The program coordinator at the Adams County Arts Council is so excited about one new class being offered that she signed herself up. "The Art of Social Media" caters to adults wanting to learn how to create or manage their online presence. The class will touch on different media, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. Students also will learn how to set up a blog and start a website.
Wendy Heiges, the council's program coordinator, hopes to learn how to use the different forms of social media to present a cohesive and consistent message online for both her personal and her professional life.
"You're personal life is connected to your professional life," Heiges said.
She also hopes to become more comfortable with the many social media outlets that are available today. With the online world constantly changing, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the options. This is part of the reason why many Adams County residents are excited about the class, Heiges said.
"People are interested in becoming a little bit more proficient and not feeling as intimidated by all the different options," she said.
And being intimidated by social media is understandable, said Karen Hendricks, the class' instructor and owner and president of Hendricks Communications. Hendricks' goal is to have her students feel secure enough with their knowledge of social media that they incorporate it into their daily lives.
"We're going to break social media down to
something that people can feel comfortable using," she said.
The amount of time we spend online has increased four fold in the past 10 years, Hendricks said. Whether you're an avid tweeter or you've never had a Facebook profile, now is an important time to learn how to navigate the ever-changing world of social media, she said. One of the benefits of becoming more familiar with the social media is that it opens up a whole new world of communication possibilities, Hendricks said. This could be especially interesting for grandparents who want to stay in contact with their media-savvy kids and grandkids.
To Hendricks, being online and using some form of social media is important not only on a personal level, but it is essential for professional success. This is why she will spend a portion of the class focusing on how to use various media outlets as a marketing tool.
"For example, setting up a website hosted by Wordpress can be a wonderful way to put your business on the Internet," Hendricks said.
Also on the class agenda are the dos and don'ts of online safety. Learning about privacy settings is important for adults, but it can also be beneficial for their children. If parents become more proactive about their own online safety, Hendricks said they could pass the knowledge down to their kids.
Although this is her first teaching experience at the Adams County Arts Council, Hendricks said she has worked with the organization before in other ways for several years. Overall, she said she is thrilled to continue working with a group that is so beneficial to the people of Adams County.
"The facility alone is an amazing asset, a community treasure," Hendricks said.
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