My most heartfelt thanks to the extraordinary educators, business leaders, parents and volunteers for sharing their experience of the Social Media Fitness workshop and its impact on their children, and themselves. Thank you for your inspiration and support! It is, firstly, your words that reflect the true impact of this experience in your life and in the lives of your students, colleagues and children.
“This year’s assembly, “Social Media Fitness” about sports, family, friends, drama and rumours by Chris Vollum, is a positive, inspiring yet cautionary tale that aligns perfectly with TFS’ core values including respect, integrity, and discernment. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to focus more intently on developing a positive expression of themselves to the world.
Chris’ unique “Success Funnel” exercise is an excellent vehicle to help students to visualize and to create their own set of priorities while finding clarity and purpose, their North Star.
Social Media are here to stay! And it’s not so much about the actual apps but rather which app will lead students to their goals/objectives, a true sense of value, and intense enjoyment. Chris’ guiding, thoughtful message helps students to become more empowered to make better choices by becoming more self-directed to the quality of the content that they post using apps. Ultimately, Chris helps students, as voracious consumers of these apps, to realize the huge benefits of building rich peer relationships and striving to receive positive acknowledgment from fellow users.
“Who is the last person you impacted positively? And how?”
Today, Social Media have added to the intense pressures and some of the anxiety that many students face. Chris helps the students to gain confidence to give themselves ‘permission’ to be off-the-grid sometimes. And, let’s not forget Chris’ poignant reminder that face time should not be include only FaceTime!
Thanks to Chris for another job well done! I am impressed with the clarity and logic that Chris applies in designing his presentations. Having known Chris for many years, it is always a great pleasure to work with Chris whose approachable manner and authentic, compelling message engage greatly and connect to adolescent learners. TFS is fortunate to benefit from Chris who delivers with great passion, assurance, and conviction.”
Judith Gorry; Director of Student Life; TFS – Canada’s International School, (Toronto, ON)
“Speaking to HNMCS students, Mr. Chris Vollum encouraged our students to be awesome on social media. Students by nature are skeptical about any presentation regarding the Internet and social media but were instantly engaged and energized when he affirmed that their lives are online, and explained his goal of showing them how to use social media positively and to minimize the risks.
After a quick survey to illustrate which social media apps are most popular with students, Mr. Vollum encouraged students to reflect on the reasons that they post online. While answers varied, most girls admitted they post to receive positive feedback from others. Mr. Vollum offered the insight that seeking validation from others through social media can become a negative spiral of stress, anxiety and poor behaviour choices. As an alternative, he offered a positive approach where their social media activity would both present them in a positive light and help build up others.
Students were very receptive to practice his suggestion to seek balance and spend more time “IRL” – in real life. They all agreed that this strategy can reduce the stress and dependency of feeling validated through others’ feedback on their content, and will support them to consider posting more relevant and meaningful content.
Because the only true control we have is what we choose to post and not where it ultimately ends up, Mr. Vollum encouraged the girls to think about the long-term impact of what they post and to create social media content that reflects who they wish to become as leaders of society.
Illustrating real-life examples on-screen, via his iPad, Senior School students were impressed to learn, and to walk-through with their own devices, that their social media presence could positively impact their university acceptance and scholarship opportunities!
The presentation closed with this challenge: ‘What you post today affects tomorrow, so make it count!’ From the enthusiastic response to Mr. Vollum’s talk, HNMCS students are clearly ready to do just that!”
Marilena Tesoro; Head of School; Holy Name of Mary College School, (Mississauga, ON)
“We had the pleasure of hosting Chris at our high school. His presentation was relevant, engaging and thought provoking. Knowing that students are spending so much of their time on social media platforms, it is so important for them to be educated and aware of the impact their presence on social media can have on their future. As Chris presented real-time examples and strategies to elevate their social media game, I could see the wheels turning in the brains of the students in the audience as there were so many valuable ‘golden nuggets’ presented. Body language is very telling with students sitting forward, actively and enthusiastically engaged.
Chris has a way of genuinely connecting with both students and parents during his presentations and THAT connection is what helps the content absorb and stay in their minds. I can’t wait to have Chris back again at our school because he is constantly re-creating his content just as we know social media platforms are always changing. I would highly recommend Chris Vollum’s “Social Media Fitness” presentation for students and parents in the middle and high school category. You will NOT be disappointed!”
Kerry Burns; Guidance Counsellor, Pathways & Student Services; North Park Secondary School, (Brampton, ON)
“Chris’ over-riding message was that we all have an online presence and it is our responsibility to fill that space with the story of who we are as authentically as possible. He captured the attention of each age level with inspiring and positive messages and helped our parents and faculty understand how they might best support our students in their use of social media. We continue to have great conversations at school, thanks to Chris’ thought-provoking messages.”
