Advice from a Vine Star

~ Using social media tricks to teach digital citizenship ~

It’s fun to see what comes through my Twitter feed, especially from sites outside my normal frame of reference, like Fast Company. This recent post featuring an interview of Vine star Jason Nash on social media etiquette totally made me laugh out loud several times, while also sparking fun ideas on how to more effectively market elements of digital citizenship to kids.

Besides the obvious avoidance of espousing the sharing of body part pics and using very colorful language, some of Nash’s ideas are notable, and also reveal how image can be manipulated, depending on your intent or message. What I really like about this video is his delivery—completely shameless yet honest, and actually quite insightful when you think about it beyond the initial giggle.

Here are a few potential ways this video could be leveraged to explore the facets of social media among young people today…

Idea #1: Flipped Mock Interview

Riff off of the clever editing style of Fast Company’s video by making your own, featuring a “local expert” sharing tips based on questions derived from digital citizenship curriculum (such as those from Common Sense Media or Google for Education), or your own firsthand surveying of students.

-Start with an on-screen question (mix it up between dry and humorous tones in your wording)
-Cut to the interviewee’s responses of straightforward advice and recommendations to that question (straightface optional)
-Add in interviewee’s (appropriately timed/censored) funny/surprising/honest zingers (to keep viewers engaged and avoid dry/boring delivery of content)

Idea #2: Wisdom Snippets into Anticipation Guide

Pull out phrases from the video interview as a basis for an anticipation guide to open the conversation and activate their own background knowledge.

Here’s one of my favorite lines:


Idea #3: Grassroots Networking of Your (Instructional) Audience

Nash likes to eavesdrop on millennials talking at the local Footlocker or Lids, and share his Vine profile with them to increase his following, while also keeping his finger on the digital pulse of his audience.

Knowing your audience is key—as teachers, how well do we know what’s really happening in students’ digital worlds without actually asking them? How do kids use their own social media? What are they concerned about? Asking versus telling could be so much more impactful to inviting dialogue and meaningful exploration into the arena of digital citizenship.

Why not have them tweet, or use another online real-time feedback tool/app to respond and share their own thoughts to discussion prompts–or have them offer their own initial prompt? You could even use the statements from said anticipation guide, or Nash’s own mouth via the video.

Idea #4: Nash-Style Do’s & Don’ts

After screening appropriate clips of the Nash interview, have kids generate a do’s & don’ts list for their own social media presence, factoring in variables like audience (not just peers but parents, school, community, globe) and longevity—how their presence (and thus their digital footprint) will be perceived over time.

For more problematic fodder, share short articles illustrating the pluses and pitfalls of social media in the news, from identity theft and bullying to the excitement of “going viral” and the power of online trend setting.

Idea #5: #HashtagThis

What kinds of hashtags do your students use? Which ones do they follow? Why?
What kinds of hashtags should be out there, and why?

Have them compose the most egregious hashtags possible first—whether logically connected to a specific topic or not ( à la Nash #lookatme). After they’ve generated lots of crazy hashtags, then shift to developing ones that would be the most effective depending on a specific issue, trend, need, or even curricular topic.

Or have them generate hashtags for actual negative social media examples–and then reveal those used with the original content; this technique flips the lens from the viewer’s perception to the creator’s intent to incite their own reflection on what messages they think they are sending, versus what is actually perceived.

You could even tailor your own version of the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), and try the HFT: Hashtag Formulation Technique!

*Addendum 7.16.15: Also see @gcouros’ post on Hashtags in the Classroom.

Idea #6: #PBLthisb****h!

Contextualize the premise of creating a positive digital footprint one step away from their own lives by using the PBL model or the Guided Inquiry model.

Potential Scenario:
The prestigious marketing/advertising firm you work for has been hired by a local “real” person (fellow student, teacher, administrator, business figure, local leader or notable figure) or entity (business, organization, event) to establish an online presence through social media and the Web.

You’ve been tagged as part of the social media team to work on this project. Develop a social media marketing rationale and campaign complete with mock-ups for each format (Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) based on the purpose, intent, desired image, and needs of the client.

Take it one step further and present the proposal to the actual client, or contact a local advertising/marketing firm to evaluate the campaign.

#Turnup the whole project by documenting it on video, and put it out there on the social mediaverse!

And don’t forget the hashtag: #lookatme!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s