Technology, Family, and Community Learning Emphasized At Holy Saviour School

Technology Now
Mr. Burke leading the lesson on Social Media interacting with parents and students using ActivExpression devices.

MARATHON – Technology is all around us with new platforms for communication being developed at an alarming rate. With each new device comes more ways for people to connect via social media. Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, BBM, MSN, and a whole host of others allow users to develop, publish, share, and critique content in a way that we’ve never seen before. It stands to reason that if kids are spending a copious quantity of time engaging with social media, perhaps they should be permitted to do so at school as well – in a constructive manner. Think back to the Barrick Gold Mining Days, where there were numerous simulator games used to train and educate miners for underground operations. If it’s happening in the work force, it needs to be happening in our schools.

The shift toward technology-based education has been taking place at Holy Saviour School, as mentioned in last week’s Mercury. Last Wednesday, parents and students of Grade Eight at Holy Saviour School attended and participated in a Media and Technology Night lesson delivered by teacher Dean Burke. His objective was to put the technology in the hands of all participants and have the students show their parents how it all works.

techology 2
Shawna Grouette-McDougall and daughter Sierra work through the Facebook simulation activity with Marathon High School Vice Principal Deb McDougall.

The lesson for the evening was about privacy in Social Media, specifically Facebook. Burke felt that this would be an accessible topic for both parents and kids, since over 80% of those in attendance admitted to using social media. Facebook, with its over 600 million active users, is the number one medium used by corporations to promote their products and services. Over 85% of all corporations around the world have a Facebook profile or page. Through a faux simulation, parents and students were placed in teams charged with the task of trying to buy ad space on Facebook for a given product. Once teams identified the demographics they felt were most likely to buy their product, they began to look at a series of constructed Facebook profiles to bid on the profiles they most wanted to have their ads appear on. After their group work task was completed, Grade Eight’s pulled out their student laptops and logged onto the classroom blog and watched a video that explained how Facebook targets their ads based on the information users place on their profile.

The Social Media Revolution has begun and with new technology comes new teaching, something well underway at Holy Saviour School.

This article is special to from Dean Burke from Holy Savior School in Marathon.

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