth?
    • How might your professional use of Twitter translate to other platforms and media? What platforms might best help you meet professional aims?
    • What affordances (possible uses the social media platform facilitates; e.g., Twitter allows us to share and communicate on our own schedules with people who are far away) are most beneficial in using different social media platforms?
    • What kinds of drawbacks does the use of social media present?
    • And most importantly, how can you teach students how to mindfully use social media? Please provide a specific example or idea.

(C) Final Survey (LINK; 1 point; Due 05.07)

Note: Please contact me if you are unable, unwilling, or just have concerns about any part of this assignment. I am willing to work with you to find reasonable solutions for any concerns.

While not required, here are additional references on being mindful with technologies:

Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention, and other 21st-century social media literacies. Educause Review, 45(5), 14-24. Retrieved from http://er.educause.edu/~/media/files/article-downloads/erm1050.pdf

Stulberg, B. (2017, February 23). How to Use Your Phone with Intention. Outside. Retrieved from https://www.outsideonline.com/2157451/how-use-your-phone-intention?

References

Carpenter, J. P., & Krutka, D. G. (2014). How and why educators use Twitter: A survey of the field. Journal of research on technology in education, 46(4), 414-434.

Krutka, D. G., & Carpenter, J. P. (2016). Why Social Media Must Have a Place in Schools. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 52(1), 6-10.

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