It’s the 10th of the month, and Science Online 2013 is looming.  When registration came around in the fall, I was lamenting how long I’d have to wait, but suddenly it is here and when I realized it this morning I had a moment of panic.

I have the good fortune of moderating a session this year with @cogscilibrarian.  I’ll be talking with science communicators and educators about the role of social media in science education.  Social media (facebook, twitter, blogs, etc.) present some challenges for teachers.  Students in high school and college are immersed in it and are developing a particular language and fluidity for communicating with it.  Teachers and professors (not all digital natives) have an opportunity to use social media to foster a culture of science communication in and out of the classroom, but what is the best approach?

Is there research that supports the use of social media in classes?  What pedagogical methods would be best?  Are the students even open to the idea of tweeting with their professors?

Check out the session description below.  I’d love to hear your thoughts in advance of the session!  Follow #TagAcad to join in the conversation on Twitter.


#Hashtags in the academy: Engaging students with social media

Lali DeRosier and Stephanie Willen Brown

Description: What is the role of social media in the high school and undergraduate classroom? Is it possible to engage students with Web 2.0 tools in ways that meaningfully support learning? Talk to other educators to share strategies, successes, and failures. If you aren’t using social media to teach, what would make you start? We’ll start with some data about what social media is being used by “kids these days” and move on to a discussion about what’s worked and what hasn’t in the classroom. We’ll also discuss the importance of social media for our students, in and out of the classroom, and looking forward to their professional lives.


  • Do you use social media to engage with your students?
  • What was your biggest social media success in the classroom? Failure?
  • To what extent should social media be embedded in curriculum? Or used to supplement the curriculum?
  • Are some social media tools more academic than others?
  • How can we help students navigate their personal vs. academic / professional personas?
  • How important is social media to our students’ future? As they consider jobs and/or graduate school?
  • How does social media advance the content of the courses?
  • Does social media improve the efficiency of communication?