This isn’t my typical educational technology related post. I mean, it kind of is, but it really isn’t. I believe that we all learn and grow from experiences that happen both inside and outside of the classroom, so in essence, this post is about education and technology, but it’s also about more than that. It’s about a new opportunity, a new way to look at the things around me, a new way to approach literacy and how people interact with text, media and each other via social media.

This past week, I had my own opportunity to learn outside the classroom. A few months back, it was my good fortune to merge paths in the Twittersphere with @JGuyMAC, Director of Communications for the Mid-American Conference. Back in February, I was a guest of The University of Akron’s Men’s Basketball program at a pretty big game against Ohio University. The Zips had asked me to serve as a Social Media Correspondent on Social Media Day at the arena.

As a social media correspondent, two Zips fans will cover both the men’s and women’s games as members of the media, including insider access to pre and post game activities, media seating during the game and more.

It turned out to be a pretty sweet gig, and a pretty sweet game. I tweeted out game stats and updates, shared pictures of the game and in general, just learned a ton about college athletics from that experience. For example, before I met the Zips Dallas Moyer, I had no idea that Sports Information Director was a job that people had. It blew my mind. Now, I have a healthy appetite for watching sports of all types and have been a lifelong fan of all Cleveland sports teams, so I consider myself pretty sporting-literate, but I had no idea that SID was a career option! Needless to say, I learned a ton from my day with Dallas and the Zips. After the game, he said he had talked to the MAC communications guy who had mentioned he might be looking for help at the annual conference basketball tournament in Cleveland.

So here’s where we get back to Jeremy. He ended up contacting me through Twitter and asking if I might be interested in volunteering to help with social media at the tournament. I said yes, told him I had a few ideas and then put together this document for him. Probably overkill, but hey, I’m an enthusiastic guy! The main plan was to provide MAC fans with an all-access look into the games, to elevate the fan experience beyond what they may see on TV or what they see from their spot in the stands. I put together my social media toolkit and went to work. It was a long four days, but no where close to what some of the people from the MAC put in to make the tournament a success. It really is a detailed event. Kudos to Jeremy Guy and all the people in the MAC offices for an outstanding job.

So, by this point you may not even be reading, and if you are, you’re probably asking yourself, just what does this social media enhanced fan experience look like? Well, for that I’m using to share. Take a look at some of the cool things I got to be a part of yesterday at the MAC Championship Game between my Akron Zips and the Ohio Bobcats! I was able to use a variety of iPhone apps to bring live coverage of the tournament games to MAC fans via social media. Some things I tried worked well, others were only so-so. In the end, I think I may have helped contribute to a emerging field within the sports entertainment industry. I want to thank the Mid-American Conference and Jeremy Guy for the opportunity to contribute to their tournament and I’m looking forward to partnering with the MAC again in the future for related endeavors.