The fact that apps and social media is ever evolving was affirmed last week when I attended Palmetto Girls State. This is my 9th year attending this leadership camp for high school junior girls, and my 7th year as a senior counselor. Sitting with a bunch of 17 year old girls allowed my eyes to be opened when a debate broke out over lunch that would decide whether or not Facebook was officially “in” or “out” on the teenage cool factor scale. 17 year old girl A says, “Facebook is not cool anymore. All I ever do is twitter, insta (instagram), and vine” (WAIT! what is Vine? I wonder). Girl B, “Well, I think you make a good point. However, I still use Facebook because you can link all of those to show up on Facebook. Usually I will only check Facebook to check people’s updates, but I would never send out a Facebook update or status.”
This conversation made me think back to when I got my Facebook, and how different the program was when I joined. During this era I had to wait for my college email to come in because only college students were allowed on the online community (I was outraged when anyone else was allowed to join other than college kids). Now, it is an essential tool for all ages that allows individuals to get and stay connected (and even run for public office!) like never before.
Wesley Donehue was one of the many leaders that came to talk to our 612 delegates at Palmetto Girl’s State. According to an article by CNN Wesley, “is a Republican Internet consultant who teaches federal and state candidates how best to use new technologies in their campaigns. Wesley was named a GOP Innovator of the Year last year by Campaigns and Elections magazine.” He gave the group insight into why you can no longer effectively run a political campaign without using media outlets. Think back. This requirement has been established within the last 10 years, and has shifted the job market in a major way for those pursuing PR or Political Science. How can we aid our students for those type of job markets in 10 years NOW?
By allowing students to explore the most up and coming programs and apps and allowing them to ask “what if?”, teachers allow students to invent and stay at the forefront of technology. How can we use the most up to date apps to target skills or needs of some students while raising the bar for our advanced students? What programs will change and/or be invented in our lifetime? What programs could be created by one of our students? Innovation of tomorrow is made by individuals of today, so go out and empower your students. Together, we will inspire progress and change!
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