Common Sense, Digital Bytes: Step Forward Unit

How can young people use social media as a powerful tool to make real changes in this world?

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This Digital Byte, Step Forward, from Common Sense shows students how even as young people, they have a very powerful tool available to enact real change in our world, social media! Each lesson (byte) has video clips and activities that support the topic. 

For this unit, the first case study video told the story of Erika, an illegal immigrant to this country while the second clip focused on the website, change.org. Both clips were impactful and the guiding/discussion questions quite effective! After which, there was a choice of two activities to wrap up the unit. 

However, instead of the suggested activities, we edited the unit to include a discussion with students on their thoughts on the National School Walkout: What are they protesting? Why? How would they like to show their support, given a choice? 


Share research or student experiences that informed your idea!

We shared this lesson with students in grades 7-12 and as noted tied it to current events. Our students were planning to participate in the National School Walkout in support of the tragedy that happened in Parkland, FL. Providing an opportunity for students to discuss, disagree and understand the purpose of the walkout in a safe space was invaluable! It also served to remind everyone that each person has their own opinion and one is not more valid than another.

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Kali. I love this idea. We have been focusing on using social media for good and incorporating the concepts of social media into the planning of things like the National Walkout (and a fall rally for immigrant rights). Watching deliberate planning of the message and how it will be portrayed along side the opportunities for live engagement was pretty impressive at our school. Hope everything went well for you!