What is social media? The Wikipedia article on social media explains it this way:
Social media is online content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies. At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. It’s a fusion of sociology and technology, transforming monologues (one to many) into dialogues (many to many) and is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers.
Traditional broadcast media concentrates content publishing in big organizations—TV stations, newspapers, textbook publishers. It used to be that the tools were so expensive and required so much expertise that you had to keep it centralized with those big organizations. Now tools for creating content are easy, usually requiring very little specialized technical knowledge or training. But if everyone just created content and posted it, it still wouldn’t really be social; it would be broadcast on a smaller scale. The “social” part of the media is also in the comments, ratings, and conversations now possible.
For a great metaphor on social media and how it differs from traditional media, check out the Common Craft video “Social Media in Plain English.” Instead of media, this talks about ice cream. This is the story of how the town of Scoopville has a great Big Ice Cream company and what happens when everyone gets their own ice cream machines and can make unique flavors at home.
This month our blog posts will focus on social media, sharing some of the different tools and different ways social media can be used for learning. We’ve written a number of posts related to this topic previously. Grab some ice cream to cool off from the summer heat, take a look at some of the posts below, and be social—leave us a comment!