Connecting Students to Professionals Using Social Media: Twitter in a Learning in Museums Course

In Spring 2020, a Learning in Museums course at Michigan State University included an assignment to use Twitter as reflection, and a way students would connect with professionals. The presenters will share results of a survey, conduct a discussion about how social media works in the context of a course, and about whether using social media in Museum Studies courses is or is not appropriate.


Unknown Speaker 00:00
Welcome everybody, to connecting students to professionals using social media, Twitter and the museum, museums course. My name is Max Evjen. And I'm here. I'm a faculty at Michigan State University in theater, where I teach that specific performance. But then I also teach in the arts and cultural management, the scene studies program, where I teach classes such as the one we're just gonna talk about today. And I'm also digital humanities coordinator in digital humanities. My Twitter handles you see here, but you will see it on every slide, so you don't have to take it down. For those of you who are using for his counseling for and I'm here with a couple of the grad students who were in the course to share our space today. So I'd like to introduce Natalie Gentry and Julia Sager. So Natalie, good.

Unknown Speaker 00:59
Hi, everyone. My name is Natalie Gentry. I use she her pronouns. I'm a young white woman, I've a picture of David Bowie behind me and I'm wearing a black shirt. I'm a student graduating from Michigan State University in the arts and cultural management Museum Studies program. Actually, next month, I'll be graduating. And I A lot of my study focuses on empathy and social justice in museums and how we can collaborate with communities through museums. All right. Hi, everyone. I'm Julia Sager. Hugh, she her pronouns. I am also in the museum studies master's program at Michigan State University. I am a young white woman, and I have flowers behind me and a cool picture framed on the wall behind me as well. I am at the education system at Lansing Art Gallery and education center right now as well, which is super exciting. And a lot of what I try and study and bring to light in my work are people's stories, whether that be through my work at the gallery through my studies and museums. That's something that's very important to me.

Unknown Speaker 02:07
And I'll also add that I am a middle aged white men with glasses and a beard, which I understand is required for professors. So yeah, let's get started. We're going to be talking about the course today in terms of why we I made this assignment, what the assignment is. And then going over a bit of a survey that we took, that we administered for some of the students in the class and then Natalie and Julia are going to talk about their experiences in relation to the assignment the class, and then we're going to have a lot of discussion with all of you. So as we progress, please put any questions into the q&a if you have questions for us. But if you want to do any discussion at all, and especially during the discussion at the later part of the session, go ahead and use the chat for that. We welcome any and all thoughts around this. And before we get going, I just like to read a statement that the that the AI s program at Michigan State University has generated because the three of us are currently in the greater residing the Greater Lansing area that we collectively acknowledge that Michigan State University occupies the ancestral traditional and contemporary lands of the ocean avec three fires concet Confederacy of Ojibwe, odawa and Potawatomi peoples. In particular, the University resides on land ceded to the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw. We recognize support and advocate for the sovereignty of Michigan's 12 federally recognized Indian nations, for historic indigenous communities in Michigan for indigenous individuals and communities who live here now. And for those who were forcibly removed from their homelands. By offering this land acknowledgement, we affirm indigenous sovereignty will work to hold Michigan State University more accountable to the needs of American Indian and indigenous peoples. I did read that statement in the beginning of the course. And so I figured that it would also be appropriate to read that statement at the beginning of this session. So I'll just start off by saying that this assignment was tied to a key course objective that I had that established in the objectives of the course, because I wanted to connect my students to a variety professionals in a variety of ways. But one specific way that I wanted to do that this particular semester in spring of 2020, which is when this class happened, was to connect with writing professionals in the field, that the students will connect to a variety of professionals in the field through the use of a professional Twitter account. So yeah, so just just that this was something that I was, I was trying to be very specific about and very deliberative about while while we were doing this, and I'll start I'll start by saying that Yeah, in some ways, it was great in other ways, I think Kind of spectacularly failed, but we're gonna, we're gonna talk about that. So here's the assignment. It was saying that starting on the first day of class, and after every class students post one tweet to their Twitter account that they're using class to provide a short reflection of what you learned or inspired to learn the result of what we discussed in class, right, they would include the class hashtag, which is MSU, underscore Li m, and if you're tweeting, and you'd like to join into that, put your tweet in the conversation, please go ahead and do and then tag Spartan ACM, which is the handle for the arts CULTURAL MANAGEMENT Museum Studies program, but then they changed it to Spartan acns halfway through our class, so they got a point for each reflection that they did. And two points for each reply or retweet with a comment to a post in Museum, add the hashtag or the museum chat or a new social news tag and see in 19, to 2020, any of these conversations, right, including class hashtag and tagging. The the program's channel. So and like I said, we we had the we had the survey that we did over a Google form, whether it were class, there were 17 students in the course, including Madeleine Julia 11 of our students responded. And yeah, and and we also got permission from or ask permission from students. If we could share some of their tweets during this session, so any that that you see that we are sharing with you, and we did get consent from the students to share them in this presentation? So the first question that we asked was like, how do you use Twitter in a different area of study apart from the class? And if so, please describe? Oh, and I also mentioned that this, this survey was something that Natalie Julian, I all worked on together. So they helped me generate these questions.

