Social Media in the Classroom

Fred Zinn and Tony Sindelar — my good friends over in the UMass OIT department — invited me this week to take part in a social media presentation/discussion as part of their summer seminar series at OIT.  I’ve been a part of many similar sessions over the years — in academic as well as professional settings.  What was interesting about the OIT seesion was that the usual disdain for “social media” was absent from the faculty members present — there was a genuine interest to learn, not poke holes.  Our gathering of about 10 faculty members from across campus wanted to know how to make social media work in a classroom setting.

Discussions ranged from talking about Google Wave and backchannels in the classroom to staying in touch with alumni and connecting them with students through LinkedIn and Facebook.  It was a great discussion and got me to thinking again how to better use social media in the classroom.  I’m always searching for new ideas so pass along any you might have!

And, in case you missed it, I recently wrote about social media and the recent graduating class of journalists.

Happy Memorial Day!


About journalismprof

Steve joined the journalism faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in August 2007 and has been working to incorporate multimedia across the curriculum. Since arriving at UMass, Steve has developed three courses modeled after his multimedia journalism course. The courses allow students to work in teams in a newsroom-like environment where they work on packages -- using video, audio and photos to tell stories. He is also working with students on developing, a news Web site staffed completely by students. Steve has more than 25 years of experience as an editor and reporter for print and online publications, including 10 as an editor at He also edits part-time for with the NFL and college football network.
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