Infographic: Golden Rules for Social Media Use by Teens

The British Council is marking Social Media Day 2013 with a set of five golden rules to help parents and educators keep kids safe on social media.

Every year the British Council engages directly with up to two million children globally, and seven million indirectly through teaching, exams, programmes, and projects. The organisation is committed to keeping children safe and protecting them from all forms of harm and abuse.

image from

Facebook for Education: Instagram in the Classroom


Instagram-logoHere's a new Facebook for Educators handout that covers the basics of using Instagram, part of Facebook, in the classroom.

Feel free to share this, and our other (free!) Facebook Education handouts, with your colleagues, parents, youth pastor, coach or anyone who works with youth.

Related: Learn more about privacy on Instagram or get help with FAQs.

Instagram in the Classroom by Facebook for Educators

Click HERE to download the handout! It's free! 

Trend Watch: What do your Instagram posts say about you? It's high school all over again.

PromagramHow you see the world is at the heart of Instagram, turning it into the digital version of high school, complete with its own cliques and cast of characters.

If you think about it, it’s not a surprise. After all, the idea at the heart of the social network is to use photos as a unique expression of your personality.

So when you choose what to capture and how to filter to get the right effect, you’re not just composing a shot, you’re revealing who you are. And like high school, those masterpieces peg you into broad archetypes, creating a Breakfast Club 2.0, if you will, for the 21st century.

Instead of jocks and cheerleaders roaming the halls or the cool clique smoking in the bathroom, you have visionaries, fashionistas, artistes and proud parents, each with their unique slant on the world, as well as hidden neuroses that make them human.

No matter what effect you lean towards or how much you crop, ultimately, you filter your sense of identity through the same lens that started to develop in high school — and it’s what you carry through life, whether you realize it or not.

So where do you fit in? What do your Instagram posts say about you?

Photo Credit: eminic23

Facebook for Edu: Introducing Hashtags on Facebook

Fb.hashtagThis week Facebook rolled out a new feature--hashtags!

Similar to other services like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, hashtags on Facebook allow you to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion.

Here's a new handout that covers the basics of getting started using hashtags on Facebook, along with a quick look at hashtag privacy. Feel free to share this, and our other (free!) Facebook Education handouts, with your colleagues, parents or youth pastor.

Introducing Hashtags on Facebook by Facebook for Educators

Get the Official Facebook for Educators Guide

The Facebook for Educators Guide is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and German. The guide is a collaboration between myself, Dr. BJ Fogg, Linda Fogg-Phillips and Facebook.

We invite you to join the conversation and share your best practices for using social media in the classroom with educators from around the world on our Facebook for Educators Page (

You can find more free handouts, resources and profession development materials on our Scribd page (


Infographic: 7 Types of Social Media Fans

U.S. consumers spend an average of 37 minutes a day on social media sites, according to eMarketer, and much of that activity involves brands and products. Consumers do everything from follow brand pages looking for deals to sharing their positive and negative experiences with the world.

It’s critical for marketers to understand as much as they can about these social media consumers. This week’s infographic breaks them down into seven major types, gives insights into their thinking and behavior, and shares tips on how to market effectively to each group.

Here are some of the stats on social media users:

  • 70% trust brand/product recommendations from friends
  • 49% follow brand pages for deals, specials and promotions
  • 45% are likely to share negative experiences with brands/products on social media
  • 42% who contact brands on social media expect a response within an hour

image from
















































































Source: Yahoo! Advertising Blog

Trend Watch: Teen Girls, Social Media and the 'Thigh Gap' Obsession [VIDEO]

Thigh gapQuick. Here's a test: Stand-up straight with your feet together in front of a mirror and look for a space between your upper thighs. If you see a gap, you have the latest body image obsession teen girls are starving themselves to achieve.

The 'thigh gap', as it is known, is a new teen girl obsession with a huge following on social media sites like Tumblr, YouTube and Instagram.

The trend is fueled by digital media and magazines that feature celebrities with the elusive 'thigh gap'---which is, in most cases, the work of a highly skilled Photoshop guru and not so much based on reality.


Exposure to this dangerous body image trend is just an app click away---girls can read tweets from Supermodel Cara Delevingne about her thigh gap on Twitter or scroll through thousands of thigh gaps on Tumblr with images of ultrathin women in bikinis, super short skirts, and lingerie, all baring thighs so thin they don't touch.

Whether or not this is a widespread trend or just a blip across teen culture is yet to be seen. However, this is another example of where parents, teachers and youth pastors need to step-in and faciliate a discussion about body image, social media and celebrity culture with their kids.

And remember, body image issues aren't just a 'teen girl' issue. 

While there has been lots of media coverage and press about young girls/women regarding body image & eating disorders, there has been very little devoted to how the media effects boys. In many cases, boys are an understudied group with regard to body issues (dysmorphia, bigorexia). 

Even as the media continues its obsession (yes, Twilight I’m looking at you) for the almighty 'six pack', boys have been gaining on girls in eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

Additional Resources

 Photo Credit: @ready_for_thynspo on Instagram  

INFOGRAPHIC: 81% of Americans use a smartphone and watch TV simultaneously

There is a chance that you are reading this post on a tablet or smartphone. In fact, you might even be dividing your attention between these words and a nearby TV or laptop. If that’s the case, you are in good company.

