Like all college and university faculty, August means finalizing fall syllabi and lesson plans, and pre-reading articles for fall courses. For many professors, this process includes thinking (or rethinking) on how to leverage social media to engage students in the semester's learning.
At Rutgers, my fall Understanding and Designing Social Media Course is designed as a hybrid -- the best of a well-structured, MOOC-style online learning environment with a robust schedule and structured activates from Tuesday-Thursday of each week, and a weekly, in-person meeting on Wednesdays.
Having experimented with social media for learning–especially Twitter–across my courses, I am convinced that social media offers powerful opportunities to connect with students, by providing new ways for them to own the learning. But doing it well takes a good deal of planning and structure, especially if social will be part of your graded class activities.