Social Media Use in Higher Education: Key Areas to Consider for Educators
The use of social media in higher education classrooms is on the rise as faculty employ a variety of software tools and free web applications to enhance learning, communication, and engagement. Web 2.0 social software exists beyond traditional course management systems and potentially opens up the academic environment to a public space. This article presents important issues for educators to consider as they use these new tools by investigating the ramifications of moving academic activities to a public sphere and examining how laws that govern our academic freedoms and behaviors translate in this new environment. The discussion focuses on concerns specific to incorporating the use of social media and user-generated content into the teaching and learning environment in higher education, touching on compliance with disability and privacy law, intellectual property rights, copyright law, and the fair use exemption providing practical advice with each area of consideration.
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