SJC Professor Receives Recognition for Success in Social Media

PATCHOGUE, N.Y – March 11, 2010 – Professor Thomas Whitby, English lecturer in the Department of Secondary Education at St. Joseph’s College, has been recognized by several organizations for his contributions to the education community on the social networking site Twitter. Mr. Whitby’s hash tag, #edchat, won an Edublog Award for the Most Influential Educational Series, and Mr. Whitby was personally ranked number one on the Lincoln Center Institute’s list of top 30 educators to follow on Twitter. 

Mr. Whitby began using Twitter in 2008, and has since gained a personal following of nearly 3,000 educators. In order to link individual tweets together into a coherent discussion, he created the hash tag, #edchat, where hundreds of educators from around the world participate in two weekly discussions on various topics relating to education. The relevance and popularity of the group earned #edchat an Edublog Award in 2009. The Edublog Awards are an international online awards program, held annually to recognize social media achievements in education. #Edchat was also featured in the February 2010 issue of T.H.E. Journal, a news magazine that highlights technology in education.

“Social Media is beginning to take hold in education,” said Mr. Whitby. “Being recognized for using it with other educators is a great honor. Enabling my students to develop Personal Learning Networks is taking them where they need to be in order to learn and compete in a digital, informational society.”

Mr. Whitby has been persistent in his efforts to promote the use of social media in the classroom. He appeared at the 140 Characters Conference in Los Angeles, California in October 2009, along with a panel of educators to discuss the effects of Twitter on the education system and is slated to present at the upcoming 140 Characters Conference in New York City in April 2010. Mr. Whitby was honored by the Lincoln Center Institute (LCI) as one of the top 30 educators to follow on Twitter for his strong web presence. LCI is the educational component of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and a global leader in education and the arts.

About St. Joseph's College

St. Joseph's College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the College provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility, and service. With campuses located in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn and in Patchogue, Long Island, the College offers degrees in more than 29 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs.

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