According to an infographic created and sponsored by Uberflip, 81% of Americans use a smartphone and watch TV simultaneously. The biggest use of the second screen appears to be social networking, and watching TV, it’s easy enough to see networks strive to make the connection.

Nearly every reality show has related hashtags flash by occasionally, encouraging viewers to weigh in on Twitter, which is the biggest drivers of social TV, with 33% of users tweeting about it last June. (via)

image from


























































View Large 

How Social Design Influences Student Retention and Self-Motivation in Online Learning Environments

image from

I've teamed up again with my writing partner, Dr. Mercedes Fisher, to take a deeper look at how designing for social spaces can help foster a deeper sense of community among students, teachers and the course content.

I'm pleased to announce that our book chapter, How Social Design Influences Student Retention and Self-Motivation in Online Learning Environments, has been published in Social Media and the New Academic Environment.

But beyond the classroom, these best practices can be integrated into any online community, forum discussion or informal online education environment.

As web applications play a vital role in our society, social media has emerged as an important tool in the creation and exchange of user-generated content and social interaction. The benefits of these services have entered in the educational areas to become new means by which scholars communicate, collaborate and teach.
Social Media and the New Academic Environment: Pedagogical Challenges provides relevant theoretical frameworks and the latest research on social media the challenges in the educational context.
This book is essential for professionals aiming to improve their understanding of social media at different levels of education as well as researchers in the fields of e-learning, educational science and information and communication sciences and much more.

OMG! Text Messaging Celebrates 20th Anniversary

TextingYou might not believe it, but text messaging is already past its teen years.

The thumb-numbing communications format that has become a favorite of teenagers and created a language of its own turned 20 on Monday.

The very first SMS was sent out on Dec. 3, 1992 when English engineer Neil Papworth, while working at the English tech company Sema, wrote "Merry Christmas" on his computer and sent it off to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis.


Related: Text Message's 20th Anniversary Finds Users Turning to Facebook

Kids Online: Opportunities and Challenges in Social Networking

image from www.joanganzcooneycenter.orgWhat do we know about young kids and the online social networking sites in which they participate?

In a new report published by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center , Drs. Deborah Fields and Sara Grimes delve into landscape of kids and social media and raise some important questions that deserve more attention.

Kids Online: A new research agenda for understanding social networking forums

A growing number of kids at increasingly younger ages are engaging in online social networking today-a development that is leading to a surge of news stories, media attention, and economic investment.

In this paper, scholars Sara Grimes and Deborah Fields argue that these shifts in usage and public discussion demand a better understanding of the ways that social networking sites mediate kids' socializing and the opportunities and limits they place on kids' participation, particularly for young children.

The paper, Kids online: A new research agenda for understanding social networking forums, is a first step to documenting pressing questions about children's involvement online, namely:

° Which children are using social networking forums and what are they doing there?
° What do we know about how online experiences influence children's social, cognitive, and creative development?
° What kind of research do we need to do now, in order to understand more deeply who is going online, what kinds of things they are doing, and what opportunities or challenges are involved?
° And finally, what should designers, educators, and parents be aware of as they navigate these new environments and try to help children make the most of them?

Social TV and the Rise of the 'Connected Viewer'

SocialtvResearch conducted by Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project has found that half of all adult cell phone owners now incorporate their mobile devices into their television watching experiences.

These “connected viewers” used their cell phones for a wide range of activities during the 30 days preceding our April 2012 survey:

Taken together, 52% of all cell owners are “connected viewers”—meaning they use their phones while watching television for at least one of these reasons.

You can read the full report, The Rise of the 'Connected Viewer'.

Trend Watch: Social Profile Pruning

Profile “pruning” is on the rise. Deleting unwanted friends, comments and photo tags grows in popularity.

Over time, as social networking sites have become a mainstream communications channel in everyday life, profile owners have become more active managers of their profiles and the content that is posted by others in their networks.

According to a new Pew Internet study, two-thirds of profile owners (63%) have deleted people from their networks or friend lists, up from 56% in 2009. Another 44% say they have deleted comments that others have made on their profile, up from just 36% two years prior.

And as photo tagging has become more automated on sites like Facebook, users have become more likely to remove their names from photos that were tagged to identify them; 37% of profile owners have done this, up from 30% in 2009.

Social profile managment

Deleting social media comments is part of the reputation management work of being a young adult.

All users have become more likely to delete comments on their profiles over time, but this is especially true of young adults.

It is now the case that 56% of social media users ages 18-29 say they have deleted comments that others have made on their profile, compared with 40% of those ages 30-49, 34% of those ages 50-64 and 26% of social media users ages 65 and older.

In contrast to the gender differences with unfriending, male and female social media users are equally as likely to say that they have deleted comments that others have made on their profile (44% of men and women report this).

The task of removing photo tags is also much more common among young adults.

Whether because there are simply more photos being shared or there is more sensitivity to their content, young adult social media users are the most likely age group to report removal of photo tags.

Fully half of young adult social media users (49%) say they have deleted their name from photos that were tagged to identify them.

That compares to 36% of social media users ages 30-49, 22% of those ages 50-64 and only 16% of those ages 65 and older. As with comments, there are no significant gender differences; male and female users are equally likely to delete photo tags (36% vs. 38%).