Unknown Speaker 07:01
But seven people said, No, one person said they weren't required, but use Twitter to research arts organizations once said, Yeah, but just I don't tweet, I just use that as the timeline. And then somebody said only recreationally. Do you find the Twitter assignment and engaging part of the course Why or why not? I, too, said no. To said yes. three cents on what for gave somewhat of a complex answer in terms of like, Well, yeah, it's including the somewhat, you know, maybe it's good. I think it's not good for this or that. Um, here are some quotes that that I pulled from that answer that I thought were interesting. And so yes, I thought it was engaging. And if you think about what we talked about outside of class, which was part of what I want to achieve, no, it's an extra step that was easy to forget about. Usually, my tweets were written mindlessly just to get the credit. There. Somebody's thinking, I think that was saying, I think the best part of getting on Twitter was simply learning the names of people where they work, and then some of the personality by stumble on an exhibit they worked on, or research they completed, all of a sudden, I have a new connection to the piece. So we asked if they encountered any difficulties with the assignment, three people said they just forgot to tweet after the class. One person said the schedule was really aggressive, and they couldn't do it. God was and they were really unsure what to post. One person had trouble understanding how to use hashtags and how to engage with the platform. Typical just said no, but didn't. One person said that they they had their own issues, preventing them from doing that. And then members just said, Yes. So I don't know what that and then there's an example of a couple people in class who were tweeting through this. Is your class account separate from a personal account? We wanted to know is this is this something that you're using your own personal one? Or did you create one separate from that? or? Yeah, so six people said that? Uh, yes, it is separate nine, five people said don't ask do you similar have similar engagement with professional fields on other social media or in other classes or outside of classes? Five people said no, but those who did say that, yes. In classes, two people said they used LinkedIn in class. One person said they use Facebook in class and then outside of class. Somebody discussed using Twitter and another person and talked about just using social media broadly outside of class, but that wasn't really they do all the time. Yeah. always difficult to know how to make sense feedback. Like this. I might, yeah. Yeah. Sometimes the feedback that you get when you're doing surveys is Yeah, it does get kind of like, wait, what, what is this and then actually got an issue where some of the answers were clearly relating to another question and the Google form for a couple of a couple of students. So that was a fun thing trying to parse out.

Unknown Speaker 09:54
Yeah, and then

Unknown Speaker 09:57
I asked, okay, what what's going to make this assignment better? So Six people said reduce the frequency of the tweets. So that's useful feedback, right? maybe doing like a reflection after each class is a little too much, or, you know, just something to think about in the future. And as somebody who, every year I'm making changes to courses, that's going to be useful feedback to inform what I'm doing for the next year. Once one person suggested adding like prompts to this to have a discussion on Twitter that I'll know that there was some independent discussion among the students in the Twitter channel, but that there what I wasn't necessarily like putting prompts to discuss there, I was adding what we discussed in class, and I have a big long thread of going through every week, all in that channel. But, and then that hashtag, but I didn't really add like a specific discussion pump there, which you could do, or to use this discussion board, which somebody else said, somebody suggested, maybe tweeting out a museum, once during the semester, somebody said recommended just more engagement with the hashtags. And one person on that idea to like, maybe have a student follow one organization for the semester and report back to the class about what kinds of things I'm noticing there.

Unknown Speaker 11:18
And then asked if there were any other thoughts around it. So these are some things that I pulled from these aren't exhaustive, but it's just a few things I thought I'd share here to say I enjoyed it. No, it was exposed to many different pages, I wouldn't have been without this class. Somebody else saying I don't enjoy social media, and I found it taxing on my psyche at times or using it to become involved in and become two balls online, rather than venturing out in the real world. Somebody said, I didn't like it. And in talking to my classmates about it, they didn't like it either. It felt silly and unnecessary. And somebody said, I think it's a good avenue for museum cultural studies students. So let's see. So I'm going to hand this to, to Natalie to talk about Natalie and Julie's experiences.