Stephanie Stephens; Executive Director of Innovation and Technology; Holy Trinity School, (Richmond Hill, ON)
“We had the distinct privilege of inviting Chris Vollum to speak with students and parents of Montgomery Village Public School on April 13, 2016. What we as a school community participated in was a refreshing and positive perspective on Social Media that we had never before experienced.
Chris has a unique ability to teach relevant information at the student level that enthusiastically engages all grades into his presentation.
For parents, Chris offered and demonstrated actionable tools to genuinely succeed with confidence, comfort and clarity on Social Media’s most popular apps. It is with this that we highly recommend Chris Vollum as a speaker and educator to anyone wishing an impeccable and inspiring online presence.”
Sarah Young; Parent Council Chair; Montgomery Village Public School, (Orangeville, ON)
“Students and staff alike were engaged and ‘plugged in’, throughout Chris’ presentation, in a way that is rare for a school assembly. Through humour, relevant anecdotes and real-life examples, and—most importantly—through a message of empowerment and positivity, Chris took our group through the power and pitfalls of social media, encouraging students to remember that it is their actions, values and behaviours that direct social media use—and not the other way around.
This is NOT your ordinary “social media” presentation, and well worth the time.”
Gillian Martin; Assistant Head; Senior School, Havergal College, (Toronto, ON)
“More and more, our students live in the digital world, and daily feel its impact on their lives. Chris’ message resonates with them because he understands this world, and speaks with them about how social media empowers them to ‘be awesome’ by using their social accounts to build their reputations and drive influence. Our students came away from the presentation with a reoriented relationship to this digital world – recognizing their own ability to harness the power it provides to build their own futures.”
Bronwyn McLeod; Teacher, Cawthra Park Secondary School, (Mississauga, ON)
“Chris Vollum takes the completely opposite approach of traditional schools around the use of social media. Instead espousing its negative side, he presents the use of social media as a tool to positively impact everyone’s life. His message of character, honesty, integrity, compassion, and values around the use of social media is relevant to all students and adults. I encourage all schools to invite Chris to present his Social Media Fitness. His presence at our school has changed the way we think about social media as a learning tool, an outreach platform, and a way to stay connected.”
Jeffrey Evener; Assistant Superintendent for Personnel, Auburn Enlarged City School District, (Auburn, NY)
“Chris’ message to staff, students and parents was engaging and positive. It focussed on the benefits of social networking through online media applications as a means of “adding value” to the world. Participants of the workshop could relate to the real-life and profound examples Chris used throughout his presentation. My conversations with many participants after the workshop highlighted the positive impact Chris’ message had on their online behaviour. Thank you, Chris, for working so closely with me to provide such a phenomenal and meaningful presentation. I highly recommend to others that they reach out to Chris Vollum to change the way individuals in their community think about their use of social media.”
David Van Laecke; Vice Principal, Simcoe Composite School, (Simcoe, ON)
“Dear Chris; You were a pleasure to work with. Your Social Media Fitness presentation was a timely and important one for us, and led to some wonderful – and very positive – conversations that I know will continue across HSC. The student session for our Middle and Upper school students was relevant, interactive and a surprisingly refreshing perspective on social media that we have not yet seen. Our students were captivated and personally involved from the first minute in. Well done.
With our parents, although many are technology users (although not necessarily “digital natives”), very few understand the real power that apps contain, not only in terms of how addictive they can be – the darker side, as it were – but also the ways in which they can inform, foster positive social change, and build one’s reputation: thank you for that! I’ve no doubt you will be visiting HSC again. Indeed, we look forward to it. Many thanks.”
William Peat; Vice Principal – Senior School, Hillfield Strathallan College (Hamilton, ON)
“Effective educators face different audiences each and every day. Chris Vollum is one of these individuals. Facilitating an educational programme based on the fast-paced world of social media with a focus on facts, safety and authentic feedback allows for an optimal learning opportunity. Chris Vollum is so successful in accomplishing this task for students, parents and faculty. As an educator who was present for both the student and parent sessions, I could feel the engagement that the audience had with Chris, in both venues.
Our student body and parent community walked away with a sense of new-found knowledge, a hunger for more information in this area and an awareness that the Social Media Fitness presentation allowed them to be better informed participants as they go forward. I highly recommend Chris Vollum as a leader of leaders for educators, students and parents as we continue to embrace social media in our daily lives.”
