Instagram and other Social Media Apps by Jason Howie

Ravenscroft’s Lead from Here initiative, and its Citizen Leader framework, is designed to help students learn how to lead self, lead with others, and change their world.

Learning to lead self involves becoming self-aware, growth-minded, motivated, resilient, and accountable. All of which are critical components to being a better person in this world.

The program is designed to make the students self-aware about their actions and behaviors so that when interacting with others face to face one remembers to be conscientious of their actions and the effects those actions have on others.

This, of course, is easier said than done but early in the process our students are responding to the conversations and beginning to act on what they are learning. All around campus you hear students say to one another, “are you leading self right now?” But what happens when you inject the anonymity of technology into the equation? The challenge of leading self sometimes takes more effort.

How can we, as educators and parents, help children carry the tenets of the Lead from Here program into the digital world? First and foremost it begins with conversation about what it means to be a citizen in today’s digital world.

Common Sense Media, an independent nonprofit working with parents and schools to improve kids’ lives in a world of media and technology, offers the following set of reminders about technology use:

  • Media has truly become “the other parent” in our kids’ lives, powerfully affecting their mental, physical, and social development.
  • Kids need to be savvy, respectful, and responsible media interpreters, creators, and communicators. We can’t cover their eyes, but we can teach them to see.
  • The price for free and open media is a bit of extra homework for families. Parents need to know about the media their kids use and need to teach responsible, ethical behavior as well as manage overall media use.
  • Appropriate regulations about right time, right place, and right manner exist. Implement a family rule.

To these reminders I would add:

  • Be mindful that most social media sites, as outlined in their terms of service, are not for children under the age of 13. Being a kid is hard enough without the complications of trying to navigate childhood in a social and digital world.
  • Always remember to “Think B4 You Ink….Digitally

I have no doubt that, overtime, our efforts through our Lead from Here initiative will have a lasting impact on our students as they navigate today’s world both physically and digitally.

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Cheers!

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