CLT – what we do for you…
An occasional series about stuff we support and promote & which we think you should know more about. Today’s post is about Social Media.

Social Media
‘Social media’ is a generic term that describes all those online applications you use to communicate, share and collaborate with others for variety of reasons, networking, fun, politics and of course learning. Blogs, social networking sites (eg facebook), twitter, wikis (eg Wikipedia), flickr – all these are social media. For a comprehensive guide, check out the JISC InfoNet guide on social software.
CLT have been promoting and supporting the use of social media in education for quite some time and especially in the last two years LSE academics have really started to embrace them. Blogging and twitter have become particularly popular, as their potential for making connections in learning, teaching and research has become more apparent. In our CLT NetworkED seminar series last year, Patrick Dunleavy indeed made a great case for academic blogging as part of a new digital revolution in the academic publishing world. Facebook groups are used by PhD students as a platform to share information and academic tips across the disciplines. Moodle wikis are used to facilitate collaborative writing to great effect. The new director Craig Calhoun has an established twitter presence and recently encouraged anyone out there to ask him questions via twitter (#askthedirector) which he answered in real time at a particular hour at the beginning of term. And if you still need convincing that twitter can (i.e. most emphatically not must!) have a place in academia, have a quick read of the LSE guide to twitter.

If you’re planning an academic conference or event, however small or big, you should really consider creating a hashtag so that the wider community can participate: online backchannels are now as important as face2face meetings. And if you’re not sure about which social media are right for you – teaching, networking, learning or research – then you should get in touch with us! Drop us a line, drop in on us, book on one of our training courses: we’ve been supporting the use of social media for a long time!

Our workshops change over the years of course – recently we have started to concentrate more on how to write effectively for the web and moved away from the more step by step learning of how to create and manage blogs. We can also tailor workshops to particular departments’ or groups’ needs. Get in touch if this is something that interests you.


2005 CLT start running blogs via wordpress
2006 CLT host first externally facing blog for Charlie Beckett,
2007 Libraries & Social Software in Education (LASSIE) project, project blog still going strong and maintained by CLT’s Jane Secker
2008 Digital Literacy workshop programme, offering workshops on blogging, social bookmarking, twitter, using rich media (youTube, flickr etc) in teaching…
2010 set up the yammer domain – a sort of corporate ‘walled’ twitter application for all LSE account holders.
2011 Workshops on social referencing tools: CiteULike, Zotero, Mendeley
2011 #LSEnetED: CLT seminar series NetworkED: Technology in Education launched with funding from the LSE Annual Fund.

Update: Conor Gearty’s Reflections on ‘new media’ , published yesterday (12/11/12), is a measured and well-informed discussion of the pros and cons of academics’ (esp. Public Lawyers) use of twitter and blogging.