Cheryl Diefenbacher; Director of Student Services, Hillfield Strathallan College (Hamilton, ON)
“As a school community, we had been researching speakers to engage our students, staff and parents on social media, a topic that has been a top-of-list item with our parent council. From our Peel Board’s Climate team we were referred to Chris Vollum’s Social Media Fitness school presentations.
I believe that I can speak not only for myself but for our students, teachers and parents in saying that we thoroughly enjoyed Chris’ experience, perspective and real-life demonstrations on how Social Media can, and does, play an increasingly important and beneficial role in the lives of many people. As well, students learned first-hand that using social media to build an online portfolio of content that is positive, respectful and character-driven is a must-have in today’s connected world.
What our school found most refreshing, however, was that this was the first presentation that did not focus on the negatives and what “not-to-do’s” online, which is the direction of many Internet presentations. Chris’ work made us think critically and in completely new ways as he illustrated the tools with which to begin building exceptional online content. In closing, I recommend highly that you bring Chris Vollum and his unique Social Media Fitness experience to your school.”
Lisa Miller-Wood; Principal, Ross Drive Public School, (Brampton, ON)
“Finding a social media expert who can speak to students about digital leadership can be challenging. Why? Because many experts discourage the use of social media altogether and warn of the pitfalls. What we love about Chris Vollum is his ability to broaden the discussion to how and why students should embrace social media as a platform to be used to build one’s reputation, and connect directly with future life influencers, including post-secondary recruiters and employers. His Social Media Fitness keynote at our 2015 Peel PowerUp Conference inspired Peel District School Board students to develop and maintain positive digital footprints, and for that we are infinitely thankful.”
Carla Pereira; Manager of Communications, Peel District School Board, (Mississauga, ON)
“After searching through a number of PLN’s and other social media resources, I came across Chris Vollum, a social media educator from Canada. We invited him to our Guilderland school district to present to our students and parent families; elementary, middle and high school. To say the week was a success is an understatement. Chris’ knowledge of current social media trends and its global influence on culture and our student’s lives, combined with his delivery and rapport with all participants was instant and relevant at a level they fully embraced. Students were inspired as evidenced by the large numbers of student tweets to Chris and to our district Twitter account following the high school presentation.
In short, it was a great week all around. Chris, we were thrilled with your presentations. There is a great energy and buzz that will lead to some fantastic discussions in days and weeks to come. And in the words of one middle-school teacher, ‘in my 19 years at this school (Farnsworth Middle School) this was by far the best presentation I’ve ever experienced.’
In closing, we plan on having Chris return to our district. If you are considering social media education for your district (Board), and want to witness a completely different experience and perspective on social media and how your students, faculty and parents can leverage their online presence, I highly recommend Chris Vollum as a must-have presenter to your community.”
Dr. Demian Singleton; Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Guilderland Central School District, (Guilderland, NY)
“This is my 6th time seeing Chris Volllum, and I am always amazed at how current his presentation is in terms of not only content, but of the real-life examples he uses to demonstrates the benefits and pitfalls of social media. Chris’ interactive and engaging presentation for both students and parents also provided the audience time to reflect on their own use of and comfort level with social media. Students thoroughly enjoyed the presentation (especially the senior students who brought their devices to the presentation), and parents commented on their own need for learning to better enable them to monitor and counsel their children on safe and appropriate use. I also want to thank Chris for providing handouts to students and parents, and for inviting us to post the materials on our school website.”
Loui Silvestri; Principal, Sunningdale Public School, (Oakville, ON)
“Having had to deal with some issues involving Facebook and Instagram already this year with my students, I felt it was time to bring someone in to speak to my students about their use of social media apps and how they can both positively and negatively affect lives. I was doing some research online on how to get my parents involved to a greater extent in my school community and Chris’ name came up as I was Googling an Ontario School District. Further research indicated positive reviews and so I booked Chris to come out to southern Manitoba to speak to the five high schools in the region. He was very accommodating and fit us all in, in addition to a parent evening, over 2 days. My students were very engaged as he explained to them some of the positive ways that they could use their devices to paint a great picture of themselves as potential university students. Thanks Chris for visiting with us and I would have no hesitation recommending you to my colleagues.”
Tammy MacDonald; Principal, Northlands Parkway Collegiate, (Winkler, MB)
“Our entire learning community of over 1,200 students and teachers had the privilege of hearing Chris Vollum speak on both the power and the perils of social media usage. Certainly the most powerful message he shared with our learners was that their grades, their expertise and their marks were slowly taking a back seat to their CHARACTER. Creating online stories that reflect our students’ ability to discern, to communicate, to think, to self-direct and to collaborate within a larger community implies sophisticated “Social Media Fitness.” We thank him for directing us to shape our online stories within our Catholic Vision of the Learner.”
