The Chair of Governors at Writtle College has been named a top social media user in a national competition by Jisc, the not-for-profit digital solutions organisation for further, higher education and skills. Julia was announced as one of the most influential professionals in further education (FE) and skills for using social media to enhance learning and teaching in their organisation.
Julia (@tessmaths) has been the Chair of the Board of Governors at Writtle College since May 2015 and a Governor at Writtle since 2010. She is also a teacher trainer, maths specialist and maths author. She regularly tweets about both governance and maths issues.
Tom Mitchell, Jisc group social media manager, said: “We launched this initiative to capture and celebrate the countless examples of FE and skills professionals using social media to excellent effect, and to highlight their practice to inspire others.
“The wealth and quality of entries we received are evident of the myriad of ways that people in the sector are harnessing social media to deliver innovative learning experiences. Everyone in the top 50 should be commended for their work and I’d like to congratulation them all.”
To qualify for the list, entrants needed to show how they had used social media to:
• Address a specific need or challenge
• Have a positive impact at your institution or on the wider community
• Overcome any barriers in learning, teaching or research
• Create efficiencies such as costs, time savings or improved outputs
• Implement best practice
The final line-up was then chosen by a panel of social media experts, including former principal education adviser and chair of the Government’s computing expert group, Bob Harrison, Times Educational Supplement’s award-winning FE editor, Stephen Exley, and James Clay and Sarah Knight from Jisc.
Julia said: “I am honoured to be recognised in this way simply for something I love to do. Being part of a vibrant Twitter education community has been the best form of professional development ever. Being a rabid tweeter, for me social media embraces and develops FE networks, develops my passion for maths education in particular, allows me to show off about Writtle College and it levels everyone. One minute I'm talking to a student, next to Mary Beard - Britain's best-known classicist, or Geoff Petty - one of Britain’s leading experts on teaching methods. Twitter creates such great connections that it is tough to ignore.”
Photograph: Julia Smith with the Principal of Writtle College, Dr Stephen Waite