Can I Like or Comment on that?

Should we consider how social media is able to not only track but promote transitions and maintain networks?

Photo of Andre Douglas
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So maybe I didn't do this right the first time. Here goes shot #2!

Social Media. There is less than a 10% chance you are not connected to it somehow. With the various options people have such as Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, SnapChat, and various other platforms, social media has proven to be an irreplaceable concept of the current society. With the ease of how you can share news about getting engaged, having a child, getting into a college, a breakup with your significant other, and even more, social media has created and maintained networks that were not there before.

These systems of connectivity constantly change and have updates in order to really tailor each person's experience. They maintain some sort of control with the options you have available, but at the same time they allow each person to show some sort of creativity.

It would be great if we could create a new social media app or website that could keep everyone connected about college whereabouts. However, some of these apps already exist and there are numerous versions of a single program trying to reach a simple result. This leaves the question about how we can integrate the current social media platforms to better assist our students? How do these platforms keep their appeal to everyone? How can we make transitioning and getting personalized advice as easy as liking a photo?

Rather than recreating more wheels and options for students, maybe we should consider how best to utilize the current social media platforms we already have. Invest in creating options such as a way to like a photo and have a mentor connect with you via video chat, online messaging, or even set up an event at a local coffee shop. Create campaigns like the ads and suggested posts about current resources in the college the student attends or the surrounding area. There are unlimited possibilities, but we need to figure out how to get students to "Like" us and "Comment" on our work first.

[Optional] Synthesize a little! In one sentence, describe what you learned from your empathy exercises or analogous research. (Ex: Good advisors make a difference.)

There are numerous initiatives and solutions floating around already. How do we get everyone to become connected in order to increase efforts all around.

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Photo of maybank

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Photo of Charles Shryock, IV

Andre thanks for diving in here already with two posts! You rock!! Our focus in the Discover phase is on exploring what needs people have that are currently being unmet. It sounds like you see social media not just as a way to stay connected, but also as an outlet for creativity, is that right? 

By the way, did you happen to see Emma's post on empathy? Great advice for getting into this challenge.  
https://medium.com/teachersguild/empathy-first-design-later-52d5a8b7e7ab#.vxfvbhvug 

So excited you are here!!  

Photo of Andre Douglas

That's definitely correct! Because of the flexibility of social media, we can use it to start new initiatives to help meet the needs of educators and students alike. However, we have to make sure we are being not only efficient with our actions but reaching the target demographics with ease. Also, Emma's post is definitely useful. I think human-center designs is not only the heart of social media, but many other solution outlets that will help us drive towards more positive impacts in education!

Photo of Charles Shryock, IV

Andre, thanks for sharing this!!  I want to know even more about this. How do you think we could get some insights into how the students you're working with see social media? I would want to know what needs/interests/questions they have that aren't currently being met with the social media outreach that is already being done by colleges, schools and nonprofits. Are they are using social media right now to connect to colleges, scholarship opportunities, FAFSA support, etc. If they are connected, what are they hoping to find? How did they hear about it? If not, why aren't they looking? Getting some student voices on this topic would be really helpful to help others in the community understand this as well as you do. If you are willing, maybe you could update this post by including some quotes right above what you've written here... or maybe even do a new post? What do you think?  

Here is a guide Emma made to help with interviews, if you decide this is worth pursuing: https://9494b7add7fcd9588a83-1f69badc2e0d0c2f55d8bfc02212a52e.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/Empathy_Interview_Guide_R1.pdf

Photo of Molly McMahon

Andre, totally agree that there seems like social media could play a role. Similar to how Better Make Room is creating a space for students to amplify each others college and career dreams. 
https://bettermakeroom.org/
Makes me wonder how other sectors have used social media in moments of transition. Here is an HBR article about social media in onboarding  new employees.
https://hbr.org/2012/12/social-tools-can-improve-e

Might be some inspiration here. 

Photo of Jennifer Auchmoody

I love the idea of using social media to engage our students in the college exploration and application process.  In fact as a college counselor I started a Twitter account for our college counseling office to use this year.  I hoped this would be a convient way to connect students and parents with resources, not to mention network with college admissions offices.  I have loved the experiment so far, but have been a bit discouraged by the small number of students who follow the Twitter account.  I have asked my students what holds them back from following our account and across the board they say that they do not want us (the school) to follow them back.  They want to keep their "social" social media accounts separate from their "professional" social media accounts.  To me this sounds like an opportunity to create a professional student social media platform vis a vis LinkedIn.

Photo of Charles Shryock, IV

Your post also makes me think about how people transition into using social media for the first time. I started on Twitter in 2009, but didn't get active until this year. I guess I was kind of like a social media "drop out"! Now I'm thinking about what helped me start up again, and actually stick with it... hmm...