Helena Mesich; Teacher-Librarian, Cardinal Léger Secondary School, (Brampton, ON)
“Thank you, Chris, for delivering a message to staff, students and parents that truly promotes the benefits of social media. By taking control of your content and networking to enhance your opportunities in life, you can send a message, through social media, that aligns with your ambitions, values and beliefs. Your presentation is highly recommended!”
Priscilla Mochrie; Principal, Chedoke School, (Hamilton, ON)
“I found Chris Vollum’s presentation on Social Media Fitness very relevant and engaging to our students. Chris is able to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of creating an online profile with respect to a variety of mediums (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn). His presentation uses student-friendly language and was very engaging for both students and staff.”
Ravinder Johal; Principal, Mississauga Secondary School, (Mississauga, ON)
“Chris Vollum’s excellent presentation on social media opened up the thinking of our students, faculty and parents. His message was an empowering one. He emphasized that while we need to recognize the risks of social media, he encouraged us to “capture the future” and celebrate the possibilities available to us as we create our own online stories.”
Karrie Weinstock; Deputy Principal, Branksome Hall, (Toronto, ON)
“Chris Vollum’s captivating Social Media Fitness presentation struck a chord not only with our students who came to appreciate the importance of how to safely navigate through social networking sites, but also with our parent community interested in equipping themselves with the knowledge and skills to help their own children circumvent potential pitfalls associated with the virtual world of communication. Chris was highly effective in relaying how to use such social media tools as a means to impart authentic and respectful messaging in order to build and sustain a positive online persona. Thank you Chris!”
Kimberley Wagner; Principal; Rosanna Totino, VP, Ventura Park Public School, (Thornhill, ON)
“I have seen Chris Vollum’s presentation on Social Media three times over the last four years. The presentations are always so current and relevant, and teachers and students are fully engaged. His knowledge and humour are a perfect blend. As a teacher of senior students this presentation is a must-see. So much of what I dialogue about in my classes is authenticated by his expertise. It is a great way to learn how to make the power of Social Media a tool to learn, to connect and to make positive change.”
Myra Pierias; Dept. Of Religious Education, Corpus Christi CSS, (Burlington, ON)
“Chris’ presentation was exceptional – he provided facts, stories, and issues related to social media that are relevant to our boys’ lives. His message was clear, concise, and authentic. Our students were able to identify with the various scenarios he provided. Most all, Chris reinforced the importance of demonstrating safe online behaviour, not only for today, but for the future as well.”
Sabrina D’Angelo; Director of Middle School, St. Andrew’s College, (Aurora, ON)
“Chris delivers a message that encourages his audience [staff, parents and students] to reflect on the advantages of social media. It was very refreshing to hear such a balanced perspective that promotes users to strive to ‘control their content’ rather than ‘letting the content control you.’ Rather than messaging through a lens of ‘fear’, Chris delivers a presentation through a filter of respect and empowerment. He kept it engaging, appropriate and relevant for all of our students [grades 3-6] and came back in the evening to put on a separate interactive presentation for our parent community. Highly recommended.”
Gus Mihailovich; Principal, Lakeshore Public School, (Oakville, ON)
“Chris’ Social Media presentation for students, educators and parents is an absolute MUST SEE! If you are a Generation X parent with a child over the age of 9 and are not the daily Twitter/ Vine / Instagram / Facebook / YouTube/ Tumblr, kind of person, then arm your parental arsenal with Chris’ social media “Coles Notes.” Students at our school were hanging off Chris’ every word with a mixture of shock, enlightenment and probably a little remorse. Attendees at Chris’ Parent Lecture went home newly educated with a sense of urgency to make some serious changes.
Chris’ lecture is unique because he provides expertise on something that most parents and educators are just learning themselves and is not part of any formal curriculum. I firmly believe providing this unique social media education to our young students will give then an advantage over their peers in the future. Chris touches on how to protect your privacy, reputation management, self marketing for a bright future and how to maximize your social media experience in general. I am grateful as a parent to have learned from Chris so I can better guide my children in the future to make social media work for for them.”
Gina Lalani; School Council Chair, Sam Chapman Public School, (Markham, ON)
“As educators and parents, we all realize the importance of having our children computer-literate.
Their ability to connect and share ideas be it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat might be the difference between obtaining that dream position or not being considered.
