Tag Archives: social media

Digital Debate: Is social media destroying social skills?

The California Writing Project, a national partner of Digital Learning Day, utilized Google Hangouts to hold digital debates between students about issues in their schools, communities, and across California. Check out the first Digital Debate about social media in the video above.

Digital Debate Topic #1: Social Media
Cary Zierenberg’s eighth grade students from Natomas Charter School’s Leading Edge Academy and Sean Young’s students from Pleasanton Middle School chose to debate Topic #1: Social Media— Is social media destroying our social skills? The students and teachers are considering developing their own debate topics and taking each other on again later in the semester.

During Speak Up 2014, 46% of high schools students said they use Twitter – this is four times more users than in 2011 when only 11% of students were tweeting. Do you think social media is destroying students’ social skills? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about the California Writing Project, visit their website. Click here if you are interested in learning more about their Digital Debates.

The 40-year-old California Writing Project is a network of sixteen regional sites, nine housed on University of California campuses and eight on California State University campuses. Every year, over 20,000 teachers participate in CWP campus, school, and district programs. These teachers, representing all grade levels, from kindergarten through university, often teach in disciplines other than English. The project also provides programs that serve administrators, paraprofessionals, students, and parents.The California Writing Project has a central mission: to improve student writing and learning by improving the teaching of writing. By having successful teachers of writing teach their colleagues, CWP is able to conduct significant numbers of programs each year, ranging from 1900-2300 programs.

Social Media & College Admissions Another Worry for Students

As college acceptances become more competitive, it is no surprise that high school students are taking extra precautions in ensuring a spot at their desired schools. Besides dealing with academics, extracurricular activities, and community service hours, students are now worried about how they appear on the Internet.


At Bowdoin College, admissions officers turned down a student not just because of her grades, but also because of rude comments found on her Twitter account. “We would have wondered about the judgment of someone who spends their time on their mobile phone and makes such awful remarks,” Scott A. Meiklejohn, the school’s dean of admissions, stated. Most colleges don’t have formal policies regarding researching students online; out of almost four hundred college admission officers, thirty-one percent admitted they visited an applicant’s social media page to learn more about them. While this number may seem low, it is a five percent increase from last year.

Although most admissions officers prohibit the use of students’ personal websites during the admissions process, students should still be aware of what they post online. High school guidance counselors are now giving students lessons in cleaning up their digital identities; at Brookline High School, students are taught to delete alcohol-related posts and to create acceptable email addresses. Some students are already practicing what they learn from these lessons by untagging themselves in pictures and even by deleting their social media accounts all together. As admissions officers become more technology-savvy, students should be more careful about what they post online if they want to play it safe when it comes to college acceptances.


This year, our Speak Up Surveys will ask questions related to a student’s digital footprint. 

An example question is:

Which of these statements reflect your thoughts about digital footprints (information that is available online about you from what you and others have posted)? (Check all that apply)

Speak Up Surveys are free, and schools and districts can receive access to their school and/or district’s data in February 2014. Results regarding a student population’s digital footprint will also be apart of that data. Surveys are open to anyone interested in having a voice on critical education and technology trends.

Go to www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013 to take the survey today. Surveys open to students, parents, educators and community members!

Interested in participating in this year’s Speak Up surveys but want to learn more about it? Now’s your chance! Join Julie Evans CEO, Project Tomorrow for a 45 minute recorded webinar to learn about key Speak Up findings from last year – and how your school or district can participate in Speak Up this year.  View the recording via Blackboard Collaborate here: http://bit.ly/SUWebinarRecording.

Enjoy your day.

-The Project Tomorrow team

Written by: Lisa Chu UCI Fall Intern 2013

Number of Teen Facebook Users on the Decline? Speak Up Research Shows So.

Last week, for the first time, Facebook confirmed this trend when Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman stated “a decrease in (teenage) daily users, especially younger teens” during a quarterly earnings call.  With the rise of parents on facebook and new social media apps like twitter, instagram and vine teens are finding new ways to stay connected. CEO of Project Tomorrow, Julie Evans began reporting this trend in early April 2013 based on findings found in the Speak Up 2012 national data results. During the June 4, 2013, Speak Up Congressional briefing on the National Findings for K-12 students, Julie stated :
This is an interesting trend that we have been actually watching over the past couple of years though we have not reported on it before. And it’s this idea around students’ decrease in using facebook as a tool. We do still see a majority of high school students that say that they are regularly maintaining a facebook page but to be honest with you it has been on a pretty steady decline since 2007– About a 21% decline from the highpoint that we noted in 2007.”
Although Facebook usage has shown a decline, Speak Up data has shown an increase in teen students using Twitter with 3 out of 10 students in Grade 6-12 using the social media site. To further this research, this year we’ve added a new option asking participants about usage of social media apps such as instagram, snap chat and vine.
What are your thoughts on the decline of teen usership of facebook? Read more about it in the CNN article “On Facebook, a growing teenage wasteland”, here.
Want to learn more about your students, K-12 parents and educators’ social media usage? Participate in Speak Up and get your own local participant data on this growing trend! This year, our Speak Up Surveys will once again ask questions related to student, parent and educator social media use. Question topics include:
Social media tools or applications used inside and outside of school/work. 

