AEJMC: Teaching social media in the classroom

At the AEJMC conference, Serena Carpenter of Arizona State talked about her experiences in teaching social media.

She only spends between 6 to 8 hours teaching social media but tries to weave it into other parts of the course. Her main areas of focus are blogging, Twitter and reputation management.

Carpenter said students tend to treat all social media like Facebook, so it is important to teach them the different norms and practices on different social media services.

One of the ways she encourages student discussion is by using CoveritLive when she brings in a speaker.

Among her teaching ideas:

  • Create a Facebook album cover using Photoshop
  • Find a story and source via social media
  • Twitter list
  • Twitpic contest

She asks students to consider why they are using social media. Students have to name goals for their use of social media and then consider which are the most appropriate platforms and services.

Carpenter also has students Google themselves to research their online identity. She has found students are encouraged to adopt social media when they see themselves appear high up on Google.

Students have to write a reflection paper on their participation in social media.  By the end of the class, students are talking about how they have to participate online or they don’t exist.

Carpenter is going to incorporate social media into her teaching methods by creating a Facebook page on her course and posting due dates and handouts.