McGraw-Hill Brings Together Social Media and Education Experts to Discuss the Future of Social Media in Higher Education

Experts Underscore the Need for Social Media in the Classroom and Beyond

Feb 11, 2010, 14:35 ET from McGraw-Hill Education

NEW YORK, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- McGraw-Hill Education hosted a panel discussion as part of Social Media Week New York titled, "The Future of Social Media in Higher Education." Students, academics and social media experts shared their thoughts on how social media is changing the way students learn, instructors teach and institutions adapt to innovation. To view pictures, videos and quotes from the discussion, visit:  

The following themes, issues and trends were discussed at length, indicating the role of social media today in the higher education classroom and its future potential:

  • Geo-tagging will be a powerful tool for higher education as it can be used to target locations and get information about those locations, whether students are working on sociology, science, etc. Adam Ostrow, editor in chief of, cited FourSquare's partnership with Harvard University as an example.

  • The Apple iPad will have a significant impact in the education market by giving students the ability to have all their textbooks and notes on one device coupled with social media and collaborative capabilities.

  • The "smudging" of technologies: Augmented reality, mobile computing and crowdsourcing. Collaboration will turn into a mix between online and offline environments through augmented reality, mobility and the ability to bring in the wisdom of crowdsourcing with physical environments. Vineet Madam of McGraw-Hill Education said, "We need to develop the educational analog of these technologies to deepen engagements among college students."

  • Social media can help solve the student engagement crisis. Of the more than 20 million higher education learners, more than half will not earn a degree within 6 years. The reason most cited for this is lack of engagement. Social media has an opportunity to engage students in a manner that not only compatible with the way students already communicate with their peers, but can foster more open, collaborative conversations between students and instructors.

  • In order for both students and instructors to engage in social media, there needs to be a level of incentive. In terms of student incentives, McGraw-Hill is experimenting with status, reviews and rewards models, similar to those used by Amazon and eBay. is leading this charge with its Status Badges for top contributors to its site.

"This panel not only brought together intelligent, innovative minds from across a variety of industries, including education, publishing, marketing, technology and journalism, it also captured the spirit of collaborative learning," said Dr. Kathleen P. King, a panelist and professor at Fordham University and president of Transformation Education LLC. "Even after the panel discussion was complete our in-depth conversation continued through the very social media channels we prescribed during the discussion for the education community. This panel vividly revealed the engagement that social media can inspire and the manner in which it can be utilized for conferences, education and even professional learning."

Other panelists included:

  • Adam Ostrow, editor in chief of
  • Greg Verdino, VP of strategy and solutions at Powered and author of microMARKETING
  • Mary Casey, NYU student and founder of
  • Vineet Madan, VP of strategy and business development at McGraw-Hill Education
  • Yianni Garcia (moderator), marketing specialist at, McGraw-Hill Education

The event was held on Friday, February 5th at The McGraw-Hill Companies Building, 1221 Avenue of the Americas For images, videos and quotes visit You can also track the ongoing discussion search #smwmcgraw on Twitter.

About GradeGuru, a McGraw-Hill Higher Education startup, is a knowledge sharing network where college students can share their course notes, find relevant study materials, build their academic reputations and earn rewards for helping their peers. Students can connect with the academic "Gurus" at their schools through university specific pages to improve their own study methods and find ideas and inspiration. Note contributors are rewarded for sharing based on how many students use their notes and the quality of the notes as determined by peer-ratings – they receive points which can be exchanged for cash and gift cards and determine their status in the community.

About McGraw-Hill Higher Education

McGraw-Hill Higher Education, part of McGraw-Hill Education, is a premier provider of teaching and learning solutions for 21st century post-secondary and higher education markets worldwide. Through a comprehensive range of traditional and digital education content and tools, McGraw-Hill Higher Education empowers educators and prepares professionals and students of all ages to connect, learn and succeed in the global economy. McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), has offices in 33 countries and publishes in more than 65 languages. Additional information is available at

SOURCE McGraw-Hill Education