Why should you attend #SocMedHE16? Read on….

SocMedHE16 banner

On December 16th the 2nd Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference will take place, bringing together educators from many disciplines to share how they are using social media in learning and teaching.

With social media, we have an array of simple and powerful tools that help us think creatively and critically about learner empowerment. It is time for us to better understand the potential of social media to change the learning experience of students and academics in higher education. Questions we need to address include

  • Are we empowering students by adopting and adapting social, open, mobile and networked learning and media?
  • How critically are we shaping the opportunity that is emerging?
  • How sure are we that the social, open and networked space, with all of the autonomy it suggests, is good for our students?

The HE sector needs to be able to address these questions, and others, before the place for social media in higher education learning is clear. The social media for learning landscape is vibrant and remains full of possibilities. Only together will we begin to reliably develop its potential.

The theme for the conference is ‘The Empowered Learner’ and there is a fascinating collection of short papers, workshops, thunderstorm presentations and posters in response to the call for submissions. Indicative sub themes included:

  • Autonomous development and ownership of learning experience
  • Making connections and becoming networked, communities of practice
  • Applying personal experience in a professional sphere
  • Becoming digitally capable in a social world
  • Being informed and in control of your digital identity
  • The student-teacher relationship
  • Authentic learning experiences
  • The evolution of curriculum design
  • Change agents, scaling up and moving beyond the cottage industry

Why should you attend?


  1. The event will provide a great opportunity to learn about how social media has empowered the learners of colleagues presenting.
  2. It provides you with a chance to network and share your experiences.
  3. It may even provide an opportunity for future collaborations.
  4. A guaranteed outcome will be that you can extend your professional network through meeting people and making new connections.
  5. During the pre-conference dinner and the conference day itself you will be able to discuss issues and share ideas about how these have been or could be addressed.
  6. You will be part of a growing community that is working together to better understand the potential of social media to change the learning experience of students and academics in higher education.

Key information

Key dates for your diary:

  • Early bird rate ends 21st November 2016
  • Pre-conference social event 15th December 2016 – 6pm onwards
Posted in Event, Social Media | 1 Comment

The Social Media Revolution 2017 by @equalman

Erik Qualman first produced the Socialnomics Social Media Revolution video showcasing the power of social media and mobile in 2009. Above is the 7th iteration and just released this month October 2016. Continue reading

Posted in Social Media | Tagged | 1 Comment

A Faster Mobile Web: WordPress.com Updates for Accelerated Mobile Pages

Useful post from WordPress on their latest update which gives you even more control over your site’s look and feel on Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) pages – a feature available to all.

AMP page WordPress blog

The WordPress.com Blog

Earlier this year we were proud to announce that WordPress.com users’s sites would automatically support Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) — a new open-source project spearheaded by Google to dramatically improve the performance of web pages on mobile devices.

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Say ‘No!’ to vertical video syndrome


VVS (Vertical Video Syndrome) is internet slang for the [perceived by some guilty] act of recording video using an upright mobile phone, as if you were taking a portrait photograph (rather than standard landscape video, as we are used to seeing displayed on a TV or monitor).

Vertical video is often referred to as skinny and tall as when the video plays it only uses the centre third of the screen and has black space either side (as in the image above).

Advice from the ground is quite simply that we must all learn to say no to vertical video as it is amateurish and to be avoided. Glove and Boots in the video above offer some sage advice… Continue reading

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Why ‘googling’ yourself should be part of your digital health check

Google search

When was the last time you googled yourself? Some may ask why on earth would I want to do that? Well it is an effective way of finding out what others can learn about you from the Internet. What information is actually public? Continue reading

Posted in Tips | Tagged | 3 Comments

Sharing is caring (inspired by @veletsianos)


This post is inspired by George Veletsianos, who has created a video summary titled ‘Scholarship on Social Media and the Academic Self’ based on his paper ‘Open Practices and Identity: Evidence from Researchers and Educators’ Social Media Participation’.

George raises the question:

“Is sharing a value of contemporary academic culture overall or is sharing a value of a specific academic sub culture?
For example is sharing a value of the open education sub culture and are we seeing sharing as a value because open education researchers are active users of social media?”

Continue reading

Posted in Digital Scholar | 1 Comment

Organising tweets into Lists and Collections using Tweetdeck


TweetDeck is a dashboard that allows users to personalise their Twitter experience by viewing tweets in multiple columns. You can organise tweets in Lists or Collections, or add a column for a specific hashtag you wish to follow.

  • A List is an editable group of Twitter users. Each list is given a name and an optional description. Lists may be private or public (and viewable to all).
    For example: https://twitter.com/suebecks/lists/vcs-who-tweet
    You might choose to create a group based on shared interests, a specific topic, co-workers, your family, news sites, sport on other hobbies. The choice is yours!
  • A Collection is an editable group of Tweets hand-selected by a Twitter user. Each Collection is given a name and an optional description. Collections are public and viewable by all. Each Collection has its own URL allowing it to be easily shared. Collections also have an embed code so that they can be added to blogs or websites as a list of tweets or as a grid.
    For example: https://twitter.com/suebecks/timelines/757554419399528448
    This example is a collection of tweets relating to a forthcoming conference. You may choose to create a Collection based on an interest, a specific conversation or event, or any other topic you choose.   New tweets can be added to the collection or deleted.

Continue reading

Posted in Twitter | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Capturing those golden nuggets of information: the art of digital curation

gold nuggets

Where do I save stuff?

I always used to save items of interest that I happened upon online as favourites. However despite creating folders, in using this system I found retrieving something became harder and harder and I was not always able to find what I was looking for. Add the fact that I tend to use commuting time to and from work to access information via my phone, I was initially sending items by email, to then have to add them as favourites once I got back to my desk top. A further issue was that those favourites were only accessible if I was at that PC. I had another collection on my laptop!

My solution to this issue came about as I began to read about ‘digital curating’. This is a way of being able to select, organise and present online content. This curated content can then also be shared with others. Equally you can benefit by looking at content curated by others. Typically content is organised by themes or topics. Continue reading

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New on WordPress.com: Sharing Buttons for WhatsApp, Telegram, and Skype

The WordPress.com Blog

Our users — and your sites’ visitors — share millions of WordPress.com posts every day across social networks, and today we’re excited to announce sharing buttons for three more services: WhatsApp, Telegram, and Skype.


Here’s how to set up the new buttons:

  1. Go to My Sites → Sharing.
  2. Select the Sharing Buttons tab, and then Edit Sharing Buttons.
  3. Select any of the three new options (in addition to our many other sharing possibilities).

Learn more here, or watch this handy video:

Now, in addition to sharing on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you can share on some of the world’s most popular messaging apps.

We’re excited to offer these new buttons — and, as always, you can contact us in support if you have more questions.

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VCs in #HigherEd that Tweet


Public domain image: Pixabay

Jisc named the UK higher education social media influencers in December 2015  and in March this year the Further education’s top 50 social media users to follow. Both are worth a visit. The higher education list includes Dominic Shellard, VC at De Montfort University.

Pauk Paceo-Vega PhD introduced #ScholarSunday hashtag as a #FollowFriday for academics to recommend other academic tweeters they value. Whilst useful I’ve not attempted to analyse these tweets to see if any VCs are included – there are a lot of tweets!

The Guardian recently wrote a post called Follow the leaders: the best social media accounts for academics. This article provided a useful list of Twitter accounts who are tweeting about academia under the headings: Twitter humour; tips on writing, teaching and academic life; PhD tips; and news and views. However there was no mention of VCs who tweet.

Do any of our Vice Chancellors tweet?
Well yes they do!

Continue reading

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