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Helping Faculty Leverage Social Media

Mobile and social apps can address a range of instructional challenges, if faculty can be persuaded to adopt them.

This story appeared in the January 2013 digital edition of Campus Technology.

While faculty may be expert at teaching within their own disciplines, many are unfamiliar with how new mobile and social technologies can be used for instruction. Purdue Studio Applications, a growing suite of software developed at Purdue University (IN), is intended to give faculty easy-to-use tools to engage students who feel completely at home in the world of mobile devices and social media. CT tapped Kyle Bowen, director of informatics, and his teaching colleagues at Purdue for their perspectives.

What is the basis for Purdue Studio Applications?

Courtesy of Purdue University

"We're in a really exciting period right now where we see rapid experimentation in both mobile and social technologies. For the first time since the calculator watch, computing has become fashionable." --Kyle Bowen, director of informatics

By using social web tools like Mixable with their classes, can faculty leverage the social media skills that most students already possess?

Courtesy of Purdue University

"It's already technology that they are comfortable with, which is great because I did not want a technology hurdle at the beginning.... The conversations really take off. [The students] went far beyond what I was asking them to do." --Ellen Gundlach, continuing lecturer, statistics

Is using an app (like Passport) to provide badges--as additional evidence of learning beyond a letter grade in a course--helpful mainly to employers?

Courtesy of Purdue University

"That helps everyone. It helps the institution say 'our students are capable of doing the work that we're training them for' helps the employer feel safe to hire an institution's student, saying, 'I know what they are capable of' helps the student say, 'this is what I know, this is what I can do, and I can prove it to you.'" --Bill Watson, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction

About the Author

Mary Grush is Editor and Conference Program Director, Campus Technology.

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