My students have been back in the classroom for just over a week! It was perfect timing to guide them through the conversation and questions for this post. They know I am participating in this course and were very willing to participate in this discussion with me. I honestly was surprised at how well they (grade 4!) responded to these questions.
Just to recap, these were the discussion prompts:
Here is a summary of their answers:
How do you connect with friends?
Why are these connections important to you?
What challenges do you face with these methods?
How do you face those challenges?
It was an interesting conversation to have with 9-10 year olds. The closest thing I can think of at that age was chain letters going around in the mail, possibly resulting in a penpal for a summer. I also don't know if some of that (Google Meets, etc) was because of having to learn from home for a few months or not.
In my recent classrooms (not just this class or this school), I have used Social Media with students as young as grade 3. We look through Twitter and use it together. We discuss what to do when someone adds us, and think about what we might do if we didn't want someone seeing our feed anymore. I know media's will change, but there will still likely be a continuity of blocking people and having security settings, so feel like it is important to teach them while they are young and in a group.
I think of Jennifer Casa-Todd again when I think of these lessons. I tried to pick just one blog post of hers to link here, but cannot. So here is the whole website! She describes part of her work as:
"Tackling courageous conversations about the use of social media in school while highlighting the elements of what she defines as Digital Leadership. Students are learning, and sharing their learning, they are standing up for important causes and they’re being a positive influence on others. So in reality, it’s about changing our lens. Moving away from a fear narrative towards this more positive stance, and then looking at using social media in the context of our classrooms and digital leadership at a younger age through class accounts." - Jennifer Casa-Todd
Here is a video of her talking at MassCUE Conference 2018 about her journey in promoting positive influencers in her students.
Do you use social media in your classroom?
Have you read Jennifer Casa-Todd's book Social LEADia? If not, I encourage you to. It is very inspiring and I shared some of the stories with my students a couple of years ago, who responded well. It is a great way for students to see these positive uses of media and technology.
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