“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” ~Confucius~
Stand in any school hallway, cafeteria or library when it’s filled with students. Most every head is staring straight down – at their smartphone. And while there still are face-to-face conversations happening, Social Media and social apps dominate student life. This is normal and used with skill, confidence and purpose, social apps and platforms can bring significant upside benefits. Too often, however, social media becomes an obsession for students and brings with it stress, anxiety and other issues.
The new “Digital Intelligence” series of school presentations and workshops, a natural evolution of the Social Media Fitness experience, takes many pre-conceptions around students, their devices and social apps and throws it all on its collective ear. Rather, students and educators begin to think differently about the remarkable power and global reach that their smartphones and social apps afford. And how, specifically, to create and manage authentic, compelling, and sustainable content.
We don’t teach from fear because, well, that’s so done. Students don’t respond to or respect it and we don’t believe that it supports an effective learning strategy. Is bullying and privacy-risk covered? Absolutely – through education and empowerment around the virtues of gratitude, character and purpose – not fear.
Every comment, update, tweet, snap, video, story, opinion, image or blog entry is evaluated through the lens of respect, integrity, influence and creating value for others. This, more than anything else, often leads to the reduction of bullying and cyber-bullying. “I do and I understand.”
ELEMENTARY & MIDDLE SCHOOLS
The grade-appropriate elementary school presentation (grades 4-8) is roughly 60 minutes in length and includes time for student and staff Q&A.
We go deep into it all; Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and more. Through relevant and current examples and stories we look closely at what global influence in Social Media means in the day-to-day lives of elementary and middle school students as they journey toward secondary school. What they post today absolutely does matter tomorrow. And we show them why.
Tangible takeaways; the clear understanding that while we create our online content, we do not control the ultimate destination of our content. Students begin to evaluate the importance and value of friends and followers through a series of exercises centered around two questions; What and Why. And because the answers and reasons are student-generated, they learn how to think critically about what “posting with purpose” actually looks and feels like via the cornerstone of gratitude, mindfulness and purpose. A students’ deep need to be externally validated through their posted content (Likes, Comments, Shares and Favourites) diminishes and instead is replaced by five important criteria: Listen More, Post Less, Stay Relevant, Add Value, Be Respectful.
Many secondary students are focused on what’s next in their lives; grad, post-secondary, scholarships and awards, co-op placements, internships, trades, work-life. Yet many students don’t grasp the power that their social apps can play in either moving them forward – or blowing it all out of the water with a single post. We teach how to create inspiring and purposeful content that supports the former. This session doesn’t mince words and speaks to the real impact that students’ social content on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and others will have on their personal and professional opportunities and reputations.
While the social media landscape is dominated with an indiscernible level of white-noise and meaningless over-sharing, students are educated from the belief that balance and time away from the glowing screen is paramount to increased clarity, intention and satisfaction when they are engaged with social media. The secondary school presentation is roughly 60 minutes in length.
Tangible takeaways; Students learn step-by-step how to build, maintain and enrich their online experience by creating and managing authentic, compelling content that attracts the attention of future influencers and mentors into their lives. Case studies and relevant, real-life examples are illustrated. The exercises students undertake are sustainable, repeatable and easy to execute. And, as in the elementary/middle school session, five important criteria are emphasized: Listen More, Post Less, Stay Relevant, Add Value, Be Respectful.
An interactive, relaxed and user-friendly session, the parent experience emphasizes, more than anything else, that parents must be engaged with the social apps and platforms that theirs kids use. And if nothing else, to become proficient with the core platforms in the world today; Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube. After all, their own children are using these platforms, for better or for worse, to define and build their identities, personalities and reputations. The session is roughly 70-90 minutes in length and includes time for Q&A.
Tangible takeaways; Parents will walk away with clarity, confidence, joy and new skills on how to knowledgeably support and discuss both the benefits (of which there are many) and risks of social apps and platforms with their children. This experience is positive and empowering, and inspires parents to move forward into using Social Media in a manner that eliminates concern, fear and uncertainty.
How are future influencers and decision-makers evaluating your students’ online content? During elementary school, not so much. But in secondary school, much like a summative, are influencers putting 30% or more weight into the collective Social Media end-decision to move forward with that student? They absolutely are. And even if your elementary students aren’t yet fully engaged into the social media experience, skills, character development and purpose don’t suddenly become a learned reality in grade 12.
The Faculty Experience invites educators to go hands-on with devices into today’s most influential social apps and platforms. You’ll learn how your students are being evaluated and how to encourage and guide them to create content that inspires, expresses gratitude, builds relationships and attract the attention, respect and genuine interest of peers, future influencers and mentors.
A critical aspect of the Faculty Experience is to address and develop strategies around the growing levels of stress, anxiety and other issues that often overwhelm students to the point of functional paralysis. And while we’re strong advocates to the upside benefits of Social Media, much of the devastating downside is rooted within the world of social apps and platforms.
Tangible takeaways; Similar to the parent experience, this is an interactive, relaxed and user-friendly session. Faculty will walk away with clarity, confidence, joy and new skills on how to support and discuss the benefits, functionality and risks of social apps and platforms from a pedagogical perspective with their students, and professional peers. Ultimately, fear and uncertainty is replaced with skill, enthusiasm and creativity on how Social Media can be used both within and outside of the classroom.
Contact us for more information or to book a workshop.
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