By William Jackson and Emma Kent
HBCU – Edward Waters College
Ms. Emma Kent and Professor William Jackson speakers at the 2017 WordCamp Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida, presented a different presentation that engaged those in attendance with a new way to look at creating content.
Titled “How to be Dope on Social Media,” they shared the intricate dynamics of connecting with diverse groups to provide information, resources, potential collaborations and even building PLN (Professional Learning Networks) and building PLC (Professional Learning Communities).
The national and international conference encourages the sharing of experiences of developers, users, web developers, graphic designers and others with a passion with working on the WordPress platform. The multi-generational conference even held a “Kids Camp” to teach youth, teens and young adults about creating and building a web platform using WordPress.
Emma Kent is a research librarian and William Jackson is a Professor at Edward Waters College, the oldest HBCU in the state of Florida. Prof. Jackson teaches Educational Technology, Social Media and STEM. Both are involved in Social Media in higher education, teaching students the value of their content and being responsible and accountable for their content. Ms. Kent and Professor Jackson encourage higher educational institutions especially HBCU’s (Historical Black Colleges and Universities) to teach Social Media skill-sets to the students from freshmen to seniors because of the seriousness and relevance of digital content.
Professor Jackson is a national and international blogger, content creator and digital visionary. He speaks to youth, teens and young adults on the value and importance of their digital content that can affect credit scores, employment opportunities and even earning internships and scholarships. Both work as mentors and role models of proper Social Media engagement while attending conferences, workshops, seminars, and encouraging HBCU students to attend and speak at events to increase network and collaboration opportunities.
As the need for increased learning opportunities grows, Ms. Kent and Professor Jackson are traveling to speak about being safe, responsible, accountable and dependable online. Each person not only has a voice to share, but they are building a valuable brand that represents them to the world. Events like WordCamp, EdCamp, BarCamp, WordPress and other technology Meetups need the energy and engagement of youth, teens and young adults that will be the future engineers, web developers, graphic designers and even Podcasters and Micro-bloggers.
There is enough room on the Internet for everyone to catch a niche, develop and Brand and Market their talents, skills and abilities. HBCU students must understand the value of their content beyond just playing games, beyond just posting things on Social Media platforms and using tools. Their content can be the difference between employment and unemployment. The value of HBCU students must be seen in the growing tech and social media businesses where their voices can be heard.