Like many people involved in teaching, I like nothing more than learning something new myself. It's a pleasant bonus when the lesson comes from a student.
There's a lesson for me in the apparent contradiction in what one of our placement year students writes about how to learn about two areas of public relations practice.
On crisis communications, she writes: 'crisis is an area that you can only gain experience from when you are thrown in at the deep end'. Yet, on social media just a page later: 'I spoke to a lecturer regarding the lack of social media tuition at university and the opinion was that since we are of a younger generation … we are assumed to already have this knowledge. This is not true and there is an academic gap that needs to be addressed.'
So, for one area of public relations it's 'learning by doing'; in another, it's 'back to the classroom'. This contradiction is the subject of a paper on 'teaching social media' I'm jointly presenting at the Stirling 21 conference in September, so this is a timely contribution.