Do you wonder where you’ll find the time to stay technologically current while tending to all the other topics involved in teaching bcomm? If you’re like me, you use most of your energy and ingenuity just trying to figure out how to teach the fundamentals effectively.
But let’s face it: nowadays, skillful and appropriate use of technology, especially social media, is a bcomm fundamental. Integrating this topic into our courses has become an imperative, not an option.
This means that we need to stay abreast of current news, research, and commentary regarding social media and other communication technologies. And that’s where Mashable and SocialTimes can help.
Mashable, as its website states, “is the largest independent news source dedicated to covering digital culture, social media and technology.” It is the go-to source on these topics for ABC News, CNN, and other respected news outlets. For this reason, the top stories will often be politics focused or otherwise not terribly relevant to bcomm, but often, the news will relate to us—as with today’s article on a Missouri law forbidding students and teachers to be friends on Facebook.
But you can also browse the topics under the “Social Media,” “Tech & Gadgets,” “Business & Marketing,” and other tabs to find more bcomm-specific news. And of course you can search the site by topic. For example, a search for “business presentations” brings up “The Most Popular Presentations of 2010,” a report on the most-viewed slideshows on SlideShare.com (the two most popular: “Social Media for Business,” with–perhaps surprisingly–82 slides, and “Steal This Presentation,” a presentation about giving presentations).
SocialTimes is a site I stumbled across when doing some Web searching. According to SiteFile.org, it has only about 6,000 visitors a day compared to Mashable’s millions, so it’s a much smaller player. But it’s also more focused on social media and seems to be run by a more “hip” crowd than Mashable. You get a better sense here of what’s popular among young adults, which can help you stay in tune with your students and sometimes even ahead of them.
The top stories on the home page tend to be about new apps, but you can find more bcomm-related articles under the “social media,” “mobile,” “marketing,” and “business” tabs. The top story today under “mobile,” for instance, is a report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life project on college students’ use of phones, the Internet, and social networking. Under the “business” tab, it’s “How to Craft the Perfect Modern Social Résumé.”
If you like, you can subscribe to these sites via an RSS feed, email, Facebook, or Twitter and quickly review their latest news. That’s not a bad investment of your time in this increasingly tech-mediated discipline.
How do you stay abreast of bcomm-related tech news? If you’ve got a good information source, please share it.