Monday 12th January 2015, a date to remember… the day we held our Inaugural meeting of the Social Media Special Interest Group for staff in the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences at The University of Salford.
My name is Wendy Sinclair (@wlasinclair on Twitter), I’m a registered Children’s Nurse working as a Lecturer in Nursing at The University of Salford and I’m currently working on my PhD, exploring nurses’ online professional conduct. I’ve been interested in using social media in nurse education for over two years and in recent months I’ve definitely noticed a rapid increase of social media use within the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Science here at the University of Salford and beyond. Having experienced the benefits of social media in nurse education I wondered how we could use social media to its full potential. Amongst other things, I considered a multidisciplinary team approach to be the way forward. An invitation was sent to all school staff members and approximately 30 members of staff from across disciplines expressed an interest in joining the group and 11 people were able to attend the face-to-face meeting yesterday. The purpose of the meeting was to explore whether a special interest group had potential and I wanted to know if the group could have meaning and purpose and so we explored the different roles that group could take on which led to discussions around how the group may move forward.
I plan to use this blog to share our success (thinking positively!!) and so here are the key points from the first meeting:
Training and support
It was pleasing to find that although not all staff are currently using social media, there are certainly a significant number interested in finding out more about how it could be used effectively. It was therefore identified that staff need support with using social media and unlocking potential, indeed there is often an inaccurate assumption that ‘everyone’s on Facebook’, ‘everyone’s on Twitter’ etc. and so lots of discussion was around training needs. The group could explore how we manage training and support.
Issues of managing professional conduct and maintaining boundaries were discussed and findings from recent projects were discussed. Our students are expected to work within professional body and university social media guidance and so there were issues raised around managing conduct and this led to a discussion around changing culture to a more equal partnership between staff and students, shared learning and more co-creation. The group could explore ways of moving this forward.
Sharing Opportunities and Links
It was identified that Social Media provides our staff and students with a multitude of opportunities but we need to be sharing these opportunities beyond social media. It was recognised that social media management can be time consuming and that people use a variety of social media platforms. The group could explore ways of managing this.
Sharing good practice
It is clear that there are so many areas of good practice using social media within the school, that we don’t really know what each other is doing. While we don’t know exactly who is doing what, I do know that there are people at Salford making use of Social Media in fabulous ways. It was also identified that we all have links and networks that we could make better use of and feed back and forward to wider groups. There was an agreement that the group could be a place to share good practice in social media use.
It was identified that with so many people using social media, it would be good to find out what works well and what doesn’t work well. The group may be able to provide opportunities for collaboration on projects to measure the impact of what we are doing. It was also highlighted that perhaps the group could be a place to tryout new things with an understanding that some things work and some things don’t.
It was decided that a showcase of research, projects and social media activity would be useful for all staff to get a feel for how they could utilise social media in their work. It was decided that a conference would be arranged for early Summer 2015 and as part of this day we plan to hold a workshop that will provide us with the basis of a more structured approach to the group development. This is something I’m really excited about!
Social Media communication/resource
As the group is all about social media, it was discussed whether we should avoid email and use social media to communicate (a brave step forward maybe??). I have decided to cover all bases for now and use this blog site, a new Facebook page (coming soon) and a twitter hashtag #SUSoMe (Salford University Social Media)! These platforms will also be utilised as a repository for social media resources and examples of good practice.
By setting up this special interest group, I hope to pool skills, knowledge, expertise and ideas and make much wider strides in the right direction. I’ll keep you updated as the group develops and in the meantime I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions 🙂