Jeff Whipple urges parents, teachers to educate students on social media

What young people put online will follow them for years and that’s the message Jeff Whipple wants to instil in students.

Teaching students appropriate use of social media is a top priority, says district's technology lead teacher

Jeff Whipple, a technology lead teacher in the Anglophone West School District, said students need to learn about the impact of social media at a young age. (Jeff Whipple/Twitter)

What young people put online will follow them for years and that's the message Jeff Whipple wants to instil in students. 

Whipple, a technology lead teacher in the Anglophone West School District, regularly works with students, helping them understand technology and the uses and dangers of the digital world. 

"One of the concerns I have is that we've kind of left social media to the kids, and they're in a world by themselves," he said.

"They're not seeing how social media should be done and they're not seeing the power and the authority that comes with that."

Whipple said teaching students the appropriate use of social media is a top priority, specifically, how permanent and public each of their posts are. 

"That personal brand that people are building won't go away. So we have to start very, very young with children both as parents and as educators to build that awareness," he said. 

Whipple said the education system is working to help students build that awareness. 

"In some ways [teachers have] got to find and develop learning experiences so that students can safely make mistakes inside an academic or classroom setting that would mirror the kinds of mistakes they might make in the future," he said. 

Whipple said some teachers have been incorporating new technology and social media into their classroom lessons.

"The more that we use media and new media in the schools, it will help the kids learn just what that means," Whipple said.

"The question shouldn't be, 'What shouldn't our kids be doing on the web,' anymore. The question needs to be, 'What do our kids need to be doing on the web?'"

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