In our 21st century world, social media has become an everyday necessity. We use it for social interaction, access to news, information, and in decision making. Social media helps us to connect and talk to others locally and globally, as well as create and share content. Social media can also influence our behaviours, and this central idea is the basis behind our Grade 9 Humanities unit on Population.
“Students focussed on population growth,” said Mr. Andy Romero, Secondary Humanities Teacher at Nanjing International School. “They used research and data to identify a population problem somewhere in the world and then proposed solutions.” Mr. Romero explained that while social media was the vehicle chosen to deliver their campaign, the project was all about the data students uncovered and their analysis of it.
“There’s a lot of learning that comes with a project like this,” said Mr. Romero. “Students found that it’s about much more than just birth rate and discussed all kinds of issues that might have a connection, from GDP to migration.”
These Grade 9 students were supported by experts at our school, with lectures on social media strategy from the NIS Head of Communications and Marketing and content creation from our Technology Coach. After choosing their own population issues to research, the student-led project transitioned into analysis that guided the creation of social media campaigns with the goal of changing the behaviour of an audience group. This real-world exercise not only embodied our school’s award-winning Strategy of Student Voice and Student Choice, but also Burst the Bubble, as it broadened perspectives and connected students with different people and places.