Campus Life

USU Professors Offer TikTok Masterclass

By Natalie Rust |

Two USU journalism professors are offering a TikTok masterclass. (Photo illustration by Kate Smith/Utah Statesman)

Utah State Today regularly highlights work created by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. The following story was published in The Utah Statesman prior to its inclusion in Utah State Today.

Utah State University journalism professors Brian Champagne and Candi Carter Olson will be hosting #TikTokToolkit, a masterclass on social media content creation, on April 1.

The masterclass will combine each professor’s specialty, video broadcast and social media theory, in an interactive workshop designed to help students improve their social media content. The class, 1-3 p.m. April 1 in Huntsman Hall 280, will touch on the importance of understanding how to use social media platforms, especially in a digital age.

In addition to instruction, the masterclass includes a 48-hour competition where students create TikTok videos. The winners will receive prizes.

“We all want to have fun while we’re learning too,” Olson said.

From a historical standpoint, social media platforms such as TikTok are novel technological advancements. Platforms like TikTok are the fastest communication medium in the history, Olson said.

It’s important to learn more about social media platforms, such as TikTok, because of their influence on all aspects of society.

“If we’re not aware of how much power social media has to frame our society, frame our reactions to stories,” Olson said, “we are at a disadvantage.”

TikTok, as well as other social media outlets, affect the way people view the world on political, personal and cultural levels.

“We just absorb the norms that they’re giving us,” Olson said.

Whether this means slang, social movements or cultural expectations, the influence on people’s daily lives is the same.

Like all other social media platforms, TikTok has both positive and negative qualities.

“Communication mediums all have their bad side,” Olson said. “They also have their good side.”

On one hand, it provides people with the opportunity to promote their business or even social causes.

“There’s a rich autistic community on social media,” Olson said.

There are several other movements on TikTok that promote awareness for various mental disorders and trauma responses. In addition, TikTok houses communities of people of color seeking to educate people about their experiences.

In addition, the casual and immediate nature of TikTok creates instant connections between content creator and viewer.

“These are just people sitting in the passenger seat of their car telling you about their day,” Olson said. “It makes you feel like this person is more real in so many ways and that they can be your friends.”

However, on the other hand, TikTok is a breeding ground for bullying, according to Olson.

Olson cautions students to be more conscious of what they post online. In the modern world, one’s online presence can play a big part in how they are perceived.

“Whatever you put out there on social media is going to be part of how you are evaluated for a job or a relationship or admission to that school you want,” Olson said.

This is why Olson and Champagne decided to create #TikTokToolkit: to speak on the importance of social media in our day-to-day lives and to examine the power of someone taking a video in the passenger seat of a car to impact all levels of society.


Natalie Rust
Student Journalist
The Utah Statesman

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