Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Let's See How Far This Message Gets: Stop Sharing, and Start Caring

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Let's See How Far This Message Gets: Stop Sharing, and Start Caring

Article excerpt

Claire Lotriet's world of ed tech

Every time I think I've seen the back of them, one takes me by surprise. Facebook is usually the medium of choice. They always have plenty of likes and shares. And I always have the same reaction of frustration and a feeling of disappointment that yet another person has missed the point.

The subject of my ire is the social media post that usually consists of a teacher holding up a bit of card displaying a message that goes along the lines of "Please share this! I want to teach my class how quickly things spread on the internet. Please leave a comment including where you're from so we know how far it's travelled."

OK, when this first happened a few years ago, it was an original idea and resulted in the desired outcome - lots of shares and comments from around the world. Children could see that a post on the internet has the ability to spread fast and far, and that they should bear this in mind when using social media themselves. Job done.

Quite why countless people have attempted to replicate the idea is beyond me. It's been done - use those examples. We don't all need to take a photo of ourselves, do we?

I'm not even sure that those posting the pictures are thinking about what they want to get from the exercise: a recent one I spotted promised that the teacher would check up on the progress of how much the picture had been shared in two weeks. Two weeks? This is the equivalent of geological time on the internet, as @oliverquinlan pointed out in the comments. …

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