All posts by jaimemariee

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Social Media Outside of the Classroom

As the graduate intern for social media, I’ve been teaching social media workshops for Penn students, faculty, and staff at the Weigle Information Commons for over two years now. When I first started, it still was not clear what the purpose of social media was in the classroom or in academic life for that matter. However, more and more people are now buying into the idea of personal/professional branding and using social media platforms as learning tools.

In the last two years, we have all noted the rise of social media usage and how the lines between personal, professional, and useful are blurring. With the close of election 2016, the beginning of 2017, and the resurgence of using social media to organize in-person gatherings and protests, there is absolutely no doubt that social media will continue to rise in importance for college-age Americans and those who serve them as educators, mentors, colleagues, and support staff.

Here at the Penn Libraries, January has been an exciting time. On Saturday, the 14th, a hundred or so librarians, scientists, coders, hackers, and interested parties gathered to scrape data from NOAA.gov and other websites prior to the new administration potentially removing it from those sites. In addition, we have a series of workshops on identifying and avoiding “Fake News.” Individually, neither of these events is about “social media” in the way that my social media workshops are, but they are inherently linked to how undergraduate, graduate, and professional students use social media in their everyday lives on-and-off campus, in-and-out of the classroom.

Fake news is often perpetuated through news feeds on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. In addition, accessing real news, and learning about real “threats” such as losing valuable information about climate change or other public scientific data, also occurs on social media sites. Most of us access our news digitally and many of us access our news on social media platforms.

For many years, I’ve heard concerns from older generations that millennials and younger generations consume news and “real information” differently and perhaps less intentionally. This quote from the Media Insight Project’s study on how millennials get their news is illuminating:

The worry is that Millennials’ awareness of the world, as a result, is narrow, their discovery of events is incidental and passive, and that news is just one of many random elements in a social feed.

This has been the concern of older generations of educators since I started working professionally with social media in college in 2010 and continues through to today. From my experience, students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels are very concerned that they are accessing and publishing the right information. There is a lot of social anxiety around what our brands look like online and building those brands requires a certain level of familiarity and comfort with using social media. For intellectual spaces like Penn, it also means that there is growing concern among active users of social media that their intellectual growth and learning empowers them to understand what they read and take action on it. Here are some of that 2014 study’s findings about how millennials consume news:

  • While Millennials are highly equipped, it is not true they are constantly connected. More than 90 percent of adults age 18-34 surveyed own smartphones, and half own tablets. But only half (51 percent) say they are online most or all of the day.

  • Email is the most common digital activity, but news is a significant part of the online lives of Millennials, as well. Fully 69 percent report getting news at least once a day — 40 percent several times a day.

  • Millennials acquire news for many reasons, which include a fairly even mix of civic motivations (74 percent), problem-solving needs (63 percent), and social factors (67 percent) such as talking about it with friends.

As we look forward into this new year, I plan to attend as many workshops and teach as many workshops as possible about how to continue to be a responsible consumer of media. Keep the Penn Weigle Information Commons and the Penn Libraries’ programming sites bookmarked as these are themes that we continue to explore as a university and a community.

If you’re interested attending our ongoing workshops relating to media consumption, digital, and social media, here are a few:

(Jan. 30) Shoddy News

(Feb. 8) Creating Meaningful Graphics

(Feb. 15) Creating Video Presentations

LinkedIn workshop

Why Social Media?

Why social media at Penn? Social media at Penn and in college, graduate school, and in the professional world is not about scrubbing all traces of who you are off the internet. It’s about creating content that you are “sincerely” passionate about engaging with and making connections online that will lead to IRL experiences like your next research project, a career, a new friend, or an amazing conference experience.

I’ve now had this conversation countless times. As the Saturday consultant at the Weigle Information Commons, I’ve taught social media workshops at the Penn Libraries for two years now. Now and then, I publish a blog post on a particular social platform or tool. Every few months, a friend, a patron, a colleague, or a stranger asks about my work with social media and says, “Oh, I should really do more online!”

Continue reading Why Social Media?

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Social Media at the Commons: Facebook

Hi, there! I’m Jaime and I’ve been consulting/interning here at the Commons since 2014. My personal passion is helping students, staff, and faculty learn how to connect their personal and professional brands online by engaging with others on social media. This past Saturday, I worked with two long-time patrons dedicated to getting their social media game on point. Kemuel Benyehudah and Sandra Andino have been coming to the Commons since November 2015 to work on maximizing the effectiveness of their public Facebook accounts.

Continue reading Social Media at the Commons: Facebook

Leah Davidson, 2014 Seltzer winner, photographs her travels to India and Peru

This is an interview with Leah Davidson, a rising junior at Wharton, who was awarded one of our Seltzer Digital Media Awards in 2014 in order to pursue research in Peru and India:

“Leah Davidson W’16 … explore[d] social entrepreneurship in Peru and India under the guidance of Ian MacMillan, the Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Director of the Sol N. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center. In Huancayo, Peru, she collaborate[d] with Blue Sparrow, a non-governmental organization that provides low-interest loans and free consulting services to entrepreneurs. In Chennai, Bangalore, and Delhi, she explore[d] various models of making finance accessible to rural populations. She … use[d] a digital SLR camera to document the similarities and differences between the small business landscapes in these two countries.”

Here is her account of her experience in her own words and photographs:

Leah on an adventure in India with her new camera.
Leah on an adventure in India with her new camera.
(PennWIC) Jaime Marie Estrada: What inspired you to apply for the Seltzer Family Digital Media Awards?

Continue reading Leah Davidson, 2014 Seltzer winner, photographs her travels to India and Peru

Interview with Audrey Harnagel

 smile-1Audrey Harnagel, rising Penn senior, recently completed the Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellows Program.
As we enter summer, we would like to acknowledge some of the incredible collaborations we’ve had with students this year. Today we’re delving into the work of Audrey Harnegel, a rising senior at Penn, who works in multiple disciplines and was a fellow in this year’s Hoesley Digital Literacy program. This program is designed for students who may not be familiar with technology topics such as Graphic Design and Visual Literacy, Web Design, Spreadsheets and Excel. The library staff who collaborate with students in this program focus on building confidence, providing learning strategies, and encouraging creative exploration of software and technologies commonly used in the workplace. Comfort and confidence with, and a strong foundation in technology skills can provide a valuable edge in many job and internship searches. Audrey was kind enough to answer a few questions about her experiences with Hoesley program activities below:
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New Instagram Filters!

Hi Team! Are you as excited as I am for the three new filters Instagram rolled out this week? We’ve got Lark, Reyes, and Juno just in time for summer! According to Instagram, they are inspired by outdoors adventuring! Since classes ended on Wednesday and finals are about to be over, we plan to do some of that outdoor adventuring ourselves. Until then, let’s show you what the three filters look like–

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Continue reading New Instagram Filters!