Mr. Vollum presents in a highly interactive and relevant fashion, the need for all of us – students, educators and parents to become more actively aware of what we post and comment to online as the consequences of our actions may be life-long and not what we may have intended. During Chris’ presentation, I found many students and parents clearly shocked in response to the real-life personal stories of individuals who lost their promotion or dream college due to what they believed to be simply an ‘innocent’ post or picture. For us educators in the audience we were surprised at the overwhelming numbers of our pupils with Facebook, Twitter or Youtube accounts.
In the end, Chris offers timely advice on how we all can protect our privacy and virtual identities and by doing so offers a message of empowerment and a way forward. He argues that we can and need to be engaged in this global digital community and that its advantages far exceed the risks once we are aware of them!
I highly recommend any school and parental community to invite Chris to speak on this important topic.”
Tom Prugo; Vice Principal, St. Raymond Cath. Elem. School, (Mississauga, ON)
“Chris Vollum presented his Social Media Fitness presentation at our school on December 11, 2013. It was tremendously informative and most importantly recast the issue of children and social media as a matter of digital citizenship. It really challenged my underlying assumptions about the role of social media in the lives of our kids and its capacity to enable them to become engaged global citizens.
My approach to managing my children’s engagement with social media has up to this point been solely designed to minimize its impact on them, rather than helping them to develop a relationship to it that goes beyond status updates and pictures of cats. I think the emphasis on respect, reputation and context are an excellent way to recast the issue.
Encouraging students to develop meaningful, engaged and affirming online personas is more likely to result in positive outcomes than is only telling them to be careful and warning them about the negative possibilities associated with careless social media activity.”
Upper School Faculty; The Waldorf School, (Thornhill, ON)
“On November 12, 2013 Chris Vollum presented to our grade 4-8 students and later in the evening to parents. Chris supported our goal of reviewing, reflecting and gaining a better understanding of Social Media and how it impacts our reputations, personal safety and engagement with others.
Our students gained insight into why adults try to guide them in their decision making around Social Media. Our parent community learned much about the perils of unsupervised Social Media engagement for their child. As a school, we are better prepared to continue to dialogue about the use of Social Media.
Chris is a dynamic speaker who captures the attention of his audience no matter what age group. A must-have presenter in your school!”
Cheryl Hayles; Vice Principal, Ecolé Forest Trail Public School, (Oakville, ON)
“Today’s (Sept, 2013) assembly for parents, teachers, administrators and all Grade 5-8 students was definitely one-of-a-kind. Chris Vollum is not only a great guy, he is extremely well informed about the Social Media circus our students are all performing in. There was not a person who left today’s workshop who didn’t say to me, “I’m going to change my settings when I get home.” The lessons taught, the stories told and the expertise that Chris brings to the table are all spectacular. The information shared is relevant, it speaks to the children, in their vernacular, and helps to wake up parents. The footprints we leave online will hopefully help and carve out a passage for others to follow…because today we learned that these ‘footprints’ are here to stay.”
Michael Levinsky; Middle School Coordinator (North Campus), The Leo Baeck Day School (Thornhill, ON)
“I have known Chris Vollum now for more than six years. In that time I have had the opportunity to sit in on a number of his Facebook 101 presentations. What has impressed me is that the presentation never remains static and is continually revised, even in name changes and scope, to reflect current information that is relevant to students, school staff and parents. As a Halton Police and in-school Education Officer, my first priority when speaking with students is emphasizing the importance of safety, recognizing and minimizing danger risks and increasing privacy awareness, online.
What resonates strongly with me is that while Chris addresses these same topics, he takes it to the next level in a user-friendly, balanced and understandable way using language and real-world examples that are instantly identifiable with students. Facebook is still a predominant part of student life, however, I invited Chris this summer (2013) to speak with our Youth in Policing Initiative (YiPi) secondary school students to present a broader perspective of social media and to illustrate sites popular with students such as Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and SnapChat.
I found the new presentation, renamed “Social Media Fitness,” updated to reflect current student issues, challenges and, what I found refreshing, opportunities for them to use social media to their personal and professional advantage. In closing, I highly recommend that all schools and their communities strongly consider having Chris and his “Social Media Fitness” presentation made available to students, staff, administrators and parents.”
Constable Drew Scott; Halton Regional Police Services (in-school DARE, B.R.A.V.O. and Education Officer)
“Thank you for sharing this important message with our school community. It was obvious by the students’ rapt attention that this information is extremely relevant to their lives. What a great perspective you presented to our students. Your presentation is definitely a must-see.”
