In a recent editorial in Inside Higher Ed, Jack Schneider, assistant professor of education at the College of the Holy Cross, discussed the implications of social media, especially Twitter. At first reluctant to join the 140-characters-per-transmission web application, Schneider has since become a proponent of the benefits the site has to offer.
In the editorial, Schneider noted that professors and academics often struggle to reach the public at large, and that tools such as Twitter make the connection possible. “[T]hese tools allow us to connect with the world outside the academy,” said Schneider. “[T]hey are worth learning to use, and to use well,” he continued. Then, speaking to issues of exposure in the community, Schneider proposed that social media is essential. “Colleges and universities have everything to gain from this,” he stated.
For example, he Tweeted a criticism about the Boston Globe’s “Dreamtown Finder.” This led to him working with the Globe to overhaul the way it ranks Massachusetts schools.
Overall, Schneider admitted that Twitter has its downfalls—brevity among them—but that it would be a mistake to balk at engaging with current technology. “Connecting with the world beyond campus is part of our mission,” he stated.
This ‘Holy Cross in the News’ item by David Cotrone ’13.