Pre-College Programs
Leadership Institute

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Social Media and Social Change

This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.

Course Description

Can Twitter save the world? Did it topple dictators in the Arab Spring? Will social media be driven more by progress or profits? And is access to all of this--basic internet access--a universal human right?

This class will investigate the possibilities of using social media for leadership in social change. We'll look at the history of social media, it's uses (and, of course, abuses), and we'll brainstorm how we personally can use online resources for good.

This course examines social media in three ways:

First, we'll spend a good amount of time critiquing how its been used in the past. We'll look at successful and non-successful examples to see what we can glean about how social media can be used most effectively.

Second, we will read the work of writers who are using social media in the trenches to affect change. What are their strategies? What are the ethics they use? How can we increase access to these resources?

Finally, and most importantly, we'll use social media tools in class to develop an action plan for creating change ourselves, the action plan that is at the heart of the Leadership Institute. Students will work with blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, and a host of other online resources to hone their skills at effective digital communication.

By the end of this course, students will know or be able to understand the principles behind social media, consider its ethical implications, know the strategies used by the most effective communicators, and place online political and social movements in their historical context.