News You Can Use

eLearn Magazine: A Recap of the 18th Annual Sloan Consortium Conference on Online Learning


New Issue of JALN released, featuring 2011 Best in Track Award Winners.


Creating an Institutional Culture that Embraces Accessibility and Supports Online Student Success  - By Kristen Betts, Director of Online and Blended Learning, Armstrong Atlantic State University. Kristen Betts will be presenting “From Compliance to Culture: Building an Effective Infrastructure to Support Accessibility and Online Student Success” on October 11, 2012.


Online and On the Move - By Emily Boles, Senior Instructional Developer, University of Illinois, Springfield. Ray Schroeder will be presenting "Online and On the Move: Mobile Online Learning" on October 10, 2012.

Conference News

Today's Campus Highlights Sloan-C Annual Conference in Nov-Dec Issue

Missed the event? Purchase the full set of recordings now – 65+ sessions for just $119!

Download the Proceedings

View the pictures of the conference

Watch the keynote and plenary recordings:

Keynote Address: Democratizing Higher Education
Sebastian Thrun, VP & Fellow Google

Plenary Panel: Evolution or Revolution? What's Happening with Traditional Online Learning?
Jeff Young (The Chronicle of Higher Education, US) - Panel Moderator
Jose Cruz (The Education Trust, US)
Alan Drimmer (University of Phoenix, US)
Jack Wilson (University of Massachusetts, US)

Plenary Address: Citizen Science - Authentic Participation in Research
Arfon Smith (Citizen Science-Adler Planetarium, US)

Press Release: October 9, 2012
Sonic Foundry Partners with the Sloan Consortium to Webcast International Conference on Online Learning

Best in Track Awards Winners Announced. Read the Press Release.

Call for Presentations for the 2013 conference will open in February 2013.

Check out last year's conference.


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Save the Dates

22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Online Identity Crisis of the Modern Educator: Managing Multiple Social Networking Accounts

Melissa Venable (OnlineCollege[dot]org, US)
Session Information
October 11, 2012 - 4:30pm
Faculty and Professional Development & Support
Areas of Special Interest: 
Practical Application
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Social Networking
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Poster Session
Northern Hemisphere B/C/D
Session Duration: 
90 Minutes

Managing multiple social networking accounts as an educator with personal and professional communication in mind.

Extended Abstract

Social networking sites are making it easier than ever for online instructors to connect with both peers and students online, but not all platforms and accounts are ideal for this kind of interaction. Educators may encounter questions and concerns about how to proceed with both personal and professional communication via social media. The desire for some level of privacy must be balanced with the growing need for the development of a professional digital identity. Separating communication with friends and family from that with colleagues and students can be challenging (Young, 2011).

As an online instructor and education blogger, the presenter has faced many decisions related to public-facing social media and tried several approaches to managing multiple social networking accounts, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and other online community memberships. She will provide her reflections on two different approaches to social media: (1) accounts presenting personal or professional information only - including maintaining two separate accounts, one personal and one professional, in the same system, and (2) accounts that present a mix of personal and professional information. The advantages and disadvantages of each approach will be outlined along with additional examples from other educators.

An organized and purposeful approach is recommended in which the educator makes strategic plans and decisions for the use of a particular account or platform before engaging with peers and students. Considerations in this planning include: audience - who you networking with; message - what you have to say and share; and content - topics, types of materials, and tone or "tweeting style" (Mollett, Moran, & Dunleavy, 2011).

The objectives of this presentation include: (a) compare different approaches to the management of social media accounts, (b) provide a checklist of considerations to prepare for social media engagement, (c) present resources and examples of social networking for educational purposes, and (d) provide practical advice for participating in social networking systems.

Session attendees will be asked to share their concerns, experiences, and recommendations as they relate to managing multiple social networking accounts. Attendees will also be encouraged to participate in session and conference backchannel communication through the use of Twitter and designated hashtags.


Mollett, A., Moran, D., & Dunleavy, P. (2011). Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities: A guide for academics and researchers. London School of Economics Public Policy Group. Retrieved from

Young, J.R. (2011, June 19). Academics and colleges split their personalities for social media. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from

Lead Presenter

Melissa A. Venable is an Education Writer for where she authors the Inside Online Learning blog ( Her background includes work in higher education – private, public, and for-profit – as an instructional designer and curriculum developer. Melissa is also an experienced instructor, academic advisor, and career counselor working with both undergraduate and graduate students. She earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction - Instructional Technology from the University of South Florida. Melissa also writes a personal blog for instructional designers: Design Doc (