Educators Innovate to Keep Up with 21st Century Skills
As the economy shifts, 21st century skills have been identified and schools around the country are working to ensure students can practice and build their competencies. Using technology and collaborating via social media provide authentic learning opportunities in developing them:
- Critical Thinking
- Creative Thinking
- Information Literacy
- Media Literacy
- Technology Literacy
- Social Skills
The Content GenerationⓇ Award showcases educators who are innovative in their pursuit of ensuring students have authentic opportunities to strengthen these essential skills while still in K-12 schools. Educators throughout the country were nominated for the award based on their work to utilize social media to connect with others and highlight their educational community.
After a nomination period and public voting period, two teachers were named winner and runner up. All nominations exemplify how educators are innovative and steadfast in their pursuit of preparing students with the skills needed to achieve success in the world outside of their classrooms, while keeping learning fun, authentic, and practical.
Educator Wins with Student-Led Social Media Group
Jamie Beavers, journalism teacher at Midway High School in Waco, Texas, is this year’s Content GenerationⓇ Award Winner for her initiative focused on College and Technical Education (CTE) Month. The mission of the initiative was to shine light on the CTE educators at their school.
Beavers’s CTE Month initiative provided students in her Newspaper class an experience in creating content for a purpose other than themselves. Students generated interview questions, interviewed educators, analyzed social media channels for posting, photographed , and shared their posts using the Class Intercom platform. Students in her class not only refined their 21st century skills, but also applied journalism, marketing, digital literacy, and digital media skills. She taught them to think about people and programs, social media channel’s purposes, and collaboration.
The initiative didn’t only impact the content creators in Newspaper class, but also students in Jenny Kolb’s Graphic Design class. They created graphics that paired with the CTE posts.
The impact Beavers has using social media at her school doesn’t end with this project. She is also the leading educator contributor on the Class Intercom platform for the district. She creates weekly parent and student email newsletters and creates posts that highlight students and educators throughout the district.
Since Beavers started using Class Intercom in 2019, social media traffic and engagements for the school have increased across all social channels. She doesn’t do it alone, she appoints two or more students each year to serve as social media managers and has lessons on etiquette and rules for posting. Beavers’s creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking named her the winner of The 2022 Content GenerationⓇ Award.
Educator Achieves Runner Up for Whole School Initiative
John Wilson, Director of Communications at Mustang Public Schools in Mustang, Oklahoma, is dedicated to meeting each child’s needs through evolving personalized learning experiences and opportunities. One way he does this is through the Student 1:1 program, #WeAreMpowered.
The program is designed to empower MPS students’ personalized learning, future ready journeys. All students in grades 5-12 use a district-owned chromebook to expand access to content.
With the push for students to be college and career ready and equipped with 21st century skills, the use of technology allows for evidence-based instructional approaches and new learning opportunities.
Educators in the district are equipped with specially designed professional development to support the facilitation, guidance, and personalization of student learning with research-based practices to enhance lessons, projects, problem solving, and assignments. Additionally, educators are helping students develop key students skills and responsibilities necessary to safely and effectively navigate the digital transformation of today and the highly-skilled, technology driven global world of tomorrow.
Prior to implementation of this initiative, Wilson utilized videos, graphics, and social media to ensure stakeholders understood the facts behind the bond. Since the program’s approval, he continues to work to help both educators and students find success with technology. His work uniting the community and school has earned him runner-up for The 2022 Content GenerationⓇ Award.
Innovation and Passion Drive Educators
As the world keeps changing and new challenges arise for educators, they continue to move forward with innovation, passion, and tenacity to serve the students in our county.
As a former educator and high school assistant principal, I know that the outcomes of their efforts do not represent the challenges they overcome. Education evolves over time to keep up with our global society. Teachers continue to learn how to best address the changes while keeping in mind pedagogy and research-based practices.
Be sure to take a look, admire even, the finalists of The 2022 Content Generation Award. You are sure to witness the work that goes into preparing students with 21st century skills by creating authentic, student-centered projects and guaranteeing access to opportunities for all learners.
A big thank you to the nominators and nominees and all the educators who capitalize on social media to develop the content generation and unify communities. Your work is important in telling the stories of your students, educators, schools, and communities.
Congratulations Jamie Beavers and John Wilson!
Join us for our webinar, Why Would I Let My Students Take Over Our School’s Social Media?, on April 20th at 3:30 CST.
Join Quill and Scroll Executive Director, Jeff Browne and student content creators as they discuss the power of student-led school social media. Students are the biggest untapped resource in schools today. Rather than stifling their creativity and complaining about how social media is ruining society, why not give students the opportunity to create quality content for an authentic audience without relinquishing control? You will learn tips and tricks on how to
- Determine quality content
- Teach students to create quality content
- Ensure the content represents the school brand
- Highlight examples of student work