EC&I 831: Social Media & Open Education is an open access graduate course from the Faculty of Education, University of Regina. This course is available to both for-credit and non-credit participants. It features openly available, weekly, interactive presentations with notable educators & theorists. More importantly, the course encourages and nurtures rich interaction through a number of open spaces such as our Twitter hashtag (#eci831), our Google Plus Community, and our student blog hub. The open nature of the course. and the sharing that it inspires, benefits current and former participants, especially as the goal of the course is to foster and develop long-term, authentic, human connections.

See the course trailer below:

Course Overview:

In the last few years, the world of educational technology has changed significantly. Many new tools that allow for easy communication and collaboration (e.g., Web 2.0 tools, free & open source software) have emerged and we are witnessing unique educational and social events. Blogging has become a worldwide phenomenon. Collaborative websites such as Wikipedia have emerged to challenge our assumptions and beliefs about the nature of knowledge and the processes of knowledge creation. Video-sharing sites like Youtube have changed the way individuals share their voices and experiences, and sites like these have become outlets for political, cultural, and educational conversations.

In light of these shifts in culture, this course provides an immersive experience where students gain a theoretical and practical understanding of social media for teaching, learning, and professional development. Blogs, wikis, microblogging, RSS, social bookmarking, social curation, and media sharing will be explored. The course also focuses on changing views of knowledge, emerging literacies, and the development of personal learning networks.

The goals of this course follow. Participants will:

  • better understand the historical role technology and media have played in educational & social change;
  • become knowledgeable of social learning tools as tools for teaching, facilitating learning, professional development, & designing educational environments;
  • become familiar with the wealth of open educational resources (OERs), learning-related content, & media available for teaching & learning;
  • become knowledgeable of relevant educational theories and philosophies that inform teaching and learning in the digital age;
  • better understand the many social, ethical, political, cultural, and administrative issues often associated with technology & media in education and society;
  • become critical consumers and producers of digital media and information; and,
  • build sustainable, personal learning environments and networks.

Facilitation Approach:

Course participation will include synchronous sessions, asynchronous activities and one-to-one communication with your instructor. This blog will act as a central hub in the communication of the course activities, but in general, communication will be distributed across a number of tools and services across the Internet.

Synchronous (“Live”) Sessions:

Participants will have the opportunity of meeting weekly via web-conferencing. We will be using Blackboard Collaborate for our web-conferencing tool. Synchronous sessions will take place Tuesday evenings, 7:00-8:30 p.m. (Saskatchewan Time).

Asynchronous (“Individual”) Activities:

A significant portion of the course activities will happen outside of the scheduled, synchronous sessions. Participants will gain experience in social learning processes such as: writing reflective blog posts,  commenting on educational blogs, microblogging, social curation, exploring and creating educational media, and engaging with social learning tools

One-To-One Sessions:

If you are a registered student, one-to-one sessions can be arranged with your course instructor. These sessions will be available throughout the semester to deal with any confusion or questions that students have about the course content or processes. These can be mediated through instant messaging, Skype, web-conferencing, chat, telephone, or face-to-face sessions (where/when possible).