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Social Media for Higher Education 25 October, 2011

Prof. Vasudha Kamat
Prof. Vasudha Kamat

Prof. Vasudha Kamat, Vice Chancellor, SNDT Women’s University led the Weekly Discussion via A-VIEW on 25th October 2012 with her talk on “Social Media for Higher Education”.

Social Media can be used for teaching, learning and for research. The focus of talk was on using social media for research.

Learning on social media

“There is no such thing as second person learning, only first person learning,” said Prof. Kamat with reference to using collaborative and cooperative learning using social media tools. People learn by interaction with and exploration of environment and by building their own constructs. These methods work well with social media.

Social Media redefines communities, friends and your identity on the internet. It enables learning and communication in networks formed around shared interests and objects. There are various social networks based around communication, collaboration and multimedia.

Social Media can be best used to connect with other educators around the world, discover latest trends around the world, promote your work beyond the academic world, engage others in getting opinions and feedback and share ideas with others.

How to use social media for teaching and learning

There are various tools that can be used for teaching and learning via social media.


Wikis are documents or websites that be developed collaboratively by a community of users who can edit and add content. Using wikis, concepts can be shared with students and then they can be brainstormed on for an extended period of time. Popular examples are Wetpaint, Wiki Spaces, PBwiki, Google Docs etc.


With more than 955 million users, Facebook is the most popular social network. Using closed groups, a class can be managed via Facebook. Assignments and class work can be sent through Facebook. Also, using Facebook Pages, information can be shared with a large number of students.


Blogs are diaries that are open to the world. You can publish your view on the subject matter through your blog. There is a possibility that there are already experts in the subject who have already blogged about it. You may develop different perspectives on the subject by exploring those blogs.


Twitter is essentially a blog in 140 characters. The idea is to condense thoughts in 140 characters or less. Almost 340 million tweets are posted daily.

How to use social media for Research

Social Media for Research

Linked In: Even though Linked In was originally made for career purposes, there are a lot of groups in Linked In that conducts meaningful discussions. Joining these groups would make a lot to sense to researchers.

Research Gate: ResearchGate was built for scientists, by scientists, with the idea that science can do more when it's driven by collaboration

There are a lot of research based networks on the internet such as Post Graduate Toolbox, Methodspace and Nature Network.

Citeulike: A free service for managing and discovering scholarly articles.

Questionnaires: There are networks that let you make questionnaires for conducting research such as Survery Monkey and twtpoll.

Interview: Services like Skype lets you conduct interviews with people for research purposes.

Screen Recorder Tools: There are screen recorder tools that helps you save interviews done on skype or other activities done on the computer such as Screen Toaster and screenr.

Focus Groups: It is possible to conduct focus group discussions via tools like Adobe Connect.

Pinterest: A content sharing service that allows members to "pin" images, videos and other objects (online resources) to their pinboard.

Delicious: Delicious is an online link sharing service that helps you keep and share links.

Scoop.It: Scoop.it lets you create topic centric media by collecting gems among relevant streams.

Slideshare: This network helps share presentations with an audience.

Ebook publishers: There are several services such as Scribd, myebook, youblisher, simple booklet etc. that lets you publish e books.

You may refer http://www.scribd.com/doc/48590125/Social-media-A-guide-for-researchers and http://www.scribd.com/doc/95039625/Web-2-0-Research-Tools-A-Quick-Guide for more information on using social media for research.

Around 20 universities attended this talk.

A-VIEW is an E-Learning platform, developed by Amrita University's E-Learning Research Lab, which is a state-of-the-art software for distance education and collaboration. It is available for free to all the educational institutes across India, and can be downloaded from the website address, www.aview.in or by sending an email to aview@amrita.edu.