LINCOLN, NEB. – As schools across the country deal with social media issues like missing soap dispensers inspired by the recent TikTok challenge, some schools are taking a unique approach to change social media culture. They are educating students by allowing them to create their school’s social media content.
School student social media teams and courses are a growing trend across the country. In the recent 2021 Social Media in Education Report released by Class Intercom, 23% of schools have implemented student generated social media programs. Another 53% say that they are currently investigating student social media content programs in classroom or club settings.
After implementing a student social media content program at Northwest High School in Grand Island, Neb., administrators have seen a shift in social media student culture. “Although other factors play a part,” says principal, Tim Krupicka, “disciplinary issues regarding inappropriate social media use have decreased over the last three years since beginning our student-generated social media program.”
By integrating social media programs, schools are educating students on how to become better digital citizens and giving them a sense of responsibility to be ambassadors for the brand they represent, their school. “Social media is here to stay,” shares Class Intercom President, Dr. Jill Johnson. “Educators and parents need to acknowledge that it’s nearly impossible to keep students from the influence of social media. What we can do is educate students on how to use social media for good and be positive influencers. The classroom is where we can drive constructive social media culture and authentic digital citizenship.”
As social media continues to grow as a communication resource for connecting with students, families, and communities, schools are expanding their social media footprint with multiple social media pages on multiple social networks. While most schools reported having multiple social pages, 36% shared that they were managing more than 10 social media pages.
Districts are now maintaining oversight and creating content for multiple social media pages. With 73% of districts reporting social pages for each of their schools and 63% having pages for athletic teams, schools are having to juggle the coordination of content from multiple creation sources across multiple social networks. By engaging students in the content creation process, schools can create consistent content highlighting what is happening in their schools first hand while also giving students a real-world opportunity.
Secondary school principal, Brandon Mowinkel, from Milford Junior-Senior High School in Milford Neb. has been able to reinforce genuine content by allowing students to create and share what is happening in their schools. “By having students create content shared through social media, they are writing and sharing their own story and that of their peers.” Shares Mowinkel, “Students become a part of the larger narrative of the school which is shared publicly with the world.”
As schools move forward in creating student social media content programs and curriculum, educators and administrators have reservations that must be addressed. Sixty-six percent of schools were primarily concerned with the quality of student content. Another 34% had reservations about the inability to oversee student content, and 38% had concerns related to the level of effort required to manage such programs.
Social media management platforms, like Class Intercom, provide schools with the tools to securely manage and approve content being generated from multiple contributors and provide the structure needed to implement student social media programs. Nearly 90% of schools with student social media content programs are utilizing a social media management platform and 0% regret implementing the programs.
“The Class Intercom platform makes these programs possible. It mediates risk and allows schools to securely implement student content creation and digital citizenship programs while maintaining control of what is published on the school social pages,” shares Dr. Johnson. “It provides a secure environment for educators and advisors to provide students with both the freedom to create content and the structure to provide guidance.”
Class Intercom is a social media management platform designed for educational institutions to manage, coordinate, collaborate and monitor social media content and profiles. All data shared in this article is extracted from the 2021 Social Media in Education Report compiled by Class Intercom.