Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology & Associate Professor at Royal Roads University

What do scholars do on Twitter?

Posted on October 24th, by George Veletsianos in my research, NPS, online learning, open, papers, scholarship. 7 comments

I have just had an article published with the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, entitled Higher education scholars’ participation and practices on Twitter. The paper focuses on a qualitative analysis of 45 scholars’ (anonymized and edited) tweets to acquire a deep meaning of practice, and is part of my research into Networked Participatory Scholarship. Those of you interested in how faculty members use social media, the relationship between social media and identity, digital scholarship, scholarly use of online networks, and the rise of the digital scholar, may find this worthwhile.

Citation and link to pdf: Veletsianos, G. (2012). Higher Education Scholars’ Participation and Practices on Twitter. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28(4), 336-349.

Twitter bird logo icon illustrationIf you have been participating on Twitter for a while, some of the findings won’t be surprising, but the paper can serve as a starting point for deeper conversations on the why and how social media is used by scholars, academics, and faculty members. Nonetheless, interesting implications to point out include the following:

“Even though social networking technologies in general were developed for purposes unrelated to education, they have been co-opted and repurposed by scholars, in part, to satisfy educational and scholarly pursuits.”

“Is Twitter fostering more social opportunities and community-oriented approaches to education and scholarly participation? Or, do the individuals who espouse these kinds of beliefs happen to make use of Twitter for scholarly pursuits?”

“Are scholars altruistically sharing information for the benefit of the community in which they belong? Or, is information sharing a self-serving activity? Are scholars sharing information in order to assist the profession grow intellectually, or are they attempting to develop a ‘brand’ around themselves?”

“Twitter is often dismissed as a platform of meaningless soliloquies and dull updates…Rather than representing meaningless chatter, [Twitter] updates may introduce opportunities to explore shared interests, experiences, goals, mindsets, and life dispositions/aspirations.”

The themes relating to participation and practices highlighted in the paper are the following: Scholars participating on Twitter (1) shared information, resources, and media relating to their professional practice; (2) shared information about their classroom and their students; (3) requested assistance from and offered suggestions to others; (4) engaged in social commentary; (5) engaged in digital identity and impression management; (6) sought to network and make connections with others; and (7) highlighted their participation in online networks other than Twitter.

Enjoy, and if you have any input, I would love to hear it!

Emerging Technologies book downloads: One year later

Posted on October 10th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 2 comments

In July of 2010, I published Emerging Technologies in Distance Education with Athabasca University Press. The book was published in print and e-book format. In the spirit of openness I am sharing the book’s download statistics, as culled from the AU Press site below. If you can’t see the spreadsheet below, you can access it here.

A number of chapters have been included in course syllabi which helped increase their readership. Last time I checked, the book or chapters of it had been used in the following courses:

  • EDTECH 597: Social Network Learning from Boise State University (Fall, 2010)
  • EDU 7271: Information and Communication: Social and Conventional Networks from Northeastern University (Spring 2011)
  • EDU 6407: Essentials of Multimedia for Distance Learning from Northeastern University (Spring 2011)
  • PLENK 2010: Personal Learning Environments Networks and Knowledge. A collaborative Open Course offered from Athabasca University and the University of Prince Edward Island (Fall, 2010)
  • OLIT 538: E-learning Course Design from the University of New Mexico (Fall, 2010)
  • EDUC60602: Teaching and Learning with Emerging Technologies from the University of Manchester, UK (Spring 2011)
[Side note: If you are using the book or chapters of it in courses that are not listed above, I'd love to hear about it!]

Chapter 6 (pdf) by Alec Couros was included in the PLENK 2010: Personal Learning Environments Networks, and with the large number of participants has shot to the number 1 most-read chapter in the book. Congrats, Alec!

Chapter 1 was the chapter that I wrote, and sought to define emerging technologies and pedagogies (pdf). This was the second most downloaded chapter in the book.

Thank you for downloading the book (or parts of it) and I hope it has helped you in your educational endeavors!