Using Social Media as a Facilitator

Advantages of using Social Media

The purpose of using social media such as Twitter, Facebook etc is to provide specialized Information to a targeted audience. It can be a great way to promote your programs and also create credibility and build awareness on the services you provide. Try new tools such as Storybird to engage your audience! Social media can also give parents a place to network and share their ideas and you can provide information too! Getting your information out is key.  But how do you control the contents once it’s out?  In my next blog we will consider this question and the thought of our digital footprints.

How would you use this picture with your parent groups either in person or on-line?



What topic might you use this picture for in a group discussion? What are the open ended questions you would ask?

You can download this picture and others to use (which are in our new Nobody’s Perfect parent kits and tip sheets) at FRP Canada
As a user of social media myself, in order to have a positive online experience I believe that not only do I need the ability to understand the concepts of what I am reading but I need the awareness and confidence to recognize that not all what I read is true.  I need to understand that what I interrupt may not be interrupted in the same way by others. I think we need to help teach our youth this and remind them that we cannot read emotion into the posts they use social media.

I am sure we all have seen too many people, particularly youth, fall into social conflicts or have been misguided because they simply did not understand or misinterpreted what they had read.  For example; a conversation of two teens from opposing sports teams on Facebook one commented to the other “I am going to kill you”. This was read by a parent. This parent interpreted it as a threat and called the police.  When investigated it was determined that the teens interpreted their posts as ‘trash’ talking- a simple friendly rivalry to pump each other up before the big championship game.  There are millions of other examples of the opposite is true to this story and have ended tragically.

As an adult learner using technology has been a struggle me.  The learning curve has been huge and will continue to be.  But I understand that I need to know the how and the context in which I can better engage with my learners. I am learning to navigate and sift through various types of sources to gain information.  I have needed patience and time to learn.  But I also needed the curiosity to ‘click’ my way through programs such as Word for example, to magically find out how to create hyperlinks.  I then realized I could do that in my emails too!  I didn’t learn that from a course or a book. Simple trial and error.

There are many different ways to navigate through the world of social media. This quote talks about my same views on digital literacy and the journey of learning through technology. I wanted to share it:

“Technology has become such an integral part of our society that we can no longer separate ourselves from it. Our daily lives are so dependent upon technology, that we have actually become the technology ourselves. The Internet is just a blank slate, and humans give it form and meaning. Cell Phones are just machines with built in purposes, and humans use these machines in such a way that we give it value. These machines cannot singlehandedly change anything. Only through our use of the machines can these products become meaningful, valuable, and necessary. Humans have overwhelmingly given these machines positive contexts. Cell phones and computers (more specifically the Internet) are used to connect with one another, to share important information, and to acquire important information for ourselves. We are smarter and more informed in terms of what’s going on around the world than we have been at any time in history. In this age, information is a valuable currency, and it seems as though everybody is rich in this regard thanks to the rise of machines”.


Jackson Baird – Comments on YouTube video The Machine is Us/ing Us by Micheal Wesch retrieved September 26, 2014

Michael Wesch’s youtube video provides a fascinating look at human and machine literacies.