Heather Harris; Principal, Kakabeka Falls District Public School (Kakabeka Falls, ON)
“WOW!! Such a powerful, timely and informative presentation to our students and parent community. You have left our Markville community buzzing! With your Social Media wisdom it has been an absolute pleasure to work with you and we definitely look forward to another visit.”
Ann Cape; Teacher-Librarian (Dept. Head), Markville Secondary School (Markham, ON)
“Thank you, Chris, for your excellent “Social Web 101” presentation. The students really appreciated that you were acknowledging them as social media users and not setting Facebook out as a major “taboo” (which as we know makes it all that much more desirable). They also appreciated how knowledgeable you were and that you demonstrated what you were talking about so they could see it in real-time. I find that many students are risk-takers and they like to follow along with what is happening. It seems that social media is changing so quickly that some students are taking risks with what they are posting and where they are lurking because they don’t really know the mechanics of how to do it otherwise. To me this was the real learning for many: How to protect their privacy and the real implications if they don’t.
Also, how to actually use their social media profiles to enhance their reputation, highlight their finest attributes and skills, and to be intentionally discovered by future influencers in their life. It is clear that you have developed a real understanding for how to talk so that students will listen. We really appreciate the work you are doing in this important area.”
Dr. Heike Bronson; Vice Principal, Humberview Secondary School (Bolton, ON)
“Chris’s presentations are current, relevant and proactive for the many students involved in social media activity without the proper knowledge and skills. His real life examples of students involved in cyber-bullying and the negative impact on life resonates with our Middle School population as it is a practice that is becoming rampant. The more factual stories that students hear, the greater the learning for them on what is appropriate and inappropriate. I am pleased that Chris emphasized the positive uses of social media and how students can be safe on the Internet.
His presentations are absolutely enlightening and rewarding.”
Annesia Khan; Principal, Dolphin Senior Public School (Mississauga, ON)
“Thank you for your presentation on Facebook 101 and the Tips for Parents. Your presentation was informative and captured the attention of our students, staff and parents. This is certainly a timely topic as we need to teach our students and parents how to use this valuable communication tool safely and avoid risks to students. We received very positive feedback from our schools and parents on your presentation.”
Terry Grand; Superintendent of Education, London Catholic District School Board (London, ON)
“On June 6, 2012 the London District Catholic School Council and Parent Involvement Committee hosted Chris Vollum as a guest speaker for two sessions. With the use of live video streaming we were able to offer the presentation to all of our students from grade 6 to grade ten for the afternoon session. An evening session for parents was offered at one of our local high schools and again with the use of live video stream we were able to offer the presentation for home viewing to parents who were unable to make to the event in person.
Feedback on this event was nothing but positive. Students who viewed the presentation live were interested and engaged by Chris in the presentation. The feedback from teachers and principals who participated was that the presentation was invaluable to both themselves and the students. The evening session for parents was well attended with several parents participating through the live video stream. Audience surveys were all positive indicating that 100% of the audience felt Chris was well informed and adept at presenting the material in a manner that was easily understood. All felt he did a good job of outlining the risks of social media and of demonstrating the use of the various tools available to properly manage risk on various social media sites.
One parent commented that; ‘Chris showed me that properly used and with appropriate consideration for privacy and safety, social media can be a fun and exciting tool to keep up with family and friends across the country. I feel more confident in my ability to protect my children online after this presentation.’
We have had nothing but positive feedback about this presenter and highly recommend Facebook 101 for learning communities to incorporate in their special events for their year.”
Mary-Lou VanBerkel; Chair, London Catholic District School Board & PIC (London, ON)
“We have had the good fortune to have Chris Vollum present to students, parents and teachers over the past two years on the benefits and perils of Social Media. Strong positive feedback confirms that many were not fully aware of the impact of the different privacy settings. With ongoing changes to Social Media, we will continue to bring Chris back to provide a balanced, honest and appropriately targeted message to our community.”
Donald Kawasoe; Head of the Prep & Upper Schools, Upper Canada College (Toronto, ON)
“Chris Vollum strikes the right tone and message for both parents and student audiences with his highly informative and interactive Facebook 101 presentation.
Chris reassures parents and validates for students that Facebook is an excellent communication medium if used properly with the necessary privacy settings and content.
He speaks as a caring, helpful father of two children and develops a wonderful rapport and dialogue with his audiences. Eyes pop open when he goes on Facebook in real-time and people see what is accessible to the world.
Both parents and students spoke to me after attending Chris Vollum’s Facebook 101 presentation to say ‘that was so interesting, informative and helpful. I kept wanting to hear more and see what is actually posted for the world to see.’ One student said “I was scared at times about university admissions and jobs but he helped me to know how to manage my settings and content.”
