The Importance of Mobile/Social in Higher Education
As an Instructional Technologist for the Online and Digital Learning Department at the Fox School of Business, I am responsible for ensuring all Fox faculty, staff and students are trained on and feel comfortable using Zoom, an audio and video conferencing application used for our online classes. Most of my day to day deals with creating instructional guides, Zoom group trainings or one-on-one trainings. I do not deal with social and mobile marketing as a part of my position, but I have always been intrigued by mobile marketing and the idea of reaching a target audience through social media and across devices. This is one of the many reasons I wanted to be a part of this program.
Today’s generation is surrounded by social media and all things digital. Social plays an important part in most of our lives as a convenient and fast way to receive information, stay connected to others and build new relationships. Most higher education institutions are capitalizing on this to persuade new students to enroll and stay connected to their current students and community in a way no other generation has before. Mobile/Social is not only a great way to drive enrollments, but it also is a useful tool in boosting brand awareness and maintaining student engagement. Some might say today’s college age students are “glued to their phones” therefore many instructors are leveraging mobile/social to engage students in and beyond the classroom
- Over 70% of prospective students are using social media to research their college options (Digital Marketing Institute).
- More than 90% of learners use their phones to text or log into social media while in the classroom (Full Fabric Blog)
- 75% of students are most likely to use their smart phone (over a laptop, desktop or tablet) to access social media (Shweiki Media)
- Mobile learning could grow to reach $78.5 billion worldwide by 2025 (Tech Jury)
Utilizing Social to Communicate with Faculty, Staff & Students in a Covid-19 World
As Covid-19 unexpectedly struck the world, Temple had to move to a fully virtual environment and kept faculty, students & staff constantly informed and updated on all of their social media platforms. Now more than ever, University’s need to stay connected with their community and social provides a forum to do so. Social in a time of crisis can be utilized to broadcast important information, maintain resiliency, and provide important resources. Temple utilized Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to share resources and answer any questions that the TU community had in this uncertain time. Temple created a highlight on their Instagram page which gave the community the opportunity to ask questions about classes, safety precautions and COVID testing centers around campus. Temple responded directly to comments on their Instagram posts, Tweets and Facebook statuses.
Mask policies, social distancing requirements, precautions, and in-person classes updates are among some of the recent content posted on Temple’s social accounts. This past week, I was informed first on Facebook that all in-person classes were to be suspended this semester before I received a formal email about it. Temple is leveraging social media to encourage the TU community to protect themselves and others by following the health pillars they have put in place (face coverings, physical distancing, hand hygiene and health monitoring).
Individuals posted to Temple’s social are pictured wearing a TU mask. Students are encouraged to post selfies of themselves wearing their TU mask with the hashtag #MaskUpTU.
It can be very difficult to engage people in an online environment but mobile/social can be a useful tool. Most of our Fox faculty worked on campus so switching to fully remote work has taken some getting used to. Staying connected on mobile applications such as Teams has been essential in keeping my department connected and successful. I am a committee member of Fox’s Administrative Program Council which plans events for Fox staff members. All our events in the past were in-person but now have been switched to virtual. We are utilizing social to keep our staff engaged. We hold a scavenger hunt each year for staff which now has been moved virtually. This year, I created a social media scavenger hunt which ties in all of Temple’s social platforms. Though, it is not the same as an in-person event, social provides a fun way to stay connected as a community in this time.
Although my professional experience with mobile/social is minimal, I am looking forward to learning more in this semester’s courses. My goal is to someday capitalize on what I have learned in this program and become an adjunct instructor at Temple. I am not sure where my career will take me after this program, but the idea of it possibly including mobile and social marketing excites me! I am looking forward to a great semester!
Chari, Vigilance. “Five Ways Higher Education Is Making Use of Mobile Technology.” Blog, 10 Oct. 2018, blog.fullfabric.com/five-ways-higher-education-is-making-use-of-mobile-technology.
Chernev, Bobby. “27 Astonishing E-Learning Statistics For 2020.” TechJury, 30 June 2020, techjury.net/blog/elearning-statistics/.
“The Importance of Social Media in Higher Education.” Digital Marketing Institute, Digital Marketing Institute, 15 Nov. 2019, digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/the-importance-of-social-media-in-higher-education.
McClure, Kevin R. “Put People First: How Colleges Can Communicate Effectively About COVID-19 – EdSurge News.” EdSurge, EdSurge, 10 Apr. 2020, www.edsurge.com/news/2020-04-10-put-people-first-how-colleges-can-communicate-effectively-about-covid-19.
McKenzie, Lindsay. How Colleges Are Communicating with Students about COVID-19, 28 July 2020, www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/07/28/how-colleges-are-communicating-students-about-covid-19.
Miller, Gretchen M. “Three Benefits of Social Media in Times of Crisis.” Starr Commonwealth, 16 May 2019, starr.org/three-benefits-of-social-media-in-times-of-crisis/.
Reimherr, David. “Social Networking: College Students and Social Media Statistics.” The Easiest Place to Print Your Booklet Online!, 16 Aug. 2018, shweiki.com/blog/2014/02/social-networking-college-students-social-media-statistics/.