Technology and Innovation in Higher Education

In searching for an infographic on higher education faculty and social media use, I found one from a collaboration between the Babson Research Group and Pearson. This is from 2013, but I think the results are interesting. The results of this survey reveal that 59% of the faculty who responded thought that online and mobile technologies create better learning environments. I agree that this is true in some aspects. For example, I find Canvas to be a very useful tool for my classes as many professors upload their lecture notes, related course materials, and homework files. I can go back and reference this content whenever I need to and it is very convenient and helps me in my learning. On the other hand, I can understand the viewpoint that online and mobile technologies create distractions. Oftentimes, during my online lectures, I find myself distracted and I may open new tabs on my internet browser to do other work or look at content completely unrelated to my course. This causes me to miss some points mentioned in class, but because my professors are kind enough to record and upload lectures onto Canvas, I’m able to go back and reference the videos if I need to.

We can see that in this infographic, faculty use of social media for teaching increased from 2012 to 2013. Many faculty also use social media to promote their research. A great example of a professor at Virginia Tech who uses social media for teaching and to promote research is Dr. Shane Ross from the AOE department. Dr. Ross posts lectures on analytical dynamics, center manifolds, etc. on his YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/RossDynamicsLab) along with information about current research activities in his lab. He also uses Twitter and LinkedIn to share interesting information on his research. I think this is a great way to engage the community as well as make connections with others who are interested in his research.

The last section of this infographic shares some of the existing concerns about online and mobile technologies for higher education. These are all valid concerns. I especially agree with the concern that people who are not registered for a course may be receiving information for that course. It is unfair that many students are paying to receive course information and some of it may be shared with others for free. Another concern is the privacy of faculty. I’ve come across many posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. where students take a screenshot of their Zoom class while the professor is speaking and share those images without their professor’s consent.

I think social media for teaching and learning is a great tool, but proper etiquette should be followed when using these tools such that both the content creators and the content consumers are protected.

 

Image source: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/professors-social-media_n_4137697

Open Access Journal

The open access journal I found is called “Measurement and Control”. It’s under the SAGE publishing group that was founded in New York, and is now headquartered in California. The journal is described as “a peer reviewed, open access journal which focuses on applied and theoretical research outcomes in measurement and control sciences.” [1] The journal focuses more on problems that will be relevant in application, but also provides updates on business announcements and technical/technological advances in instrumentation and control.

In the journal description, sections on submission procedure and open access article processing charges are included. There is no description of how the journal defines open access or if they align themselves with the open access movement. In the manuscript submission guidelines, they briefly mention open access and the charges, but it is a small portion of the document. The SAGE journals group has more information on open access and the types of open access journals they have in the FAQ section. [2] They mainly mention that the fees are paid for by the author, institution, or funding body, and articles are made free to everyone under the Creative Commons license. There is no explanation beyond this which seems strange to me as I was hoping they would explain why they choose to have open access journals.

In general,  in mechanical engineering I have heard that many students are discouraged from submitting to open access journals not only because of the fees, but because those journals are considered to have lower standards and a lower impact factor. Many professors want their students to publish in well-respected and established journals in their fields, as the quality/reputation of the journal may mean to some that the quality of the paper is great. I am interested to know if this is something that students in other fields experience as well.

References:

[1] https://journals.sagepub.com/description/MAC

[2] https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/faqs