Transforming the Classroom: Engaging Students By Using Social Media as a Pedagogical Tool for Teaching Advocacy
Concurrent Session 3
The growth of social media has changed the way people engage in advocacy. Educators now have an opportunity to help millennial students engage in electronic advocacy using new tools to address ongoing social issues and policy outcomes. This session explores the usage of technological tools for engagement in electronic advocacy.
Social networking tools have widened the “civic space,” creating opportunities to reach more people with a greater impact on our most vexing social problems (Nugroho, 2011). These tools such as email lists, Web sites, message boards, petitions, blogs, social networking, cell phone text messaging, mapping, video and animation, rich site summary, and web-based and mobile applications connect, engage, and distribute user-generated content digitally in a multiway communication model (Boyd & Ellison, 2007; Davis, Deil-Amen, Rios-Aguilar, & Gonzales-Canche, 2012). These platforms have changed the way individuals advocate, organize, and mobilize support for community causes, “get out the vote” campaigns, and coalition actions (AdvocacyDev.org, 2005).
Social networking tools have widened the “civic space,” creating opportunities to reach more people with a greater impact on our most vexing social problems (Nugroho, 2011). Millennials represent a student population that readily embraces social networking and digital media. Research shows that most college students use some type of social media daily for personal or “school-related” purposes; according to Head and Eisenberg (2009), more than half of them use social networks for “everyday life research” (p. 16). Today’s college students are among “digital natives” (Prensky, 2001, p. 1) who have always known and been immersed in technology. Millennials have also taken part in an educational system that has cultivated a sense of connectedness, community and civic responsibility (Otey, 2013). Networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter (Duggan, Ellison, Lampe, Lenhart, & Madden, 2015) and which are used by many millennials provide rich forums that focus on social change and create a modern way to connect individuals to current issues related to advocacy (Maben & Helvie-Mason, 2017). This sense of connectedness and community by millennials coupled with their ease of use with digital technology, create opportunities for educators to help students hone in on their skills to effectively impact marginalized populations. The challenge however is to cultivate in millennials an understanding of how to use their existing technological knowledge and skills to prepare marginalized populations to harness technology for their own good.
As innovation continues to expand and ways for educating students consistently change, it is especially imperative that educators strive to prepare students to use new innovations to advance social and economic justice. This session is designed to present a framework for teaching students to effectively use social media platforms to help future clients to engage in electronic advocacy (e-advocacy). More specifically, the framework will present strategies for educators to help empower students in various disciplines to learn the skills necessary to teach clients how to empower themselves.
Level of Participation:
The session delivery method will be an interactive presentation. The presenters will utilize the online collaboration application, Mentimeter to allow attendees to simultaneously share their current experiences utilizing social media platforms for social advocacy. Additionally, the presenter’s will also present a case study and ask attendees to engage in with one another to develop a hypothetical advocacy campaign using social media platforms. Lastly, presenters will use the Think-Pair-Share technique to allow attendees to reflect and discuss strategies that can be employed to help students engage in social advocacy through social media.
Individuals attending this session will be able to review the background of social justice advocacy and the current trends regarding e-advocacy. The attendees will also be able to examine a framework to help students use their technological skills to empower marginalized populations. Lastly, attendees will explore the practical usage of technological innovations as tools for engagement in e-advocacy.
Advocacy.Dev.org. (2005). AdvocacyDev II convergence. San Francisco, CA, 11-13 July. Retrieved from http://www.advocacydev.org
Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13, 210–230. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00393.x
Davis III, C. H. F., Deil-Amen, R., Rios-Aguilar, C., & Gonzalez Canche, M. S. (2012). Social media in higher education: A literature review and research directions. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/1220569/Social_Media_in_Higher_Education_A_Literature_Review_and_Research_Directions
Duggan, M., Ellison, N. B., Lampe, C., Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. (2015). Social media update 2014. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/files/2015/01/PI_SocialMediaUpdate20144.pdf
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Nugroho, Y. (2011). Citizens in @ction: Collaboration, participatory democracy and freedom of information –Mapping contemporary civic activism and the use of new social media in Indonesia. Retrieved from http://afrolatinoproject.org/wpcontent/uploads/2012/05/citizens-in-action-mioir-hivos-final_report-en.pdf
Otey B. 2013), Millennials, technology, and professional responsibility: Training a new generation in technological professionalism. Journal of the Legal Profession, 37(2), 199-264
Prensky, M. (2001). Fun, play and games: What makes games engaging. Digital game-based learning, 5(1), 5-31.