Social Media in the Classroom
With social media becoming
an essential part of corporate
there is no question that social media use
should also be taught in the classroom.
It is quite normal to hear a professor ask
students to put away their phones or to
exit out of their social media, but asking
students to take out their phones or log in
to their social media profiles could easily
become a normal classroom activity.
Service learning classes, such as advertising
and public relations campaigns
classes, also force students to address and
use social media for their clients. There
are even opportunities for students to use
social media to interact with their classmates.
"I'm in a service learning class
taught by Professor Karen Mallia, and
she encouraged us to make a Facebook
group for our year-long group project.
It's been the best way to stay in touch because,
let's face it, college students check
Facebook incessantly," said Haley Rabic,
a sophomore public relations major.
"There is still a lot to learn; no one
really knows social media," said senior
instructor Doug Fisher. "Over the next
era or ten years, we are going to see even
more of an evolution of social media."
Fisher incorporates social media learning
into all of his classes and teaches aMaymester course called "Creating and
Maintaining an Online Community"
that is solely focused on social media.
Fisher recognized early on that the news
wire was pretty much the beginning of
social media. He started teaching about
texting in the classroom when he found
that one South Carolina newspaper
would sometimes send out text messages
when a main story was filed. "I figured
that if editors are going to start having
to deal with that, I might as well start
teaching it," Fisher said.
Social media has evolved so much that
it has created a new line of work. Many
companies and organizations have positions
strictly for managing social media.
"Social media is extremely important, not
just in journalism but in every field, because
it is affecting everyone," said Mandi Engram. A 2003 public relations graduate,
Engram holds the newly created
position of social media strategist for the
University of South Carolina. She is also
a founding member of the Social Media
Club of Columbia. "A lot of employers
are expecting young people, who are
text heavy and right out of school, to
be social media savvy just because they
maintained a personal presence online,"
said Engram. But that doesn't necessarily
say that they have experience from an
Reprinted from InterCom, the college alumni magazine
Story By: Adam Knight & Design
By: James Chamberlain