While educators were debating if we should provide students with email a funny thing happened... ...students invested their time in creating, populating, and curating their own channels of social media.
Bring Your Own
The BYO (Bring Your Own) movements used to be device-centric. The idea was to allow students to bring personal devices to school to increase student access to the Internet.
While we asked students to provide things which sit on a desk, we may have ignored the channels they created carry with them into our classrooms.
While a BYO device was costly and depended on parental support, BYO social media channels were entirely within the discretion of our students.
Educators now find themselves in a place where the devices are not the most precious piece of technology students possess, to students anyway. Their channels are. These channels might be YouTube, Instragram, or SnapChat. But they have a way to interact on these channels and are constantly producing content for these channels.
Educators should want a place at that table! How can we help our students responsibly fill their channels with products they and their families will be proud of?
Your Kid’s Channel
Teachers should never require students to sign up for any social media. However, making a social media post/production a choice of an activity/project should engage students who are always looking for ways to fill their social media feed.
Educators take advantage of the thirst for products students have and allow submissions of social media of assignments and projects!
Tune to What Channel?
Could teachers actually accept any social media as work? Do we have systems built for ‘any channel?’ Maybe.
Your school firewall may block YouTube, Vine, Tumblr for students. While students may use their own network, you cannot ask/tell them to do so as an educator (CIPA). Homework, with a lot of advanced information home, may be your safest route. You can try to get social medias unblocked, but the nature of them is there are frequently new ones, and you don’t know about them before the kids do. Better to aim for projects/homework which accept the URL of most social media products.
I suggest reviewing initial products by yourself and then working up to sharing when the climate and your confidence are both high.