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Considering Using Social Media With Students? Read this.

Seelio Ed Tips

Tips from an Educator on How (and Why) to Use Social Media With Students

Understandably, using social media with students can feel a little overwhelming, but could it ultimately improve student engagement and letter grades? In this interview we talk to an educator who is embracing social media in classes to tackle some of the big questions like why? what if it goes wrong? what good will it do? and where do i start? — and proving that by taking them on, there can be great benefits for both faculty members and students.

Our guest, Nick Bowman, an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at West Virginia University isn’t new the idea of using social media with students in the classroom. With a Ph.D. in communication from Michigan State University and over a decade of teaching experience, social media and technology in the classroom have been core elements of his teaching philosophy. He regularly has great advice to share, including an upcoming panel on the social classroom at SXSWedu, and he catalogues many examples of how he is using social media with students in his portfolio on Seelio. Read on (or bookmark this treasure trove of info) to get practical advice and tips for a social classroom.

Want to join the conversation? Chime in on Twitter mentioning @bowmanspartan @seelio and #socialprof!

Screenshot of Nick's portfolio with class prompts and resources

Addressing Job Skills Expectations By Helping Students Recognize and Apply Skills

Seelio Ed Tips

When I read articles like Job Skills Expectations Unmet (Inside Higher Ed, August 28, 2014), I immediately start to wonder—do students need to develop new job skills or is the challenge that they need to know how to recognize and appropriately apply the skills they already possess?

The article linked above states that:

“Nearly nine in 10 presidents said an emphasis on ‘critical thinking’ skills and personal development is very important throughout college in order for graduates to get jobs. But only about 40 percent of the presidents think their own institution is very effective at providing students with those skills and that kind of development.”

Knowing the structure and nature of college courses, it seems to me that critical thinking is built into the core of most college courses.  This can be evidenced by terms in assignments and syllabi like—assess, evaluate, compare, conceptualize, critique, theorize, reason, etc.  

I think the challenge is that when we ask students to develop those skills, we often forget to teach students how to apply those skills beyond the classroom.

As an example, imagine a class where students are asked to critically assess an article that is core to their field of study.  That is critical thinking.  Now, imagine if the second part of that assignment were to reflect on their assessment of the article and to relate it to their developing philosophy toward their field of study.  That is critical thinking with real life application.

At Seelio, when we work with faculty to integrate portfolios into the curriculum, we emphasize how they can be useful tools for getting students to reflect on their learning as a part of their professional growth.  Portfolios allow for students to constantly take stock of what they have done, to consider what best represents them as a developing professional, and to refine their professional identity over time.

When I look at student portfolios, I find myself gravitating towards those that create connections between their life experiences and what they are learning in the classroom. Just today, I read a profile of a student, Karessa, that starts with…

“College can be extremely tough when you are a full time mom, employee, and wife. Frankly sometimes college can be a big challenge because of those three things.”

And ends with…

“I am very thankful to CTU for helping me to develop not only as a student but also giving me the skills to apply that knowledge to my personal and professional life!”

Students just like Karessa are the ones that make me believe in the value of helping students tell their stories and helping institutions shape their curriculum to make it possible.

Dr. Tiffany Marra is Seelio’s Vice President of Academics & Services. She works closely with Seelio partners to integrate portfolios into curricula so that students are able to make connections across their experiences and prepare for their careers from day one of their college experience. Learn more about her research and background in educational technology: seelio.com/tiffany

Have a topic you would like to see in a future #EdTips post? Let us know at educators@seelio.com

Webinar: Career Preparation as a Differentiator for your University

UPDATE: Couldn’t make the webinar? Find a copy of our webinar presentation below.


When & Where:

July 17, 2014 at 1PM EST


Join us to learn how the University of Toledo is enabling its students to showcase their experiential learning and stand out in their internship and job search with Seelio. Throughout the webinar, gain a better understanding of the need for career preparation, as well as the steps you can take to improve the career success of your graduates.


  • Larry Burns, Vice President of External Affairs, University of Toledo
  • Moses Lee, CEO and Cofounder, Seelio; Faculty, University of Michigan
  • Aaron Edwards, Senior Vice President of Enrollment Partnerships, PlattForm

View the presentation: