It’s a double-duty Friday!  Our favorite guest blogger Jenna Smith is back with great ways parents can connect “real world skills and values” with social media.  Happy Friday!

In most walks of life social media is increasingly becoming a more important tool.

In the field of journalism, we see more and more that real-time breaking news is dependent social media platforms. Journalists rely on following tweets and other posts to get first-hand accounts of their views on hot-button social issues.

The effective use of social media helps journalists break important news stories. And, it is a skill that should be taught to students in all journalism programs. Parents should encourage this field of study. Additionally, they should advocate for the power of social media to facilitate contemporary journalism. Educational institutions like Strayer College in Greenville and K-12 schools across the nation are beginning to trumpet the use of technology for teaching students about journalism–so too should parents.

Road to Career Independence: Online Lectures

For K-12 students unable to pursue a full-time college degree in the future, online classes present new, reassuring opportunities. A person who is a manager at a fast-food restaurant, for example, can now study to be a journalist for the Wall Street Journal if he or she chooses. Taking online classes provides students with full-time jobs the opportunity to schedule courses around their schedule. The ability to watch online lectures allows people to focus on their work at a convenient time during their day.

So access to higher education is not necessarily a requirement for journalism students. However, accreditation always help.

Parents can facilitate interest in the values of journalism by exposing younger students to more sources of journalism than just network TV and newspaper print. The Internet is full of wonderful blogs, magazines, and information all fueled and networked by social media outlets.

Citizen Journalism in Action

Learning journalism has never been easier now that students have access to these online resources. An tech-savvy parent can create a master blog with the appearance of a newspaper featuring all the weekly stories. This type of activity can help students develop confidence in their reporting abilities.

By actively updating a news blog, students will have to be punctual in reporting stories, gather all of the facts and interview key witnesses in the story. Students will ultimately feel more confident in their ability to engage an audience and report a real-life news story. They will also impress their school teachers.

Connect with Politicians

Students in a journalism class may have a better chance in gaining valuable interviews if their families encourage the use of responsible online content like blogs and social media profiles. Politicians always want their voice to be heard, and they will be willing to grant interviews to journalism students if their story gets air time in local online communities.

As a parent, you can inspire your students in journalism by encouraging the responsible use of social media.  Not only are most students already accessing social media on a daily basis, but it is becoming more and more relevant as a news source.  So help your journalist-in-training become familiar with the technologies of tomorrow by integrating social media into your household.