Top 6 Content Literacy Skills K12 Admins Shouldn't Ignore#Achievement
by Erin WerraRead time:
As adults witnessing the spawn of the digital age, we collectively chuckle when a 9-year-old tells us they want to be a YouTuber when they grow up. But should we? Or is content creation the exact skillset students need to flourish in a creative career? Explore six skills students can learn in K12 to jump start a content creation career.
StorytellingStorytelling is at the core of any content. The story doesn’t have to be long or complex, but certain elements make a better story than others. A source of conflict and a resolution, a punchline, a catchphrase—all options. A more elusive skill is the ability to spot a story worth telling (practice makes perfect).
The benefit to students: Communication skills to tell their own compelling stories, which empowers people of all ages.
The benefit to administrators: Giving students a voice provides invaluable information to guide curriculum, project-based learning, and gets students involved in learning. Student agency for the win!
Camera workAs so many creators have found out, expensive equipment is not a prerequisite for successful content. However, students can learn composition skills, camera settings, cinematography, and filmmaking without having to invest in the latest and greatest tech. It’s the AV club modernized and integrated into everyday learning.
The benefit to students: Learn to make the best of the tools available already (a smartphone goes a long way) and the skills to transfer to your next creative endeavor.
The benefit to administrators: Students provide the tools, your team provides the knowledge, everyone wins with existing technology (even the school business office’s budget team).
Building a networkStudents can learn the art of making and keeping connections, building professional rapport, and can peek behind the scenes at how many folks are really involved in media creation—it’s not just a one-person show! Plus, building a professional network is a transferrable skill regardless of the field students pursue.
The benefit to students: Low-pressure career preparation and practice networking before it becomes a requirement for career progression. A skill that will last a lifetime.
The benefit to administrators: Providing a truly transferrable skill that will pay dividends for any student. (No more “when am I ever gonna use this?”)
EntrepreneurismLike it or not, content creation is a business—a particularly predatory type of business in some cases. Teaching students that their ideas are valuable, their brand is important, and their contributions are proprietary is transformative. They’re more likely to read the fine print and not get trapped in a situation they regret. At the same time, empowering them to see their potential as currency may just be the push needed to take the plunge into a new pursuit.
The benefit to students: A safe place to explore new ideas and learn the value of investing in themselves, and a newfound appreciation for the importance of copyright protection and antiplagiarism.
The benefit to administrators: Living the ultimate dream of an educator: seeing kids change the world with confidence you instilled.
Headline, title, and script writingEveryone’s a writer, but not everyone’s a good one yet. It takes practice and feedback to master preparing the behind-the-scenes work of script writing and crafting a headline or title that will catch audience’s attention. This also offers a sneaky way to help capture students’ attention to learn the mechanics of grammar and usage without resorting to drab exercises (diagramming sentences anyone?).
The benefit to students: Actionable practice writing for their specific audience, with a dash of skills to rival Grammarly.
The benefit to administrators: Students engaged in creative ELA practice that produces a library of tangible results students are able to admire and use to gauge their own progress.
Platforms and algorithmsThe goal of content creation is to increase the reach of your impressions. Selecting the right platform helps tremendously. Students can better meet this goal by getting familiar with the way different platforms “push” content to viewers—a super-simplified way of saying, how their algorithm works.
Understanding the power of algorithms not only helps students get their message out, but also builds their awareness of the messages they receive as well. When students realize they’re in control of the media they consume, seizing their own power helps distance them from the darker sides of web content.
The benefit for students: The ability to harness the power of algorithms to reach a wider audience.
The benefit for administrators: Accomplishing two goals at once: keeping students safer online and providing valuable skills for their future. A digital citizenship win-win.
Content creation is powerful for students. It increases their voice, agency, and skills they may use for the future. Savvy administrator teams realize the value in meeting students where they’re at to teach actionable skills (even if it does get a little tiresome to watch the latest TikTok dance during every passing period).
|Erin Werra Edtech Thought Leader