Josh Sternberg article on social Media

I found a lot to think about in this article from The Atlantic:

Social Media’s Slow Slog Into the Ivory Towers of Academia

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/09/social-medias-slow-slog-into-the-ivory-towers-of-academia/244483/

Here’s a quote (I love the concept of an information ecosystem):

  • “In communications, business, psychology, anthropology, sociology, and information technology departments across the nation, theories of social media — and how to teach it — are becoming more prevalent. Sarah Smith-Robbins, professor and Director of Emerging Technologies at the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University, teaches a course called “Social and Digital Marketing.” “We go over the theories behind social media: why do things go viral, the social theories of how people act and how they communicate to a network, or one person at a time, and why do certain tools work they way they do for us,” she says. With an obvious slant towards the professional, these theoretical questions help students grasp the fundamentals of social media, outside of posting personal status updates on Facebook or Twitter. Instead of understanding social media as products, students are encouraged to treat status updates as part of a larger information ecosystem.”
  • Note that among other things, the article addresses whether digital natives actually exist or not, it looks at those in academia who are opposed to social media and it concludes “that teaching social media through a traditional mode will not suffice.”

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