The whole premise of home economics and tool classes is to try and teach students valuable life skills, however times are a changing. Not every student is going to have to build something for their home or even cook a meal, but every student will have to engage with social media on a personal or profession level, or both.
There are many security risks with social media and teens may think they know it all, I thought I did, but adulthood has set me straight on many issues. Yes, it may be people’s children that are helping them set up their new device, but that still does not mean these children know how to manage the information they encounter and how to protect themselves. This is why I am confused as to why mandatory social media classes have not been implemented in public and private schools.
In the United Kingdom they offer cyber security class to high schoolers in hopes of them being about to use social media in a more secure way. Canadian adults seem to be rather skeptical of security on social media, according to Ipsos, “[Four in ten (39%) Canadians have either changed their social media behaviour or stopped using some platforms entirely over data privacy concerns]…[it appears that Canadians have the least amount of faith in some of the world’s most-used platforms.]” I think it would be interesting to see how many of these people, who are parents, share this distrust with their children. I feel most adults engage in this behaviour due to financial risks, something that is not relevant to most children, conversely this will not always be the case.
So why don’t we have social media classes?
There are some school in Canada offering these classes like Sisler High School in Winnipeg, but this is not the norm and not required curriculum. I think a big issue is trying to come up with a lesson plan that can check all the boxes. There are many issues associated with social media and younger people; security, privacy, permanency, learning how to use each network effectively are just a few off the top of my head. Even if all the boxes can not be check, I have to ask myself, is some information being taught not better than none?
Do you feel this is a gap in the education system? If the education system can not fill the gap, fast enough, do you think having extra curricular classes or information via already existing extra curricular activities, like scouts and camps, would be valuable to young people?
Facebook: Many parents worry about what they children are doing on social media, but are you sure your children even know what they are doing? Should Social Media be the New Home Economics and Wood Shop in Schools?
Twitter: Short and long term repercussions of social media. Should children have to take social media as part of their curriculum? https://bit.ly/2Xqy1g3