Social media and teaching – an update

Regular readers of my blog and Twitter feed will know that I am a keen user of social media in general, but in particular I use it in my teaching where I can. With my current lectures on crystallography and X-ray diffraction, and my forthcoming lectures on quantum chemistry and statistical thermodynamics (not to forget forensic ballistics), it seemed appropriate to write an update.

My main social medium for teaching is still Facebook, where I put useful web links and other information on my teaching pages (www.facebook.com/robjteaching). I genuinely believe this can be helpful and time-saving for my students; it offers one-click access to useful links, saving having to cut and paste links between lecture slides and web browsers. It has been well-received in previous years, and it will be interesting to see what the students I am currently teaching make of it!

With Twitter, as well as my personal account, I jointly run the Keele Chemistry account. Quite a few students follow this account, but not enough to be confident that information placed there will be seen widely. Of course, you don’t have to follow an account to read its posts, but follower numbers provide a guide. So I will continue to persevere with using Twitter to provide links etc, and I will try to assess, at some point, how widely it is used (although it is more difficult to do this with Twitter than with Facebook, where you can see at a glance how many times a particular post has been viewed).

Comments and experiences from others will be welcome as always.

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