Reflecting on the Social Media EdU CampusChat

by Tim Gasper, co-founder of Keepstream

Fotolia_tweeting Wednesday night, January 5, 2011, I was co-hosted #CampusChat on Twitter in a discussion on how to better take advantage of social media and how it can effect education and the college search. It was an awesome discussion with some really key points made.

It would seem that not enough parents and students are visible on Twitter. While they might be there, they aren’t actively engaging with colleges. As social media continues to become more and more integrated with our lives, I can see this quickly changing

For now Campus Admissions tweets seem to be aimed more at general information for students who are applying or have been accepted, not at actively recruiting or communicating with the parents and students. Anyone know of interesting examples of Admissions using Twitter in a more creative way? Please share your stories, because the use-case seems very underutilized!

Also, lately Twitter and other social channels are being integrated into the classroom more. One example is Mary Knudson, a professor at John Hopkins University. She required students “to write narratives in no more than 140 characters — academia in disposable snippets” as part of a long-term project. Other innovative ideas include keeping conversations going outside of class, interacting with the professor for quick questions, and more.

Finally, social media can be very overwhelming. There are so many sites, and the quantity of information – particularly with Twitter is mind-blowing. Luckily features like Twitter “favorites,” and tools such as What The Hashtag, or my company, help cut down on the noise and have a more curated social media experience.

I think the two biggest social media trends in 2011 will be curation to increase relevance, and serendipity to increase exploration and discovery. My team hopes Keepstream can be useful in both those areas, and we’re looking forward to a great new year.

Tim Gasper, along with Jim England and Huston Hoburg, met while students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and began development of what would become Keepstream.  They launched Keepstream in March of 2010 and were later accepted into the Capital Factory business incubator program located in Austin, Texas.