A Curriculum for Social Media Literacy

The Philosophy Behind the Curriculum
What is social media literacy? The best definition I have found so far is provided by Katlen Tiillman, a digital marketing professional and writer for Edelman Digital, in her article on the intersection of media literacy, digital literacy, and social media literacy:

"I think social media literacy is having the proficiency to communicate appropriately, responsibly, and to evaluate conversations critically within the realm of socially-based technologies."

Edelman Digital is itself a great example of how social media is changing the world we live in. Edelman is a communications/public relations firm that has embraced social media as part of its business model. The firm's website includes links to a company Facebook page, YouTube video channel, Flickr photo stream, LinkedIn networking profile, Issuu document library, and a blog written by the company's president and CEO. There are countless other businesses that are also using social media to sell their products and services to people worldwide.

As a future educator who also happens to love all things digital and technological, I see great potential for the intersection of education and social media. If teachers and other educators can adapt social media for education in much of the same way that the business world has adapted social media for business purposes, we will be better able to, not only reach our tech-loving students, but also help them to become better prepared for a future in a technologically-dependent world.

Potential Solutions
Three primary ways in which social media can be used in educational settings are:
  1. using social media conventions to make reading simpler for struggling readers,
  2. creating interactive websites tailored to classroom learning objectives, and
  3. using social media to create a stronger educational community.

The solutions that will be proposed in this website will all fall under the umbrella of these three topic areas, with a particular literacy focus on the first area.

Example Ideas
  1. Reformatting long-form reading material into short-form content. ...
  2. Creating a classroom website, with individual pages for each topic area. ...
  3. Encouraging educators to create blogs to help keep the community in the loop. ...