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I had the opportunity to attend a session last week, hosted by Pearson, on how higher ed faculty use social media.  Much of the content was quite interesting.  You can download the full research report here

Quite a bit of survey data was presented on the survey with 3,875 respondents, including that 34% of faculty use social media – blogs, wikis, podcasts, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – in their teaching. 

The piece of information that caught my eye, though, was on what instructors consider the biggest barriers to using social media:

The second and third items on the list – concerns about privacy and separate course and personal accounts – impress me as nontrivial.  Just in the past few weeks, we’ve seen some damage done in these areas.  For example, someone recently post a comment on their Facebook account that they thought was private (and wasn’t) and various people and organizations, using social media content and channels, have been trying to discredit a young woman that asked a question at the town hall presidential debate. 

How do you use social media in your professional life, whether in teaching, marketing, or other ways, and how do you guard against the unintended consequences of these public communications?

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