June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Computers in Education
22.1306.1 - 22.1306.14
Social Media Literacy: Integrating Online Identity Management into Engineering and Technology EducationOne of the most dangerous myths about the current student generation (Millenials) is that theyare Digital Natives. This myth implies that students born after 1980 know everything about everyavailable online social networking tool. Although using Facebook to connect with friends may besecond nature to them, implementing successful social media strategies to craft and manageprofessional online identities requires a new digital literacy - social media literacy. We propose aplan for online identity management and argue for the integration of social media literacy intoengineering education.Millennials spend a lot of time engaged in online social networking, sharing media andcommunicating with friends, but most of their activities are of a personal nature. When thatshared content they produce online is taken out of the personal context and reviewed by potentialemployers, it often appears strikingly inappropriate and leads to negative consequences. Collegestudents may lose jobs or internships, missing out on valuable career opportunities, because ofpublicly available, but inappropriate, social media content. A Microsoft survey of HR andmanagement professionals shows that searching online for information about potentialemployees is common practice in current recruitment processes. Unfortunately, too manystudents are unaware of the importance and healthy practices associated with maintaining aprofessional online identity. We administered an anonymous survey to engineering andtechnology students, assessing their current online behaviors and awareness about thesignificance of having a professional online identity and present the results here.This paper argues for the integration into engineering education of a new type of digital literacy,social media literacy. Social media literacy implies, although is not limited to, the ability tocarefully manage one’s online presence to craft a professional online identity. We propose a planfor creating and maintaining a professional online identity comprising three guiding principles:1) the creation of professional online content; 2) the optimization of created content for socialmedia; 3) the development and maintenance of a successful professional network. The proposedplan adapts proven business and corporate marketing practices and relates them to the individual,thus providing a straightforward structure for students to follow and successfully manage theironline identities.This paper is directly relevant to engineering and technology educators, who can adopt ouronline identity management plan and translate it into education programs for their students.References:Cross-Tab (2010). Online reputation in a connected world. Microsoft-commissioned report.Online. Retrieved from http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9709510.
Vorvoreanu, M., & Clark, Q., & Boisvenue, G., & Woodall, S. P. (2011, June), Social Media Literacy: Integrating Online Identity Management into Engineering and Technology Education Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18425
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