Most people utilize various social media sites several times a day. Some use Facebook to interact with their family and friends while others check Twitter for current news stories. However, there is an educational component to most social media sites that many people may not realize.
Last week, Skype released a program called Skype in the Classroom, which permits teachers from around the world to connect with each other. They will be able to exchange information and to search for resources based on the age groups and subjects they teach. This program will allow teachers to introduce a global perspective to students at a younger age.
Businesses should also have their hand on the pulse of social media. To fulfill this initiative, some companies like Sprint Nextel Corp. and Mattel Inc. have created college classes and graduate-level research projects to develop social media campaigns. Sprint partnered with Emerson College in Boston to offer students an online marketing class in which they received smart phones with unlimited wireless access. Students were then required to tweet, post on Facebook, blog, and create Youtube videos to promote the launch of Sprint’s 4G network in Boston. Most professors feel it is a win-win situation for students who are learning and businesses who are becoming more active in the social media word.
Social media has been tied to only certain majors, like Public Relations, but it is quickly becoming important for any young professional to understand. Business models and communications plans are evolving to include a social media component that will be measured in a final evaluation. It is a positive development that websites like Skype and Twitter are beginning to be taught in the younger years of school. Similarly, colleges should be offering classes in social media that are open to all students. Our culture is changing, so we must adapt to this new world that relies heavily on technology and social media.
Do you think social media should be taught in elementary and secondary schools? Have you taken a social media course at your school or university? What was your opinion of it?
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Alex Crispino.