hs technology

Presentation Reflection: Social Media and Student Voices

 

untitled-drawing

Today the last of the students gave their presentations on their solutions to involving student voices in social media. They’ve been working on this project for awhile, and they ended up with many different solutions, though some ideas tended to overlap with each other. We were able to get a few audience members to join us as well- an administrator from the high school, a school board member, and the superintendent as well. We made sure the students had a genuine audience available during presentations. Presentations occurred over two days, and students chose their date and time.

Each presentation took between 5 and 10 minutes, with students and other audience members asking questions at the end of each one. Presenters were asked to dress professionally during their presentation, and this was definitely noticed by the audience members, who complimented them on this effort. Mr. McCauley and I had made sure that the students had a realistic presentation, as though they were presenting to a marketing firm. With the exception of one student, every presenter wore professional dress. We did assist any student with this requirement as long as they let us know in advance that they did not have an outfit that met the requirements.

The first day of presentations, we had Mr. Lee, our administrator, and Mrs. Johnson, our school board member, watching the students who presented. Both were familiar faces to the students, and some of them were former students of Johnson’s. On the second and final day, Mrs. Keller, our superintendent, joined us for presentations, tweeting out about each one as the students finished. All audience members complimented the students on their hard work, and seemed to be pleased with the information given.

Having viewed and graded each presentation, I can say that I saw many doable ideas. I think the best option that was presented (that met the needs of the entire student body) was one that formed a “Student Voices” club. The club members would take on the task of using Twitter to share information relevant to and by students. She chose to use Twitter as her medium, and, in order to combat moderation, looked into using a program called GroupTweet to keep negative posts from appearing online in the school feed. Because it would be a club, new members would be gathered each year, and trained by the older members on how to run the club. One teacher or other staff member would be needed as an advisor/moderator.

Another useful idea was geared to athletics. Though our school already has many clubs/groups on Facebook and Twitter, one just for athletics is severely lacking. This particular student plays football, and came up with ways to make sure scores for a variety of sports are posted via Twitter and Facebook feeds. What I enjoyed so much about this particular presentation was that the student took the problem and discovered how it was relevant to his own life and interests.

Some other good points made by students:

  • Showcase a Twitter feed in the cafeteria area
  • Send direct messages to the social media accounts to have something added and shared.
  • Vet the students running the sites based on teachers, applications, etc.
  • Add in social media projects as part of an elective course, like marketing

I really enjoyed seeing what the students came up with in the end. I think we definitely could work with them some more on mock presentations and presentation skills. We did give them tips, but just because they were written out doesn’t mean that students read/followed them. It might be good to practice the tips a few times before the actual presentation. Giving students the chance to do a mock presentation to get feedback and suggestions from classmates was a great idea. Those that mock presented took the feedback to heart and made changes before their final presentation. Part of me wishes that the mock presentations had been mandatory, but only because could have helped more students be successful.

Overall, I was very impressed. I will soon do a recap of the project as a whole. And yes, I’m still aware that I haven’t finished my VSTE updates!

Student Voices on Social Media

Over the past few weeks, I have been working with a classroom at Fluvanna County High School to solve a problem that was proposed by Superintendent Keller: How do we get student voices involved and sharing positive stories of our school district?

cwv3yl8w8aawxql

I’ve been updating every so often about how I’m working to get the district together and all schools working to share the positive stories that come from each school. Superintendent Keller loves the idea and wants to take it further. She suggested I work with the economics/marketing teacher and come up with a way to do this with his students. I had never worked with this teacher before, but as soon as we connected, we were both excited with the possibilities that this problem could bring.

In time, we developed a project with a basic plan:

  • Step 1: Research 3 marketing brands/companies and explore their use of social media
  • Step 2: Research 3 ways Fluvanna County School district uses social media (students would be provided with a list)
  • Step 3: Create a project to solve the problem presented by the superintendent.

We fleshed out the plan further, including discussion questions to lead in/exit, presentations before Superintendent Keller and some of the school board members, and the use of Google Classroom for the entire project. We left the final project very open-ended because we wanted to simulate solving a problem in the marketing world. We knew some students would balk at this, as they were used to being told exactly how to get an A. All we did was make sure they knew what parts needed to be answered as part of their proposal. How they created the final presentation, and how they solved the issue itself was entirely up to them.

cwv3npnxuaencnb

The only snag we ran into with getting started was students not being able to view any kind of social media on the student wi-fi network. They were unable to view Twitter or Facebook. This was a hurdle, as these students needed to be able to find examples and explain how each company/brand utilized social media. In the end we pooled the teacher devices that we had (2 laptops, a desktop, and a Chromebook) and allowed different groups to use them under supervision for their research, and then return at the end of class.

Currently, students are working on their final project presentations. They were allowed to use anything they wanted, but most used Slides or PowerPoint. Some are exploring Prezi or Powtoons as well. We are making sure that students have tips and tricks to utilize when creating their presentations that will help them create professional ones.

cwv3uhbxgaimf6m

Later, I’ll share some highlights from discussion questions and projects. For now, I’ll continue to update and share images of students hard at work, as well as images of the final presentations, which will be December 9th, 13th, and 16th.