Unknown Speaker 12:02
Alright, so from a student perspective, especially from a graduate student perspective, the primary benefit that I got from using Twitter in class was basically just tying the lived experience that I was, you know, working on in the program, to the things we were discussing and talking about in class. So for example, on the right side, you see there my tweet that says, today, we discussed various learning styles, and I tied it to the work I was doing at the Michigan State University broad museum. During my first two semesters in the program, I was a graduate assistant, they're working on an open call program where we collaborated with community members on programming they wanted to see in the museum space, and I got to meet all kinds of different people and work on different programs. One of them was science themed, it was called turning yours cat is in town. And we talked about pulsars and neutron stars. And then another one was called the sound around where we focused on sound based artwork, and how sound can be art and noise as art and things like that. So I really saw all kinds of different groups and different kinds of learners. So that was something that was solidified for me through Twitter. When I was trying to think of what to tweet for that class period. I was like, okay, learning styles. Well, I just saw a whole bunch of learning styles. So why don't I tweet about my experience. So in that way, I really felt like the social media aspect of the class bridged that gap between my school life and my my work life. And social media, for me, is a safe thing. It's really a way for me to get into professional spheres without feeling overwhelmed. I use social media a lot in my personal life, I actually created a separate Twitter account for my school tweets, because my personal one is very personal. But having to make this and start documenting my time in the program, was really helpful for me to just get all my academic thoughts down into one place that I can look back and think about what I learned in a class. And I also learned that a lot of museum folks care about and think about the same things as me. There's a lot of good discussion happening on Twitter, that I would not have had experience with prior to this class or having the reason to make the Twitter account for class. I probably would not have ventured into that. Because my personal Twitter was personal. I didn't want it to go into my professional world. So I just didn't engage but having the reason to make the Twitter was helpful for me getting into engaging in the talk on Twitter. So my big I mean, my big takeaways, pros and cons were, I thought it was fun. I like to share fun and related tweets and links with my classmates. It took the stress out of the educational topics for me, because social media was a thing that I did for fun in my free time. And, and as I mentioned before learning that museum folks were all kind of interested in the same things as me, for example, Animal Crossing was a big thing at the beginning of this year, seeing all kinds of organizations engaged with their people through Animal Crossing was the coolest thing because I was playing Animal Crossing. And I was like, wow, this is this is amazing. I'm making educational content through a game, I thought was the coolest thing ever. And the museum world on Twitter is a whole bunch of nerds like me, and where we're allowed to be unenthusiastically excited about things and be really excited about museums and the communities that fill them and things like that. It was just so fun to me to get into that through my Twitter experience. But the main goal of the of the assignment in the course was to really get us in contact with professionals in the field. And I don't think that I had that specific experience. I didn't have like an aha moment of linking with specific people or organizations, I did engage in a couple of conversations. But there wasn't like a big, a big eureka moment where I was like, Yes, I'm part of this community. I'm talking to these professionals, I linked up with so and so from this museum. I didn't have that moment. But overall, I had a good experience with it.

Unknown Speaker 16:33
All right, so my turn. Um, I had a bit of a different approach to this going into it, I actually was very resistant to open up another social media account, cuz I'm a little bit old school. So I'm like, no, it's all about face to face. And I remember texting, Natalie going, Oh, my gosh, like, why do we have to do this, I don't want to and then I like took a deep breath, I gave it a chance. I got to know max. And I got to know Twitter a little bit. And I really enjoyed being to see conversations that were happening in the glam sector in real time. So, you know, for example, MC n 2020. Yeah, it's something that you can engage with and see what people are talking about their interests. I'm very interested in art history, German studies, art museums. And so by using Twitter, I have the ability to kind of just look things up, figure out who is talking about what I want to talk about who is studying, learning and researching the things that I find interesting. And so I found that to be a definite plus for opening a Twitter account for the first place. And then regarding the class, I actually did enjoy connecting with professionals. We had a couple really neat people come on, and one of those people is David McKenzie. He works at the Ford's Theater, he's working on his dissertation. He's a public and digital historian. And so we connected on Twitter and followed each other. And so I saw, you know, different posts that he was making about his work. And I, actually, as you can see here, I retweeted it, and I called out some classmates, because I found it really fun that when I found things on Twitter, that reminded me of other students, like, I just wanted to share that with them so much. I was like, hey, Dale, guess what, I've got this great thing, I think you'll really like it. And other tweet here is, you know, me talking about meeting another professional in the class. So that was really great getting to talk to them, have them visit our class, and then connect with them through various platforms after the fact. And then Max, if you would like to go next slide for me. I did have a bit of an aha moment. This is pretty early on in the class. In 2019, I visited friends and family in Germany and went to the shadle Museum in Frankfurt. And I just barely missed their Impressionism or Van Gogh, I believe it was exhibition going on. I was like, God, dang it. And so I follow them on Twitter. I saw them post about it, and I repost it. And they liked it. I was like, Oh, my gosh, I felt so cool. And I'm like it. I don't know who exactly runs their social media, but it still made me feel important. And I think that connection is actually really important for students who are trying to pursue different roles and careers in the glam sector. And then I tweeted about feeling really cool, and they liked it again, I'm like, Oh, my gosh, this is awesome. And the next tweet I have here is a very similar instance, I decided to keep my Twitter after the class and especially when we found out that hey, we're going to be presenting for MC in 2020. I should probably keep this. I saw this great post by Lonnie Bunch about the women's suffrage movement and these beautiful lights that people are putting up to support such an important, the important moments in our history. And I also had done a project on him last semester in the frame, and learned about his journey and his work. And I just thought like, This man is amazing and very, very cool. And so I retweeted him, and he liked it. And I was like, that made me feel very important. So I think this idea of connecting is something that's really essential to our learning. It helps us prepare for the roles that we might have going forward. And in a pandemic, we are completely switched around and flipped upside down. And so being able to use technology in what feels like a new way, though, it's been there the whole time. But finding new ways to reinvent how we're using it, and how we're talking to each other is something that I think is really prominent, it's something that we have to learn from. So definite pluses for me and using Twitter. And Max, I can turn it back on over to you.

