Learning Module Three

Student Voice

Step One

Read the Lesson

Whether or not students play a direct role in your school’s content creation, student voice should be a central consideration in your social media strategy. Your social media content should reflect the diverse and unique voices of the staff and students who represent your school community. In this way, student voice is closely tied to the elements of storytelling outlined earlier in the course.

Representation on Social Media

It’s important to consider how groups within your school community are represented on social media. There are several ways to approach this: You might, for example, have unique social profiles for your school district and one for each building. You might also have separate social accounts representing groups within your school community (e.g. the athletics department, the baseball team, the English department, the drama club, the school mascot). When deciding how to structure your accounts, it’s important to consider where your school or district has existing pages with established followings. It’s also useful to look at what is feasible from an administration standpoint, and how you will collect and curate content across numerous accounts within your school in a way that amplifies student voices within each group.

Whether you have a single social media page for each building or multiple pages across departments and clubs, Class Intercom is designed to accommodate a range of structures and access points with students and staff securely managing posts and content across pages and channels. Each account is called a “brand,” which may then have any number of sub-brands nested within it. For example, a district page could be set up as a single brand with handles for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, plus sub-brands for each of its buildings with handles for each of the aforementioned channels. Alternatively, a school could be set up as a primary brand with sub-brands for various teams, clubs, activities, departments, or other groups who need their own pages.

Regardless of how you structure pages (and the access and reporting permissions that go with them), it’s important to think about how all these pages reflect diverse student experiences and student voice across your school community. You’ll want to ensure your social content represents diverse student voices by building representation into your brand strategy and content calendar.

The Importance of Diverse Perspectives

When creating content calendars, be sure you’re working from a list of all your school’s extracurricular organizations. Of course, some groups – like sports teams – will receive more frequent recognition during their respective seasons, but be sure to create a balanced rotation of content for organizations that operate year-round. Collaborate with students and sponsors to understand when big events are scheduled (for example, quarterly service projects or regional competitions) and loosely slate coverage for those events on your content calendar. Beware not to focus solely on group activities when thinking about student voice.
Remember, students who fly under the radar have stories to tell, too. Consider that students are sometimes less visible in school or seemingly less engaged in popular school activities because their stories are unfolding outside school walls. Student experiences outside of the school community are still part of the story. Perhaps you have a student studying to earn her pilot’s license or one who works or volunteers at a local nursing home. Inviting students who are part of immigrant communities to share their experiences like traveling internationally and navigating language and cultural differences can not only bring visibility to underrepresented voices, it also creates inroads for understanding and relationship-building for students across different cultures. Further, these stories help humanize student experiences while also providing opportunities for your school to engage with citizens, leaders, businesses, and other organizations in the broader community.

Capturing Content across Groups

When it comes to identifying unique and sometimes even under-the-radar student stories, recruiting the help of classroom teachers and school staff members becomes especially important. No matter how intentional you are, no matter how engaged with the individuals of your school, you simply cannot be everywhere and know everything at once. Staff across all areas of school communities, including teachers, administrators, school nurses, guidance counselors, librarians, coaches, and others are well positioned to help amplify diverse student experiences when they’re empowered with the right tools. Indeed, Class Intercom provides a structured and secure access point for educators, administrators, and staff to uncover leads for stories and contribute moments to school socials under the direction and oversight of moderators at the district or building level.

Empowering Students

At Class Intercom, we believe the most powerful and authentic way to honor and amplify student voice is by inviting students to participate in content creation. While the level of student participation can vary from school to school and from district to district, as many as 30% of education professionals report that they have students actively participating in school social media content (2022 Social Media in Education Report).

There are a number of ways to get students involved depending on your goals, strategy, and capacity for oversight. Some districts offer social media classes or clubs where students work with teachers or sponsors to produce large portions of school social media content. Other districts have just one or two hand-selected student interns, who report to a communications specialist or administrator. Still other districts are jumping onboard with the social media takeover trend, where students “take over” a school’s social media account for a day or perhaps a week to showcase students’ perspectives and experiences firsthand. This is a great option for schools that aren’t ready to commit to consistent or more direct student involvement in their social media strategy. Class Intercom provides the technology and access points needed to manage social media channels, users (whether students or staff), and the content they contribute in one secure location–whether for an organized takeover or direct contributions on an ongoing basis. As Dr. Jill likes to say: Class Intercom allows every day to be a student takeover day!

