"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

#clarkclass is back, at UCO & on twitter!

Twitter for journalists #clarkclass @okieprof  

My "twitter for journalists" class starts Monday, two weeks of intensive mind-boggling ideas. This class has been the most exciting one I've taught in years, pushing this old newspaperman to learn and adapt quickly. It is fun, and I come out of it charged and optimistic about journalism, communications and our students.
The schedule is brutal...meeting from 9:30  am to 2:30 pm for three hours of credit. It's the fourth time I've taught the class, responding to remarks from our department's advisory committees in professional fields and the excitement and  interest of our students.
Most people my age look at twitter as just another new-fangled social media doodad, but I've found out it is far more than that. While I may not use it much, nor need it at my life and professional stage, it has become essential for young professionals, and for business and politics in this rapidly changing world.
When I first started this, learning on my own, I was afraid there wouldn't be enough material. But there's a flood of resources continually being refreshed, in print and digitally, and the beauty is there's no need for a textbook. I've also learned that my guests and my students are the heart of the course. They teach me.

In fact, #clarkclass it was so popular five months ago, that it was one of the top"trending" items in the state, and speaker @MikeSherman, sports editor of The Oklahoman, turned it into a verb, just like Google. "I'm going to '#clarkclass' it," he said.
Every day I post a bunch of links for the students' reading and tweeting. If you wish, you can follow the class on twitter by searching #clarkclass. My user name is @okieprof.
It's laid back class, where they get to use their phones, and the students coming out of it talk about how valuable it was. 
Although there is online reading and tweeting and written and oral reports and more stuff, the highlight of the class are my   speakers from different professions (I have all kinds of majors in the class). 

Speakers in the next two weeks, in addition to  Mike Sherman, will be  Sheri Guyse,  @MyJrny, marketing guru for Good Egg Restaurant group and UCO grad and former student and friend; Rob Crissinger, @rcrissinger, PR whiz in the arts, for Bumbershoot PR, and UCO grad and former student; Heide Brandes, @HeideWrite, freelance writer, bellydancer, friend, UCO grad and former student; Dave Rhea, @jdaverhea, general manager of The Gazette and friend; Sara Cowan, @DeluxeOK, social media whiz, and UCO grad and former student; Desiree Hill, @dezhill, friend and colleague, UCO broadcast professor; Adrienne Nobles @anobles, and Monica K. Helms, @mkhelms, UCO university relations professionals. Just wow!
I'll post first day tweet assignments Sunday.

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