Social media becomes a learning tool on campus

This semester, Seton Hall University’s staff has actively been trying to integrate social media into the learning process. Since the creation of MySpace in the mid 2000s, social media has become a part of our daily lives.

Megan O’Brien/Staff Photographer
Professor Ashley Manz teaches a course in social media use.

Social media has helped spread everyday news, emergencies throughout the world, popular culture and politics.  The world has never been better connected.

Daniel Mullen, a junior public relations major, said, “Social media can advance how we learn because we have access to infinite amount of information and can connect to people of all different cultures and backgrounds anytime, anywhere.”

Like SHU, many universities throughout the world have noticed the significance and benefits of social media.

On April 4, Seton Hall’s theology department had a Facebook Live Q&A to discuss the benefit of the department’s master program.

Social media helped the theology department branch out to different regions of the globe via a different platform.

“For our generation and older generations, social media so far is very important,” Mullen said. “It is the main way we connect with our friends. It can be distracting if you are trying to focus on work, however overall I believe it is a necessary tool for people our age and older to have.”

The journalism department has also added courses, such as social media in journalism and public relations.

Professor Ashley Manz currently teaches the social media course and stressed the importance of social media’s value.

“Social media applies to every single field — from marketing/PR to cybersecurity to nonprofits and the government,” Manz said. “Incorporating social media into the learning process will better prepare students for the digital career path that lies ahead, no matter what their profession ends up being.”

Social media literacy is also an important component, which incoporates having the skill to communicate correctly and responsibly while evaluating conversations within the realm of socially based technologies correctly.

“Social media literacy is extremely important today,” Manz said. “The more you know about how to strategically use social media, the further ahead you are. The key word is there is strategy — most students entering the work force know how to use social media platforms. Digital media literacy goes beyond that. It no longer matters if you have five or 500 followers, If you only have five percent engagement.”

Brian Connor, a junior public relations major agrees with Manz, “Social media literacy is very important, if you have a high social media literacy than you’ll get the most out of social media by connecting with others and having open discussions,” he said.

Manz also warns students against the threat of their own social media’s interfering with their professions. “In the professional world, we have to be careful how much we incorporate our personal social media brands into our professional lives,” Manz said. “Keep in mind you are your brand. Determine what you want to be known for and stick to that messaging.”

Social media has become an empire within the world. It has led to the building of businesses and can spread knowledge quickly and efficiently. 

“Seton Hall should integrate it into the learning process because for a lot of fields and careers social media is a must and being able to maximize your outreach is key especially in fields like PR which is my field,” Connor said. “Having a good social media account can make a break or a company.”

Zoey Dotson can be reached at zoey.dotson@student.shu.edu.

Author: Zoey Dotson

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