The Value of Student Involvement

While it is possible to highlight diverse student perspectives without student content creators, there is much to be said for the value of having students directly capturing moments and experiences that contribute to the bigger picture of your school’s story. As with any other skill or subject, students learn best by doing. If we want our students to believe they have a voice, the best way is to give them a platform to share that voice in a safe and meaningful way. If we want students to develop social awareness and value the diverse perspectives of their peers, the best way is to task them with seeking out and amplifying those perspectives. If we want students to develop global mindsets and become responsible global citizens, the best way is to give them opportunities to engage with the world and share their experiences with others.

Step Two

Explore Additional Resources

Dive deeper on this module’s materials by exploring the additional resources below. 

CGTV Season 2

Video Series; 6 episodes
Insights that help students find, develop, and showcase their unique voice through social media for the classroom and beyond.

Amplify Marginalized Voices: An Education…

Video interview; 12 minutes
An interview with experienced education administrator and podcaster Dr. Shana Henry on her commitment to fostering agency by honoring and amplifying student voice.

Building a Team of Content Creators

eBook; 20 minutes
A how-to guide for forming and scaling content creation by engaging students and staff in meaningful ways.

5 Advantages of Having a Social Media Intern at Your School

Blog; 6 minutes
Student and former high school social media content creator Natalie Keller talks about the unique advantages of student-led storytelling.

The Power of Perspective: How Content Changes with Students Behind the Camera

Blog; 6 minutes
After 16 years of teaching secondary English, including years of coaching speech and advising the yearbook staff, Heather Zaruba learned something new about perspective.

Exploring Multimedia & Content Creation with High School Student Drew Collings

Podcast; 15 minutes
With aspirations to pursue sports media in college, Drew’s perspective as a content creator has evolved, prompting him to think critically about the messages he conveys and their contribution to each post as well as the way he collaborates with other students to cover the stories most pertinent to his school’s audience.

What Happens When Students Get Involved in School Social Media

Webinar; 45 minutes
In this webinar, we’ll talk about the magic that happens when students are empowered to create content for school social media accounts.

Step Three

Reflection Questions

Use these self-guided reflection questions to consider the preceding material in the context of your school or district’s current or planned school social media program. Considering these questions in the context of this learning module will also prepare you for the final capstone project.


Refer to the list you made at the end of the Storytelling learning module.

  • Does the list reflect the diversity of your school population?
  • Does the list include considerations for under-the-radar students?
  • Are there opportunities to update your list to be more inclusive of the marginalized voices in your school? If some of your ideas don’t fit the buckets suggested, create additional categories to be included in the storytelling rotation.

Have you ever implemented a student takeover of your social media?

  • If yes, briefly share the experience and at least two of your main takeaways from the takeover.
  • If you’ve never attempted a student takeover on social media, share briefly what factors keep you from doing so.

At its most basic level, a student takeover is a fun, high-energy way to highlight student voices on social media and allow students to dip their toes into content creation. With intentional planning, it can also be a powerful exercise that embodies the five pillars of Class Intercom Pedagogy. To maximize the impact of a student takeover, use these five questions to frame your approach:

  • What moments are you looking to capture or what story do you want to tell with this takeover?
  • Which voices are you specifically trying to amplify?
  • List at least two skills you want students to learn or practice with the takeover. Examples might include: photography, graphic design, branding, copywriting, perspective/point of view, representing diverse experiences, storytelling, interviewing, storytelling, editorial judgment, media ethics.

What specific digital citizenship skill(s) will students need to have learned or mastered to be successful in this takeover? (If your district has a digital citizenship curriculum, feel free to utilize it.)

  • What part of the community are you targeting with this takeover? And what action(s) do you want the community to take as a result of the takeover?

Share & Inspire

Have you been able to unearth stories within your school community that have piqued interests, garnered engagement, or even gone viral? Share some examples by screenshotting or linking your posts and providing a some brief context in your cohort’s Facebook group.

Share your Experiences

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