There are reasons why Bill Gates, the late Steve Jobs and other leading tech industry professionals chose to raise their kids tech free. They’re seen the dangers first-hand. Heck, many have helped create these dangers. Yes, social media has many dangers for addiction-prone teens, but these dangers don’t erase the potential benefits social media provides when its managed correctly.
While my initial goal in writing LIFESCALE was to help address my own device/social media addiction, I’m happy to say that many of the issues I address can benefit people of all ages – including middle school, high school and college students.
If you fall into one of those categories, chances are you have never seen a Pomodoro kitchen timer in your life, but the time management technique I talk about that is named after it can help increase your productivity when you’re doing homework, writing reports and working on other projects.
The Pomodoro Technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late ’80s. It uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as
the “Pomodoro,” from the Italian word for tomato, after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student. You’ll find my step-by-step guide to this in the “Refocus” chapter.
While that can help you focus your time at home and limit your social media distraction time, I think on the flip side that social media, if used properly, can actually help students learn in the classroom. I was pleased to find a UK website called IMPACTTEACHERS. com that lists five ways this is possible. If you’re a teacher, consider using some or all of these techniques. If you’re a student who has a positive relationship with your teachers, suggest they consider them.
- Social media can help kids study. A recent research study found that more than 70 percent of students feel that the tech they use for studying should be tailored to their requirements and preferences through social media feeds.
- Create feeds and hashtags. Teachers can use social media accounts to centralize additional knowledge for their classes, making it easy for students to find and learn from. Your school may have its own internal intranet system, where pages or interactive areas can be created in which students can share information, learnings, tips, and opinions on course content. Twitter can also help share information with students; using a unique hashtag linked to your course is a great way to encourage dialogue and collate class information in one place.
- Record missed classes and extra clips of information. Video is a great way to complement lessons. Popular tools like Periscope and Snapchat can be used by teachers to record and share missed class content. Teachers can also record extra learning materials and tips, as well as bite-sized chunks of key learnings, making them easily and readily accessible. These new techniques help students to engage with learning in a way that is more akin to the digital world they have grown up in.
- Encourage blogging to improve written skills. Learning how to write English eloquently and creatively is an important tool for self-expression. Today, students are less likely to write their thoughts down with a pen and paper; more than likely they will take to social media instead. Introducing blogs into your classroom is a great way to engage through modern technology while encouraging them to express themselves.
- Photo sharing. To anyone under 25, photo sharing is a way of life. Teachers can encourage students to use it to put together albums that supplement various aspects of their curriculums.