Social media is here to stay, it has changed the way society connects, communicates and exchanges information, in many ways for the better. Due to the widespread popularity and constant development of smart phones and electronic devices modern life has reconfigured, cutting across national boundaries and impacting on relationships, culture, economy and world views (Jenson, 2013). However, social media can be a double-edged sword. There is growing concern that digital technology can also bring negative repercussions, especially to the younger generation who are its main consumers.
A key challenge today is learning how to adapt to this new environment, to learn to balance online and offline activities, and to get the best out of the digital world we are now in. With that challenge in mind the Healthy Social Media project has developed a comprehensive set of open education resources to raise awareness of the digital dynamics and attitudes in play, and to help guide and empower our youth in developing and maintaining healthy social media practices, and to become responsible digital citizens.
These OERs are supported by the production of our healthy social media app – which while a stand-alone app works best when used in conjunction with the OERs delivered in a group setting. We also recommend that Educators and Youth workers who are new to the topic read our Research report (link to page) to inform themselves of the issues and challenges that Social Media usage presents.
The course is designed to be delivered in a group setting by youth workers and educators and for those involved in non- profit youth organisations, Education & Training and policy makers. It seeks to equip young people with the knowledge to use and enjoy social media in a positive manner, and to become responsible digital citizens.
The materials are designed for various uses. The course can be delivered as a complete curriculum or parts of it might be integrated to supplement other courses. All materials are provided as open source and each section of this course offers a variety of additional materials such as videos, case studies and activities about the topic.
The course is designed primarily to be used in a group setting / classroom environment and as mentioned above is supported by an online app for self-reflection and study.
The syllabus of the Healthy Social Media course is divided into eight different modules, each of them focusing on different aspects of social media usage and consequences:
Module 1: Social Media Uncovered
Module 2: Self Image, Identity and Social Relationships
Module 3: Digital Footprint and Reputation
Module 4: Digital Drama and Conflict Resolution
Module 5: Privacy, Security and Safety
Module 6: Fake News and Extreme Views
Module 7: Information Literacy and Critical Thinking
Module 8: Responsible Digital Citizenship
Each Module has three different training resources:
- A Tutors Guide – this outlines the aims, learning outcomes and usage of each module.
- A Powerpoint/ PDF Presentation – again this is to be used in conjunction with the Tutor’s Guide, this is a suggested course and includes the materials and activities. If it is your first time delivering the course, this is a good starting point.
3. A Nearpod version of the course. Nearpod is an innovative digital tool for engaging young people and students in the subject via their mobile phones. You can learn more about Nearpod here and access our Nearpod version of the course here (If you don’t already have a Nearpod account, you will need to create on to access the Nearpod version of the course)
You can download the Open Educational Resources by scrolling to the bottom to download all 8 Modules as a zip file. You can “right mouse click” on the Zip file to unzip/uncompress them.
Although the Healthy Social Media course is designed as a complete curriculum, each module can be used as a stand-alone session. Therefore, each module starts with a basic introduction about the topic which can be skipped if you use more than one module or the whole course.
You do not need to use the materials in any particular order. If you want to concentrate on a specific topic you can jump in at your point of interest – although using the whole course is suggested.