My class consists of 26 students, all of them are active on at least one form of social media. They all love technology, some are more savvy than others and the odd student is hesitant about moving from text to technology. I have started to take the leap from a text based learning environment to a technologically forward thinking inquiry based learning environment. I was interested in finding out what they were utilizing for social media outlets so as a part of our digital citizen unit we talked about what platforms they use, like, and dislike. We also touched on their favorite apps, length of time they utilize said apps, and why they are disengaged by others.
Facebook: I was surprised to find out that 11 of 23 of the students present this day use Facebook…..that is 48% of the class population. I was stunned! 7 of the users were female. Out of the 11, 7 of them visit their Facebook account daily. This social media outlet was the preference for 0 kids….Where are the kids of tomorrow going?
Snapchat: 15 of 23 kids have an account and are active users. 13 0f them are visiting their account daily and a WHOPPING 10 of 23 voted Snapchat as the social media outlet that they prefer! Snapchat was the winner in the preference category. Kids love it because you get moments from friends that are happening now as opposed to updates.
Instagram: 18 of 23 have accounts that they use on a regular basis. 14 of those kids check it daily, but it was only the preference of 2 of 23 kids. Definitely an app for the eye and creativity and that is what the users really liked about it.
Twitter: 13 of 23 have accounts. 7 of those use it daily and it tied Instagram for 2 preferences. I think this one is trickier for students because there is a whole language of hashtags and there are so many different people to follow and lets not forget trolls…..
YouTube: 23 of 23 use this outlet, not all of them have accounts but it was a 100% satisfactory vote from the class. 18 visit once daily, but it was only the preference for 7 students.
Kik: A messaging app that I have never used myself. 16 of 23 use it. 5 chat on it daily and it was the preference of only 2 students.
Messenger: The chatting off-shoot of Facebook had 11 of 23 students using it. 5 active daily and it was the preference of….no one….much like its father before it…..Facebook!
I took it upon myself to create a couple of different charts for you to look at with some of the data I had collected. The bar graph below shows what 23 students in my grade 7/8 class are using for social media outlets.
This circle chart shows what students preferred social media out let is.
Why the fallout from Facebook? My students agreed that everyone can see what you posted, among friends and family, and they didn’t want that. They realize that what they post stays on their page so there was hesitance about whether what they were posting was okay or frowned upon. They ultimately do not want to jeopardize their futures with funny photos that they could not remove. The biggest thing was anyone could comment and like what they post from acquaintance to friend to parents to grandparents, this is a fragile time in their lives and no matter how strong a person thinks they are….it is magnified when you are an adolescent. The class all agreed that they preferred to have one-on-one interactions with their peers on a platform in which what they are posting disappears. Felicity Duncan goes into depth about this in her article.
Throughout our lives we are going to see changes in trends from the economy to jean jackets to fany-packs and man-buns we have to come to grips with the idea that this happens with social media too. My case and point: ICQ, Napster, MySpace, MSN Messenger, and pagers. We just all need to go with the flow and follow the experts of social media, the kids!