Student Driven PR Campaign

Leverage student creativity to produce a PR campaign about digital citizenship.

Photo of Erin Bigler
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In this model, teachers could leverage student technology teams to create content and spread the word about digital citizenship concepts through a student driven PR campaign.  The "what" is truly up to the students.  It could be anything from a HyperDoc activity, sketch notes, google drawings, PR commercials using iMovie/Clips/Shadow Puppet, short stories, surveys, etc.  

Digital citizenship is an ever-growing topic - the relevance and importance is something we cannot overlook.  However, to empower our students to learn about it, we need to incorporate student choice and voice - not just develop a stand-and-deliver curriculum. 


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Photo of Greg Lau

One of the best ways to learn is through involvement and engaging with the world around, applying what's been learned. Helping students to be stewards on a major social issue makes it all the more memorable and impacting.

I'm thinking about how to get the students to feel more passionate about the topic, or how to help them realize its importance. I think their own passion and "fury" will fuel their campaigns more.

Your idea opens up to a lot of possibilities.

One thing I'd like to ask is: What is primary result we are seeking to achieve with this idea--as in, is the primary impact focused on the students or the impact they achieve on others? Or at least, what is the ratio? What I mean is, if we're mostly concerned with the students being impacted and not so much concerned with effectiveness of their campaigns, the dynamics of the approach and methodology for this idea would be different than if let's say, the focus were heavily on the achieved impact on the audience targeted by the campaigns.

Photo of Erin Bigler

I think my primary focus would be on the students and the creative process they go through in designing their own messaging. It seems that a lot of our current Digital Citizenship content is consumption-based (ie - read a powerpoint, watch a video, etc.). In other words, awfully boring. I think the best learning occurs when students apply their knowledge in student driven, creative ways. The impact their message has on the community is just an added benefit. However, at the secondary level, evaluating their PR campaign could be a great added element to the process. I'd have to think about what evaluation looks like for the students....I suppose it would depend on what they decided to create.

Photo of Jason Breed

Erin Bigler - love the idea and wanted to contribute some thinking for you. Feel free to use as much or little as interested in. My thinking progression:

Develop a tier’ed approach - elementary, middle and high school with graduating skill levels - Elementary - concepts and ideas, interviews, story development, blogs, tweets, etc as part of official school site. ; Middle School - marketing plans, content strategies, advertising strategies and basic measurement / accountability. ; High school - work with local small businesses on their digital marketing - adopt a business per semester - build their brand and see real-life results.

Next - model some schools already doing a good job and network with them to make everyone stronger - here is one I like - More than just site updates and advertising - think about how to digitally reInvent the school district - for teachers, students, administration and parents. Maybe tackle one per grade?

Know the Basics -

Cast a wide net - Think about activities that can involve everyone - not just those interested in the newspaper or website - - how to be a voice for good and stand for something you believe in - change the culture of the school.

I see pieces and parts being done at a grade level, but not a comprehensive district-wide (or school wide) program. Hope this helps.

Additionally, whether you hand out devices or allow students to create online accounts, etc - I believe you still need some curriculum in place to help guide appropriate expectations on behavior and acceptable use. For more thoughts, I submitted an idea titled, "Digital Futures Initiative" -feel free to take a look.

Photo of Erin Bigler

Thanks for all the feedback. I agree that a curriculum is needed to guide and support student thinking. I see this as a supplement to the curriculum that could enhance student learning and help them take ownership of some of those concepts. I think scaffolded ideas for different grade levels are a good idea, too! Good thoughts!

Photo of Alysha English

Hey Erin! This is such a great idea and something I could imagine being really creative and engaging for students; I also love how much student choice you're planning to integrate in terms of them selecting a medium, etc, I wonder if there's an additional step that just involves defining what digital citizenship means to each of them and reflecting on the ways and times that they've been "digital citizens" in the past. I love this idea and thanks for the clear visual that outlines the steps you're thinking of in this process.