Excuse the interruption, but I'd doing a little crowdsource experiment and am interested in getting any comments you have.
We are busy doing some "updates" to my home department, the History Department at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Like a lot of departments, we're trying to figure out how best to communicate with our students. In our case, it's more difficult than it might be in some others, as we have students ranging in age from 18 to 70, most of whom work a lot (a large number full time). Some of them take classes in the daytime, some in the evening, some on Saturdays. We also have nearly 300 history majors, a lot for a busy regular faculty of 8 members to keep up with. We have some students living on campus, but the majority of our students, I believe, are commuters. Even the students living on campus spend a lot of time away from school working.
I've created a blog for my Department, and am very interested especially in hearing from anybody who has used blogs/FB/twitter or whatever to communicate with students in your history/religious studies/American Studies/English/whatever departments. My thought was this would take the place of a departmental "newsletter," or maybe be in addition to that.
But truthfully I'm not sure how much students read blogs at all, never mind when it's not assigned reading. John Fea, whose history department at Messiah College has a nice blog of its own, already has told me that nearly all of his students "get" the blog through their facebook feeds. I don't doubt some of our students would do that, but a lot of our older students don't use facebook.
Anyway, feel free to give the UCCS History Department blog experiment a quick look, and let me know if you have any reactions or what your experiences have been using any kind of social media in your own departmental setting.
Now, with apologies for the interruption, back to our regularly scheduled programming.