Social media is everywhere and as it has developed in an ever-expanding digital world, people have jumped in without much thought to its impact. There is no denying it's here to stay so how can we navigate these waters and make social media work for us? How can we help our students make social media work for them?

It's time to grow our students' social media skills. It's time to examine what is posted and it's time to have them ask certain questions before posting... questions such as:
  1. Is this post kind, positive?
  2. Is this post about content that should be protected?
  3. Is this post about something you could tell your parents/grandparents face to face?
  4. Is this post about something that has you mad or emotional; is it cryptic?
  5. Is this post bragging or boastful?
Ask yourself these questions and if the answer is suspect, then don't post...plain and simple. Schooling our students about the "Disinhibition Effect" identifies it for what it is and that it should be avoided at all costs. Sometimes writing through problems is helpful...just don't post it. Social media is not the place to "air your dirty laundry"; it's time to send out goodwill and positivity...we could all use a little!

But, it's also time to purposefully teach students how to post to social media so before students take it live, them find their voice...teach them to make social media work for them, not against them. I LOVE Google Slides and their versatility! I've created or modified some Google Slide templates that allow students to develop these skills in an academic setting. Learning how to communicate online is going to be a critical skill all students will need as this digital world grows. It's time...

Here are some of my templates...feel free to make a copy and run with it!

Fake Twitter template adapted from @TeachingTechNix. Click here to make a copy.

Way to use this in the classroom: Create a collaborative Google slide deck and have students "tweet" each other. For older students, they can "retweet" by adding Twitter handles of other tweets in their responses and "linking" those Twitter handles back to their slides. 

Fake Facebook template. Click here to make a copy.

Way to use this in the classroom: This one has been around for a while. Have students create Facebook profiles and posts reflective of a particular person (or maybe a concept) associated with classroom content.

Fake Snapchat template. Click here to make a copy.

Way to use this in the classroom: Have students create short video clips talking about the content just learned. If your class has access to iPads or phones, a free app to use, appropriate for all ages, is Snow. If you only have access to laptops, apps like Photobooth have fun filters. This is an engaging way to get students having content conversations!

Fake Blog template. Click here to make a copy.

Way to use in the classroom: Have students create "blog posts" on each slide that are dated and have them push the most recent posts to the top. This is an excellent precursor to taking their voices online for a broader audience. I also love the ability for students to have access to all of the student "blogs" and to use the comment feature in Google slides to develop commenting skills.

Fake Instagram template. Click here to make a copy.

Way to use in the classroom: have students create Instagram posts with either photos or video about the content they are learning or about what they have learned. Again, doing this in a collaborative slide deck would allow students to comment on each other's posts.

Let's change the face of social media and help to develop more responsible social media interactions. It's time...
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