Last week, I had the privilege of teaching a new class about social media for journalism and other communications students at The University of Southern Mississippi, and I was thrilled that the Hattiesburg American decided to do a front-page story about our class.
The class has been in my mind for a while, and I was delighted to get to teach it as a mini-session — during the holiday break. My goal with the class was to show students that social media — Twitter, FourSquare, Linked In, Instagram, Pinterest — are not just for fun. I taught the student how to create their own online identity that supports their career goals and then how to incorporate that identity in their social media use.
So for future reporters, the idea was to use social media to gain a following and an audience for their work. Photography students learned how to connect with others in their field and showcase their own art. Marketing and public relations students got practice tracking a brand and finding what is said about it, and learning how to manage that conversation.
All the students learned to use a variety of social media, as well as to set up a personal blog and take advantage of search-engine optimization techniques. They also participated in a Twitter chat and learned about how online communication differs from face to face.
The class was 8 hours daily for 5 days straight. It was intense, but I had a blast. I think many of the students did, too. I cannot wait to teach it again.