One of the joys of More With Les is the collaboration with so many good thinkers out there. One of the best is my friend Bill Sledzik, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University. Bill’s insightful blog, ToughSledding, carries a recent post, “Bringing Market Realities to the PR Classroom”, on how his department is weaving social media into traditional studies. As Bill points out, social media changes by the second, so how can anyone keep up enough to teach this stuff? Yet, we must. Here’s how Bill states the challenge we face:
“Here at Kent State, we’re studying the morphing business of public relations, and we’re looking closely at PR’s intersection with social media. We’re NOT rewriting the curriculum, mind you. But we’re constantly rethinking and adjusting it to fit market realities.
To serve our students and the profession, educators in PR can no longer assume a traditional role of “observer/researcher.” There isn’t time. We need to bring the changes to our classrooms almost as they unfold. As a result, we sometimes find ourselves learning and teaching simultaneously. There’s no “comfort zone” in our little niche of academe anymore — not if you’re doing your job.”
I couldn’t agree more. I suggest you check out the rest of Bill’s posting in his blog. It’s a good overview of a workable approach to teaching and learning social media. Lead on, Bill.