Three tips for creating purposeful student-driven content

Across the country, many school leaders are beginning to have conversations about the importance of raising a generation of informed digital citizens. These conversations are critical to not only helping students understand the implications of their personal digital footprint, but to also use their knowledge of the ever-growing digital world as a force for good.

But digital citizenship needs to extend beyond a conversation — it must be put into practice. But how do we start helping students understand what it means to be a digital leader? The answer is simple — practice and guidance. When school leaders give students a chance to be a part of the content generation, they can revolutionize the way their school’s story is being told by making students content creators.

Whether you’re already allowing students to create content on behalf of your school, or if you’re now considering it, these three tips will ensure that your digital citizens are creating content that is purposeful:

Understand the Value of Storytelling

I often begin my conversations with students by asking them about their favorite brands. Because we live in a consumer-driven culture, we often do not realize how brands are messaging to us and why we are attracted to them. By having a conversation with students about why specific brands and content appeal to them, they start to understand the value of storytelling. And because they are already posting photos from football games and discussing themes for school dances on their personal channels, they can now think about how to shape a story and tell it from a school’s perspective.

Diversify Content to Grow and Engage Audiences

Did you know that many of the areas of curriculum for digital citizenship focus on students’ personal brands? This is like telling your kid that in order to practice great citizenship, they should clean their room rather than clean a park to benefit the community. Students should think about your school the same way. Once they understand the value of storytelling and the difference between their stories and the stories of those they follow, they can create content for parents, students and the community on behalf of your school.  Once they see engagement, they are able to learn more about their audiences and then think strategically about the ways to reach them.

Collaborate with Other Students and Mediums

Citizenship is about connecting with others. When we direct students to work together, they’ll likely learn new skills from their peers. Individual skills like graphic design, photography, video, and writing are key in developing and diversifying content. Because all of these skills are impossible for one person to encompass (or even manage), collaboration teaches digital citizens the important skills of cooperation and leadership.

Class Intercom empowers students to become digital leaders by writing social media content for their schools. Educators moderate their content and provide vital feedback to help them grow. If interested in learning more about content workflows that empower student content creators, let’s chat: