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New Media Driver’s License

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Now that the holiday season has retreated, and my life is calming down a bit, I wanted to revisit the New Media Driver’s License course that I recently took at Michigan State University this past fall.  I’ve developed this blog to focus on Social Media/Networking – and this course really contributed to the excitement I have towards this developing field.

As an introduction to my background: I currently support an online MS program at MSU for the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

My interest in enrolling in the New Media Driver’s License course was centered around my career:  I wanted to ensure that my (and my department’s) efforts in social media marketing / networking were being utilized effectively. I’ve been active on the Internet since the mid-1990’s (when there were all of five or six people out there), but I wanted to make sure that I was headed in a direction that would be productive.

My initial interest was captured by the fact that it is offered predominantly online: there are only two classroom meetings – at the beginning and the end of the course. The rest of the material is shared in an online learning environment, and that is where the true strength of this course lies.

Derek Mehraban of Ingenex Digital Marketing in Ann Arbor, MI and Michael Lorenc of Google AdWords (Canada) are the two instructors of the course.  Their experience in the field is extensive, and they share this through a well-designed series of assignments that actually require you to become an active presence in social media.

This hands-on approach to the subject is where the learning happens. I’ve always been more effective in courses that involved me – made me participate in some way (as opposed to sitting and listening to lectures). That’s exactly what this course does, and the end result is a sense of proficiency and accomplishment that I’ve found in few educational courses.  Your assignments get you involved in the world of social media, help you create your online identity, make you feel comfortable in this electronic-relationship-building world of tweets, blog posts, and online conversations.

For anyone interested in social marketing, social networking, online relationship building – this course provides some solid information, helps you to develop effective and novel approaches to creating/marketing a brand identity, and provides a solid support system.

The final class meeting surrounded effective Powerpoint presentations, through utilizing style examined in the book Presentation Zen.  The students were asked to choose a company, and develop a 10 slide powerpoint that would effectively convey a marketing concept for the product/company/brand they selected.  These presentations were then posted to slideshare.net – and a selected group of them were shared with the class on the final day.

Check out some of the student work at the NMDL site.