Social media and networking sites are becoming a huge part of our popular culture. Case in point, just have a read at the lyrics to “Now Generation” by the Black Eyed Peas:
“Myspace in your space. Facebook is a new place. Dip divin’ socializin’. I’ll be out in cyber space. Google is my professor. Wikipedia checker. Checkin’ my account. Loggin’ in and loggin’ out.”
And now, social networking sites are entering mainstream education. An Australian college, Griffith University, is now requiring that all journalism students take a course on Twitter education. The course will focus on proper Twitter writing practices and delivering as much information as possible in only 180 characters.
Students are divided on this new requirement. Some find it to be interesting because they do not understand Twitter and think it will be an important future tool in their industry. Others think the class will be a waste of time because most students already know how to use the social networking site.
I am an advertising student and my professors are constantly mentioning social networking sites as tools for promoting our products and clients, as well as a way to advertise ourselves. With journalism schools and journalism majors on the rise, who knows what the future will hold?
Perhaps schools in the U.S. will also start to offer Twitter classes. But why not Facebook or MySpace? What is so special about Twitter? Officials at Griffith University claim there is a high demand for employees who are well-versed in social networking, and highlighted Twitter’s importance in global events like the Iran elections earlier this year as part of the appeal.
No matter which website you prefer, keep an eye out for an increased use of social networking sites as a new form of journalism and a few new courses in your syllabus.