CollegeJourn has posted a wrap-up of its “Bring a Professor” chat. The chat discussed ways to help prepare students for journalism careers.
What was the most surprising thing about the list? Many of the things on the list aren’t hard to do and don’t cost money. What they do require is a professor who is willing to learn new skills and think about journalism in a different way.
Requiring Twitter in a class is free. Having a teacher who can show students how to use Twitter and where to learn about Twitter is the difficult part.
Having students keep blogs is free. But having a teacher who knows how to blog and how to monitor and critique the blogs takes time. The professor needs to keep a blog himself/herself and follow blogs.
The simple fact of the matter is, in my experiece, many professors don’t know how to use Twitter, have never been on Facebook or My Space, and don’t know about blogging. Many want to learn, but don’t have a clue about where to start.
If we are going to help our students, we teachers have to help ourselves. Ideally, one can find a colleague or training session to show the way, but if not, here are some good places to start:
Save the Media: Gina Chen provides basic, clear directions on how to use Twitter, blogs and other social media to do journalism. Her site helped me figure out Twitter. I use her tips in my journalism classes all the time.
Problogger: Darren Rowse’s site gives practical advice on everything from blogging tips for beginners to making money from blogs.
News University: The Poynter Institute offers online courses–many for free. You just have to sign up. I’ve taken several of them, and they are fabulous.