On Monday, thumb March 23, nurse I gave a lecture on using web 2.0 to promote creativity and creative work in social media and professional environments. The attendees of the lecture were students from the Missouri School of Journalism of the University of Missouri-Columbia in the USA, read more now in London for a semester doing internships related to their undergraduate majors. All the thanks to Byron T. Scott, Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Missouri – Columbia, who made this all possible.
It was an evening meeting that took place in one of the rooms of the Imperial College in London after the students had finished their busy and challenging working days. I was impressed to find out about the prestigious companies they were interning with and the daily activities on their agendas. Similarly, I was impressed by how interested the students were in new media and their desire to experiment with it much higher than the one of the European students (from the UK or Belgium) that I have lectured to before. While most of the students seems to use social networks because most of their friends do there is little awareness of privacy policies and how these can be changed so that personal information can be kept separate from professional one. Similarly, most of the students have heard of many of the platforms available online (from blogging, to social media, live streaming – be it audio or radio) but their knowledge stopped there. Also, many of them had the skills and talent to produce high-quality content for these platforms but proved to be quite reluctant to experiment with them the fear that their creative work will wrongly appropriated by somebody else being higher than the desire of making themselves and their talent known.
While having a master’s degree in social networking such as the recently launched by the Birmingham City University might not necessary, students now enrolled in media schools (focusing on arts, journalism, communication…) should however be exposed more to social media as well as be encouraged to explore this realm rather than taking it for granted.