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SoTL Advocacy via Social Media

Written by Jennifer Friberg (jfribe@ilstu.edu; @jacfriberg13), Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL at Illinois State University on behalf of ISSOTL’s Advocacy & Outreach committee

These days, social media seems omnipresent, with many groups and individuals using the power of various social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, blogs) to learn content, share discoveries, and advocate for literally thousands of causes and efforts. During recent conference calls, the members of ISSOTL’s Advocacy & Outreach committee have discussed ways that social media might be harnessed for SoTL promotion and for communication with current and future ISSOTL members, understanding that if we seek to maximize our reach to a large number of individuals (which we do!), social media could be valuable for ISSOTL and for SoTL, in general.

Our committee views advocacy via social media broadly, understanding that not every person involved with SoTL is a dedicated social media user for personal or for professional efforts. Realistically, we recognize that SoTL-centric social media has both producers (those who post frequently and share ideas regularly) and consumers (those who read the posts of producers to learn/think about SoTL) -- and that both are necessary for effective SoTL dissemination and advocacy. Producers advocate for SoTL by posting new information to share with others while consumers read, share and respond to the posts made by producers in order to develop conversations about SoTL. The balance between the two roles allows for a variety of voices to be heard to advocate for SoTL locally and globally.

We respect that not all current and future ISSOTL members are producers of social media, but we would encourage all to be consumers, as there is a lot of wonderful information being shared about SoTL every day via social media from individuals and groups representing a wide variety of perspectives. In order to be a consumer of SoTL of social media, it’s helpful to know what individuals and groups are currently engaged in sharing meaningful information about SoTL. We have a few suggestions as a starting point, with a focus on Twitter and blogs about SoTL, as those are the predominant forms of social media currently used for SoTL advocacy.

Twitter

There are many individuals engaged in sharing information related to SoTL daily or weekly. The following are several who regularly post interesting thoughts and perspectives on teaching and learning:

In addition, ISSOTL regularly shares information related to the reflection and study of teaching and learning:

Blogs

There are a handful of blogs that specifically discuss SoTL on a regular basis. We would recommend these as a starting point for consumers wishing to read, share, and comment on relevant content:

We encourage readers to take a look at these individuals and organizations using social media to advocate for SoTL. We invite SoTL scholars to read, share, and add to the conversations already started on these accounts and would encourage readers to suggest other social media sites, accounts, and blogs that focus on SoTL in the comments below so that all readers can benefit from suggestions and recommendations. 

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