Technology and social media have become the driving force in just about all businesses, but most likely have affected the media industry the most. Social and multimedia are changing the way society consumes news, therefore it only makes sense the way media is taught in our schools be changed too.
Communications at universities recognize the need for new media convergence and many have been successful in doing so. For example, American University in Washington D.C. has done an excellent job in tackling social media and technology tools in the classroom. Not only are students using Facebook and Twitter, but the professors are too. Although schools like American are utilizing digital tools, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are falling behind, unable to keep up with the fast moving digital world.
Howard University‘s journalism department is large, having the most students than any other department in the School of Communications. Many students are looking to pursue careers in the media, but current students are currently caught in between new media and “old” media. Although technology is moving quickly, Howard and other HBCUs are moving slowly. There is not enough equipment to accommodate the students in their need to effectively complete multimedia projects, and not to mention journalism graduation tracks do not include the necessary courses to teach social media and other multimedia skills.
So far Howard has created a couple multimedia courses that can be taken as journalism electives. That is a start, but being that journalism students usually will not take a course unless it is required for graduation that doesn’t really solve the problem. Unfortunately, there is little room to just take a class for fun, therefore these courses must be required and already plugged into the scheme. The curriculum needs to be revamped into the new digital age where we now have new technology devices and online tools that will be needed once we eventually graduate and pursue jobs.
The job market is going to be looking for people who have these skills, and if we don’t have it we simply will not get the job. This is a problem not just at Howard, but other HBCUs alike. We can’t sit back and let technology leave us in the dust, we have to keep up with trends in our facilities, curriculum, and teaching methods.Category: Digital Media, Featured | Tags: communications, Digital Media, hbcus, Howard, journalism, school, students