By Mark Carrigan and Pat Thomson
Over the last decade social media has gone from being a fringe part of academic life to something which is mainstream. What was once regarded as a slightly suspicious activity has now been recognised as a legitimate means to keep connected within the academy and engage with audiences outside of it. However no one could have anticipated how the disruption of Covid-19 would mean that we would all be relying on social media for our routine work. If we acknowledge that platforms Zoom and Teams are a form of social media then we suddenly confront an unsettling reality: social media is now a completely indispensable part of being an academic.
However the speed with which this has happened, as departments have scrambled to pivot to online learning once it became clear there would be no near future return to normal, left us with little time to think about what this means or how we ought to approach it. There’s a risk that we merely replicate what we doing before or stumble through in a rush without stopping to consider the possibilities for creative and collaborative practice which this situation presents us with.
We are therefore organising a ‘show and tell’ workshop in which people bring along their examples of using social media in creative ways in order to show them to others who are interested. In collecting these creative and collegial ways of keeping intellectual communities going during lockdown and stimulating discussions about them, we hope to expand our repertoires for using social media and popularise some of the exciting approaches people have found to these challenges.
If you would like to take part then please e-mail mark AT markcarrigan.net and Patricia.Thomson AT nottingham.ac.uk with the following by June 15th:
- A brief overview of your project
- How you would like to feature it during the webinar
- Links to any online material relating to it
- A brief biographical note
Once we have a group of people who are interested, we’ll use a Doodle poll to schedule a date/time that works for as many people as possible. While we are inviting people to talk about their projects at a specific point in time, we would also like to find ways to continue this discussion through asynchronous means in order to create a resource to help us prepare for what might be the new normal. We’ll announce more about this in due course.