Unknown Speaker 21:01
Sure. And I just like to address Jeremy's comments in the chat saying, you know, he said for what it's worth as, as a very online medium Twitter person, the best thing is just getting familiar with what museums are doing, who's who and then showing up at your office or doing other collaborative stuff and realizing your Mutual's, or at least familiar with their work. Yeah, for sure. And and one thing I neglected to mention is that I didn't just say, make a Twitter account go, I did provide the class with a bunch of handles of all of you. So there might have been a point, you know, lat last, early last spring, when you suddenly had a bunch of people following you from Michigan State, because I just was like, Okay, here's a list, just go put these people in your field, and then how that happened. So and we'll get to the question in just about sentences from the student perspective, is your approach to posting change over time, from the teacher perspective, how much discussion about experience and social media needed to be part of in class discussion? And we'll get to that in just a moment, just because I have a couple of little things to go over and until we get into the discussion portion. So I was just thinking about Should I continue to do this right? Is this something that it actually is worth a while and you know, hearing both Natalie's and Julia's feedback, as well as the feedback from the students, even even things that were like, Okay, this didn't work for me, still guess is good pride direction for like, how I might achieve what I want to achieve in future, especially if it's in the case of, well, you didn't actually connect to a professional art and you are in your opinion, right. But you didn't, right. So but then, just recently, somebody was tweeting about how big a role does museum Twitter play in your professional life? Do you recommend dmps? And I said, Well, yeah, it's from my my own part's been indispensable for my professional life museums. So I connect students in classes to these hashtags. And she said that you wish it were standard from ASEAN cultural heritage or programs to encourage students to get involved here. So many groundbreaking movements in the field in the past five years have started on Twitter, right using Ctrl. V markers, etc. Right. So there's that does that that issue? The other is that I'm not alone. There are other students and other classes that other or other universities plan on Twitter. So yeah, Susie Anderson, has been teaching the George Washington University class and they're using the MST ed tech hashtag. And Phil effect is as a new class, using jgu MDA. So we're not alone in this. I'm thinking this might be there might be something more to this or more to like the connecting of professionals in this particular way. So I just like to go ahead and we can start actually just discussing, should we just use Tick Tock gnosis? Maybe so, but I do want to address Sarah's question, which is from the student perspective, did your approach to posting change over time. But for Natalie, Julia, you can talk about that.

Unknown Speaker 24:11
Natalie, go ahead and go ahead about it. Sure. So um, mine. Know, to be, I guess, myself on my like, academic Twitter. I was just worried that like, too much of my personality would be like obnoxious. But then I got more into the museum sphere on Twitter and realize that it's all really personal and people tweet and talk about what they do is, the reason they do that is because they're passionate about what they do. And my passion shouldn't. I shouldn't shy from posting my passion in my tweets. So at first I was like, this is just for class. I'm going to be very academic about this. And then I started seeing people respond with gifts and I was like, Alright, I guess I'm going to do that too. So I got more comfortable with it over time. So I think that's, that's primarily why it changed. Yeah, for me, I am, I was like, I was very focused on it during the class, I became less so over the summer and we didn't have any classes going on. And I think I kind of my activity on Twitter dipped a little bit. And then I became an education assistant, and when it's an art gallery and Education Center, and a component of my role there had to do with posting on social media and using social media engagement in our work. And so I kind of reconnected, I think with Twitter a little bit. And I started looking up different people and engaging in a different way outside of class, pursuing a little bit more art history, aspects, things like that. So for me, it's definitely shifted since class. But I think I value using it a little bit more now than I did at first. So I'd say that's, that's me.

Unknown Speaker 26:07
Yeah. Great. And Sarah Feinstein. your other question was, from the teacher perspective, how much discussion about experience of social media needed to be part of a class discussion, I devoted one class session that the class met twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays. So one one of the class discussions was really all about what we're doing, how to use Twitter, what, what, what, what posting, like, this looks like how to do a thread. Those kinds of basics of how to use the channels so that even if no, if somebody didn't have any experience with it at all, at all, they could start and start engaging with it. And just going okay, what is the hashtag? Right? How does that work? What is the hash dash? How does that work? Right, like things, things like that. But, but I and I also started the class with a slide of sue the T rex saying that, because somebody somebody has T Rex, why doesn't masino have its own handle? and Sue said, because Twitter is a hellscape, from which nobody escapes. And, you know, I, I wanted to come into class saying, I know that, that Twitter, like other platforms can be awful. But if you are curating who you follow, and start to start to follow a museum professionals and museums, your timeline looks less like the hellscape and more like, Museum, tech people and museum education people. And thanks there. So, yeah, it's really just one class to get to orient people to that, that, that experience, and then it was kind of, and then it was like, go, because because we're the rest of the class we're spending. It was it's a seminar based class. So it's, it's we're going through all the all the content and all the students are leading the discussion for that, for all content areas. So we're like deep, deep in his in discussion, which, even though we had to like switch to zoom in the middle of the, of the course, because of COVID. It still worked for just to be in a room on zoom, because we were I tried, we were in class, as well as like, let's rearrange the table. So we're at like a round sort of table situation here. Because, you know, get food out if you want, because like we're getting out of this, right. So I'm ugly. Emily's angry. They're definitely bright corners and spots and headquarters on Twitter, you just find them? Yeah, I agree. Yeah, so we do have a few of these other questions on the slide of, you know, what other platforms might be effective for classrooms? And we're interested in that, you know, would this work in your classroom or experience? What if you thought in the classroom and you're working in a museum and you want to get people on Twitter to engage these professionals or something? I don't know? Or what role should social media play connecting students to professionals? Or should it you know, is this an effective way to connect with professionals? So I'm, we're happy to have you all weigh in on those things in the chat to any of those questions. Shannon's Instagram

