“The use of blogs and other social media tools has become increasingly popular, and in some cases a prerequisite, in both academic and work settings.”
-Maya Kohli for Tufts University
A recent study released by Faculty Focus, an online tool for higher education employees, showed that college professors and teachers are using new forms of social media to communicate with students.
The survey, which particularly stated one-third of higher education professionals use Twitter to communicate with students and as a classroom educational tool, illustrates another step forward into future media. According to Kohli of Tufts University, the integration of social media into academics is because in a short time, social media will be expected of candidates to be hired in the current job market.
Specifically at Tufts University, professors have incorporated blogs into classwork (much like this blog did at Shippensburg University) and have required students to create their own and read classmate blogs. The focus, again like this blog, is to provide interesting links to Web sites and videos that would supplement class readings and concepts.
Julie Dobrow, the director of the Communications and Media Studies program at Tufts, believes that in order for students to analyze new and emerging media, they need engage in it. She said not only do students need to read and understand it, but they need to know how to be producers of new media.
However, this just isn’t something that is present at Tufts University and no where else. Business schools such as Harvard Business School, UPenn’s Wharton School and MIT’s Sloan School of Management have begun incorporating social media into their curricula. Other teachers and professors across the nation have jumped on the bandwagon as well as they tend to believe most of the content that will be written with students’ future jobs will be online.
Furthermore, the work is not just in blogs, as Twitter and Facebook are being taught to students as an effective tool to keep the public in the loop about headlines and key news events. ESPN.com journalist Maria Ortiz said, “In journalism if you don’t know how to use Twitter or how to blog or promote things on Facebook, you will be behind everyone else.”
The future of media literacy starts here as colleges are making steps to new media by teaching those who will be working in the media. Perhaps this will be a jumping-off point for other educators to follow trickling down to high schools, middles schools and elementary schools?