Jason Williams

Category: Anglia Learning & Teaching

15 February 2018

Jason Williams and Mark Warnes attended the Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference hosted by Sheffield Hallam University. They spoke about their online courses, 5 Minutes of Digital Literacy and 10 Days of Twitter.

On Tuesday 19 December 2017, we (Jason Williams and Mark Warnes) gave a presentation entitled Developing Successful Online Digital Media Courses, at the 2017 Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference at Sheffield Hallam University.

Screen showing tweets about conference

The morning was comprised of a BYOC (Build Your Own Conference) where delegates voted on sessions that had been previously submitted or suggested on the day. Sessions were then allocated to suitably sized rooms based on a ‘show-of-hands’ popularity poll.

Board with post-it notes at conference

Our session ran from 13.35 to 14.05 and we were nervous as we were following the headline act, Sue Beckingham and her students, who described their project, A Student-Led Approach to Using Social Media for Academic Studies. Then we realised that our presentation was being live-streamed via YouTube on the SocMedHE channel (although the recording has not yet been uploaded) and we were even more nervous!

I (Mark) opened our session with a run-through of the history of Ten Days of Twitter from its introduction at Anglia Ruskin University by Dr Helen Webster in November 2013 to the introduction of micro-credentialing (i.e. awarding Digital Badges) in 2017.

Digital badge for ten days of Twitter

Ten Days of Twitter or #ARU10DoT is an online course which, in 10 minutes a day over 10 (working) days, gets you tweeting and building up your professional network.

From March 2017, participants have been able to qualify for a Digital Badge upon completion of all ten daily tasks – which involve posting something either on Twitter or the blog. Digital Badges proved so popular that previous participants repeated the course just to get a badge!

Jason then spoke about 5 Minutes of Digital Literacy, a blog-based course that reached, at one point, just over 400 people. It provides bite-sized pieces of staff development on a plethora of digital literacy addressing subjects. A number of people approached us after the talks, and I remember someone saying that they couldn’t wait to get back to their university to try out a similar sort of blog-based course – lots of positivity in the room.

Later that day we both enjoyed the talk from a representative from the Open University, who told us about the successes they had had employing Facebook to teach. They use Facebook Live along with Broadcast Studio (which is a free software) to serve information to over a thousand students at a time. It reminded us that Facebook is increasingly being used for educational purposes. We both felt that we should investigate this more within AL&T, to create our own Facebook page and test the live streaming. It also embeds easily into Canvas and offers excellent statistics.

All in all an excellent day, though we were saddened to discover that this was the last one they will run.


Members of our audience live-tweeted our session to the conference hashtag (#SocMedHE17) which was captured using Storify.

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Keep an eye out for the next iterations of 5 Minutes of Digital Literacy and 10 Days of Twitter.

Details of both courses, and our other online learning opportunities can be found on our website.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.