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Why Teach Students to use Social Media for Social Good

Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate, share information, and connect with others. Our children consider it a normal way of life. Society cannot deny its impact, as it can be a powerful tool for positive change. As educators and parents, we have a responsibility to teach our children and students how to use social media effectively and responsibly.

By providing them with the knowledge and skills to use social media for good, we can help them make a significant impact on the world every day. We will explore the idea that teaching students how to use social media for good is a great tool to create a positive impact on each other, your community, and the world. Incorporating this into our educational practices is essential.

Important questions about teaching kids social media for social good:  

students using social media to make a positive impact on their community

Social media has become one of the most powerful communication tools in the world, and it is important for our students to understand how to use it as a tool to create a happier more compassionate world. By teaching our students how to use social media for social good, we can:

  1. Empower them to make a positive impact on the world.
  2. Create awareness around organizations or causes that are important to them.
  3. Organize or be part of protests to change injustice in our world.
  4. Make social connections and unite with like-minded individuals to create positive change.
  5. Be part of solving some of the world’s greatest challenges by working in collaboration as a collective.

Teaching “how and why” can also help students develop a sense of social responsibility. By encouraging them to promote positive social change, we can help them see the value of using technology for the betterment of society. This can help students become more engaged and active members of their communities, both online and offline.

  • Enhancing communication skills: social media teaches students how to communicate effectively in a digital age. They learn how to express themselves online, collaborate with others, and communicate their ideas effectively.
  • Promoting creativity: Social media provides students with a platform to express their creativity. They can create videos, photos, and other content that can be shared with the world.
  • Improving digital literacy: By integrating into your curriculum students become more digitally literate. They learn how to use various social media platforms, understand online privacy, and navigate the digital world safely.
  • Encouraging social responsibility: Media can be used to promote social responsibility. By teaching students how to use social media for social good, we can encourage them to become active citizens who care about making a positive impact on the world.

 students creating social media campaigns to raise awareness for important social issues

Best practices in teaching social media for social good

  • Start with the basics: Before diving in students need to understand the basics of social media. Teach them how to use various social media platforms and how to navigate them safely.
  • Address cyberbullying and online privacy: These are two of the biggest concerns and they need to be addressed when teaching social media for social good. Teach students how to recognize cyberbullying, how to protect their online privacy, and how to report inappropriate content.
  • Encourage critical thinking: Social media can be a breeding ground for fake news and misinformation. Encourage students to think critically about the content they see online and to fact-check information before sharing it.
  • Provide real-world examples: Use real-world examples (see below) to inspire and motivate students. Show them how media can be used to create positive change in the world.

How to create a social media curriculum for students

Creating a curriculum for students can be a daunting task. Here are a few steps to get started.

Remember: meet your students where they are their knowledge is better than most adults these days when it comes to media. Get creative – let them dance, sing, create images, videos and so much more!

Have them research charitable organizations, marches, and hashtags for good. Could you even plan to start a social platform for your classroom?   

  • Define your goals: What do you want your students to learn from the curriculum? Are you focusing on a specific platform, or are you teaching a general overview?
  • Choose your topics: Once you have defined your goals, choose the topics that you want to cover. This can include basics, cyberbullying, online privacy, and for social good.
  • Develop your lesson plans: Create lesson plans that are engaging and interactive. Use real-world examples and encourage discussion and collaboration among your students.
  • Evaluate your curriculum: After teaching your social media curriculum, evaluate its effectiveness. Did your students learn what you wanted them to learn? Were the lesson plans engaging and effective?

Platforms that can be used to create social good

There are numerous that can be used for social good but our youth use a few key ones:

  • Instagram: Instagram can be used to share photos and videos that promote social causes. It can also be used to create awareness about social issues.
  • TikTok: TikTok can inspire good with reels and videos doing small acts of kindness, dancing for good and so much more.
  • Twitter: Twitter can be used to raise awareness and organize protests. Hashtags can be used to create a movement and get people involved in social change.
  • Facebook: Facebook can be used to create events and fundraisers for social causes. It can also be used to connect with like-minded individuals who care about social change.

