TEACHING TEENS: UTILIZING TECHNOLOGY AS A LEARNING TOOL
Technology has given students more distractions than ever. Technology is a double-edged sword. It can distract students from school’s ultimate goal, preparation for a career, but it can also help them towards that ultimate goal. We have equipped students with technology but have we adequately taught them ways to utilize its power to better prepare them for their future?
Proper use of social media isn’t enough to warrant a successful career. Students must be reminded of the hard work it takes to become successful. They must also be reminded of the impacts decisions they make today can have on the rest of their lives.
Social media offers vast amounts of ways to help build knowledge and open doors for students. Most students lack an understanding of the current shift in careers due to technology.
I have personally used social media to build my personal brand. I have developed a successful speaking business in the last 18 months. This would not have been possible without constant and consistent tweeting and posting.
I won my first national boxing championship in 2008. As I was making a name for myself, social media was beginning to blow up. I was a teenager navigating my way through this new form of communication, and was forced to learn from my own mistakes. Many of these mistakes would result in costing me potential endorsements, as well as, compromising my reputation.
There are numerous pros and cons in using social media. I don’t believe we are properly preparing youth for the repercussions that they may face far into the future based on posts that they may make today.
We are traveling in uncharted territory because we didn’t grow up using social media. This powerful, free networking platform can open or close many doors. Employers no longer rely solely on letters of recommendation to make a decision on whether or not they will hire a potential employee; they are searching social media.
SnapChat is the latest social media platform that is popular amongst youths. This app allows students to share pictures that are only visible for 10 seconds. But, there have been apps developed that enable someone to secretly save those pictures.
As students pursue an education to secure a career, they can jeopardize it all with a simple, singular post on social media that can follow them around forever. What is appropriate to post online? What can hinder a career? What is an appropriate way to deal with trolls on social media? Students often fail to contemplate the answers to these questions and how they can affect them in years to come.
We live in a time where personal branding often begins at the age when most kids are getting their braces. Young adults need to be informed and guided on the best way to brand themselves. Correct personal branding could lead to opening many doors.
As a person who had to deal with both verbal and physical bullying, I initially thought that it was silly that cyber-bullying was considered “bullying.” I mean, I was getting my butt beat at school. I would run home as soon as the last bell rang; this was my safe place. It never occurred to me that a student could be bullied at lunch, either verbally, physically, or both, while onlookers recorded it with their phones and by the end of the day, that video could be published on the internet, with 1000+ views.
My home was a safe space. Student’s no longer have that luxury. The can receive comments on their social media accounts via alerts on their phone and other devices, while at home. It is more difficult than ever to avoid bullying.
Most students have access to the internet by the age of 12. This is the era when 51% of students have reported being cyber-bullied. 75% of teenage girls have reported suffering from low self-esteem. Did you realize that over 5000 students attempt to take their own lives a year?
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds. Healthychildren.org reported that at least 90% of teens who kill themselves, have some type of mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, drug and/or alcohol abuse, or a behavior problem.
These numbers are alarming. The time to take correct action is now.
BENEFIT OF SOCIAL MEDIA
It is ridiculous and unrealistic to think we can stop a teenager from accessing the internet. What we can do is teach students how to utilize the benefits that social media can offer. Many successful people in a variety of industries use Vlogs and blogs. Students can follow these influencer’s lives to see if a certain career is one that they would like to pursue.
Students have the opportunity to join a community of like-minded people on similar missions with Facebook groups. Teens often suffer from feeling all alone and like there is no one like them. Teens can join support groups on Facebook to alleviate that feeling of suffering in solitude.
The list of the benefits of social media is never-ending. The internet is a powerful tool with the potential of being highly beneficial when it is utilized correctly.
To prepare our students for the future, we MUST inform them of the value and necessity social media etiquette.
I have taken an active role to inform students how to effectively use social media to as an educational tool.
WHAT I OFFER STUDENT DURING MY SPEECHES
During this speech I discuss with students the important role that social media can play in their lives.
I touch on the power of a digital footprint. I make students aware that post they make and opinion they share today may haunt them forever. Teens should also understand that photos and conversations they may consider to be private can be shared at any time, so they should think carefully about what they’re posting or sharing online.
Using interactive exercises, I play out hypothetical situations to show students what is appropriate vs inappropriate. And if approved by the school, I also do a Live Instagram Q&A at the end of each presentation to have students engaged the entire time.
I am now booking dates in cities across the country.
If you are interested in having me speak at your school, please contact me at Booking@CelebritySportsSpeaker.com
I have acquired sponsorships in the following cities to subsidize fees during these dates:
- Kansas City: January 1st-12th
- Austin, TX: January 14th-19th
- Dallas, TX: January 21st-31st
- Spokane, WA: February 18th-March 2nd
More cities and dates to come soon.