I am amazed on how Twitter and other social media web sites are becoming so engrained into our personal and professional lives! It is all very fast paced but very exciting all at the same time. 🙂 With these new technologies of course comes with a lot of learning and figuring out how things operate. I have to admit, I am just a recent Twitter person, but so far it has been definitely a learning experience.
There are many ways to incorporate Twitter into a person’s daily life. From announcing a sale at their favorite store to their friends to discussing book projects for Psychology or USC football (Mom) or “followers” to sharing a fabulous new recipe (Dad has done this on his twitter site! Very strategic Dad!) 🙂 There are some great applications for Twitter that can be used as well– check them out! 🙂
Others have a Twitter account for their class, like we have at the University of Tennessee. Yes, we have a Twitter account for one of our PR classes, and it can be very helpful for students for many reasons. Here are some of the best practices that educators and PR professionals can use to implement Twitter into the Classroom with their students:
1. Allows interaction with students in a whole new medium: Students today are more online and are networking via Facebook, Twitter, and other online sources more than ever. One of the goals of PR professionals teaching is to create discussion and interaction with their students, and Twitter allows that to happen. Twitter can be used to announce what chapters and readings to be done before the next class, or to share articles that are relevant to the class while encouraging the students to discuss all of these topics via Twitter. 🙂
2. Builds the professor’s and class reputation at the university. Like PR professionals, professors do have reputations to maintain. Since PR is a field that incorporates new technology constantly into their communication messages, it is vital that the professor needs to also stay up to date or even ahead of the latest communication and technology trends to be best prepared for their students. If the professor is known for being up-to-date with the latest technologies, students will be more respectful and feel like they are really getting a lot out of the class.
3. A strategic move to incorporate PR practitioner practices (ex. applied PR) into education (theoretical). There is a divide between theory-based programs and applied-based PR programs in the United States, and incorporating new technologies into the classroom will create a bridge between these two paradigms of thought. For example, there is a theoretical background on communication that can be implemented when discussing the effect that social media has on students and in Public Relations, and it can be applied in various ways. It is a perfect balance to have both researchers and practitioners in Public Relations to come together on a common area to provide the best insights and information for their students.
New technologies and social media like Twitter is very exciting, and it is changing the field of PR rapidly– it is going to be exciting to see it all happen. 🙂 Hope you all are having a great day! 🙂