“Over the last 10 years, I’ve been invited to give many talks and run workshops about how to use social media in various different contexts across higher education, from developing a professional presence to using it to amplify events. In various job roles, I’ve been the go-to person to introduce it to a department or to offer advice for the new person wanting to try out for the first time. I always feel that I’m the person who can offer a gateway to getting started. However, in doing so, I have also experienced criticism about my own use and social media presence, sparking debate about the value and authenticity of social media – and what is considered ‘correct’. This twitter talk will explore the tensions in personal and professional identity as an academic and reality of enabling social media usage amongst others.
Using my research-practice experience of a digital media practitioner, which focused on developing critical media skills and increased digital participation in schools and community development settings, I discuss how my media education background has translated into (the attempts at) introducing social media as a pedagogical tool within FE and HE institutional environments.
Taking an auto-ethnographic approach, I will discuss the challenges of influencing and engaging with cultural change as an ‘outsider’ coming ‘within’ an institution (Holloway, 2009), which wants the benefits of an active and authentic social media presence and digital literate student and staff population, but struggle with political, cultural and social the change required in the workplace to enable authentic debate and dialogue. Drawing on this scenario, I will discuss how the ubiquity and opportunity to produce and consume content through digital, mobile media in our daily lives (Gauntlett, 2011; Jenkins, Ford & Green, 2013; McGillivray, 2013) can conflict with the universities’ need to manage expectations in administering, utilising, delivering and teaching education technology in a centralised, propriety manner.
Referring to examples available on twitter of past projects, I wish to propose that the universality of media education & the continued reflexive practice and structure within education can be mutually inclusive and can aid the professional development of educators– regardless of the educator’s discipline, job title or academic/non-academic contract. That is, in the selection and development of an appropriate digital method and educational technology for the task, each educator within each discipline can establish what is required for their course, their students – and for themselves.”