Tam Matthews; Headmaster, Ashbury College (Ottawa, ON)
“Chris Vollum was an extremely knowledgeable and engaging speaker on this topical subject. He gave his audiences a great deal to think about and to take away. If you have not yet seen the Facebook 101 presentation, I strongly recommend that you do so soon.”
Barry Hughes; Head of School, Holy Trinity School (Richmond Hill, ON)
“Chris Vollum delivered to our middle school students his Facebook 101 presentation. It was simply outstanding and all of our students were engaged and learned new information on how to set custom settings, friend’s lists, where and how information is stored and can be accessed and what Facebook users need to do to protect themselves. The presentation also tapped into how many employers and universities/colleges are researching potential candidates on Facebook. Real life examples and stories shared really left quite an impression on our students and staff. The content was very relative, simple to understand and the presentation was very well paced.
This is a MUST see presentation for all elementary and secondary schools.”
Roula Skordakis; Principal, C R Marchant Middle School (Toronto, ON)
“Our students and parent community were very engaged in the presentation by Chris Vollum! FACEBOOK 101 is extraordinarily relevant to the lives of our students as they heard about the benefits and drawbacks to FACEBOOK. In addition, our parents had the opportunity to enjoy an informative and engaging evening with Chris. Everyone involved learned about various responsible use tips with great ideas for using FACEBOOK in a positive way. Our school community was extremely engaged in this presentation and had great questions for Chris.
I found Chris to have a very engaging manner with our students and parents and he provided a valuable service to our community. Thanks for a terrific presentation Chris, it was a pleasure to have you visit our school community!”
John Legere; Principal, Aurora Grove Public School (Aurora, ON)
“The presentation by Chris Vollum was outstanding! Both parents and students learned so much about FACEBOOK and the impact it is having on our students. Safety tips presented on a student handout provided the children and their parents with great ideas for using FACEBOOK in a positive way. Our students were totally engaged in this presentation and had great questions for Chris. The parents have already asked for Chris to return to our school for part two! Thanks for a great educational programme, Chris!”
Marni Collier; Principal, Rosedale Heights Public School (Thornhill, ON)
“Our students were very engaged with Chris’s Facebook 101 presentation since it was so relevant to what they deal with on a day-to-day basis. Clearly, the challenges and concerns related to using Facebook were addressed in a most appropriate and direct manner. As a result, our students gained a far better understanding of what the implication could be if Facebook was used inappropriately or in a manner that could be questionable. Chris addressed the students in a calm and poised manner, and created a very informative and invitational environment that facilitated extensive student involvement and interest in the presentation.”
Sheldon Diamond; General Studies Principal, Associated Hebrew Schools (Toronto, ON)
“The Facebook 101 workshop allows me as Principal to help protect and educate our kids and community for a future that is forever changing and redefining itself. Facebook 101 teaches kids about the social media and the dangers that face us when sharing personal information on the web. We are grateful to have Facebook 101 support kids and families so that when they use Facebook, they are using it with safety parameters and with the knowledge that they are posting personal photos and information that are no longer their property, or in their control. Facebook 101 teaches kids how to make wise choices! We are grateful!”
Em Del Sordo; Principal, Westdale Secondary School (Hamilton, ON)
“As part of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan at GDHS, we asked Chris to conduct his Facebook 101 workshop with both our students and parents. From the questions raised during the presentations, it was clear that the workshops were both revealing and thought provoking. Chris is truly an expert in Facebook, and a great public speaker. His message about social media is very telling about the technological world we now live in, and a must see for any parent and student who currently uses Facebook.”
Nicholas Varricchio; Principal, Georgetown District High School (Georgetown, ON)
“We were extremely fortunate to have Chris Vollum present Facebook 101 to our Grade 9 students during Bullying Awareness Week. As the world of technology continues to evolve at a staggering pace, it’s imperative that we’re familiar and prepared with ways to keep ourselves safe. The presentation was both extremely informative and interesting, and definitely opened up the eyes of everyone in the audience, both students and staff alike.
Thank you Chris for helping to educate the future leaders of tomorrow, that what the students “post” today, may have a negative impact on their future. I strongly encourage everyone, whether or not they are currently using Facebook, to understand how this social media actually works.”
Gord McCarles; Vice Principal, Corpus Christi Catholic Secondary School (Burlington, ON)
“Chris Vollum spoke to our students and presented at our first School Council meeting of this 2010 year. When we asked our students, “How many of you have a FACEBOOK account,” it appeared that virtually every student raised their hand. Chris then, focusing on FACEBOOK, proceeded to educate our students on the pitfalls and safety issues of using any social networking site. Our students learned that both universities/colleges and some employers are now routinely looking at FACEBOOK pages before offering employment or acceptance to a program.
