The University of Birmingham has created a free course to help teachers understand how young people use social media.
The course – Optimising Social Media for Youth Health and Wellbeing – will focus on the impact of social media on mental health and wellbeing, but will also help teachers use social media as a learning resource and design a social media curriculum. The curriculum will then be published in a book at the end of the year-long course.
Social media is often raised as a key issue in safeguarding or data security discussions, particularly when referencing young people and education. And whilst wellbeing is a key topic for consideration, there is also a possibility for social media to be used as a genuine learning aid, especially for subjects that are engaged with topical issues, such as politics.
So how can educators harness social media for learning, and what are the challenges that come with using such an expansive online tool?
Who uses social media?
According to a report from We Are Social and Hootsuite this year, Digital in 2019, there are currently 3.484 billion active social media users (45% of the total global population). This number has grown by 288 million (9%) from January 2018–January 2019.
The report showed that in the UK, a huge 67% of the population are active social media users.
When it comes to age demographics, the same report shows that the largest groups to engage with social media are 18–24-year-olds (approx. 27% of users) and 25–34-year-olds (32% of users). And they’re using it for all sorts of things. A recent article from adweek.com reported that Gen Z-ers are using social media for everything from news, to study materials, to photography.
To read more about the course, click here.
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