Archive for the ‘Social Networking’ Category

I came across an interesting article in the Australian Higher Education supplement this week, which is written by Carolyn Thompson, “Webtools whitewash students online“. Carolyn reports on a growing trend among US universities including Syracuse, Rochester and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, which are offering their students tools to help them manage their online identity. The article describes the growth in these brand identity services as a response to research that shows that of the 2000 hiring managers from CareerBuilder completing a recent survey, nearly two in five companies reported that they use social networking sites to research job candidates, with another 11 per cent indicating their intention to begin this practice.

The article describes in some detail BrandYourself.com, which is the brand identity service Syracuse University is making available to their students. This sounds like a valuable tool for academics who are coordinating capstone courses in which career building skills are embedded, particularly given the growing importance for us to prepare our graduates to make effective use of information services and social media.

I created my own profile to test out the service and I will be interested to monitor how the system helps me to manage my various social media profiles. You can check out my own BrandYourself profile here: http://denisewood.brandyourself.com/

Brandyourself profile page

Creating a profile page via the BrandYourself.com website

You can create your own profile for free from the main website: http://brandyourself.com/

Another interesting website that aggregates information from your social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook to create an online profile is Vizify.com

Vizify profile page

Vizify aggregates information from social media sites to build a visual online profile

Some great online tools for educators to use with their students to help them learn about identity management using social media. Unfortunately, both sites have W3C Level A web accessibility compliant problems – especially vizify given its very rich visual display. Now here’s an opportunity for an entrepreneurial type to develop a similar tool that is W3C compliant!



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My last stop in South Africa before returning to Australia was the University of Kwazulu Natal, Durban, South Africa, where I presented two papers at the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR ) conference, which was held from the 15th – 19th July, 2012 at the Howard College Campus of the University of Kwazulu Natal.

One of the highlights for me was the panel session featuring  South Africa’s female Public Protector, Advocate T.N. Madonsela, Sunday Times investigative reporter and champion of South African press freedom, Mzilikazi wa Afrika, Nelson Mandela’s Rivonia trail lawyer and human rights legend, Advocate George Bizos and  The Mail and Guardian’s award-winning investigative journalist, Sam Sole.

Opening plenary session at the IAMCR conference at the University of Kwazulu Natal, Howard College Campus in Durban

Opening plenary session at the IAMCR conference at the University of Kwazulu Natal, Howard College Campus in Durban

I presented the following co-authored papers at the conference:

  • Addressing the digital divide through the use of accessible Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in South African schools – co-authored with Rolda Rapotu focusing on our research in Limpopo Province
  • Engaging young people in participatory research through traditional, digital and social media – co-authored with Gerry Bloustien focusing on our various research projects employing participatory and emancipatory research design.

Further information is available from the conference home page: http://www.iamcr2012.ukzn.ac.za/

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Is Twitter Educational?

Educators from the Medical University of Notre Dame in Sydney are using Twitter to provide additional articles and resources to their students. This is being done in the hope of turning passive listeners into active listeners which will enable collaboration and community building.

But is this likely? Can social media platforms be used by students for education, rather than lurking crushes and uploading LOL-worthy photos?

Bryanna Griffin caught up with UniSA lecturer and social media researcher Denise Wood to find out if Twitter is the new informal educator.

Listen to the interview on Radio Adelaide MediaRites 2012 (May 22, 2012): http://bmediaradioadelaide.com/mediarites-2012/program-11-may-22-2012/

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The State Volunteers Congress was held at the National Wine Centre of Australia on the 6th December, 2010 focusing on the theme of marketing volunteering through social media.  More than 450 attended the congress, which was opened by the Honourable Grace Portelosi, the Minister for Volunteers. The Master of Ceremonies for the day was Nikki Marcel from Radio Adelaide with presentations by Jim Robinson, Principal & Creative Director JAM Adelaide and Michelle Prak, Hughes Public Relations, as well as panel discussions, and presentations by Alison Wotherspoon (Flinders University) and Dr Denise Wood (UniSA), as well as UniSA students, Joyce, Patrick and Joel, who did a wonderful job showcasing work they completed through the Sustainable Online Community Engagement program in front of more than 450 congress delegates.

UniSA staff, Carolyn Bilsborow and Mike Carroll, provided a live demonstration of social media  throughout the day and you can check out photos and video clips from the event via our FaceBook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/State-Volunteer-Congress-2010/146030428780826?v=wall) and for those who are not “Twitter Challenged” via our SA Volunteers twitter stream @SAVolunteers.

Photo taken of particpants attending the State Volunteers Congress at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide

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I had the privilege of attending an event which paid tribute to the late Dr Christopher Newell at the offices of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman on the 19th May.

The Honourable Bill Shorten, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services presented the inaugural Telstra-TJA Christopher Newell prize for Telecommunications and Disability at the event. This award, which is sponsored by Telstra,   recognises and commemorates the ground-breaking work that the late Revd Canon Dr Christopher Newell AM undertook within the telecommunications industry from 1990 to 2008 in representing the needs of people with disability.

The award was presented for the best paper demonstrating the tangible benefits that an innovative use of telecommunications technology can deliver in assisting individuals with disabilities published in the May edition of the  Telecommunications Journal of Australia.

Read more about the award via the following news releases. A podcast of a radio 5RPH interview conducted on the 21st May is available for download.

ALTC–funded research wins prestigious new award (ALTC media release)

Researcher receives award for using social media to support the education of people with disabilities (Media Access Australia article)

Telstra prize highlights the benefits of modern communications for people with disability (Telstra media release).

When user needs drive real innovation (Telstra Exchange)

The award, which is generously sponsored by Telstra,  will be offered again in 2011 and we look forward to more developments in the accessibility of telecommunications in the coming year.

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The National Disability Services Conference focusing on accommodation and participation was held at Jupiters Hotel at the Gold Coast on the 6th and 7th May, 2010. I presented a keynote on the use of social media to enhance service delivery and to increase the participation of people with disabilities. http://www.nds.org.au/presentation/article/19

A panel discussion on the National Disability Insurance Scheme followed my presentation.

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I was an invited speaker at Professor Angela Brew’s National Summit, Undergraduate Research in Australia: First Australian Summit on the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (ALTC Senior Fellow), 5th-6th November, 2009, Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia. My presentation was titled “Research informed Media Practice”.

A few weeks earlier I had presented on the topic “Strengthening the link between research and practice in the first-year media arts curriculum” at Professor Angela Brew’s Australian Learning and Teaching Council National Teaching Fellowship Roundtable at Macquarie University on the 23rd September.

This was one of a series of Regional Roundtables to be held as part of Professor Angela Brew’s ALTC National Teaching Fellowship and it formed part of Macquarie University’s Learning and Teaching Week.

Speakers  included Fellowship team members, and academics and students with experience of undergraduate research. The event included a Learning Café to facilitate discussion and sharing of participants’ own experiences, ideas and resources, as well as artifacts and protocols being produced as part of the National Teaching Fellowship.

I also convened the South Australian regional roundtable held in Adelaide on the 10th November and co-presented with Dr Sheila Scutter on the topic of integrating research and teaching in the undergraduate curriculum within the disciplinary fields of Health Sciences and Communications.

I will post a link to my presentations once  they are available via Professor Brew’s website.

Further information about Professor Brew’s ALTC Fellowship is available from: http://www.mq.edu.au/ltc/altc/ug_research/

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