I want to point you to a few resources related to my last post about online images. As adults, we worry about how we look and if we are exhibiting a professional image; teens today grapple with the knowledge that the youthful indiscretions we all suffer from will follow them throughout their lives.
NPR’s Youth Radio program covered a story about the SnapChat App. The app sends recipients a photo that “self-destructs”(sort of) in a few seconds. To adults, the setup seems perfect for inappropriate or sexual images. But teens say that’s not really the point. One of the interviewees said, “For a lot of teenagers, Facebook has become a place where you try to make your life look perfect. Instagram is a popularity contest. That leaves Snapchat.” For the most part, they are employing it to circumvent those kinds of pressures.
Kids are, by necessity, becoming more savvy about their online presence, but they still need some help from us. Commonsense Media is an excellent resource for lessons on digital citizenship and safety. The following lessons are related to online appearances and manipulation:
- In “Picture Perfect”, a lesson for grades 3-5, students consider how digitally manipulated photos can affect the way people feel about their appearance, as well as help sell products.
- For grades 9-12, the lesson “Feeling on Display” explores the pressures many teen girls and boys face to keep up appearances online.
These are tough, but relevant issues for students today. It’s imperative that schools and parents to work together to educate students about digital culture and I highly recommend Commonsense Media as a place to start.
As we prune and curate our social media profiles, let’s not forget that kids lack the experience to navigate the same digital landscape. What do you teach your children/students about digital literacy? What resources do you use?