Social Media

Student Success with Video Chats on Google+ Hangouts

Christina Carrasquilla, a lecturer for ASU’s  Graphic Information Technology Program, presents the hows and whys of using Google+ Hangouts in her courses. She discusses how video chats enhance student engagement, promote social interaction, encourage course community, and lead to higher student performance and satisfaction. Using the Google+ social network for course interactions is easy. All students are given an ASU gmail account due to ASU’s partnership with Google. Why Google + Hangouts? Listen and learn!
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How Are Professors Embracing Social Media?

Professors utilize social media in four critical ways: to connect, to notify, to teach, and to curate. At the University of Delaware, Professor Christine Cucciarre uses Twitter for a class assignment in which students are required to post seven to 10 times about class readings over a 48 hour period. She said because Twitter only allows its users to write 140 characters, it teaches students to compress their writing and forces them to think about word choice.

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Using blogs in online classes as a learning tool

Dr. Sher Ratnabalasuriar shares her experiences using blogs in her online classes as a learning tool. She wanted an alternative to the traditional discussion boards that would encourage students to engage more, become more mindful about their writing, and to increase student engagement with course materials and with each other. Dr. Ratnabalasuriar has successfully used free blog services such as WordPress, Tumbler, and Blogger with her large and small classes.

Using Voicethread

VoiceThread is a browser-based application that allows classrooms to have conversations asynchronously around images, videos, documents, presentations, and even lectures.  In the classroom, VoiceThread can be used for digital student-portfolios, language practice, lectures;  group presentations, community establishment, etc.

More educational applications can be found at  Additionally, VoiceThread is FREE for ASU instructors and students, is INTEGRATED into ASU Online’s Learning Management System and is INCREDIBLY easy to use.

Dr. Vanna Gonzales uses VoiceThread as an introductory activity in her online Research Methods course to build community.

Using Twitter in Your Online Course

The TV show ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ provides a humorous view on the use of Twitter in the surgery room, how the senior leader is skeptical about its use as a learning tool and how the professional learning network participates and in this case provides a solution for a life-threatening situation.

There are numerous ways you can use Twitter in your online course including keeping students in the loop, instant feedback, and classroom notepad. My personal favorite is bringing a historical figure to life by using the voice of the historical figure and encouraging the students to interact using the same language and style.

The following articles will provide you with some ideas on how to use Twitter in your online courses: