These days, social media is firmly embedded in the day-to-day activities of many higher education (HE) professionals as a way of improving practice and adding value.
I’m constantly astounded by the sheer wealth of examples from across the sector that I see in my job. Whether they are using social media for teaching purposes, to strengthen relationships with students, help research reach a wider audience, or in a myriad of other ways, HE professionals are getting more confident and increasingly creative with their approach to online tools.
Now, it’s not uncommon for students to use Facebook to engage with lecturers, or use Twitter hashtags as a starting point of their research projects to crowdsource ideas. And it’s not only the behemoths of Facebook and Twitter that this activity is confined to. We’re seeing new social networks and novel uses in academia arise all the time – from using Yik Yak to gather feedback from learners to live streaming lectures through Periscope.
There’s so much excellent practice going on in universities in the UK, but at the moment there isn’t anything that exists to highlight it.
So, at Jisc we've decided to launch a call to find 50 of the most influential HE professionals on social media. It’s our way of recognising and celebrating those individuals who have demonstrated an innovative approach to the use of social media, in a way that benefits and adds value to higher education and research. We also want to share their approaches so others can benefit from their techniques.
We’ll be inviting nominations until 18 September 2015, and you can nominate yourself or someone you know – although please do check with them first. These will then go to an experienced judging panel of social media experts from Jisc and the wider community to decide who are the most influential. A list of the top 50 will then be announced on our website on 5 October 2015 – and of course shared on Jisc’s social media channels too.
We’re also not forgetting about further education (FE), with a competition for FE staff to follow shortly after. Start thinking about who you might want to nominate now.
How to enter
If you or someone you know has used social media to generate a positive impact or change within your institution, this is your opportunity to shout about it to the world.
We want to know how you’ve used social media to:
- Address a specific need or challenge
- Have a positive impact at your institution or on the wider community
- Overcome any barriers in learning, teaching or research
- Create efficiencies such as costs, time savings or improved outputs
- Implement best practice.
Update - 21 September 2015
Thanks to everyone for their interest in this competition. The closing date has now passed and we are no longer taking nominations. Results will be announced shortly.