My Quest To Teach

March 13, 2012

Social Media Business Tools for EWC Students

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 3:12 am

LinkedIn with EWC

LinkedIn with EWC

 

Social Media Business Tools for EWC Students

Part One LinkedIn and Edward Waters College Students

William Jackson, M.Ed.  Edu. Tech 250
Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Florida
linkedin.com/in/wdjackson

Educational Technology 250 has been investing time into
the uses of Social Media to create relevant digital content.
This content opens doors to creating networking opportunities
for students that are planning for the future when considering
career choices. Digital tools allow students to make connections
previous to graduation. The implementation of pro-active action
is empowering more so than re-active actions to waiting for
someone to call students after graduation about employment.
Pro-action requires making professional contacts early so net-
working and building relationships start early.

Many college students began their social media familiarity as a
personal one, connecting with family and friends, exchanging
photos, videos, music, jokes and the occasional party excitement.
The shift to using social media for career development is now a
necessity. Students are learning that they must have a relationship
with potential employers even if it is a digital relationship. The
establishment of business and professional relationships helps in
the confirmation of career interests, aiding in the transition from
higher education student to career professional adult. Employment
practices of the past; making a name for oneself are not made by
the traditional physical footsteps in job searching, flesh pressing
of handshakes and lunch/dinner meetings, but the involvement of
putting yourself out there in a digital networking environment.

Even in the book “Business at the Speed of Thought” (Bill Gates
1999) Gates highlighted that in order for any business to be succe-
ssful that business must embrace technology.
Potential employees must show they are familiar and comfortable
creating content and communicating on multiple digital levels.
Business is a competition and the use of technology is a tool to
get an edge.One of the Social Media tools Educational Technology
250 students in the Education Department of EWC are utilizing is
LinkedIn to acquire business contacts and establish professional
relationships that can blossom into potential internships and job
opportunities.

LinkedIn Information – linkedIn.com  The World’s Largest
Networking Site Several ways to connect to LinkedIn are through
basic computer (desktop/laptop) access and the progressive
Mobile Apps/ Mobile Sites. Mobile and wireless technologies are
very powerful and useful for connecting with LinkedIn’s estimated
35 million users (LinkedIn 2010). Growing users are accessing
content using Smart Phones and Tablets with sophisticated Apps.
The mobile page views account for over 11% of total visits to the
social network for those professionally minded. The recent release
of Apps for iPhone and Android has shown a growing respect for
these intelligent phones that are business tools not just for social
communication. Joff Redfern, mobile product director of LinkedIn
has stated, ”we are seeing mobile growth at a very rapid pace.”

As Edward Waters College students learn how important net-
working is and the ability to connect with professionals of similar
interests and backgrounds, digital tools are important to make
positive first impressions with significant growth potentials. The
objective is to influence young minds by relevant and proven
words like Bill Gates with business minded statements ,” cyber-
space and industry can no longer be separate entities, and that
businesses must change to succeed in the Information Age.”
Students must understand and be able to integrate technology
with collaborative abilities. Higher education instructors need
to be aware that instruction should be directed to online or
hybrid instruction. In a recent episode of Digital Nation (Feb 2010)
teens have a digital life now and well over half their interaction
is through digital communication. Technology has forced a change
in the way teachers teach, unfortunately teachers show change
there is really no knowledge or current data on how implementing
technology affects young and maturing brains and learning, Digital
Nation (Feb 2010).

Technology will require 21st century and beyond workers to do
things, accomplish tasks and become problem solvers, creators of
content, and collaborators in information sharing.  Technology is
being installed and configured in schools, it is becoming like oxygen
and teachers must teach kids how to breathe properly and efficiently
in their uses of technology. More professional development and
facilitator training is needed for educators, as with science, business,
education and other disciplines because of the influences of technology.
If students are not taught and guided properly
the results create social challenges not thought
of 10 years ago with digital communication and
content sharing.

The Nielsen Company, showed through studies
consumers spent about five and half hours on social
networking sites including LinkedIn. This is an 82%
increase from previous years when users were
spending just over three hours on social networking
sites. The shift changes when the economy is shifting
and careers are changing. Technology has created
and paradigm shift in business networking and
relationship building. Students at EWC and other
higher education institutions must implement
workshops, professional development and courses
to help their students navigate the technical
corridors of digital networking.

As an instructor/educator in the public school system and higher
education I have a responsibility as my educational peers, to
demonstrate and instruct on the benefits and contributions of
technology not just the social and gaming interaction, but the
educational values and gains.

Bill Gates has stated many times that the youth of tomorrow
will be the content creators and knowledge builders of the
future. Information and importantly managing information will
be more important than money. Those who can manage inform-
ation will be the ones that can influence economies, politics
and guide the minds of people.

Additional information and resources can be found
respectfully at:
Social Media Resource for Higher Education – more information
available.
http://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2011/09/using-social-media-in-the-higher-education-classroom/
By Justin Marquis Ph.D.

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