The Future of Social Media and Education - Event Wrapup
Tonight was Social Media Club, Fresno first "real" event. Sure we hosted Twestival last month but this is our first foray into bringing together local people to discuss how social media is impacting the Fresno community. The topic tonight was the future of education and social media.
The event was organized with the help of students from CART school as part of an internship. We had an opportunity to get students involved from the start so they have been operating our Twitter and Facebook accounts, designing flyers and connecting with local businesses and educators to promote the event.
It was a great night with some amazing insights from our panelists. Our panel was a balanced line up including two business professionals and two educators with a cameo role from one of the student interns to share his experience.
There was significant discussion regarding the issues that schools face in regards to blocking access to certain sites. It was great to hear that Dave Childers, principal at ACEL Charter High School has decided to allow free unrestricted access to the internet. Dave pointed out that we need to focus on preventing access to objectionable content rather than blocking access to web sites. Dave likened social media education to sex education, if we don’t educate students in the best practice they are going to explore anyway. Educators need to be part of the conversation, be a mentor and guide students.
It was clear from the discussion of the need to start educating students at a young age to develop the skills that will enable them to communicate effectively to enhance their ability to stand out in the job market. We were lucky to have the insights of Bradley Fitzhenry who indicated that the expectations of the business world on new graduates. Bradley talked about how we often focus on what students should NOT do online rather than promoting what they can do online. Bradley suggested that students should use social media to leave a social footprint of the good they do. Activities, achievements and positive impacts are a great way for a student to stand out to potential employers.
Jason Farris shared some amazing tips on tools to use in the classroom and how he uses them in his business. A great tip was not to Google someone but to SocialMention them. Jason shared tips on how he uses tools like socialmention.com and facebook groups to filter and find the right conversation.
Professor Sivek from CSU Fresno shared how she requires students to think critically about the information they share and the tools they use to ensure that students can learn effectively to prepare them for the real world. She also shared the number of tools that she uses in her classroom to enable students to learn more effectively.
It was a great night, but the best quote of the evening was not from the panel or the audience. As we were wrapping up the evening one of the students who helped organize the event said to me “I really enjoyed the discussion, I didn’t think it was going to be that interesting”. Let’s hope we just lit a fire in a future leader.