Katie Heavens, intern at New Town Elementary School, assessed the needs of her fifth grade students and decided a social media club would be a beneficial service-learning project. The purpose of the Social Media club was to discuss proper social media etiquette, as well as the issue of cyber-bullying.   

With technology being integrated in almost every aspect of their lives, it is important that students are aware of the positives and negatives associated with interacting on the World Wide Web. To sign up for the club, students submitted a signed permission slip from both parents and students. The slots for the social media club were filled on a first-come first-served basis. Two sessions or groups, consisting of about five students, met every Wednesday for one hour for three weeks. During the first meeting, students took a brief survey assessing what social media accounts they had and what purposes they served. They also answered questions assessing their knowledge of cyber-bullying. For the remainder of the meetings, students were exposed to different stories and accounts that expressed the importance of conducting yourself in an appropriate manner on the internet. Students also had the opportunity to read and decipher what we agree to every time we accept “terms and uses.” During the next two sessions, guest speakers offered their testimonies of how social media has affected their lives.

Intern Katie Heavens helps students in the social media club prepare their presentations.

Concluding the workshops, students expressed their desire to inform the rest of the fifth grade about the new information that they had acquired. Several students from the social media group spent several days preparing and practicing a short presentation. They have begun their presentations to each fifth grade class about the information they learned and how it relates to their everyday lives.