Course 2: Week 2

Has anyone else been called a #boomer before, by a student? In a joking way, of course, but as a millennial, I take slight offense. I know I’m older but I’m not a baby boomer (my connotation/ not theirs)!

This video spoke to me. In instances where my students let me into their world, they often show me a thread of memes which I may or may not get. Honestly, I don’t even feel confident pronouncing ‘meme’ and ‘gif’ and I’m not old.

(Maybe I am a boomer…?)

Teens today use memes, hashtags, and emoji’s as advanced and sophisticated tools of expression. Within social media, there is an added layer of building on trends to further deepen the connection with others. Example: #ME RN.

Mongolia has one of the highest stats for Facebook users. And while the trend ‘Facebook is for old people’ may be true here too, Messenger is still an essential app for all. Amongst the teens I talked to, over Messenger no less, they said they mostly talked to their friends in group chats. These chats can have upwards of 20 people in them. Also not a surprise as students in Mongolia graduate to the next grade with their same cohort and homeroom teacher, forming tight-knit social networks for life.

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Social Media Market Share

I also asked them how quarantine has impacted their frequency of communication with their friends. All said it has increased significantly.

Teens today, like generations before, use the tools to make life easier and/or more fulfilling. I talked to my best friends every day after school for hours. Teens today do too, but instead of talking, they text, instead of needing to charge the cordless phone or ending the phone call to complete a chore, it’s always available.

Social media has a high impact on society. I think it’s important for parents, admin, and teens themselves, to understand and make it work for them. We need to use social media to benefit our life instead of diminishing it.

As a teacher and Google for education trainer, I can create &/or instruct people:

  • How to create a shared calendar for students and parents
  • How to automate life with Add-ons
  • Share Google Extensions like Screencastify or Kami

What I’m left with is this, school administration doesn’t like it (or prohibit it) when you befriend students and parents on Facebook or use Messenger for communication. I get it. But knowing it’s more effective than other Apps for communication, what should we do?

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