Students can’t be what they can’t see

Did you know that 96% of students that have internet access are on at least one social media platform? As technology advances and students continue to flock to social media, educators are meeting students on their level and using their mic for good by incorporating tech and social media into their classrooms in positive ways.

Some educators are naturals at this, but with social media and tech constantly evolving, it can be hard to keep up with all of the ways you can create engaging learning experiences for your students with the latest apps and technology. 

We believe that you can’t be what you can’t see, so we’re sharing five educators who are using their mic for good and putting social media and tech to work in their classrooms to further empower their students.

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5 educators who are using their mic for good

1. Principal David Schexnaydre has been working in St. Charles Parish Public Schools for the past 18 years. Schexnaydre was named St. Charles Parish Public Schools 2021-22 Principal of the Year.  He began his social media venture by creating YouTube videos for his students. He wanted to find a way to connect with his students on a platform familiar to them. These videos covered everything, from the school’s core values, current news, events happening in and out of the school, and anything else Schexnaydre thought was worth addressing. Students appreciated Schexnaydre’s light-hearted approach to these videos, and they began sharing their thoughts and suggestions for his videos as well as opening up about their personal connections to his videos. More recently, Schexnaydre expanded his social media platform to include TikTok based on students’ recommendations. These videos have since gone viral – with multiple clips reaching over 1 million views.


Miss J. Nycole

2. Elementary school teacher, Miss J. Nycolè has gone viral on TikTok with her classroom greeting videos. Each morning her students meet her at the door to the classroom and select one of nine greeting options shown on the wall. These options range from a salute to a dance as a way to greet her students each morning. After the student selects the option they want, Nycolè completes the morning greeting with that student and lets them walk through the door into the classroom. This is a special way of recognizing each individual student and preparing them to have a good day in the classroom. These videos have sparked a trend among educators who now implement the morning greeting system before their students enter the classroom. Students look forward to these greetings each morning, and it serves as a motivator to come to school each day.


Miss Hunter - Wordle

3. Miss Hunter on TikTok is incorporating technology to connect with her students in educational games while using social media to share positive teaching tactics to help students collaborate with one another to solve a problem. She engages her students by playing Wordle, a daily, online word game where players must guess a five-letter word in six tries. Miss Hunter posts TikTok videos that encourage and support her students as they problem-solve to figure out the word. These TikToks have grown to receive millions of views.


Ms. P - TikTok4. Middle school teacher, Ms. Po (who goes by Ms. P) uses Instagram and TikTok as a creative way to listen and relate to the struggles her students face. Ms. P poses different questions to her students and has them respond anonymously on sticky notes. She then records videos of her reading the responses aloud and offering advice for the students. The most common question Ms. P asks her students is, “What was the worst part of your week?” One of the TikToks Ms. P posted with this question hit 11.4 million views. Ms. P uses her mic for good to create a brave space for her students to feel heard and share their struggles anonymously. For many students, it is comforting to know someone else is facing the same challenges as you. Her videos allow students from all over the world to feel heard and cared for through the advice she shares.


Mrs. Sloan Science Teacher

5. High school science teacher, Mrs. Winnie Sloan, uses YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok to post lessons for her students. After years of teaching, Sloan learned that the most effective way to teach students is to meet them on their level and speak to them in a voice they understand. For many students, this is through social media. She reaches students who are on different platforms and continues to use technology to ensure these lessons are accessible to all of her students through Google Docs. Sloan’s use of social media allows her talents as a teacher to reach a larger audience that could never be reached without the benefits of technology and social media.


TSI’s Take

Many students are ahead of the curve when it comes to social media and tech, so it can be powerful when they see and hear that their teachers recognize their interest in social media and want to engage with them on these platforms. The use of social media helps educators build stronger relationships with their students and form a deeper level of trust and understanding among one another. By meeting students on their level, educators are encouraging students to open up in a way they have never seen before through the use of TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube videos. 

These five educators have created engaging classrooms and livened up their student’s education by using their mic for good and engaging with them on social media inside and outside of the classroom. We want to continue to empower educators to incorporate technology and social media into their curriculums and teaching styles to use their mic for good. Students want the adults in their lives to recognize the positive impacts social media has. Download our White Paper: Social Media And Well-Being: What Students Want Adults To Know, to read more about the positive impact social media has on students’ experiences.

The Social Institute (TSI) is the leader in understanding student experiences and creator of #WinAtSocial, a gamified, online learning platform that equips students, educators, and families to navigate social experiences — online and offline — in healthy ways. Our unique, student-respected approach incorporates topics like social media, technology use, and current events that have a significant impact on student well-being. Lessons teach life skills for the modern day to inspire high-character decisions that support the health, happiness, and future success of students while capturing data that provides insights to school leaders to inform school policy and communications, and enable high-impact teaching and a healthy learning environment. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities.