"Creativity is contagious, pass it on." ~Albert Einstein

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Your Kids Are Using Social Media...Are You?

My middle school newsletter article this month...

Chances are, you have some sort of social media account, whether it be Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter.   I read an article the other day that said right now approximately 70% of Americans are using some form of social media.  I imagine that number will only grow as we head into the future.  The world today is a whole lot different from when you and I grew up. There are so many ways to be connected!

It was trying to think of how I was “connected” back in my middle school days at Centura in 1986.  How did I communicate with my friends? How did I interact with others?  Well, I distinctly remember cruising up and down South Locust with my buddies and having those chats with others out our windows.  I remember making “dub tapes” of my favorite songs while listening to the weekly top 40, and then sharing them with my friends.  Now, we simply go to iTunes and purchase what we want.  How about actually calling up your buddies and getting a pick-up game of basketball or football going in the park? Sadly, I don’t see a lot of that anymore as I drive by a park.  Yes, kids still do some of these things, but a lot of their social interactions are taking place on devices.

I was curious to see how many of our students at Aurora Middle School are using social media so I constructed a very unscientific survey and had students complete it the first couple weeks of school.  Check out the results at the bottom of this article.  We have a lot (72%) of  students that are utilizing social media in one form or another.  Instagram is the most popular, followed by Facebook and Vine.  These forms of social media are very popular amongst teens right now, not only in Aurora, Nebraska, but all over the world.  I was a bit surprised by the Facebook statistic being so high as kids are starting to migrate from Facebook towards other forms of social media that their parents are NOT using.

My question for you is this….

Are you using these forms of social media?  If not, I would like for you to consider doing so.   Nationally known speaker Kevin Honeycutt once said, “Our kids are growing up on a digital playground and there are no teachers on recess duty!”  We as parents need to monitor and model the correct way to use social media.  
I would highly encourage you to sit down tonight with your child and have them share what social media sites/apps they are currently utilizing.  If you are unfamiliar with any of the sites/apps, have your child explain to you how it works and how they are using them.  Then, I would highly encourage YOU to download those apps, create and account and start using them.  “Friend” your child or follow them on the accounts. Be sure they do the same.  Because we have taught them the importance of online safety during Digital Citizenship, many students have made their accounts “private.”  If their account is private, they will need to allow you to “follow” them.

Together we can do a great job of making our Aurora Huskies even better students in the digital world that they are growing up in!  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to tweet, email, or call me at the school.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent thoughts! I teach middle school technology, and I did a similar survey with my kids several years ago, but you've inspired me to update it and see what kids are involved with. In case you didn't know, Common Sense Media just released another excellent set of resources for Digital Citizenship, specifically designed for connecting these discussions with families: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/connecting-families/



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