Social Media Literacy for Change –helping teachers develop a social media literacy strategy in school

Thanks to the first edition of the European Media Literacy Week, media literacy is on everyone's lips! So what can teachers do to boost their and their students' media literacy skills? One exciting thing to have on the radar is the Social Media Literacy for Change MOOC (massive open online course), taking place on 29 April until 12 June 2019. The MOOC aims to help European citizens in general and young people in particular, become active, creative and well-informed citizens of the digital world.

What is social media literacy and why is it important?

Social media are a relatively new phenomenon and yet, many people around the world, regardless of their age, find it increasingly difficult to imagine life without them. With more and more children and teenagers spending time on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp or Snapchat, it comes as no surprise that social media are also present and widely used at school. However, only few children and young people use them to access news and information, for self-expression, to get support from others, to learn new things or to be civically engaged, which is clearly a missed opportunity. Seen as both physical spaces and social environments where teachers, pupils or students and parents meet, schools play a crucial role to promote a positive change in this direction.

One fundamental way in which this change can be achieved is by empowering teachers and school leaders to foster social media literacy in their schools, thus capitalising on the opportunities that social media offer in terms of information, communication, learning and participation. Schools can therefore support not only their students and pupils, but also the whole-school community to be better prepared for a digital future, by taking in all the advantages, while also tackling potential challenges and risks that may arise during this demanding, but highly rewarding journey towards social media literacy for all. You can find out more about social media literacy as well as some key SML evidence-based resources, research and other materials in the sml4change report.

What is the sml4change project about?

Social Media Literacy for Change (sml4change) is a one-year project which aims to support European school leaders and teachers to foster social media literacy (SML) in both their school and local community, thus reaching out to citizens at large.

Co-created in collaboration with a group of teachers, for teachers, the online course will be hosted on European Schoolnet Academy. Spanning over 6.5 weeks and targeting primary and secondary teachers, heads of schools and school leaders, the MOOC will take the form of an online capacity building scheme aimed to empower participants to develop, implement and assess a whole-school social media literacy strategy in response to the societal challenges they are faced with in their communities.

By the end of the sml4change MOOC, participants will have developed their own SML strategy, tailor-made for their school and most importantly, developed in collaboration with the whole school community, thus ensuring a higher success rate and duration.

Registration and promotion of the MOOC

Registration for the online course is now open and regular news and updates are being posted on social media (Facebook and Twitter) using the two project hashtags #sml4change and #SocialMediaLiteracy4Change.

We would like to have as many teachers and school leaders take part in this online course, which is why we have prepared a short course presentation as well as a sml4change MOOC Promotional package to make it easier for to spread the word!