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One Small Step for Students, One Giant Leap for Education

Green background with students holding thought and speech bubbles representing student generated content

October 2021

Student-Generated School Content is a Small Step for Students

Student-generated school content is a small step for students. They already live in a world where much of their information comes from social media whether it be facebook, twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or SnapChat, and many create content everyday. 

However, the move for schools from a single or small number of social media collaborators to a team of creators is a giant leap. The 2021 Social Media in Education Report revealed that over 75% of schools see the value of student-created social media programs and nearly 25% have implemented programs for students to create content for their school. There are some hurdles that are holding many back:  

  1. More work for administration and teachers.
  2. Difficulty in managing student content.
  3. Ensuring  high quality content.

The Trip to the Moon Was Not a Solo Adventure

Giant Leap:  According to the 2021 Social Media in Education Report, 38% of respondents  were concerned that student-generated content would make more work for teachers and administrators.

Small Step: The trip to the moon was not a solo adventure. Currently, administrators spend a lot of time ensuring that social media is on brand and all-encompassing. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some help? By allowing students and teachers to join in the fun, you can ensure all groups and activities are represented on social media. In the long run, implementing student-generated content will allow teachers and administrators to observe from the sidelines, and allow others to tell the school’s story. 

Neil Armstrong’s First Step Was Not On the Moon

Giant Leap:  According to the 2021 Social Media in Education Report, 34% were concerned about the inability to manage student content. 

Small Step: Neil Armstrong’s first step was not on the moon. He completed a simulation of the Extravehicular Activity (EVA) they would conduct on the moon. He then completed eight flights with the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle. He completed 12 simulated moon landings. Armstrong and his team gradually learned how to take their trip. Like many lessons in education, a gradual release of responsibility is a great place to start. Begin with a few students to work out the kinks in management before bringing more than you can handle. Practice with a few posts and provide more topics and posts when they begin to show proficiency. With Class Intercom’s platform, moderation and management is built right in. It makes it easy to empower students in content creation because passwords, posts, and responses are secure. 

Astronauts Plan and Prepare for Takeoff

Giant Leap: According to the 2021 Social Media in Education Report, 66% of respondents were concerned with ensuring  the quality of student content. 

Small Step: Astronauts plan and prepare for takeoff. A little over 50 years ago, a plan was set to land on the moon. Neil Armstrong and colleagues had a carefully created  plan in place and they created programs to practice. Implementing programs, whether curricular or extracurricular will help ensure content. About half of the schools who took the leap and include students’ contributions for school social media have implemented content creation into courses such as, journalism, business, marketing, and career readiness. Students make plans and learn what they can do to take content creation to the next level. About 40% of respondents in the 2021 Social Media and Education report have created extracurricular programs such as social media clubs, teams, and internships. Teaching students about digital citizenship, writing copy, and marketing through social media helps ensure quality content creation. In late November, Class Intercom is releasing a common core aligned two week social media unit with lesson plans to help students critically think about becoming social media influencers by using a content calendar and designing a school social media campaign. 

Although it seems like a giant leap for schools to transition students into social media content creation, when respondents were asked if they regret it, ZERO said they regretted implementing their student social media programs. Implementing programs and allowing students to use social media to help the school teaches digital citizenship and allows students to engage in relevant activities that builds unity between the school and community. Implementing student-generated social media is one small step for students, and one giant leap for education. 

Start small. Offer the So You Want to Be an Influencer Lesson Guide and Activities to selected teachers to start off the new year. 

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Author: Robyn Warner

With 13 years of experience in education, Robyn has served as a high school English teacher, dean of students, and assistant principal. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies, teaching certification in both Language Arts and English as a Learning Language, Master’s degrees in Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education and Educational Administration.

Robyn can be contacted at robyn@classintercom.com

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