By John Hamerlinck
For months now, I have been talking to people about the idea that social media and civic engagement are wonderfully complementary partners. This is because social media transform people from content consumers into content producers.
The consumer to producer shift is also the goal of civic engagement. We want people to move from being a passive (consuming) audience of civic life, to becoming active (producing) participants in creating the kinds of communities that enhance everyone’s quality of life.
Joshua Kim, who blogs for Inside Higher Ed, writes about how this shift is important to higher education in general. He says, “On the teaching front, we understand that learning needs to be active rather than passive. This means we need to work with our faculty colleagues to design courses around active learning and collaboration. This also means that we need to figure out how to get our students’ work out into the world, through open blogs and other methods, so they learn to be producers and participate in the larger conversation.”
I wholeheartedly agree.