Social Learning has been taking place forever – in college dorms, high school hallways, university quads, and so on. But how can institutions foster Social Learning online, where today’s students spend so much of their time, in order to increase student engagement and ultimately retention and graduation rates? I’m really looking forward to hearing some different perspectives on this question at BbWorld this year! Social Learning is one of the BbWorld 2012 themes, so there are a variety of sessions dedicated to this topic. But how will you decide which to attend? To help you out (and since Social Learning is of particular interest to me), I thought I’d pull together a list of the five Social Learning sessions at BbWorld you shouldn’t miss.
- Harnessing the Power of Social Media – Eric Sheninger is the Principal of New Milford High School in Bergen County, New Jersey and is passionate about establishing and fostering learning environments that are student-centered, collaborative, flexible, and prepare all learners to succeed in the 21st Century. Eric has emerged as an innovative leader in the use of social media and web 2.0 technology and will speak about how to harness the power of social media to engage students, improve communications with stakeholders, and help educators grow professionally.
- Transform Online Student Engagement: See the Future with “KnowU – Where Social Meets Learning” - Harrison College will discuss the new online social learning platform they developed – KnowU – that integrates with their Blackboard ANGEL LMS and blends traditional online learning tools with a virtual college support system and a social media hub. They will share their vision and motivating factors driving the project, findings from their first pilot groups, and a demo of KnowU.
- Using Blackboard Learn as a Hub for Social Media - Beth A. Burns – Instructional Designer / Adjunct Faculty, Buffalo State College, Hillsborough Community College – will share four easy ways to use a Blackboard Learn course as a hub for social tools that allow for “face time” and informal learning interactions. She will discuss VYou, Voicethread, Google Picasa Slideshows, and Blackboard Learn Wikis and will also address account creation, embedding in Blackboard Learn, maintenance, and accessibility.
- Social Media in the Classroom: A Generational Learning Gap – Eastern New Mexico University will discuss the generational gap between faculty members and students in their use of and comfort with social media in the classroom. They will share the results and implications of a study that was conducted to determine the differences between faculty and student perception of the future of social media in the classroom and whether gender or ethnic differences exist in use and comfort.
- Social Learning in Blackboard Learn – Greg Ritter, Director of Product Management for Blackboard Learn, and I will share how Blackboard Learn is addressing the increasing need to foster Social Learning online. You will have the opportunity to preview the Social Learning product features in development and hear how students are involved in the design and development of these features.