“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. These need to be addressed directly to minimize sometimes debilitating effects.
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 staff begin to think differently about the phenomenal 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 – 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 flat-out elimination 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 relative to Social Media means in the day-to-day lives of elementary and middle school students as they journey on into secondary school. What they post today absolutely does matter tomorrow.
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 critical eye as they learn how to think critically about what “posting with purpose” actually looks and feels like via the cornerstone of digital leadership, mindfulness and purpose. From this, 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 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 one is engaged with social media. The secondary school presentation is roughly 60 minutes in length. Click here to read about our personal Social Media detox experiment, and outcome.
Tangible takeaways; With devices in-hand, 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. 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 (sometimes hilarious) and user-friendly session, the parent experience invites participants to bring and use their smartphones and tablets to gain new knowledge about the social apps and platforms that their kids use to define 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 celebrates and empowers parents to move forward into using Social Media in a manner that eliminates fear and uncertainty.
How are future influencers and decision-makers evaluating your students’ online content? In 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?
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, builds relationships and attracts the attention and respect of future influencers and mentors.
A critical aspect of the Faculty Experience is to address and develop strategies around the enormous 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. 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.
“I was a senior last Spring (2015) when you came to my school, Lansing High School – a few months before I graduated and went off to college. I took your advice about the things to tweet and the things to avoid. I took your advice on being active with various future schools, and thought at the time “this won’t get me anywhere,” but for some reason I stuck with it. I am now about a week into college, and the directors of students, student organization leader, and campus director all know me by name, all because of my tweets. They have come up to me, and because of my positive tweets have offered me a job, and asked me to help THEM with tweets. I am more involved with my campus than I ever would have thought, just because of Twitter. So I digress to the reason I emailed you. I want to extend a thank you for everything you have taught me.” (Lansing High School, Senior: Honours, Lansing, NY)
“When (HRPS) officer Scott told us you were coming to present on Social Media as a part of our YiPi experience, a few of us had already seen your presentation at our schools a few months earlier. We thought we were going to see the same material but were we ever wrong. It was remarkable to us how you were able to update your material and include very recent and even current global events, and how to incorporate them into our Tweets and other Social Media interactions. We thoroughly enjoyed the morning and what we thought was going to be a repeat of an already excellent presentation, was even better, refreshed and relevant to our world.” (Halton Youth in Policing Initiative students)
“I already know what I want to do and the univeristy I want to go to. When you showed us that those schools use social media for information, it changed how I’m going to use my social media accounts. And, we’ve never been allowed to use our phones in an assembly. So that was cool, too.” (YRDSB students)
“Wow! Your presentation was the total opposite of everything we always see in assemblies about the Internet and Social Media. What you really got was that we use this stuff every day. I mean, most of our teachers have no idea what SnapChat is. But you do – and not only that, you showed us on your iPhone some SnapChat features that many of us didn’t know about. You had our attention all the way through, in a really good way, and that was awesome.” (TCDSB students)
“This is easily the best and most informative assembly I’ve ever attended. Not only could we use our phones in the presentation, which was a 1st, the presentation was super cool, inspiring and fun. And it was totally realistic as we went onto Twitter, along with Chris, to discover how to actually use social media to help our future.” (South Glens Falls, NY, students)
“The presentation today at our school inspired me..and made me want to be #googleable. This was the first really intelligent and interesting presentation I’ve seen on social media. And it was the first time that we were allowed to use our phones in an assembly, which made a huge difference in actually learning how to use social media to invest into my future… Thank you. #InvestingInMyFuture” (Guilderland, NY, students)
“The lecture by @cmvsocialmedia really made me consider social media more when it comes to applying to college and beyond that; #Googleable. The lecture was an eye-opener on how social media is more transparent than you think- what you type is essentially a résumé. Thanks a lot for coming to GHS and giving us an insightful speech. Never looked at social media from that perspective.” (Guilderland, NY, students)
“We are really inspired by your social media presentation. We can never use our phones at any assembly. Plus, anything to do with the Internet is always, no, don’t do this and be careful of that. We’ve seen that for years. But this was the first time we’ve seen something that will let us use social media to pursue our goals now and after high school. Thanks!!” (GEDSB students)
“To be honest with you, sir, I was going to skip your presentation because I’ve seen so many Internet presentations and they’re all the same. But yours blew me away. I plan on going into engineering at Waterloo and had no idea that I could use Twitter and my other social accounts to actually get information from schools, and others, that will help me. And that I can tweet them questions and stay up-to-date with programs I’m interested in is something I never even considered. Thanks for a totally different presentation. It changed how I see social media.” (PDSB student)
“My friends and I were talking during your presentation but it was about what you were teaching us about social media. We always knew it wasn’t scary and the way you showed us on our phones how to look at schools we might want to go to, we’ve never thought about it that way. The best part was looking over at our teachers because they had their phones out, too.” (CAIS students)
“When I saw the posters around the school and the daily schedule that said we had to go to an “Internet Safety” presentation I thought, no way, not another one. But I didn’t have anywhere else to hang out, so I went. And it was the best presentation I ever saw. What was totally different about your presentation is that you didn’t treat us like everything in the world is super dangerous. We see that all the time and we already know those things. But you actually showed us on our phones how to really use social media, and stuff. We can never use our phones in any assembly, ever, and so when you said to pull them out, everybody looked over at their teachers just to make sure. What was really funny was, our teachers weren’t looking at us. They were looking at the big screen and their own phones.” (HWDSB student)
“Your story about the motorcycle was amazing. I really liked it and it suddenly made me think about the stuff I do online and on my phone. I already know that I want to play hockey in university and the things you showed me about social media and looking for the schools I like on Twitter, well, I’m gonna start that. Thank you for coming to my school.” (WCDSB student)
“When our teachers told us we could bring our phones and tablets to your presentation we didn’t believe them. But what you taught us on social media and the apps we use all the time, it was amazing. We’ve never seen that before in a school presentation. How to actually use social media and our apps safely, that’s what we need to know. Thank you.” (HDSB students)
“When we came into the cafeteria for your presentation we were all, like, here we go again with the Internet stuff. Then our Vice Principal told us we could use our phones AND that the school WiFi was open to use for the first time ever. That was too awesome. And how you talked about and actually showed us on our phones how social media can affect us in really positive ways was, like, we’ve never seen that before. Thanks for coming to our school.” (DPCDSB students)
“I had a spare and was going to leave the school for awhile but my friend said that your (earlier) presentation was hilarious and that she learned tons. And she was right. Your stories were awesome. But what I liked most was your view about social media. It’s usually the other way around but what you taught us was cool, and it makes sense. I’m starting my first Twitter account later today thanks to you because there are schools I’m interested in and one of them you showed us is on Twitter.” (HDSB Gr 12 student)
“Amazing, inspirational and mind blowing. You told us that this is a MasterClass and it totally is. You really know what we need and how to help us get there. Social Media isn’t scary. And since we basically live with our phones, that’s a first in any assembly we’ve seen.” (WCDSB students)
“We were blown away by how current and real your material is. You had Obama’s selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial on the screen for us to see only three hours after it was taken. Never seen that before in an assembly. That you pulled it right from your phone during our presentation totally got our attention. Impressive.” (HCDSB students)
“We’ve seen many school assemblies and presentations and we’ve never seen an audience more engaged during a presentation.” (SCDSB Grade 12 students)
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