Putting the social into social media is this week's Thing and initially I wondered why we were repeating ourselves, having done online networks in Thing 5, but when I read the post on http://cpd23.blogspot.co.uk/, I understood that this was more about putting our use of social media into practice and having a bit of time to reflect on how we use it, i.e. how we interact with social media, rather than just pushing information out.
This has really made me think about a Twitter account I set up just last Friday strangely enough. Since becoming Assistant Head of Sixth Form last September, I have been considering ways in which we could improve interaction and levels of communication with the sixth formers; assemblies, messages via tutors and a message board in their common room only communicate so far. The college uses My Big Campus as are our main VLE type resource, but after speaking to students about a sixth form specific area (including the sixth form council), I discovered that this was not something they wished to use and would prefer a more immediate form of communication such as Twitter or Facebook. As I love Twitter and use it daily, hourly etc for my own PLN, I decided to set up a Twitter account for sixth form.
Having decided to follow users such as @UCAS_Online, @BBC Breaking News and @Apprenticeships, I initially saw it as a way of pushing information out to students; informing them of assemblies, trips, specific events such as UCAS registration etc as well as retweeting information from UCAs, National Apprenticeship Service and BBC News. However the thought has now struck me how Twitter may also be used by the students to interact with me in return; when we want to gauge student opinion, telling us when they are going to be late, if they are ill, sharing of good news e.g. places at university, new jobs etc. If this happens, then it can only be a positive thing for the relationship between sixth form staff and students; more of a celebratory and moving forward than simply another means by which to nag them. Social media really becoming social.