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Justice Studies to Incorporate Social Media Into Curriculum

Ever wonder what it would be like to tweet your answers in class instead of raising your hand? Justice Studies students will soon find out.

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Ever wonder what it would be like to tweet your answers in class instead of raising your hand?

This multilayered interaction between professor and student is just one way Department of Justice Studies Chair Mark Correia hopes to integrate social media into his department next semester.

“SJSU has the luxury of being in the middle of Silicon Valley, however, if you browse our websites, we are far behind in terms of the use of social media,” Correia said. “One of our goals is to really upgrade the face of the department and the experiences students have.”

In the fall, Justice Studies 100W classes and senior seminars will integrate social media and wiki (a website whose users can add, modify, or delete content using a web browser) into their curriculum. In addition, students will be asked to write blog entries and tweet as part of their coursework.

Making a Difference

“The students who graduate with these skill sets are going to be in better position to make a difference in society,” Correia said.

Associate Professor of Social Justice and Vice Chair Alessandro De Giorgi plans to use social media to engage his students in current social issues.

“We generally discuss socially relevant issues on prison, racial inequalities, and economic inequalities,” De Giorgi said. “It makes sense for students to express themselves in a way that is not mainstream, but nonetheless scholarly and critical.”

According to Correia, using social media will also give faculty the opportunity to share information and research without peer-review restrictions, as well as build stronger connections within the local and broader communities.

Bridging Theory and Practice

Senior justice studies and political science major Tyson Peltz believes social media has great potential for the classroom.

“This level of interaction and problem solving is paramount to bridging the gap between theory and practicality within the real word,” Peltz said.