[Review] Social Media for Educators: Strategies and Best Practices

Book Review

Social Media for Educators: Strategies and Best Practices
Wiley/Jossey-Bass; 2012; 144 Pages; ISBN: 1118118286
Social Media for Educators
Social media is a growing topic in various fields of education, training, and development.
Although Social Media for Educators is directed at faculty and instructors in higher education,
much of the book is very applicable to educational administrators, higher education professionals
and others beyond the campus environment. This is a very timely publication that identifies the
needs, issues, and learning strategies for social media use in a variety of learning models.
Beyond higher education, there are a number of valuable social media insights and strategies
which could easily apply to other industries beyond campus, such as organization learning
specialists, training facilitators, human resource development, and professional association
education sectors. Tanya Joosten provides a solid background, technological implementation,
and evaluation for utilizing social media resources for richer learning environments.
The book is subdivided into three sections that deal with social media, specifically its
background, learning pedagogical practices, and other considerations for learning and effective
use. The initial section of the text sets the foundation and outlines the background of how social
media is defined by the author: "A virtual place where people share; everybody and anybody can
share anything anywhere anytime" (Joosten, 2012, p. 6). Social media encompasses Web 2.0
tools, social networking sites, and user generated content where individuals engage and
contribute to these digital spaces. There are a number of historical underpinnings and
considerations to online interaction and digital learning that connect to social media. The author
provides common characteristics and attributes of social media to help build a learning network,
support community development, and engage learners in their educational environment. Joosten
provides a number of practical tips for initiating use and professional development suggestions
that would enhance any educators' personal learning network.
The next section of the book discusses implications and suggested practices for educators
and learners who utilize social media in instructional curriculum. There are a number of helpful
examples and "how to" guides using social media to create richer learning environments that
support the 21st century learner. Joosten demonstrates, through visuals and case study examples,
how a learning community can form within a course, shared learning space, or even among a
professional online group. The author identifies the importance of a pedagogical needs
assessment and specific learning outcomes prior to the infusion of social media into any
curriculum. To accompany these considerations, the book provides useful strategies for social
media implementation such as communication updates, collaborative discussions, social
responsibility for contributions to group, digital identity development, and improved attitudes for
learning.
There are a number of case studies in the book which include ideas about how to build a
professional online network for educators, building social media into class requirements, or
identifying aggregated channels of communication. Examples of social media spaces like

Learning and Performance Quarterly, 1(2), 2012

83

Pasquini, Laura A. [Review] Social Media for Educators: Strategies and Best Practices. [Denton, Texas]. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115195/. Accessed October 31, 2014.