Social Media Literacy at Templeton Academy

Posted by Templeton Academy

social media

According to a recent report by Common Sense Media, teens spend more time with media than they do in school. It is increasingly challenging to monitor or even understand the things they do with social media and technology. Many parents are concerned about their teens’ relationship with social media. At Templeton Academy we take a proactive approach to ensuring that our students apply critical thinking to analyzing and evaluating the role of social media in their lives.

Adam Curtis, Templeton Academy Community Coordinator, teaches Foundations, Interdisciplinary Studies, English and a variety of Humanities electives at Templeton Academy. We
recently asked him to talk about his approach to social media:

“In both Foundations and Inter-Disciplinary Studies, I teach a unit on Media Literacy. I originally planned the unit to be about reading and analyzing text, maybe talking about semiology and iconography, but I find more and more of our time is spent just talking about what exactly "social media" is and how it works.

We spend time breaking down into steps what exactly happens when you use Facebook or Twitter or Instagram and how that affects the brain physically and the brain's perception of reality. I try to focus students on slowing down and understanding the gaps inherent in any digital communication and how the brain rushes to fill those gaps and how that can be dangerous.

Both of my Foundations classes have chosen to create Foundational Projects involving social media, as well.

  • Term 1 focused on how tech and social media impacts reality, attempting to tell a story through Instagram posts about the lives of four young people and how their lives are impacted by things that happen in the digital realm.
  • My current term is focusing on how information is transferred and how people can be tricked and swayed into believing things that are aggressively not true, which is exceptionally easy through the use of social media.

On the other side of things, I've also found social media to be a helpful tool in the classroom. I've used Twitter to run a unit-long project on 1984, I've had students in the past create social media accounts for historical figures to tell their stories, and much more. It's the language and tools that our population speaks and uses; it's best to educate and lean into it.”

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About Templeton Academy

Temp Keller
Templeton Academy is an experiential micro school with locations on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and in Nashville, TN. It offers an academically rigorous curriculum designed to foster intellectual curiosity through active learning and community exploration. The small class sizes ensure that each student has a front row seat in classes with an average size of 10. Our model combines a warm, inviting atmosphere with great teaching that allows our students to flourish. Schedule a visit soon.

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