Unknown Speaker 29:27
thing really quick about social media,

Unknown Speaker 29:30
social media to me. I mean, right now, it's booming, because of all kinds of things like COVID. Lots of people are moving to social media for all kinds of stuff and academic things and educational things. But my role with social media prior to the class was not at all related to my schoolwork. And I think having the reason to start it and actually start documenting stuff, I was learning that there there is a bigger Role of social media, especially in the museum world. And as a graduate student, having that channel to like look into, it's kind of like looking through the window into the museum world. For me. So much of so much of the graduate program is making connections with professionals and so much of the museum world is knowing people. So I think when you're curating yourself on Twitter and on social media, you're kind of like, taking a snapshot snapshot of who you are and what you've done. Which I hope I think helps gives you gives you credibility in the long term. So when people go to your Twitter, they see that you've been having these thoughts and working on these things over time. So that was my experience with social media at least. Yeah, I see. We have a note saying Instagram, yeah, I've definitely used Instagram as well. And now for myself, I have an Instagram, I have a Twitter and I gear those towards a more professional, I guess, kind of look like that makes any sense. I even have to Twitter's even I have a private one that's like that, just for me. That is for my crazy thoughts and stuff with my friends. And then I've got a public one that I can use to engage with other professionals. And people in the program, different educational pursuits, all kinds of fun stuff. See, we have a couple more comments coming into

Unknown Speaker 31:24
the question from Andrea Montiel de Shuman asking, What are ways that you use to establish relationships of trust as you engage emerging professionals? And, Andrea, you post my question to me necessarily. Or to see, come. conversation was like the panel's biggest.

Unknown Speaker 31:51
Yeah, a way to establish relationship of trust. Yeah, okay. I'm sure

Unknown Speaker 32:00
that the I think that was it was there, there are things about that core specifically that I that that I can look to as like examples of I, I've created a trusting environment where people can, can talk about whatever they want to talk about and bring anything to the discussion. Right. And okay, so that wasn't on Twitter, it was in the classroom. But there was a point where, a few times in the course, I would go over the fact that if the main competitors to museums aren't other museums, that, that it's it's streaming services, right, it's Netflix, right? That's Disney plus. Right. So and somebody wove the discussion back there. So I remind everybody, I said, Okay, you know, we know that museums are collaborators, who were the true competitors to meet to museums, and somebody spokesman said, capitalism. Okay, I was done. No, but that person had that thought coming into that class, I wasn't something that that that I necessarily pulled out from, or may or may be something in the course, did. But there was something about this person feeling comfortable enough to just like, throw that joke out there. But it was a serious joke, right? And like it for me to say, Well, yes, that's not wrong. But yeah, so those are sort of points that I'd like to in terms of like, what, what do I see that that looks like a trusting environment? Right. The other thing that I would point to is the way that I said that I introduced the concept of doing Twitter like to just to acknowledge at the very start that it is not a great place, unless you start to curate your timeline, right. That would let the students know that I wasn't, you know, not, I wasn't, I wasn't not being critical about it in terms of like, why we're doing this or why we shouldn't do this. Right. But that it was like, we're gonna try this. This is this is an experiment to do it this way. Because the previous year, I did do Twitter as reflections, but I didn't use do the other part of the assignment. So that was a new kind of feature. And so it was it was very much an experiment. Right? So it was I was I was more like asking them to like, Yes, I was requiring people to do this. But but like the the engagement with doing this, I wanted them to know that it wasn't without, like, thought it wasn't without investigation or knowledge of the platform. And the the the problems with it necessarily. Right. And I hope that that that everybody can understand that as we're going into that endeavor. With that knowledge there that I was I wasn't just being naive about it, hopefully.

