In Libraries, Writing Centers, and More

        The classroom is not the only area of education that has attempted to incorporate social media sites; libraries and writing centers have also adopted practices involving Facebook and Twitter to reach their patrons.

        Many advocates of using social media sites, like Anne Weaver, cite web pages and blogs that contain helpful information for teachers who want to begin teaching with Twitter. Other advocates, like Laura Solomon, focus on the business aspect of marketing libraries. Although her work is written as a public relations approach to social media, Solomon also addresses ways these sites can fail—the wrong audience, poor or a lack of content, appearing untrustworthy, fear of change—which can directly transfer into potential classroom failures, too.

        Jackie Grutsch McKinney, looked at writing centers’ uses of Twitter, claiming they follow each other to learn what other centers are doing with the site. Likewise, this has potential for educators to see how others in the field are implementing Twitter in their classrooms. In this way, Twitter becomes less of a teaching heuristic and more of a networking tool.

        Other uses of social networking at the university can be found in admission departments. Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, uses Facebook to communicate with prospective students. Admissions counselors believe that students sign into Facebook far more often than they check their email, so sending reminders and information through social media sites is a more effective way to communicate.

        The Wartburg Admissions Department is clearly onto something; a 2009 Nielsen Online report found more time is spent on blogs and social networking sites than checking and writing emails (Ostrow).

        Law schools are also utilizing Twitter. As of 2009, more than 85 law schools across the country used the social networking site to communicate with students.