One of the ways in which Program Social Media Fellows help students, faculty, and alumni to share their recent scholarly accomplishments, is through the The CUNY Academic Commons (click here to read a recent post explaining what the CUNY Commons is and how to create your own website using the Commons). As fellows we are responsible for creating and maintaining our respective programs’ CUNY Academic Commons sites, which serve as platforms through which we can share recent student, faculty, and alumni scholarly accomplishments. The purpose of a program’s Commons site varies from program to program. Some programs feature a variety of information on their Commons site, from admissions guidelines, to programs of study and student profiles (see Political Science Commons site). Other programs create a Commons site to share information about student, faculty, and alumni accomplishments, program events, newsletters, and colloquiums (see the Commons Site for the Educational Psychology Program, which I have worked to curate over the past couple of semesters). The latter option provides an opportunity for fellows or other students to design a Program Blog.
As Program Social Media Fellows, one of our goals is to advocate for the use of social media as an academic medium to foster community and scholarly discourse. We strive to demonstrate how social media can be used to share information about recent publications and upcoming events. But how can we portray the significance of this medium to those who are skeptical about its benefits? How can we respond to those who tell us social media is just going to eat away at time they don’t even have or that it lacks academic gravitas? Rather than simply pleading for the creation of Twitter accounts, how can we communicate the benefits of social media and debunk some of the stigma surrounding it?
As an Educational Psychology PhD student who is interested in digital technology as a context for child development and how digital mediums such as video games can promote learning, I have been thinking about how my research can inform the use of social media within an academic environment. Can we combat some of the bias and skepticism surrounding social media by looking to research on the relationship between digital technology use and learning or well-being? Would making this connection allow us to create a value-based model for effective social media use within an academic context?