Before I share the two interesting uses of social media that I’ve read about today, I want to mention Google News. For work, I was browsing the ‘More Google Products page. I thought I would take a moment to check out Google News. (It searches 4,500 news sources that are updated continuously.) It was pretty slick. If you’re interested in searching just for news, Google News would be much better than just plain Google.
I typed in “social media” +education. (The quote marks around the two words tell the search engine to find only web pages that have those two words next to each other. Otherwise, it would return pages that had the word ‘social’ and pages that contained the word ‘media’ and not necessarily pages with the phrase ‘social media.’ The plus sign means also include pages that include the word education.)
Now for the interesting uses of social media.
The Ad Council, the leading producer of public service announcements, is teaming up with Deep Focus, an interactive marketing agency, to create widgets for the Ad Council’s ads on Facebook or Myspace. (Read the article here.) The widget will track in real time Facebook or MySpace users who support the the Ad Council’s causes. The Ad Council hopes that those using their widgets will encourage their friends to use the widget who will in turn encourage their friends so everybody can literally watch the network of supporters grow.
The other news story told how Universities are using social media to recruit new students. The article claimed that high school graduates will be declining after this year and thus college enrollments will be declining, too, as a result. To combat this, universities are using social media to compete for those prospective students.
Texas A&M has a Facebook page that allows people to become a fan. Then, the university can ‘reach out’ to those prospective students (The article didn’t specify what reaching out entailed.)
My definition of the use of social media in education had been focused mainly on what happened in the classroom. These two articles expanded my view of how social media could be used.