Category Archives: Social Networking

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That’s Not #Funny: Higher Ed’s Least Clever Twitter Accounts

Earlier this month, a puckish Twitter user going by the handle @ProfJeffJarvis managed to provoke two actual professors into fits of outrage.

Rurick Bradbury, the technology entrepreneur who runs the account, has been sending up the jargon of contemporary “thinkfluencers” since 2012, amassing 11,000 followers. He named the account after Jeff Jarvis, a writer and professor at the City University of New York’s journalism school, although the object of Mr. Bradbury’s satire is not necessari…

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Why This Professor Is Encouraging Facebook Use in His Classroom

Facebook and academe aren’t exactly friends. Over the years, the social-media company has been the source of ethically questionable research, the purveyor of uncomfortable teacher-student interactions, and, of course, the consummate classroom distraction, scourge of lecture halls the world over.

At least on that last note, however, one researcher says higher education has unfairly maligned the social-media behemoth. Kevin D. Dougherty, an associate professor of sociology at Baylor University, ha…

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But Is That Ethical? Ask This App.

The disclaimer on Santa Clara University’s new mobile app strikes an ominous tone:

“In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website/app.”

Then again the Ethical Decision Making app, developed by the university’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, aims for more-consequential uses than, say, Fruit Ninja or Angry Birds. The Santa Clara ethicists hope that people who make decisions that will change lives—business leaders, hospi…

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QuickWire: Twitter Names Winners of Data Grants

In February, Twitter announced a new program offering researchers the chance to get free data for their studies. Apparently the idea has broad appeal: The company received 1,300 proposals from more than 60 countries, according to a blog post revealing the six institutions that have won the first round of grants.

The research projects will study “the diffusion and effectiveness of cancer early-detection campaigns” and the “happiness of cities,” among other things. The two American winners are the…

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6 Technologies Will Change Colleges in Coming Years, Experts Say

A panel of 56 experts on six continents has come up with a list of a half-dozen technologies that “will be most important to teaching, learning, or creative inquiry within the next five years.” The two most imminent, panel members said, are the integration of social media into every aspect of college life and the blending of online, hybrid, and collaborative learning with face-to-face instruction.

The six technologies and the changes they’re expected to bring are detailed in “NMC Horizon Report…

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Posting Your Latest Article? You Might Have to Take It Down

Guy Leonard received an unpleasant surprise in his inbox early this morning: a notice from Academia.edu saying it had taken down a copy of an article of his that he’d posted on the research-sharing platform. The reason? A takedown request from Elsevier, which publishes the journal in which the paper had appeared.

Mr. Leonard, a research fellow in the University of Exeter’s College of Life and Environmental Sciences, tweeted his dismay and posted a link to a screengrab of the notice.

“Unfortunate…

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QuickWire: Facebook Supports Open-Source Movement With an Open Academy

Facebook—a high-profile user of open-source computer code—on Wednesday unveiled a project in which it’s collaborating with a Stanford University professor to match computer-science students with open-source mentors and tasks and let the students earn academic credit as they work. Called Open Academy, the effort has expanded to 22 institutions in the United States and elsewhere, including Carnegie Mellon University, Imperial College of London, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Un…

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‘The Zuckerberg Files’: New Scholarly Archive Scrutinizes Facebook CEO

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Mark Zuckerberg

In 2010 two privacy scholars published an op-ed criticizing the “Machiavellian” public-relations methods of tech companies like Facebook. They analyzed a PR script that may sound familiar to many of Facebook’s 1.2 billion users. A new feature, which shares more personal data with advertisers, is rolled out. A blowback ensues. Then comes the company’s response: minor changes that largely leave the new feature in place, plus reassuring noises like “we are listening to our users.”

“…

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Tech Savvy Is Essential to Student Affairs, Survey Finds

People who work in student affairs say that using modern media—including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube—has become a big part of their jobs, according to the results of a new survey.

That is not, of course, an earth-shattering insight. But the extent to which those and other technological tools play a role in the working lives of student-affairs professionals surprised Kevin Valliere, a graduate student in student-affairs administration at Texas A&M University at College Station, who conducted t…

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Giving a TED Talk? Expect More Visibility, but Not More Citations

While giving a TED Talk may raise an academic’s visibility online, it has little impact on how researchers are viewed within their own disciplines, a new study suggests. Specifically, the study found that giving a presentation at TED, an annual conference on technology and society, appears to have no effect on the number of citations a scholar’s work receives after a video of the presentation goes online.

The study was led by Cassidy R. Sugimoto, an assistant professor of library and information…