Cold weather, big exams/assignments on the horizon, high blood pressure, the Fall semester is coming to a close. With that, the Social Media class is in its concluding phase and we have reached the final required blog post for the class. That said, as with the conclusion of the blog’s previous incarnation, it’s time for some final thoughts. However, since there’s a chance I might find myself writing on this blog in the future for other purposes, rather than calling this entry a “wrap-up,” let’s call it a reflection.
In short, I’ve enjoyed this class like I thought I would upon the semester’s start. Social media remains a subject I can easily relate to, so the discussions and topics definitely resonated well with me. In addition, I started the class with a desire to learn how to use social media in a professional manner, and I’d like to think that this desire has been actualized throughout the class. Indeed, one of the class’ biggest projects was the development of a social media strategy for a local nonprofit organization, which consisted of determining goals for the strategy, deciding which social networks to use, designing example content, forming time-frames and editorial calendars, etc. The final product is still pending but nearing its conclusion, and I feel like this experience has been of great benefit to my professional development, especially if I continue my career aspirations in the media.
However, while lectures and assignments may help a student learn, this class also provided opportunities outside of a normal lecture-based class that are worth noting. Over the course of the semester, we went on three field trips to different organizations to learn about their social media usage and/or desires for their usage. Moreover, we had two guest speaking events, one of which featured a Creighton alumna-turned Instagram influencer, and the other was a guest panel discussing social media’s role in the panelists’ positions, showing the opportunities social media provides in the working world. Events like these were unique and memorable, which I think aided in my understanding and enjoyment of the class, and most certainly appreciated.
If I had to mention anything I found “wrong” with the class or worth fixing, it would probably be the reading assignment(s) we had before midterms. Tell Everyone by Alfred Hermida was an interesting read and one that benefitted the curriculum of the class, but its placement in the schedule seemed rather odd and rushed: We discussed it in-depth for about a week, wrote a paper about it and subsequently barely used it for the rest of the semester. Aside from reading it outside of class, the idea that the sole “text book” for the class was only used for about two weeks in the semester made it seem somewhat disposable in the greater scheme of things. Forgive me if this sounds overtly critical, but it sometimes felt like the book was more or less shoe-horned into the class to make sure we had sufficient reading material and another paper to gauge our understanding/participation in the class. Nonetheless, a critique like this remains relatively mild when looking at the class, as a whole; and in that regard, I certainly have had a positive experience within it.
Finally, at the risk of sounding sappy, I thought the class consisted of a very nice group people whom I hope I’ll see more of in my future endeavors. Still, all good things must come to an end, and as the class concludes, this blog is likely going to return to a state of hiatus. To anyone reading this, I’d like to thank you for being an audience to my educational observations and musings, and hope these entries have been enjoyable and informative. I still have a year and a half of undergraduate university, so I’d say there’s a chance I may have the opportunity to write on this blog for a third class at some point (or perhaps for reasons outside of academics). But until then…