Impact of social media

Topic introduction

Establish how powerful the information we like, share, and produce on social media could be. You may like to show the following videos.

Age 15 and above

Age 15 and below

For a more discussion-based introduction

 

Activity

Social media pledge + self-reflective video monologue

Learning outcome

Students should be able to:

  • Understand the impact of social media not only on the news they consume as well as its effect on overall human psychology, behaviors, and interactions;
  • Evaluate how it affects themselves personally.

Step 1: internet usage self-reporting survey

In this step, students are asked to log their internet usage every day for one week. They need to submit how many minutes they spend on what activities (you might need to show how to get the app usage and screen time data on different devices although most students know how to retrieve such information these days. They just never look at it).

You might like to give a log sheet but what they actually report to the instructor is an aggregated result of up to 10 major activities each day. For example, one hour on WhatsApp, two hours watching a Netflix movie, etc. There is no assessment involved.

Step 2: Make a pledge

Based on the self-survey, students are asked to make a pledge and change their social media usage behaviors for 10 days. They need to submit to the instructor:

  1. What they will be doing differently every day;
  2. What they would like to observe by doing so.

The pledge can be as simple as “post a photo of everything I eat on Instagram every day,” “never use WhatsApp after 5 p.m.,” or “get the news from Facebook feed only and never look at any other news sources.” There is no assessment but some students might pledge something that is too easy or difficult to achieve, so some guidance is needed.

Step 3: Video monologue

After 10 days, students need to video-record themselves talking about their experience and observation. For an older age group (e.g. university students), this assignment can be tied to theories and concepts. For younger ones, self-reflection is perhaps good enough.

The video monologue should be between 60 to 90 seconds.

In our Edmodo group, you can find six real assignment videos produced by students. They were assessed in the following three aspects:

  • Does the monologue adequately evaluate the personal experience in a self-reflective manner?
  • Does it address the key issue(s) and impact(s) found through the self-observation?
  • Does it draw on the concepts discussed in class or in the reading?