As I am gearing up to teach social media class for the second time in the spring semester, I found this article very insightful and inspiring. (Last year’s class site is here.)
This article confirms my intention to go beyond teaching students social media tools and focus more on conceptual fundamentals, data mining and research (as the author suggested), strategies and measurement. Legal and ethical issues also need to be addressed.
I have a few suggestions I’d like to add to the list. First, I think social media teachers MUST also be avid social media users and producers. They need to keep abreast of latest developments, learn and try up-and-coming tools, and must be present on social media platforms continuously. They must blog, know how to use different social media platforms themselves and use them regularly (I have to admit I am guilty of that myself!). This is a time-consuming and, at times, overwhelming job that requires them to be online (or check their smartphone) almost 24-7. But at the end of the semester it will be all worth it when students (I hope!) tell their professors how much they have learned.
Another suggestion I’d like to add is, because social media communication has impacts on or implications to various aspects of businesses, professions, and even ways we communicate, it’s always helpful to have guest speakers (in person or via video-conference) to share their social media expertise and insights in different areas they practice.