My students wanted assignments to focus on privacy and fake news. One assignment that I introduced into my Introduction to Social Media course is having students read the terms and conditions when signing up for a social media site. This helps them understand what they are signing up for as well as what a social media platform is allowed to take from you. My students were also interested in learning how social media can help them in their future careers and how to use social media for research.
In my Online Branding course, students learn to create a personal brand based on their interests or desired profession. One of my students hopes to write television scripts upon graduation. She decided to create an online brand using Instagram and Twitter and posted daily on both platforms. On Instagram, she posted images of scripts and short videos about coming up with concepts for characters and storylines; on Twitter, she had discussions with industry leaders in media organizations. Thus, both social media platforms coincided with her career and skills while being used as a communication and entertainment device. Furthermore, the social media sites created a community for her around skills and content that was taking place in the classroom.
I hope that these steps inspire you to try adding social media assignments and engagement tools to your courses. As the next generations of students are always connected to one another, it is an opportunity for them to never stop learning on the sites they use daily to complete tasks. Social media can become another learning management system for our students to take advantage of.