Unknown Speaker 34:54
And Max something else that you did that maybe you didn't realize that you did, but I'm inviting professionals to talk to us during our class, we have guest speakers over over the course of the semester. So, I mean, you gave us that in to talk to these professionals that you knew and trusted and then gave us their Twitter handles. So, I mean, we knew these, these people behind the handles before we, you know, really started doing the engagement on Twitter. So I think you kind of gave us that in, without maybe without realizing it. But I think having that face of the person in mind when you're tweeting at them, starts to get you more comfortable with it. I would build on that to say to that, so many of the people that we talk to actually think pretty much all of them, um, they reached, they specifically said to us, as a class, reach out to me find me on LinkedIn, find me on X, Y, and Z. And so they were the type of people and I've noticed this with pretty much every one I've come across in the glam sector is this idea of being just so welcoming, and we want to help you and talk to us and connect with us. And I think that kind of experience as well as having in class discussions and being open, builds this, this community of trust to I felt that a lot and that I could talk to my classmates about whatever I was thinking or feeling, or whatever discussion that we were having. And I found that to be very important. I see a question in the chat about the open call program. So I can touch on it really quick. The open call program was well is it's still happening, although virtually now due to COVID. But it's an it's a community program, basically trying to tie the Michigan State University campus community to the East Lansing in Greater Lansing area community through programming that's all collaboration based. So my role there was to basically facilitate the the tie between the collaborator from our community and the museum professionals who are going to be working on the program. So it was all application based, we invited community members to tell us what they wanted to see. And then my job was to connect them with a museum professional. In some cases, it was our studio leader, Byrd, Ernests. And then in some cases, it was our lead of education Michelle word. And then we worked together to essentially create an event so that they could help lead it. So it was really cool. And I'll drop a link to the chat or in the chat, to the brokers website where you can find more information about

Unknown Speaker 37:35
it. That's the broad Museum at NSU. Because although we all know that there's a big bro Museum in LA, there actually is a is a hobby designed MSU Eli, broad Museum of Art, the contemporary art museum at MSU campus, and the overall program was part of the art lab across the street from from the museum, where we're now working on the open gold program.

Unknown Speaker 38:06
It's a

Unknown Speaker 38:10
luthier saying that the back end immersion museum professionals NYC would get together in your life at panels and lectures and live tweet continuing the conversation afterwards. It's super fun to meet people on Twitter and then later to see them face to face. I've known them for a while. And yeah, I mean, for sure that earlier in my attendance of, of these museum technology conferences, you know, there's sort of like these sort of Twitter rockstars that you know, of, and then like, Oh, I Hi. Hi, I met you through Twitter, right? How many times? Has anybody heard that at one of these conferences? Probably a few. Right. But to Julia's point about people being welcoming. There's some there's a great thing about these particular conferences is that they're they're kind of equalizers, right? It's like, you don't, you might think that somebody's title makes them so inaccessible, but people are still pretty accessible. Right? Yeah. So,

Unknown Speaker 39:12

Unknown Speaker 39:13
what and

Unknown Speaker 39:16
sharing the, you're saying that Instagram might be a good option, right. And, and, yeah, for sure, in terms of following museums, right. And it being more image based that's that's certainly something to consider. The, whereas the objective for this wasn't necessarily to connect to museums, it was to connect to the professionals in the field. And most of them that I know of, are on but they Converse a lot on Twitter, right? There is a community of people on Twitter, there probably is on Instagram as well. I'm just not a big hyper user of that platform, right. So, therein lies the the rub for The person who designed the course.

Unknown Speaker 40:07
And yeah, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 40:14
So I do you all think I mean that, that there's evidence to both? Yes and no. So I want to know from you all, do you think that like using Twitter is that an effective way to do that is an effective way to connect to professionals by by using Twitter, whether it's the way we used it? Or if there's another way to use it? Is this platform an effective way to connect with professionals?

Unknown Speaker 40:45
Emily said, I think so.

Unknown Speaker 40:51
Lucy talked about the museum, social media managers, Facebook group. Yep, that is a member of that is really super helpful for like working through the weeds of a lot of these platforms, right? This is a follow a lot of social media people in higher ed on Twitter, and it's one of those bright spots, right? Yeah, and thanks, Emily, for bringing that up. That it's like it's like bright spots, right? It's, it's these these places on Twitter, where you, you figure out where that community is. And and, and that's where you, that's where you converse with everybody. If you're talking about like a person eating like a personal digital strategy for yourself, right? Like, who are your audiences, you can often find them in different places, I often tell people that like I sort of fell into mine, right? Because I didn't really know about it. Until I found it. It was like, Oh, yeah, everybody's here. Right? But for people trying to figure out like, how they want to engage people through digital means it's, I think it's like, it's, well, it'd be useful thing to do that, like I so it's hard for me to when I don't work around that of getting people through personal digital strategy and digital presence work. And so that's the one thing right, like, well, I did this, I can't really tell you how to find your community, but they're probably somewhere. Right? And, and so you got to look for those kind of bright spots, right, those as is you're seeing me see, types of the platform is an effective way to connect to the pressures who use it, but obviously, not everyone uses it. Very good point. It's not everybody. Right? And some of us use it, but just lurk. Yeah, I'm, in fact, some of the, the the doing presence stuff that I worked on, we talked about using David White's model of visitor and resident. So like you can be you can be a visitor to a channel where you lurk, or you can be a resident where you're replying to things and posting a lot, right. But it doesn't mean you're not on the channel, it just means that you're a resident, you're not a visitor, or you're a visitor, you're not a resident, right.