Tools and resources for teaching social media for social good

Case Studies of Social Media for Social Good in Education

There are numerous case studies of social media being used for social good in education. Here are a few examples:

  • The #NeverAgain movement: After the Parkland shooting in 2018, students used social media to organize the #NeverAgain movement. They used social media to raise awareness about gun control and to organize protests across the country.
  • The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a viral social media campaign that raised awareness and funds for ALS research. The campaign raised over $100 million for the ALS Association.
  • The Malala Fund: The Malala Fund is a non-profit organization that uses social media to promote girls’ education around the world. Through social media, the organization has been able to raise awareness and funds for its cause.
  • #Do1Give Day: Our very own day of spreading love and giving around the world. A great opportunity to join us and use social media to make giving go viral.
  • GivingTuesday: Giving Tuesday is one of the world’s largest days of generosity supporting charities globally in November. It is the single largest day of donations each year.

Tools and Resources for Teaching 

There are numerous tools and resources available for teaching. Here are a few examples:

  • Common Sense Media: Common Sense Media provides lesson plans and resources for teaching digital citizenship and social media literacy.
  • Edutopia: Edutopia provides resources and articles on teaching social media for social good.
  • Social Media for Social Good: Social Media for Social Good is a website that can provide additional resources and case studies on using social media for social change.

The Positive Impact on Students and the World

Teaching youth to use social media for social good is a powerful way to encourage them to give back and contribute to the greater good and collective well-being of the world. It can have a profoundly positive impact on their personal and social development. Here are some ways in which teaching students to give can be beneficial:

  • Develops empathy and compassion: Giving cultivates empathy and compassion towards others by enabling students to recognize the needs and struggles of others and take action to make a difference.
  • Fosters a sense of gratitude: Giving promotes gratitude by helping students appreciate the privileges they have in life and the opportunity to help others who are less fortunate.
  • Builds self-esteem and confidence: Giving fosters a sense of accomplishment and purpose that can lead to increased self-esteem and confidence.
  • Encourages community involvement: Giving back inspires students to get involved in their local community and engage in meaningful activities that benefit others.
  • Develops problem-solving skills: Giving requires students to think critically and come up with creative solutions to problems, which can help them develop valuable problem-solving skills.
  • Teaches responsibility: Giving emphasizes the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions and making a positive impact on the world around them.
  • Fosters a sense of community: Giving back helps students develop a sense of community and belonging by encouraging them to get involved in local initiatives and connect with others who share similar interests and values.
  • Develops leadership skills: Giving back can also help students develop leadership skills by encouraging them to take initiative, collaborate with others, and make positive changes in their communities.

By teaching students to use social media in a positive way we can empower them to become active, engaged, and responsible members of society, and create a brighter future for all.

The mental, physical, and well-being benefits of good digital habits

Doing good in all areas of our life including social media promotes feelings of happiness, fulfillment, and purpose, which can reduce stress and anxiety. Research shows that acts of “social good” or giving back can increase levels of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins in the brain, which are associated with positive emotions and a boost in our well-being.

Provides a sense of social connectedness: Improves mental health by providing a sense of social connectedness and reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Improves physical health: Boosts our physical health benefits by reducing stress levels, which can have a positive impact on blood pressure, heart rate, and immune function.

Enhances self-esteem and confidence: This one is so important to our youth enhancing self-esteem and confidence by providing students with a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

 Teach, Inspire, and Empower future generations

Social media is a powerful tool that can be used for social good to truly create change locally and globally.  By teaching our children and students how to use it effectively and responsibly, we are empowering them to make a positive impact on the world.

Let’s work together to create a better future through education and understanding.

Are you interested in teaching giving and kindness in your classroom? Check out more articles on teaching giving in the classroom for all ages.

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)