While most people devote their procrastination hours on Reddit, undergraduates at Massachusetts Institute of Technology will received course credit for surfing this social media website. They are being offered a course called “Credit for Reddit,” taught by MIT researcher Chris Peterson along with his colleague Ed Schiappa. It is considered the University’s comparative media studies and writing program where students investigate on how this unique website works.
Peterson says, “one of the things we try to do in this class is make sure people understand that the technology they use in their daily lives is rooted very deeply in important social issues”
I want to relate this to McLuhan’s “Medium is the Message.” Considering that a website is a medium in the vast Internet world, Reddit is one that stands out. The way that this sub policing website allows people to interact by setting hierarchies on content is surprisingly successful. Peterson will allow his class to compare Reddit with other popular social media sites such as Facebook and Tinder.
Just like this class, UCSD also provides classes that are relevant to popular culture and student’s daily lives. For example, MUS 15 is an introductory music class that teaches about The Beatles, Michael Jackson and the genre EDM. These classes allow students to learn about why and how these topics become popular.
So should universities provide more classes that fell related to their daily life? Personally, I would love to take a class on Reddit, Youtube, Facebook and other websites that I visit daily.