Category Archives: Student Affairs Comm

Social Media Beyond Marketing and Communication in Higher Education

Social media in higher education can and should be used beyond marketing and communication purposes. Higher ed institutions are using social media in various ways.  Scholars such as Dr. Rey Junco has done research on the relationship of twitter and facebook and student engagement in the classroom. Purdue University is a leader in using social media and mobile to enhance student learning and connection in and outside the classroom.   In the course of doing personal research on various aspects of social media and technology use for student learning and development, the more questions come to mind.  As someone who is involved in promoting social media at my university, I often wonder what my other colleagues beyond my organization of student affairs are doing with social media. What topics are being discussed, what are the opportunities and issues? Who at my university are experimenting with social media in ways never done before?  How do we learn and integrate what others outside our university have done? These questions led me to the question of what if we have a group/a forum to at our university to discuss and explore the impact and significance of social media?

The idea of a university wide forum to discuss social media is nothing new. A social media council at Boston College was recently created “to promote collaboration, share best practices and set a strategic direction for strengthening the University’s overall social media presence”.  Beyond efforts towards marketing and communication, I think institutions should also look at the impact and opportunities of social media and technology in how we function as learning institutions. Here are some topics to discuss:


  • How do we use social media as part of our business?
  • How do we use social media for student engagement for improved retention?
  • How are  web 2.0 and social media shaping pedagogy and learning theories including connectivism?
  •  How can we utilize social media for alternative professional development?
  • How do we handle issues including copyrights, plagiarism, ethics?
  • Digital Identity – what does it mean?
  • How do we use social media for lifetime engagement and advancement?
  • How does social media and technology fit into student development theories and how do we apply them in practice?

I would like to form a group for my university to have these conversations. If you have ideas or have experience you can add to help me start and make this a productive group, I would love to hear them. What other topics would you discuss?


Student Affairs as Social Business

“Even though we’re operating with the best of intentions in social media, we are still operating from silos. The customer however, does not see silos, they see the company as one.” – Brian Solis, The End of Business as Usual.

Social Business graphic

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I have only been active on popular social media sites like facebook and twitter the last year or so and much of what I have read about how organizations use social media in that time revolves around marketing, communicating and engaging with customers, those external to organizations. However, in the last few months, I have noticed more mentions of social business, which Michael Brito describes as “any company that has integrated and operationalized social media within every job function (and process) internally.” IBM describes social business as “one that embraces and cultivates a spirit of collaboration and community throughout its organization—both internally and externally.” Several companies have already embraced this concept per this report Research Summary: Introducing The 43 Use Cases For Social Business (Social Enterprise) by Constellation Org. Advocates of social business including Mr. Brito, Mr. Owyang, Mr. Solis and Mr Bradley/Mr MacDonald all emphasize the following points in some form: 1) social business goes beyond technology, it involves people, processes and culture 2) embracing the power of collective wisdom from internal employees and customers and 3) holistic approach – no single unit owns social efforts and customer service belongs to everyone in the organization.

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Student Affairs Communications

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What other resources do you know we can add to the list? Thank you.