Thursday, April 13, 2006

Teaching about blogging

So this week my PR Communication students are learning about PR uses of the Internet. I lectured for two hours on Monday, with fully an hour on blogging. My PowerPoint lecture was peppered with hyperlinks, and I even showed them my Google Reader page with headlines from lots of PR blogs (the two I happened to pull up were PR Squared and Micro Persuasion, if anyone cares). And yesterday they did a lab assignment where they had to enter a keyword of their choice into Blogdigger, read the first five posts that came up, and write a report about how blogs may or may not help with public relations research.

I was frankly disappointed after the lecture. The students were not very engaged and didn't even seem to think it was especially enlightening. The lab, on the other hand, opened some eyes. Their keywords, ranging from Howard University to Harry Potter, were things that they were personally interested in, so they liked seeing what other people had written. They found some posts interesting, some helpful, some oddities and, yes, even some porn (that would be keyword "ninja"). They seemed to enjoy the assignment, and I actually enjoyed grading their papers... but that's a subject for another day!

I care about which blogs you pulled up! ;)

What was it about the lecture that did not engage the students? Any insights?

I'd be happy to take a look at your presentation - I'd like to learn something, myself!
What I try to do with students is show them some examples of the 'scandals' or other interesting items that have been discovered via blog searches. This usually generates some interest.
I'm not sure if it's end-of-semester blues or if I just piled too much that is new on them at once (only one person in the class already has a blog, and it didn't work when we tried to pull it up).

Next semester I'll try the scandal approach.

Thanks for your comments!
I'm sure it was just the senioritis or spring fever, not your lecture! Also I think that students still don't know very much about blogging, or at least I am still not that into it outside of class and job-related searches.


I've just taught a Level 1 class that drew on a piece I wrote for UK PR student magazine, Behind the Spin, which looks at what graduate recruits can bring to PR. It may be useful -
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