Teaching a lesson on social networking

I’m on holiday in Borneo at the moment, where my brother is Co-ordinator for the international secondary section of a school. I’ve had a wonderful time, Malaysia is an amazing place and there are lots of photos around on Twitter and Instagram if you’re interested in that side of the story.

I have been made to sing for my supper (or rather three weeks free accommodation) as I was asked to go in and do a lesson for the iGCSE in Global Perspectives on social networking. The course is a bit like General Studies in the UK, encouraging students to think about the world around them and how it works at local, national and global level.

I’m no kind of teacher, but prepared a Social Networking Lesson Plan and a presentation, and thought I would share them.

I was trying to get them to think about sensible use of networks, without overly emphasising negative aspects – after all, a lot of good can come from these networks. My main messages were

  • The internet never forgets, so think now how your social activities might impact your future
  • Sharing your password is a bad idea, except with your parents.
  • Don’t believe everything you read on social networks – engage your critical faculties.

It seemed to go OK, especially with the final year class. There are some differences to overcome in a classroom of different cultures and nationalities, but that makes it interesting too!

Every time I get in front of a class, for whatever reason, I am filled with admiration for teachers. Coming up with ideas to stimulate and educate, keeping the momentum up in the class, controlling unruly elements and trying to steer that energy in a positive direction; it’s like juggling fireclubs. I couldn’t do it…

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