#bsocialf17 social media documentary assignment

About the Assignment

The Social Media Documentary Assignment has four primary goals:

  1. to provide you with the opportunity to build on your tweeting experience by thinking about how to use Twitter with new purposes and audiences in mind;
  2. to help generate a #bsocials17 community of learning in an online space that is informed by and impacts what happens in our classroom space;
  3. to help create a historical record of Beautiful Social activities on social media;
  4. to help you gain access to the individuals associated with the client you’ll be working with this semester.

The assignment is informed by four Course Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Collaboration
Students will develop their ability to work collaboratively in a variety of in- and out-of-class activities and settings.

Objective 2: Effective Communication
Students will be able to identify and employ a range of effective communication strategies to navigate audience, purpose, and context.

Objective 3: Engaged Citizenship
Students will expand their understanding and appreciation of the importance of being an actively engaged community member, especially in terms of the role of non-profit organizations and society.

Objective 4: Reflection
Students will develop their understanding of the important role of reflection during the investigation, design, and communication process.

Assignment Specifics

There are two parts to this assignment, each of which will be completed throughout the semester:

So, to get this project under way, however, we are going to complete the following:

  • create a Twitter account that is not anonymous and has as short a username as possible (short usernames save precious characters; Twitter values authenticity; you will not gain followers and people will not let you follow them without authenticity; if you already have a Twitter account with an pseudonym for your username be sure your real name is associated with the account)
  • create a professional bio that locates you as a writer researching your subject
  • make your account open for anyone to follow; having a locked account is essentially giving potential followers the finger. That might seem harsh, but that’s what it feels like when confronted with the little padlock icon. (If you are concerned about spam–and you should be–and/or who is following, in the Settings enable the option to get an email whenever you have a new follower; this will allow you to see when someone follows and to Block them if necessary. I use this quite often.)
  • add a link to your research web site when it is created
  • add a photo of yourself or something that you feel represents you or your project in some way
  • follow on Twitter @billwolffsju, @mollmcdonald, @cdefelicee, and @bsocialsju and everyone in #bsocialf17:
  • follow on Instagram @billwolffsju, @mollyannemcdonald, @carolinedefelice, @bsocialsju and everyone on your #bsocialf17 team
  • use the #bsocialf17 hashtag for all tweets and Instas that are about or informed by class
  • explore and consider Twitter desktop and mobile clients, Tweetbot or Tweetdeck, or the Twitter mobile app

1. Engaging with the #bsocialf17 Community of Learning

(This portion of the assignment is stolen and modified from Mark Sample at George Mason University, who stole it from Zach Whalen at the University of Mary Washington.)

Course work is often perceived as a solitary experience but as with most things in our networked society it need not be. In order to help us all engage with the texts and our work outside of class, and create a collective experience of the work we’re doing, I would like you to “live tweet” as you complete course-related work outside of class, posting to Twitter whatever comes to your mind as you complete the work. By “whatever comes to your mind” I mean things that are about the text itself. Try to limit tweets like, “This article is boring. #yawn,” as such tweets will make to look foolish and show little thought about the text itself. You should @reply to other class members frequently so that we can begin discussions about the work outside of the classroom and then continue those discussions when we meet in the classroom. Add the #bsocialf17 hashtag to all “live tweets.”

There is no required number of tweets to tweet as your readings, work, or in-class discussions, but it is expected that each should garner many tweets. In the beginning of the semester @billwolffsju will give you prompts for your live-tweets. The more you tweet the more engaged the class can and will become in and outside of class. Do, however, be sure to make it clear what you’re reading, working on, or discussing by @mentioning (and following) the authors in your tweets. Mentioning authors could result in a response, as many students have been fortunate to receive in the past—often leading to discussions, such as:

Begin live-tweeting readings and work starting with readings for week 1 and continuing throughout the semester. A note on tweeting in class: I am a proponent of students tweeting during class about class, but only if the tweets are not taking away from what is being discussed in class.

Final Documentary Video

I made this little video telling the social media story of my time in #bsocials16 using the Quik App on my iPhone (iOS App Store link; Google Play link):

Every semester, project teams create these videos as a way to document their team’s journey:

The Quik App searches Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter (which is very weird). But, you can download Twitter images to your phone rather easily, so all it took was finding the tweets and then downloading the images. The whole video took about an hour to create. Note that I did buy the pro version, which was $14.99. But, after sending videos of my sons skiing to my parents, it was well worth their reaction.

I’d like your project teams to make your own “Our #bsocialf17” video that tells your team’s #bsocialf17 story.

Video Specifics

  • it should be between 1:30 – 2:00 minutes long
  • it should include social media tweeted, grammed, or other by every member of your project team
  • it can include photos or videos you took but did not put online
  • it can include material you make specifically for the video, but that material should not take up more than 15 seconds of the total video
  • it should be created collaboratively, not just by one person who says that will be responsible for it

As well as the group video, individual members should feel to create their own #bsocialf17 videos, as well.

Due Date

  • 12/12: tweet a copy of it using the #bsocials17 hashtag by class time

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