Social Media and becoming a Digital Scholar

social media and the digital scholar

In December 2014 I was invited by Professor Albert Sangrà to speak at the Open University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain. Whilst there I also ran a workshop for the Edul@b research team to look at how social media could be used to share their research outputs. I gave an open lecture on social media and the importance of becoming a digital scholar. Below is a summary of the key points made during the lecture.

Social Media

Social Media empowers us as individuals to become digital communicators, collaborators, conversationalists, critics, curators and creators using a variety of different mediums including text, audio, video and images. These open up dialogues online that may then continue face to face. Continue reading

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Using Pinterest to bookmark those special things buried in the too-wide web



Pinterest provides a space to save ideas that you want to come back to, by capturing an image or video file and the URL connected to this item as a Pin.

Pins are visual bookmarks for interesting things you find anywhere around the web or shared on the Pinterest site.

You can pin JPG, PNG and GIF image files, as well as YouTube, Vimeo and TED videos. There are three ways to pin:

  • Pin things you find on Pinterest
  • Pin from a website
  • Upload an image from your computer

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A Dr Seuss inspired Guide to using Twitter

Dr Seuss Guide to Twitter

Some excellent tips weaved into this humorous Dr Seuss inspired Guide to Twitter created by Hootsuite.


Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that can help you to manage and measure your social networks.  It enables  you to:

  • Manage multiple social networks
  • Schedule tweets and messages
  • Track brand mentions
  • Analyse social media traffic

As a dashboard for managing Twitter I have found it incredibly useful. For anyone who uses lists to organise those you follow on Twitter, by using Hootsuite you can view these lists side by side. (Find out howto create Twitter lists here).

Infographic source:

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A scaffolded approach to develop digital and social media skills to support PERSONALised student PPDP


PPDP is personal and professional development planning

Providing students opportunities to develop professional digital and social media skills can support meaningful engagement with personal and professional development (PPDP). Continue reading

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Emoticons and emojis: a brief introduction to the history and current use in social media dialogue

What is an emoticon?

An emoticon is short for ’emotion icon’ and is a visual representation of a facial expression or body posture to convey mood, attitude or emotion used initially in e-mail and text messages. The most well known is the smiley face. Emoticons can at their most simplest be expressed within text by using a series of punctuation marks (as above) and sometimes letters and special marks.

: – ) or :-)

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Quick tip on how to disable autoplay of videos on Facebook and conserve your data allowance

video play button

Image source: Pixabay

You may have noticed videos within Facebook posts, automatically playing in your news feed.  Watching videos (and streaming music) tend to use quite a bit of data, so you may want to consider your options. You can adjust the Facebook app’s auto-play settings from On to Wi-Fi only or Off.

Faceb Continue reading

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Using Google Alerts for your research

Google Alerts

Did you know that you can easily monitor the web for content  and be notified of the results by using Google Alerts?

Start by simply choosing a key word that is relevant to the topic you wish to research. If you wish to search for a term that contains more than one word, e.g. a person’s name, then add quote marks “Joe Bloggs”.

Google Alerts

You can then choose from a number of options to refine your search and how you would like to receive the results found by Google. Continue reading

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Let me tell you a secret… Tips from a Journalist on blogging

 blogImage source: Pixabay

I recently attended a workshop led by Sue Featherstone (Journalist and Principal Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University) on the secrets of blogging which was put on for the new student bloggers who are volunteer content managers. These students will capture news stories from across the courses within the Department of Media Arts and Communication and share them via the Department blog Capture | MAC set up by Lecturers Melvyn Ternan and Anne Doncaster. Continue reading

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How public is your private information on social media?


Identity theft is a form of stealing someone’s identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person’s identity, usually as a method to gain access to resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person’s name (Wikipedia).

How the thief obtains such information can take a variety of forms from stealing personal documents to accessing digital records. One approach however is by scanning public social media profiles. By looking at a number of different profiles for one individual it is often easier than you might think to piece this information together to come up with just the details required to create a fraudulent identity. Continue reading

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The History of #Hashtags from humble # sign to hyperlinked verb


Image source: Flickr

Definition: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

  • People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.
  • Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.
  • Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end.
  • Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.

To note: If you Tweet with a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet.  Continue reading

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