“Making Meaning through Online Media: Pedagogical Possibilities for Social Media Platforms.”

I propose a hybrid Talk-Make session focused on the creative and effective uses of social media platforms in the classroom. The humanities share a core knowledge structure that is both narrative and dialectical; therefore students of the humanities can benefit from experiential understanding of these structures. As some of us know (depending on our level of engagement), social media platforms engage and enable this same style of dialogue. Most students, however, engage with social media in a comparatively “shallow” manner—focusing more on people than knowledge. I’d like to explore the ways that we, as educators, researchers, and knowledge-makers, can help our students use what they know to discover what they have yet to know. As they do so, I believe they become active participants in new ways of meaning-making.  


For the Talk portion, I would like to share briefly a project my students did this semester that utilized Storify <www.storify.com> to bring together digital information in a narrative format. I believe the framework of the project has applications across multiple disciplines. The Storify format allowed students to engage course materials with outside materials, placing them in dialogue with others while asserting their own voices. Along the way, we also utilized Twitter as part of the larger classroom landscape, which served as a springboard for ideas, a platform for discussion, and interactive gateway to the outside world. On every level, these technologies enhanced student involvement in the classroom, student learning, and – that thing every instructor seeks to achieve – student desire to pursue more learning. I’ll bring copies of the assignment and post a link to it and some student projects on our website prior to the conference.


For the Make portion, I want participants to

  1. Bring ideas, questions, and desired outcomes for classroom social media projects in the works;
  2. Share any successful projects they have developed;
  3. Leave with finished (or fleshed-out) products and a variety of useful materials from colleagues.

Some Platforms I am interested in hearing more about: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Vine, and Google+. I hope participants will add others.

Preparation & Follow-Up
I encourage participants to arrive pre-registered with a Google account for the use of joint Google docs; be prepared to collaborate and share. Bring your work on a flash drive and be prepared to Make! (Listening contributors are welcome, too!)

I’d like to create a centralized location online for continued collaboration on these, and future, digital/educational projects. We can discuss the best platform for this location in the session. One of our THATCamp coordinators has offered UF’s Digital Humanities Project Showplace <cms.uflib.ufl.edu/DigitalHumanities/UFDigitalHumanitiesProjects&gt; as one viable option.

Categories: Collaboration, Digital Literacy, Session: Make, Session: Talk, Social Media, Teaching |

5 Responses to “Making Meaning through Online Media: Pedagogical Possibilities for Social Media Platforms.”

  1. This is a great idea for a session. I have incorporated critical evaluation of various social media resources and leveraging them as research tools to deliver timely and relevant content through the construction of purposeful and targeted networks into coursework before. I look forward to hearing about and discussing ways that such tools can be used to encourage students to organize, understand, and create.

    • Kadesh Lauridsen says:

      Rebecca – I hope you’ll bring along the projects you’ve done to share with us. I’ve heard many of my colleagues talk about this kind of analytical work on source materials, but they tend to be pretty basic. Something more substantive would be good to share and discuss, particularly in this interdisciplinary-disciplinary environment!

  2. This could be a good session for the computer lab? I’d sure welcome the opportunity to have peer support in trying out some of these tools that I’ve been too intimidated to play around with myself…but, of course, also think critically about what forms of communication they afford or do not. Great session; thanks for sharing!

    • Kadesh Lauridsen says:

      Sophia – I hadn’t thought of that, but it’s a great suggestion. I’ll check w/ the coordinators who are handling room assignments and see what I can do!

  3. I’m fascinated in this as an avid user of a variety of social media, although my use has been entirely outside the classroom (graduated right before it became a “thing”). It might be interesting to consider some of the work being done over at Hybrid Pedagogy on this too.

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