Our students left the presentations with the knowledge to ensure that their information is safe when accessing a social networking site – our parents learned how to keep their children safe! During one of the presentations, I observed some senior students managing their privacy settings as Chris walked them through the privacy settings for FACEBOOK. Thank you, Chris, for a wonderful presentation.”
Virginia Bregg; Vice Principal, Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School (Markham, ON)
“Although Facebook is not an educational media yet, schools would be naive to think its usage is not widespread amongst all of our stakeholders. Therefore, it is vitally important to educate ourselves on the risks, cautions and implications of using this powerful social outlet. Educating our school community so that they can make informed decisions is the logical and proactive thing to do.
I would like to thank our School Council and our principal, Violet Neheli, for their insight on bringing in someone like Chris Vollum to present this topic to our school community. His knowledge of this global community is amazing. Our students, parents and staff are now considerably more knowledgeable on the safeguards regarding the necessary precautions when using this communication tool. His anecdotes were very real and practical, providing insight to our kids on what could go wrong, and what is beneficial. Often, advancing technology is ahead of an ethical code of conduct on how to use it. Thank you Chris for helping prepare the future leaders of our community on this important current and futuristic issue.”
Robert Majdell; Vice Principal, St. Mary Secondary School (Cobourg, ON)
“Chris Vollum’s Facebook 101 presentations were extremely informative and useful. Chris geared his student workshops to each age level and as a result, the information was impactful and relevant. His parent workshop allowed parents to discuss and question what students are dealing with on a day-to-day basis through Facebook and the latest privacy and policy issues.”
Debbie Bell; Head of School (Primary Division), Fern Hill School (Oakville, ON)
“Mr. Vollum delivered a very relevant and insightful Social Media Presentation to our Grade 9 and 10 students. This target market sat quietly listening to the ways their own Social Media profiles could be violated by sexual predators or used against them in an attempt to besmirch their reputation. Chris’ examples were eye-opening to staff and students. It was very clear due to their attentiveness that our students appreciated his profile safeguarding tips. We used Mr. Vollum’s services as part of our Anti-Bullying Prevention and Progressive Discipline strategies. Chris articulated in a manner that was congruent with our students’ Social Media vernacular. I will have him back every year.”
David DeSantis; Principal, Christ the King Catholic Secondary School (Georgetown, ON)
“Chris Vollum’s ‘Facebook 101’ presentation is dynamic and engaging for all students. The message he delivers is incredibly important, as it directly impacts students’ lives both immediately and well into the future. Facebook has become a pervasive media presence that many, many people use as a social connection tool, and Chris informs students about the dangers and hazards involved, and how they can use Social Media safely and effectively. Chris’s presentation style is warm and direct and students are immediately taken with his message— they are attentive throughout his talk.
As well, his message leads to immediate action. After his Facebook 101 assembly, large numbers of students go home after school and immediately edit their Facebook pages and increase their personal security on-line. Every school needs to hear Chris’s presentation. Social Media is here to stay, and all students need effective strategies for dealing with it. Chris Vollum provides those strategies. I highly recommend his presentation.”
Nigel Scott; Vice Principal, Robert Bateman High School (Burlington, ON)
“I have had the pleasure of hearing Chris Vollum’s presentation, ‘Facebook 101,’ on three occasions, once as a parent and then twice in my professional capacity as Principal. The message to both students and parents is informative, clear and highly engaging. In all three instances Chris had the audience’s attention for almost two hours. The message Chris conveys is of high importance in today’s high technology society. The fact that 150 Grade 6 to 8 students sat in silence for the entire presentation listening to Chris and his message about how to keep themselves safe, while still having fun on Facebook speaks volumes to the importance and relevance of ‘Facebook 101.’ They appreciated the step-by-step guidelines that Chris provided on using Facebook in a positive, safe way.”
Heather Kempff; Principal, Brookville Public School (Brookville, ON)
“Chris Vollum’s FACEBOOK 101 Workshop is a must-see for all teenagers and adults who use FACEBOOK and social media in general. The students, staff and parents in our school are all now well equipped with the tools and know-how to ensure their safety and privacy when using Facebook. I would recommend that all school administrators and PTA groups contact Chris and book him ASAP!”
Netta Greenblatt; Co-Chair Parents Assn., Ann & Max Tanenbaum Hebrew Academy of Toronto
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