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York academic named in top 50 higher education social media users

Posted on 9 October 2015

A University of York archaeologist has been named one of the 50 most influential UK higher education professionals using social media by Jisc, an education and research charity.

Dr Sara Perry

Dr Sara Perry, Lecturer in Cultural Heritage Management in the Department of Archaeology, is among those demonstrating an outstanding case of social media use chosen by a panel of experts including Chris Parr, Social Media Editor for Times Higher Education, and Teacher Training Videos Founder Russell Stannard.

Dr Perry uses various social media channels to facilitate learning, including Google Hangouts to host lectures on heritage research and Twitter to field questions, which are then shared via a TAGS visualisation.

Using Pinterest for a curation module, she encourages students to find, collect and select ideas for museum exhibitions collaboratively and also asks students to blog and ’speak’ on behalf of items in an exhibition.

Another module looks at creating iPhone apps using application and programming tool, LiveCode, to get non-coding students creating social apps that support archaeology sites’ information needs. To communicate to large class sizes, Dr Perry also uses Google Groups to deliver MA lessons, engaging each student in lively debate. 

Dr Perry is one of the founders of Heritage Jam, a ‘hackathon’ community event for archaeologists, which recruits and disseminates the group’s work via Twitter and YouTube.

Dr Perry said: “I’m honoured to have been named alongside so many inspirational social media users in higher education. I’ve learned much from them myself, and especially from my colleagues on York’s IT Services team – particularly Tom Smith, who’s been integral in conceiving and implementing my initiatives. Social media applications allow knowledge-making to evolve in the most unexpected and complex of ways. This means that every encounter between me and my students is a truly exciting adventure in critical thinking and experimentation.”

Professor John Schofield, Head of Archaeology at the University of York, said: "This is a wonderful achievement, and richly deserved. Sara is one of the most innovative, creative and inspiring of teachers. This award is recognition of her significant contributions to teaching and learning to date."

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