Producing a Social Media Show

Its fairly common these days to walk into a university classroom and see students equipped with some amazing gizmos, gadgets and tech giving them the ability to take pictures, record HD video, browse the internet, record audio, and publish content to social media sites.  It is fairly uncommon, though, to see those powerful devices being put to use in the learning process.

I set out to integrate these devises into one of our Education for International Development classes this semester.  The goal of the class session was to explore (i) the impact violent conflict can have on development, particularly the MDGs, (ii) the role education can play in creating or causing violent conflict, (iii) the role education (formal, nonformal, and informal) can play in building peace, and (iv) the role of technologies, both old and new, and social media in building peace through informal education.

Check out the Storify board to see the final product and to see what was discussed and shared during the class.  Continue reading to see how the whole process unfolded.

We were lucky to have three phenomenal guest speaker join us for the class:

Saji Prelis
Director for Children and Youth Programs, Search for Common Ground

Nick Martin
President & Founder, Institute for Technology and Social Change

Christine Capota
Independent Consultant, Educational Media and Research

The readings and videos that the students read and watched prior to the class are listed and linked below:

This was my message to the speakers and the schedule of the class.

The Social Media Show – During Wednesday’s class the students will not only be hearing about your experiences, but also using their computers and smart phones to create an educational output that we hope will extend their learning beyond the classroom.  We are attempting something that has never been attempted (as far as I know) by any class at American University.  Working together as a class, the students will be producing a social media show involving four different social media platforms – YouTube (video), SoundCloud (audio), Twitter (text), and Storify (curation).  Students have been assigned to different teams, each of which is responsible for capturing, recording, and sharing elements of the class session using these various social media platforms.  There structure and learning plan for the session is outlined below.  This structure will also give you a sense of some of the questions that you will be asked to explore.

LEARNING PLAN

2:35pm – Welcome2:40pm – Team and Studio Prep

  • Students work in their teams to prepare and test their equipment (laptops, smartphones, etc.) and go over their duties and responsibilities during the production.
  • Chairs and tables are re-arranged.

3:00pm – Introduction of Panelists and Opening Remarks

  • Daryn lays the groundwork for the class by referencing the World Bank’s 2011 World Development Report with the following quote, “…insecurity not only remains, it has become a primary development challenge of our time. One-and-a-half billion people live in areas affected by fragility, conflict, or large-scale, organized criminal violence, and no low-income fragile or conflict-affected country has yet to achieve a single United Nations Millennium Development Goal (UN MDG). New threats—organized crime and trafficking, civil unrest due to global economic shocks, terrorism—have supplemented con- tinued preoccupations with conventional war between and within countries. While much of the world has made rapid progress in reducing poverty in the past 60 years, areas characterized by repeated cycles of political and criminal violence are being left far behind, their economic growth compromised and their human indicators stagnant.”
  • Daryn introduces each panelist (bios from their respective websites) and then asks each of them to share one moment from their life that got them interested in the field of international development, peacebuilding, and/or educational technology.

3:10pm – Question #1: What is Peace? (Small Group Discussions)

  • Students engage in small circle groups discussions (6 groups of 5) sharing their response to the question: When you hear or use the word peace what does that mean to you?  What does peace look like?
  • The students use a smart phone as a talking piece and pass it around the circle.  The phone is set up to record the audio of their sharing using the SoundCloud app.

3:20pm – Question #1: What is Peace? (Panelists Response)

  • Daryn talks about negative and positive views of peace – negative peace being the absence of violence vs. positive peace being the presence of structures and systems that support justice, tolerance, and peaceful co-existence.  These views of peace impact the kinds of education and training programs various organizations implement.  For example, one program might involve training police and security forces, one might involve reintegration of child soldiers into the general population, and another might involve education around human rights and how people can demand, protect, and advance them.
  • Panelists respond to the following question: In your experience as educators how have the learners and communities with whom you have worked viewed this concept of peace?  What kinds of peace or peace education has your work sought to build?  And what kinds of conflicts or violence has your educational work sought to address?
  • As the panelists share their insights a team of students are tweeting key insights and take-aways using the hashtag #peace285.  Those tweets will appear on a twitter wall being displayed in one corner of the room.
  • As the panelists share another team of students will be using their smartphones to record video of their responses and uploading those videos directly to the class’ private YouTube account.