Unknown Speaker 43:00

Unknown Speaker 43:02
yeah, and Phyllis says, she thinks so. Our music crowd is on Twitter. And it's sometimes the best way to connect, right? And Phil's because I know you think so cuz you're using it in your course. And this is also a place for a lot of people who share resources, best practices and adding all text as an example. Right? Sarah saying you really inspire this. Thank you, Sarah, particularly a point about developing tone and connecting people in the field during a pandemic chances especially connecting to professionals. I think social media platforms like Twitter really breaks the barrier between general folks and academic people, from my experiences, the professionals are all thrilled that someone read their work and followed what they're saying and is willing to engage in conversation. Yeah, I mean, we all know that everybody likes to talk about themselves, right? Uh, Dan, you're saying Max, would you say more about the students who were resistant to participating? I found that with my own students, concerns of privacy concerns of the tone on Twitter, how do you move beyond that?

Unknown Speaker 44:01

Unknown Speaker 44:04
You know, I everybody did do it. I was the way that I that I tried to do more carrot less stick, right? Like, I would say, Please, please do this. But then like, if somebody even, you know, some people give like really good complex kind of comments about things other people just say, okay, whenever this so I would maybe like reply to them be like, that's great. What, what more what, what specifically made you think about that, or like trying to dig in a little bit more, so that I'm interested in what they have to say, but getting them to kind of come out a little bit, a little bit more in in that discussion area. So that's like one thing. Consider privacy. I mean, yeah, that's that's the thing, though, the way that I didn't think of the privacy was that I asked everybody to, to create if they already had a channel and they wanted to use that channel. They can do that, or they can create a new channel. But the channel that we used had to be set to public, so that if they wanted to, for that channel, but if they wanted to tweet on, you know, their own channel, like that's protected. Absolutely. Right. But the the thoughts that were related to class are the only things that we'd be sharing there. But they had to be public so that everybody could see on the hashtag what their comments about those things were so that that it could keep discussion going. Right. But I was cognizant of not everybody wants to necessarily just put their own stuff there. So it was either you can use the one you already have, or you can create a new one, and then chuck it at the end, if you want. Like,

Unknown Speaker 45:44
we also have a question in the chat says, I'm curious if there's anything the students found on Museum, Twitter that surprised them or topics being discussed, or the ways that they were being talked about? I was surprised to see a lot of people just like, using memes and stuff. Like, that's not something I expected going into like a professional, professional sphere. And I mean, I think that really, I mean, that really goes to show you that there's humans behind the handles. And we all enjoy a good, a good funny, we all enjoy a good meal every now and again. So that's something that surprised me. Yeah, I didn't notice anything that was I felt particularly surprising. But I did find it refreshing when organizations were particularly open or particularly engaging. And that might be honestly such a no duh, but to someone who was new to Twitter, I was like, Oh, look at that. They're trying to, you know, they're engaging people, they're getting kind of trying to get conversation started. And I was surprised sometimes when I, when we did have a lot of conversation, start with Hello classmates, and it kind of just every now and then the ball would just get rolling. And it would just make me really excited for the next class. So that was definitely a plus, it's not something I expected being someone who is definitely more resistant at the beginning to use this platform.

Unknown Speaker 47:12
Yeah, that's something that I noticed during the course of it is that some of the few times it wasn't a lot, but it was a few. And when it did happen, I was just kind of thrilled because it was the students having the conversations on Twitter, right? Which, if you're talking about the way that museum professionals exist on Twitter, that's what we're doing. We're posting about interesting things, and then we're talking about them all the time. Right. So it was like, an ad, that wasn't something that I put a bed designed as part of the assignment. That was like an extra step. Right. So when that happened, it was just like, oh, that's that's fantastic. Right. But, you know, it didn't happen all the time. Right? So and, you know, looking at the survey, it's like, well, maybe there's ways to actually build that in more, right. So that's something that I might think about for the next iteration of the class. Right?

Unknown Speaker 48:05
Just another question that popped into, did you find that any of the discourse on Twitter challenged or contradicted what you had been learning in your coursework? I'm gonna have to get that thought for a second.

Unknown Speaker 48:25
I mean, if I did find anything challenged or contradicted, it must not have been significant enough to stick out in my head. Because I don't I don't remember anything in particular, I do remember having the conversation. And I can't I honestly can't recall if it was this class or not. But having the conversation about social media, from like an organization standpoint, and organizations that have handles for the organization instead of like, handles for the individuals within the organization. So for example, like when the museum is the name on the on the profile, instead of like, an education leader or something like that. We had a conversation about a get a conversation about how that can, I guess be kind of hokey, I don't remember the exact terminology we use, but it can. In some cases, it can increase the engagement with the community when you're able to like talk to the museum. But it's also it's not a representation of everybody within the museum. Because it's it's just one account. So there was a moment where, like, the organization itself is the Twitter but all the people behind it aren't having their say. And I don't remember If that was something I talked about in class, or if it was something I had talked about in some of my other graduate work, I think I think it's fun and fine to have, like, an organization face profile. The first one that comes to mind is the museum, I think Museum of English rural life. I think that's what it's called the moral and how that that account will interact with its community instead of having individuals interacting with the community. I'm not sure if any of that made sense.

