2012 Conference Management & Professional Development

Education: Impacts and Transformations in the Social Media Era

Education: Impacts and Transformations in the Social Media Era
Martha Gabriel, Professor / writer, HSM Education

Martha Gabriel is an engineer, postgraduate in Marketing and Design, holds a Master’s Degree in Art and is pursuing a PhD in Art. She is a leader and professor of the Marketing MBA course at HSM Education, and the author of four books, including the best seller “Marketing in the Digital Age” (in Portuguese, Brazil). Gabriel has been a keynote speaker in multiple international conferences.  She is an artist frequently exhibiting internationally, and received an award at the Florence Biennale.

Ms. Gabriel delivered for our first session in the Management and Professional Development (MPD) track. Her energy and enthusiasm for social media, human interaction and education is evident, as well as her depth of knowledge.

Martha reminded the session attendees that “social media” has existed as long as humans have–the difference now is technology. And not just any technology: broadband. We’re able to be online now and share differently and with more people.

Her research revealed a couple of things that may be surprising.

  • Women speak more than men online. Ok, maybe not surprising :-)
  • Students fail to turn in assignments online. Of course, students also skip class in traditional settings.

The takeaway here is is that online behavior mirrors offline.

Martha also revealed that with broadband and the advent of online sharing tools/sites (what we call social media now), folks online may seem happy because of photos showing fun times, parties, etc. but depression rates are higher now because everyone wants to be popular.

All of this impacts how we approach online education.

The twitterverse’s take-aways from the session:


Although the impact of digital communications in education started in the 20th century, the scenario has become much more complex since the spread of the social networks websites and mobile technologies in society and university. While students have quickly and naturally embraced the new socio-technological environment, education institutions have struggled to keep up with them — we have 2.0 Students and need to become 2.0 Universities (including professors and staff). –Martha Gabriel


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