The type of sites used socially and those for schoolwork/professional tasks.
and new this year, we are asking about social media app usage- such as instagram, snapchat and vine.
Speak Up Surveys are open for input through Dec. 20th, 2013. All schools (public, private, charter) are eligable to participate in Speak Up and all participating schools and districts will receive free online access to their participant data in February 2014. Results regarding student, parent, and educator social media usage will also be a part of that data.
To participate in Speak Up go to www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013, surveys are available to students, educators, parents and community members. To learn more about how to get your school(s) involved please contact the Speak Up Team at speakup@tomorrow.org or visit www.tomorrow.org/speakup.
Our helpful and handy promotional materials can assist you in spreading the word about Speak Up to your students, parents, teachers, administrators, and more! View our full list here.
Join the Speak Up conversation on Twitter! #SpeakUp2013 & @speakuped
Have a wonderful day.
– The Project Tomorrow team 

California Becomes the First State to Pass a Bill to Allow Minors to Delete Social Media Posts that may be Harmful to their Image

Minors Can Now Remove Past Social Media Posts
California Governor Jerry Brown recently approved a law that will give minors the freedom to delete information that may be harmful to their reputation on social media sites.
The law, which was signed on Monday, September 23rd, has been praised by some and criticized by others. Those who are for the law believe it will help minors avoid receiving a bad reputation that may be harmful in their academic, personal, and professional pursuits based on ill-conceived postings. Others opposing the law believe it is a slippery slope that could lead to more restrictions as to what should be removed from the Internet, leading to Internet censoring. 
phofo
What are your thoughts on the new law? Read more about it in The Los Angeles Times here.
This year, our Speak Up Surveys will ask questions related to a student’s digital footprint. 
An example question is:
Which of these statements reflect your thoughts about digital footprints (information that is available online about you from what you and others have posted)? (Check all that apply)
Speak Up Surveys are free, and schools and districts can receive access to their school and/or district’s data in February 2014. Results regarding a student population’s digital footprint will also be apart of that data.
Speak Up opens on October 2nd, and will run through December 20th.
To register, click here.
Our helpful and handy promotional materials can assist you in spreading the word about Speak Up to your students, parents, teachers, administrators, and more! View our full list here.
Questions about Speak Up? E-mail SpeakUp@tomorrow.org.
Join the Speak Up conversation on Twitter! #SpeakUp2013 & @speakuped
Have a wonderful day.
– The Project Tomorrow team 

The Power of Social Media

L.A. Unified School District is Keeping Tabs on the Social Media Use of its Employees
By now, we’re all aware of the power of social media. It can be a source of good in a variety ways, from being a guide to new information, to being a powerful globally-recognized social organizing tool.

L.A. Unified School District’s Social Media Policies
But sometimes social media can be a source of disruption….for school districts.
Recently, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s bulletin regarding their standards for social media use of their employees, including of their teachers and educators, has come under attack by some, and has been praised by others.
A sampling of the policies can be found below:

“1. Keep personal social network accounts separate from work related
accounts. When a student or minor wishes to link to an employee’s
personal social networking site, redirect them to the school approved
website. Accepting invitations to non-school related social networking sites
from parents, students or alumni under the age of 18 is strongly
discouraged, and on a case-by-case basis, may be prohibited by the site
administrator. (BUL – 5167.0, Code of Conduct with Students –
Distribution and Dissemination Requirement Policy)
2. Any employee or associated person engaging in inappropriate conduct
including the inappropriate use of social media sites during or after school
hours may be subject to discipline.
3. Never post any identifying student information including names, videos and
photographs on any school-based, personal or professional online forum or
social networking website, without the written, informed consent of the
child’s parent/legal guardian and the principal.
4. Never share confidential or privileged information about students or
personnel (e.g., grades, attendance records, or other pupil/personnel record
information).
5. Users should have no expectation of privacy regarding their use of District
property, network and/or Internet access to files, including email. The
District reserves the right to monitor users’ online activities and to access,
review, copy, and store or delete any electronic communication or files
and/or disclose them to others as it deems necessary. [Refer to BUL –999.4,
Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) For District Computer Systems]
6. Posting inappropriate threatening, harassing, racist, biased, derogatory,
disparaging or bullying comments toward or about any student, employee,
or associated person on any website is prohibited and may be subject to
discipline.”
To read the full bulletin, click here.
Do you agree with the district’s stance? Do you think these policies will help to create a more peaceful environment for all involved? Does your district have similar policies?
Please join us in this conversation!
To learn more about this issue, read the articles surrounding it in The Huffington Post and LA Weekly.
Don’t forget to vote for Julie Evans’ panel (Project Tomorrow’s CEO) at the SXSWEdu conference! Click the webtile below for more information.
Register for Speak Up 2013 before the long weekend ahead!
Have a great Labor Day weekend! Enjoy!
– The Project Tomorrow team