In this lesson you will learn about options middle school (and younger) students have for social media. You will be introduced to 10 sites that get high ratings. You'll definitely recognize some like Club Penguin but you probably will discover a new site or two as you watch the introductory video. Why is this important? Because we know you're going to find places to socialize, connect with friends, play games and do things online. We figure it's best to give you healthy and safe options so you don't find yourself in a social media world that is not age appropriate, language appropriate, or content appropriate.
Read and Watch
Imagine you walked into your classroom on a Monday morning and every student in the room was a 12th grader. Your classroom somehow and mysteriously aged up while you stayed your same middle school self. How would you feel? Does the word awkward come to mind? At first you might think it's cool but then think about this - What do you have in common with 12th graders? More importantly, they would have privileges that you are still 3-4 years away from getting. At some point, you would probably wish to have your old friends and classmates back.
This weird, alternative reality you just read about happens every time you use a site like Facebook or Instagram. Let's face it, those sites are built for kids and there are tons of things going on that are not very interesting. In fact, sites like Facebook can be very boring if you are a kid looking for a way to have some fun online. Why not get involved with some social networking sites where kids hang out? Even better, why not choose sites where you know you can be honest about your age and other stuff without being told you are too young to join? Convinced? We'll keep trying.
Watch the video titled Top Ten Social Networks for Kids. In addition to seeing what other kids think are the best social sites to use, be thinking about the following:
1. what do these sites have in common?
2. what role do parents and adults play in these sites?
3. why should parents and adults play any role at all?
Top 10 Social Networks for Kids
Open a Text Entry wiki. Copy and paste this question into the wiki and answer it using complete sentences.
After watching the video about 10 really good social networks for kids think about all you have learned about online life so far. Do you have anything to worry about with these sites? What do you need to do to make sure these sites give you all the fun you want without any of the problems that can happen when you go social online?
Choose a favorite social media site you visit or use. It might be one on the list, it might be a different one. It might even be one that's more for adults but you and your parents have said it's OK for you to participate. Make a 1-2 minute video that tells about the site, explains why it's all that, and gives users some rules to follow if they are going to join. You can submit the video using the Media Recording Tab or File Upload. You can also make a presentation instead of a video using Educreations, Prezi, or something else you like to create with.
You are either convinced or not convinced that adult social media sites are for adults, not kids. Regardless of your position (agree or disagree) write a friendly letter to President Obama explaining how kids can use social media sites to make them better, smarter, and more engaged students at school.
You can write this letter in the Text Entry wiki or you can use another tool like Google Docs. If you use Google Docs, you will have to submit the document to Canvas when you finish. Remember, you are writing to the President of the United States so do a spell check, read the letter aloud, and make sure you use correct punctuation. Have a friend edit your letter to make sure you didn't leave any huge mistakes uncorrected.