St. Margaret’s Welcomes Social Media Expert to Help Students ‘Win’ in Digital World

Bringing a message of positivity and urging Tartans to “win” at social media, The Social Institute spent two days at St. Margaret’s meeting with Upper School and Middle School students as well as presenting to faculty, staff and parents.
 
St. Margaret’s partnered with The Social Institute to educate students on digital citizenship and relationship with technology, an important element of a larger strategic priority centered around health and wellness. E.J. Proctor, social media coach at The Social Institute, brought an uplifting message to St. Margaret’s students and parents about using social media platforms for good, rather than focusing exclusively on the pitfalls of having an online presence.
 
The Social Institute’s approach reinforces leadership strengths, teaches students to champion high character online, and shows students how the platforms can be used to positively portray one’s self and make the world a better place. With a message of empowerment, Ms. Proctor led engaging, interactive conversations with students about how online actions can be viewed—both positively and negatively—among peers, parents, teachers, and even colleges and future employers.
 
“We believe social media is the biggest game in the world—one we can win or lose,” Ms. Proctor said. “We challenge students to win by learning the ‘do’s’ of social media, not just the don’ts.”
 
Some of those do’s included in their seven social standards are:
 
  • Protect your privacy like you’re famous. Noting that celebrities rarely post personal information like their home address online, students should also avoid sharing private information publicly.
  • Play to your core. Or, be the best version of yourself you can be online.
  • Cyberback others. While cyberbulling is a downside to social media, students should cyberback, or encourage others and celebrate their successes.
  • Strike a balance. A well-balanced life emphasizes priorities and relationships away from the digital world, not just likes and feedback online.
 
As part of its health-and-wellness strategic priority, St. Margaret’s has emphasized educational programs centered around promoting a healthy relationship with technology and how to be a good digital citizen. The Social Institute was a key partnership to advance those goals, and builds on the momentum of PTF Parent Up Speaker Dr. Jean Twenge who recently presented compelling research about the social and emotional impact of technology use among students.
 
“Current St. Margaret’s students are part of the first generation to grow up with social media and smartphones, and there is a strong need for digital citizenship to be part of the educational experience,” said Angela Mackenzie, director of library and digital literacy at St. Margaret’s. “Our philosophy aligns well with The Social Institute, and we loved their positive, informative and entertaining approach toward social-media education.”
 
Parent resources are available at thesocialinstitute.com.
 
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An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California