Head’s Corner

Dear Saklan Community,

As part of our Parent Speaker series, this morning Cherilyn addressed the much discussed issue of students and the use of social media in her talk, “Get Smart With Social Media.” This workshop is the third in a three part series and follows two previous workshops, one with 4-6 graders and one with 7-8 graders.

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Cherilyn started her presentation by telling us that for teenagers social media, “is a scoreboard for a real time, 24/7 popularity competition.” She shared a wealth of information and data from many recent studies on social media use, as well as data that emerged from her workshops with our Saklan students. For example, the average 13 year old checks in with social media sites 100 times a day and is in some way connected online for 9 hours per day. In one study it was discovered that 90% of 4-8 graders surveyed have phones or tablets in their rooms and 33% indicated that they are regularly online after midnight on school nights. This goes up to 60% on weekends. In an indication of how unaware parents are of what their children are doing, it was found that only 11% of the parents in the study believed this happens on school nights and 38% on weekends.

Data from our own students showed that 40% of our 4-6 graders had YouTube channels, 48% were on Instagram, and 30% were on Music.ly. In her workshop with our 7-8 graders, only 21% indicated that their social media activity was monitored by parents.

Some of the big ideas that emerged from Cherilyn’s presentation were that stress caused by online activity was very much the same as that of real life experiences and it increased through the teen years. In order to effectively navigate their futures, students need to learn how to interact with others online in safe and mindful ways. Beyond monitoring their online activities, parents should engage with their children in ongoing dialog about the realities of using social media.

A big thank you to Kim Parks for organizing this important and engaging workshop.

Have a good weekend!

Peter

Author: The Saklan School Friday Blog

The Saklan School is a private Pre-K through 8 school located in Moraga, CA. Our mission is to think creatively, act compassionately, and live courageously.