3:40pm – Question #2: Informal Education and Social Media (Small Group Discussion)

  • There are not only various conceptions of peace, there are also, as we’ve explored in this class, various types of education – formal, nonformal, and informal.  Our readings looked at how formal education can actually be a part of the problem as it relates to violent conflict.  The UNICEF reading outlined seven potential negative impacts of education: the uneven distribution of education, education as a weapon in cultural repression, denial of education as a weapon of war, manipulating history for political purposes, manipulating textbooks, self-worth and hating others, segregated education to ensure inequality, lowered esteem and stereotyping.  Our other reading by Marc Sommers looked at how formal schools can actually become staging grounds and targets of violence.  He writes, “School buildings and compounds are common war targets in conflict zones. Some military forces turn schools into bases. Fear of abduction, rape, stepping on landmines or being caught in crossfire makes travel to school treacherous. These and other factors are obviously disincentives for attending school, except in situations where schooling takes place in alternative locations.” Given some of these limitations many peace education programs look to nonformal and informal approaches to their education.  How has nonformal education (sports teams, after school programs, faith groups, etc.) or informal education (magazines, television shows, movie stars, billboards, social media campaigns, etc.) shaped your perceptions on issues related to peace (diversity, tolerance, conflict resolution, etc.)?
  • The students use a smart phone as a talking piece and pass it around the circle.  The phone is set up to record the audio of their sharing using the SoundCloud app.

3:50pm – Question #2: Informal Education and Social Media (Panelists Response)

  • One of the most talked about conflicts in the world today is the fighting, kidnapping, mutilating, and raping being committed by Joseph Kony and the Lord Resistance Army throughout central Africa.  This attention is in large part due to the Kony2012 video, which has officially become the most viral video in history, viewed over 100 million times in just 6 days.  What role do you think informal approaches to education and/or social media campaigns can play in peace building and conflict resolution?  And, would you care to weigh in on the conversation around the impact and/or strategy of the Kony2012 video?
  • Saji – we would love for you to address the radio programming that SFCG supports.
  • Nick – we would love for you to talk about how various international organizations are leveraging social media platforms and new technologies in their development work and what best practices have emerged.
  • Christine – we would love for you to talk about your work with Sesame Street.

4:10pm – Question #3 (Small Group Discussion)

  • This will be a question posted by one of the students.
  • The students use a smart phone as a talking piece and pass it around the circle.  The phone is set up to record the audio of their sharing using the SoundCloud app.

4:20pm – Question #3 (Panelists Response)

  • This will be a question posted by one of the students.
  • As the panelists share their insights a team of students are tweeting key insights and take-aways using the hashtag #peace285.  Those tweets will appear on a twitter wall being displayed in one corner of the room.
  • As the panelists share another team of students will be using their smartphones to record video of their responses and uploading directly to the class’ private YouTube account.

4:40pm – Question #4 (Small Group Discussion)

  • This will be a question posted by one of the students.
  • The students use a smart phone as a talking piece and pass it around the circle.  The phone is set up to record the audio of their sharing using the SoundCloud app.

4:50pm – Questions #4 (Panelists Response)

  • This will be a question posted by one of the students.
  • As the panelists share their insights a team of students are tweeting key insights and take-aways using the hashtag #peace285.  Those tweets will appear on a twitter wall being displayed in one corner of the room.
  • As the panelists share another team of students will be using their smartphones to record video of their responses and uploading directly to the class’ private YouTube account.

5:10pm – Concluding Remarks

5:15pm – END
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One response to “Producing a Social Media Show

  1. Pingback: Ann Ferren Teaching Conference | Daryn R. Cambridge

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