What I’ve learned in the Course “CMN3109: Advanced Theories of Communication”!

Before I had first started this course, I was skeptical about what “advanced theories of communication” would be about and I was skeptical about what its use for me would be.

To be completely honest, my minimal interest in media theory is part of what made me skeptical. I personally find media theory to not be particularly helpful to my work I do and want to do in communications. Sometimes I even find the content to be a bit too past-oriented for my interests.

When I attended the first session of this course, I remained skeptical but for a different reason. CMN3109 was taught differently than any course I had ever had previously. Specifically, I have never ever had a class so much as acknowledge social media in its course content, forget teach the entire course using it.

I was full of questions leaving that first class. How would the use of social media in class work? Would it be useful? Would it benefit the content or hinder it? Would I love it or hate it?

Now, with the course being over, I acknowledge that my expectations were usurped tremendously over the course of the term, especially in regards to my assumptions and expectations of the use of the Twitter platform.

Before this course, I had never really considered the potential for #edtwitter or using Twitter in education. I honestly wasn’t ever really aware that it was an actual topic. While I’ve always considered Twitter to be a great source for news and for cutting-edge information on a myriad of topics (ex. politics, digital communications, politics), I had never considered the practical use of it (or other social media for that matter) in the classroom.

In this class, above all else, I learned about the potential for social media usage in the classroom. I learned about the capacity for using social media to increase interaction with content of various topics. I learned about the potential variety of usages of Twitter. This class even inspired me to consider the future of social media in the classroom.

People took their notes on Twitter throughout the semester…

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(Knowles, 2016)
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(Leclerc, 2016)

… which meant that they were paying at least a little bit more attention to the content itself, since their Twitter notes had to be more personal than just notes in a notebook. I know that for me, I put an embarrassing amount of thought into my Tweets to make sure they were relevant and accurate, since my classmates would be reading them and responding to them.

Twitter also gave a lot of people the courage to volunteer facts…

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(Atallah, 2016)

…and tidbits…

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(Ahmad, 2016)

…and questions on the class’ subject matter.

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(Nederlof, 2016)

And I’d like to think that it was the platform that inspired me and my classmates to participate in this way. The beauty of Twitter is that it can be used as a passive or active form of engagement (TeachThought, 2015). People can follow the hashtag and observe other’s thoughts and opinions, or they can contribute by posting their own tweets or retweeting the posts of their classmates. This offers the possibility to mould a course’s content to the interests of this class. which is what occurred in ‘Advanced Theories of Communication’.

While I can’t say whether or not advanced communication theories have become my personal interest (I’ll admit that animal communication was pretty interesting though), I can say that throughout this course, I have gained an excellent understanding of Twitter as an educational medium. Through both our use of the social media platform and through our lessons contemplating technology’s role in communications and the implications of future technology and data curation on how we communicate, I became increasingly aware of the way that technologies such as social media can be used to enhance communications and how they will change the way that we communicate forever (but not necessarily in a bad way!)

I have gained an understanding of how to use Twitter and Storify in the most efficient manner possible. By applying the concepts learned in our lessons to my own personal creations relating to the course content, I was able to reinforce the ideas in my mind while utilizing them in a practical setting of content creation.

Most importantly, I was more inspired in terms of classroom participation. I felt able to express my thoughts in ways that might have terrified me in previous courses. I often felt more interested to engage with the material by understanding concepts through the eyes of my peers.

This course has given me great perspective on social media (Twitter in particular), and my understanding of this use of Twitter social media will benefit me for any social media use in my future career. Furthermore, it will inspire me with ideas for how to generate interaction with content on Twitter in a variety of ways (something I will definitely use in my future work).

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Thank you for an interesting semester!

 

References:

Atallah, V. [VincentAtallah]. (2016, September 21).In evaluating the impact of our words; the meanings behind them, we realize how careless society and media have become in using them.  [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/VincentAtallah/status/778715190254710784.

Knowles, J. [moviegirlsite]. (2016, September 28).We have to turn our complex network of thoughts into sequential words which are then turned into complex networks by the receiver  [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/moviegirlsite/status/781253040754061312.

Leclerc, F. [flecl104]. (2016, November 9).The Five Cannons of Rhetoric are: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery.  [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/flecl104/status/796462801300705280.

Nederlof, A. [EaErkhart]. (2016, October 5). Are truth, authenticity & reciprocity crucial for any dialogue to take place, or do they just contribute to ideal meaningful dialogue?  [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/EaErkhart/status/783790158579654656.

TeachThought. (2015, June 29). 10 Reasons Twitter Works in Education [Blog]. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/social-media-in-the-classroom/10-reasons-twitter-works-in-education/.