The Syracuse Post-Standard featured a video of Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) Professor of Practice Anthony Rotolo’s use of social media within the classroom.

“I’m using social media in the classroom to try to mirror the real world as much as I can within the learning environment,” Rotolo said. “As we see information users adopting practices of two-way communication and two-way exchanges, remixing information and forwarding that on to their own audiences, I’m trying to make classroom discussion resemble that.”

Rotolo, who teaches IST486/686 Social Media in the Enterprise, uses social media in to incorporate the people and companies he is lecturing about into the conversation by setting up a Twitter feed accessible to anyone who wants to follow it.

“When I use a Twitter feed on screen, what I’m trying to do is create an opportunity for students to create a back channel discussion during lecture,” he said, “but also to allow their thoughts to spread online to a broader audience, and that audience often joins us in the conversation.”

Back channel discussion also helps in Rotolo ‘s IST 400/600 Star Trek in the Information Age. Students can’t talk or exchange audible thoughts while watching the movie together, but they can tweet thoughts while the lights are dimmed and the sound is on.

The students also use blogging in both classes to further class discussions and bring in additional material they could not share in class.

“In the time between lectures where students are able to synthesize what they heard in the classroom, look up more information, share new resources, comment on what each other is sharing,” he said, “is the moment it comes together in my classes.”

Rotolo holds a B.S. in Information Management and Technology and a M.S. in Information Management, both from the Syracuse University iSchool. In May 2009, he received the iSchool Outstanding Adjunct Faculty of the Year Award, and in December, he received the Web-based Information Science Education Consortium’s 2009 Excellence in Online Education Award. He is also the co-founder of, a creative agency specializing in social media, animation, and interactive content.