Online course helps teachers understand effects of social media

Written by DigitalAgenda News Team

A new, free online course aims to help teachers use social media to improve young people’s wellbeing and mental health.

The University of Birmingham has just launched a new project to help teachers understand how social media affects children’s mental health. The online course will be delivered by the university’s school of sport, exercise and rehabilitation sciences.

Dr Victoria Goodyear, Course leader, said: “We know that social media is an essential and often valuable part of life for young people. As adults we need to be sure we are equipping ourselves to engage with these resources in informed ways, and in ways that will enhance the education and wellbeing of young people.”

The free course – Optimising Social Media for Youth Health and Wellbeing– is designed for primary, secondary and trainee teachers. In particular, those computer science/ICT education and personal social and health education.

In the course launch video, Goodyear said “most young people spend overs 20 hours a week online”.

On the welcome page of the course website, organisers have said the course is a way “to reach young people and understand something of their worlds and offer support”.

Teachers will design a social media curriculum and develop new tools to evaluate social media teaching in a school setting. The teachers’ social media curriculums will be published in a book at the end of the course.

Those completing the new course will be able to critically engage with social media during class lessons and in conversations with students. The teachers will also learn how to use social media as a learning resource.

For more information on how to register for the course, visit the University of Birmingham’s Open CPD website.

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