Social Media Week NYC: The Future of Higher Education

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Social media has changed the way we communicate. It is the #1 activity on the web and is disrupting many industries, including education. This is important to note, since this means education is now happening anywhere, anytime.  At Rutgers Business School, we understand this. We are on various social media sites as are some of our professors. Conversations are happening between our students and the members of the business community on Twitter, Facebook, Quora, and more. That’s why we attended last week’s panel on The Future of Higher Education at Social Media Week NYC.

The event, hosted at Thomson Reuters in Times Square, was well attended and had a great panel that showed us innovative ways social and interactive media can contribute to the classroom.

The panelists were: John Katzman and Jeremy Johnson of 2tor, Columbia Journalism professor Sree Sreenivasan, and White Plains history teacher Melissa Seidman.

Melissa showed how she uses social media in the classroom. “Instead of constantly badgering the students to put their phones away, I decided to embrace the educational opportunities they can offer,” she said. Melissa has her students do research with their smartphones, allows them to text her when they have questions as they study for exams, and teaches them the basics of Twitter so they can better use it as a resource. She also showed us some really great free tools like socrative, a social quizzing tool she uses in her classroom.

The giveaway at #smwfUTURECLASSROOM: a qr-code stamped apple

Sree introduced the audience to Tout, a social media platform that allows users to shoot 15-second video status updates via smartphones and webcams. “This mimics the classic elevator pitch,” he said. Touts are shared real-time and automatically to, Twitter, Facebook, SMS and email contacts. Through Tout's reply feature, users can engage in Tout conversations.

The overall message of the panel was that although there has been some skepticism of whether or not cell phones and social media belong in the classroom, when used appropriately social media is an effective learning tool. Digital media and interactive technologies bring learning to life. Web based applications and real-time communication between students and their mentors or professors provides a new dimension to the classroom: the classroom of the future.

The entire panel was captured by livestream: The Future of Higher Education + The Classroom of the Future

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by: Hannah Redmond

TAGS: Current Students Digital Marketing New York City Social Media