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Empowering Through Education by Judianne Jayme

Model of innovation –

unlearning negative social media habits

by Judianne Jayme

The school division I am working is embracing innovation in the way that we learn, teach, and share. Innovation is not synonymous to technology; it is a frame of mind. Technology may accelerate what we do with our innovative ideas, but it is not the actual driver. We, in fact, are the drivers of innovation.

One way I am being innovative is by being a role model using my social media presence. Previously, my accounts were the Alcatraz of social media. I used a fake name so that my students wouldn’t find me. One day, it clicked: what, and why, am I hiding from them?

Kids will learn how to use social media with or without your guidance. One way to make sure that they have a proper role model is to be a role model for them.

My personal account was once riddled with nonsensical posts (I was in middle school when I began using social media). As I entered the professional world, I understood that my “private” life that I post online is being observed. I now reflect on what I share, and when I share it. I share positive posts as motivation for my followers, and as of late, I have made a point to use social media to notify others about community events, celebrate local businesses, and share innovative ideas with my friends, family, community and colleagues.

Note that this group did not include students - but why not? In the past few months, I’ve allowed former students to follow me on Instagram, one of my most active accounts. In the past two weeks since this publication, I have allowed my current set of students to follow me – and I am following them in return.

This allows me to model how an adult can use social media responsibly - I share great news, I celebrate my peers, I literally share snapshots of whatever I am doing that I feel is worth sharing. I support local business and news, and highlight the strengths of the community I’m in. They also see how I interact via comments and replies to public comments.

Parent Tip: Social media habits

If your child has access to social media, allow them to see how you are using it. If you are not ready for them to see your posts, perhaps there is a moment of reflection needed on your part as well.

I have said it on a semi-monthly basis - kids will mimic what we do. If we are using social media to “troll” or harass others, to complain passive aggressively about others, or to be rude under the blanket of Internet anonymity, kids will pick up on these habits!

Depending on your child’s age, they may already be aware of, or are actively using social media accounts. Celebrate your accounts - share how you use it. Feedback I get from high school teachers is that they teach students to unlearn bad habits that weren’t fostered from a young age. This is why you are probably seeing a surge of classroom Twitter accounts, blogs, and Instagram pages. Teachers at different levels of education are doing their part to ensure that students are learning about social media responsibility (and using it for good), and since it takes a village, we embrace having parents onboard in helping students learn positive habits when using social media.

For those interested in seeing my social media accounts you, and your kids, can find me on the following platforms:

I meant it when I said I was busy making my social media presence. See you all on the Internet, and come follow me even during my summer break adventures! Thank you for following my column, and I will be back in September. Have an incredible, fun, and safe summer.

Judianne Jayme is an educator teaching sixth grade and a division-wide mentor in the Winnipeg School Division.

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