Unknown Speaker 50:38
But, you know, honestly, if anybody did come back to me saying, I found this thing, and that's not that's counter to what we talked about in class, I would have loved that. Because I really gravitate towards things where it's like, here's some conventional knowledge. Now, let's do that. And so yeah, I don't remember anybody saying, like, wait, we talked about this way. And my hearing that like the, I think, you know, there's there's that thing about, you know, if you're a hammer, all you see is a nail. But I do think that like most of the time, people just found things that related to what we're discussing. Right. So that there really wasn't much the people I don't think I don't think I don't think people were purposely looking for things that countered what we were talking about. Right. So that would be part of that right? Study said, I would love that the students come back to me with the contradiction now. Anything above the competition? Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Like, any way that we can do that, I mean, there, there are times when I bring things to classes where I'm like, you know, conventional, here's the conventional, here's the way that's being shattered to the way that that's changing completely. here's, here's why that doesn't apply, right.

Unknown Speaker 51:56
And just because we didn't see contradiction on social media doesn't mean we didn't have rich discussion in class either, which might be a little bit of a no dub, but we definitely had some times where there are differing opinions in our own class discussion. And I think sometimes, at least for me, personally, if you're on social media, I don't engage in things that are contradictory. I just will see it every now and then I can't come up with a good example. At the moment, this is just very general. Um, so I think sometimes it's, it can feel a lot safer to talk to someone face to face about any kind of differences in our opinions, or questioning what we're learning. So building that kind of discussion in our, in our class, I think was really, really rich. And so when we were using social media, we were using it in a way to say so this is kind of what we talked about in class. And I guess we used it more in a positive light, it was more about, hey, class was really great today. And here's what I think. And here's why I was excited about it. More so than class really stunk like this was not fun. I don't think any of us really would want to put that on social media, even if we felt that way. That's just my personal opinion.

Unknown Speaker 53:10
Yeah, and I mean, that there's a there's a power demand bear for sure. where it's like, even if people didn't think that the that things were necessarily great to their liking in class, they weren't really sharing that. Right there. They were just sharing some reflection of what they experienced in terms of what we're talking about, or how you really, really how it related to content. So I, to that question that Andrea, that you had about trust, right? I don't I don't necessarily know if if students trusted me if they were like, Oh, that was awful. Right, to tweet about that. Right. I wouldn't have minded but as long as there was some sort of critical thought about like, what what about the content made made it particularly awful to you? Right? It's, that's, that's fine, right. But I don't I don't recall any. I mean, I, I do recall one student kind of challenging some things, but it was really about like, challenge challenging how we think about something, right? Not necessarily like, Oh, that was awful. It was well, we need to dig into this more. Right. So and, and this, this person would take that that stance, fairly often on Twitter, I'm like, Huh, that's neat. This This requires more thinking. Right? So there was there was that but there really wasn't like,

Unknown Speaker 54:45

Unknown Speaker 54:48
no, necessarily like, you know, feedback in terms of that during that conversation. And you know, people will also want to take a look, you can, you can see all of it is on that hashtag MSU underscore lm it's all there for everybody to see. Because like I said, they're all the cat becomes Republic. Yeah. Any other thoughts that anybody has? We have about five minutes left in the session. So I should just use Tick Tock. No. I think differently. But But I, for my own part, I was saying no, no. Yeah. And, and I, for us to be maybe in the closing question, like, what role? What role should social media play in connecting students? Right? Like, is, is that something that that should necessarily? I mean, like, I was a student said, Oh, thanks, Susan. I did bring in professionals through zoom starting class, or we visit people at different institutions when we could before COVID happened. So you know, there's that mode of connecting, right. But then there's the mode of connecting over social media, right? Is that something you necessarily think is is a an important thing to do?

Unknown Speaker 56:30
I think the most successful thing about the social media interplay with the class was that whether a discussion happened or not, there was still an open window for discussion. So for example, when you were saying the student that was challenging things after class on Twitter, if the discussion happened, they're great. If not, they had an outlet to talk about the things that they wanted to discuss or challenge. And I think that's a great thing to do. Because a lot of the time, once class ends, that's it, like you don't have a way to talk to your peers about what you just talked about. But Twitter gives them an end. And I thought that was the most successful part of it. Yeah, I really like the way that social media was an extension of the class, both in networking and connecting with credit professionals, as well, as Alli just said, talking to your fellow students some more. There were times like when you get to the end of the discussion, and you're like, hey, and I had one more comment. Um, so that was really nice. And yeah, so I think just this idea of using it as an extension to me personally, that is a definite plus.

Unknown Speaker 57:39
We just have a couple more minutes, but I, I know that time and time is winding down, you know. Thank you. So everybody, for joining us today to talk about all of this. Feel free to contact us. My handle is Candace nine four. Natalie's is Natalie Eileen Gentry. Julia's is JPS art historian. And feel free to use the hashtag for into this if you'd like. That's hashtag MSU underscore Li M. And we can continue the conversation about this on the MC on slack. Feel free to reach out to any of us on slack or are here on Twitter, because we're all there

Unknown Speaker 58:19

Unknown Speaker 58:21
And I look forward to seeing everybody throughout the rest of the conference. So thanks, everybody.