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Addressing Social Media’s Critics

by Andy Thomason

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Article excerpt

What Is a ‘Serious Academic’? Social-Media Critique Provokes a Backlash

“I’m a serious academic, not a professional Instagrammer,” read the headline of an anonymous article in The Guardian on Friday. Embracing social media, as many academics are encouraged to do, amounts to little more than a dog-and-pony show, the author writes, and is more about demonstrating an exaggerated enthusiasm than anything else.

Our take

Time to Take Social Media Seriously?

Change is tough and academia is one industry that’s in the midst of a great deal of change right now. The education industry is likely to experience some growing pains related to the impact of technology on teaching. That became apparent recently when one academic decried the value of social media and raised a firestorm in the process. The backlash points to the real value that some teachers are finding online. Where do you stand on this issue?

Check out #SeriousAcademic on Twitter and you’ll find a wide range of perspectives and opinions on the relevance of social media in academia—most pointing to its value. That may be to be expected given the comments are on social media channels; those who frequent them are likely favorably disposed toward them. Still, it’s hard to argue that new means of connecting with student, parent and community audiences don’t hold some value when used appropriately.