The cultural foundations of education are daily underpinnings of my professional existence in higher education. I am constantly reminded in research, for my job in administration and as a graduate student, of the need for ethically generated empiricism. My meaning making has come in large part from my experience in new media communication in education at Texas Tech University, where I gained a greater understanding of the world and a foundation upon which my interest in Educational Psychology is built. Research and teaching are the crossroads at which Educational Psychology exists. Great scholar-researchers in the field understand that this is a very fluid area of study, rich with opportunities to glean context and insight in every interaction.
I chose to study New Media Communication in Education for my Master of Science degree because upon completion of my undergraduate studies in advertising, I was seeking a bridge of understanding in regards to the connectedness of new media’s role in education. By expanding my horizons through coursework in EPSY and EDIT, I was able to gain great focus on a research agenda that concentrates on generating research for the psychological effects of new media on teachers and students, and how these areas work together to better pedagogy and instruction. My graduate studies generated great intellectual enthusiasm and furthered my academic curiosity to learn more about Educational Psychology, and how increasingly important this discipline is, as higher education moves down the information superhighway at a speed heretofore unimaginable.
I have been working in administration at TTU since 2008, and I will begin my EPSY doctoral studies this fall, where my study of expertise will be New Media Communication in Education. Now, in the final semester of my master’s studies, I am participating in a public relations and social media course in which I will offer insight into social media tools and tactics within the higher education community, and how social media is affecting, maintaining, and enhancing brand communication and PR efforts of institutions of higher learning. I will document my findings here on my blog, and will also evaluate each of the social media sites on which Texas Tech University is currently connected.
To begin, I would like to briefly discuss how TTU is using social media to build sustainable relationships with publics, enhance the market position among higher education institutions, and ensure a consistent Texas Tech brand experience. TTU has established an official “Platform for Defining our Identity and Positioning the Texas Tech Brand” to ensure brand consistency by seamlessly integrating the brand image, message, and identity across all PR, communications, and marketing efforts (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/communications/identityguidelines/brand.php). As social media continues to evolve, it provides new, unique opportunities for institutions of higher learning to integrate, engage, and connect with prospects, customers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders. In order to increase awareness, involvement, and loyalty, it is vitally important for colleges and universities to strategically participate in social media to build valuable relationships with internal and external publics by incorporating effective two-way communication.