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University Adds Twitter to Curriculum

Go to pretty much any college campus in the world, and you'll stumble upon Socrates, ponder over Plato, or fling a frisbee during a game of Ultimate. One university in Australia, though, is adding a dash of online social networking to their course catalog. Welcome to Twitter-damia.

In a move that further cements Twitter's status as a mainstream media tool, Griffith University has introduced a new mandatory Twitter course for its journalism students. The class aims to refine and sharpen young writers' tweets, which, according to senior lecturer Jacqui Ewart, "are not as in depth as you might like." University officials cited the growing journalistic role of Twitter in major world events like last summer's Iranian protests as the motivation behind the new course.

Reactions from students, though, has been mixed, as some aren't quite ready to place Facebook and Twitter in the firmament of Western higher education. Though a significant share of students use Twitter as "an exercise in self-education," according to Ewal, there were also many future journalists who "didn't know what Twitter was,"(?!?!) including a few "really vocal students who" considered a class on Twitter "a waste of time."

We understand the reluctance of some students to show up for a 9 AM class on something as apparently "colloquial" as Twitter. But it's pretty inarguable that Twitter is the new face of media. For better or worse, the value of brevity in broadcast media is at an all-time high, and the next generation of journalists should at least familiarize themselves with the requisite tools -- how exactly one goes about crafting an "in-depth" 140-character tweet is another question. Proust, it's not. But despite all pretensions of simplicity, we don't think Twitter's exactly Basketweaving 101 either. [From: The Sydney Morning Herald]

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