Tools, not Toys: Teaching Practical Social Media Use in Journalism and Beyond

Does the seeming social media savvy of your students leave you wondering how you can teach these people? While your students may log on to Facebook every hour, few have given thought to applying that experience to practical ends. A successful educator can show students how to link the ideas behind social media with existing fundamentals. This session will address the challenges of incorporating social media into a journalistic curriculum (but all are welcome), whether at the high school or college level. Several concrete examples of teaching exercises will be explored that will help you get your students (or yourself) using common social media apps for much more than entertainment.

Bob Britten is an assistant professor at the P.I. Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University. He developed and teaches the school?s new course on blogging and interactive journalism, and he credits PodCamp 2009 with helping him get that particular ball rolling. You can check out the Spring 2010 course blog at Bob’s personal blog, which is badly in need of an update thanks to his being a new father, is at, and you can find him on Twitter at @thebobthe.

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