prclass – a social media learning experience

October 15, 2006 at 11:54 pm 10 comments

Back in 1996 when Fanshawe College’s Corporate Communication and Public Relations program started, the Internet was just taking off with the public. It was an exciting time for communicators and individuals who pay attention to media trends. As the program coordinator, I wanted the curriculum to teach students traditional and foundational PR knowledge, but also how the Internet works and how to publish to the Internet.

Ten years have passed and new waves of media influence have surfaced including blogs, podcasts, wikkis. In 2005 I was aware a few of the students and Otte Rosenkrantz, one of our faculty, were blogging. Chris Clarke, one of our graduates from 2006, jumped into social media and it helped him in his career search. He knows his stuff. Chris felt strongly that our program should have social media as part of the curriculum.

I agreed.

It’s October 2006 – time for me to learn about social media experientially – and students in our program will be doing the same. It seems a few students in this year’s class have already been blogging, but most have not. 

So, this blog is a class experiment. The 49 students will soon be individually posting to this site.  Their topics range from PR trends to new technologies to sweeping societal patterns. In each case they are trying to figure out how their topic relates to public relations. They have been charged with providing comments on an assigned topic and a few useful links for readers. There is also an expectation that dialogue will ensue between members of the class based on the postings. It would be wonderful for us to have conversations with people outside the class as well (you!). 

We have much to learn from the people who have been participating in social media for a few years. You’ll note that I do not yet know how to link to other sites. I’ll learn 🙂

A goal of the prclass blog is for all of us to post with ‘class’.

My hope is that the students and I will learn about social media by participating in it together.

Dana Morningstar, M.Ed.

Program Coordinator, Corporate Communication and Public Relations,

Fanshawe College, London, Ontario, Canada


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.


10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joseph Thornley  |  October 18, 2006 at 2:00 am

    What a fantastic initiative!
    Your students will learn by doing. And in the process they will become comfortable with the social media tools that are extending the scope of PR practitioners in a way that will see our practice become an indispensable strategic asset for organizations.
    I plan to follow along and will attempt to contribute to the discussion whenever I can add something of value.
    Congratulations on moving Fanshawe to the cutting edge.

  • 2. Wendy Wilson  |  October 18, 2006 at 9:10 pm

    The Globe and Mail had a good article about the need for business to have blogs. As I was searching for the article I found all kinds of articles about corporate blogging. It’s clearly a becoming a necessity for organizations. This article talks about both internal and external blogs.
    By the way, although you can’t get premium content directly from the Globe and Mail these days, if you search Google News you can usually find the articles for a few weeks.
    Great idea Dana. I look forward to following the blog for the rest of the semester.

  • 3. prclass  |  October 20, 2006 at 1:07 am

    I certainly appreciate the opportunity to get involved with the blogosphere in this way. This is a kind of “safe” environment to try it out. I hadn’t even heard the term blog until about 9 months ago or so, same with podcasts. The thought of making a podcast is appealing to me.

    The day Chris Clark and Joe Thornley came to class was the day I first listened to a podcast– Grammar Girl. I have always loved radio and sound as a vehicle of expression. I will keep my ears open in the podosphere. It is compelling because it is usable when I choose. Darlene Pratt.

  • 4. Megan Zinn  |  October 20, 2006 at 5:47 pm

    Social media is becoming a major force in our world, and it’s the PR professionals who are going to be the leaders in social media. I think it’s great that the CCPR students at Fanshawe are getting such a hands-on introduction to it. Pay close attention to what Chris Clarke tells you, he holds the key to success for graduates!

  • […] Dana Morningstar has started a blog for her public relations students at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. […]

  • 6. Connie  |  October 22, 2006 at 1:17 am

    What serendepity to have read the Pro PR blog today and discover the link to prclass. It so happens that I created my first blog today, after years of reading and commenting from the sidelines.

    I’m a longtime writer but fairly new PR practitioner with a passion for social media, so I plan to “audit” the class by checking the prclass blog as often as I can.

    Happy blogging!


  • 7. David Jones  |  October 24, 2006 at 3:20 am

    Congrats…I’m a subscriber. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next generation of PR practitioners have to say.

  • 8. Shaula Evans  |  November 1, 2006 at 5:29 am

    I’ve likewise arrived here via Joe Thornley’s blog. Impressive project!

    I’ve subscribed and I look forward to joining in the conversation.

  • 9. Omar Ha-Redeye  |  January 21, 2007 at 11:25 am

    I agree as well, it’s an excellent idea. We are going to do something similar at Centennial in the coming months, so keep an eye out for it.

  • 10. Wellness  |  August 7, 2007 at 4:54 pm


    I was surfing the web and i saw this site, pretty cool.
    Currently im running and adult site:Wellness
    k, just want to say hi 🙂
    Can i link you from my site? im looking for quality content like yours. If no let me know if i can add u in exchange for a montly fee or something.


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