Social Media Note

Dear Parents of English 10H Students,

For the next three weeks, your English 10H Student will have a social media assignment (link to assignment and rationale here). The assignment will involve them using/creating a Twitter account to contribute very small quotes, questions, and observations from their reading to a group hashtag.

Their contributions on this social media platform will form the basis of our discussions and will also serve as a useful collection for them when they sit down to create their final concept maps at the end of the unit. As you can see on the assignment & rationale, I chose Twitter specifically because the two professions most closely linked with English as a discipline (journalism and publishing) both extensively use Twitter as a vehicle for communication.

I know many of us (myself included) worry about the impact of social media on our kids, and we want to be quite careful with it. I hope that this very short-term, very specific assignment will be a safe and easy on ramp for students to experience some of the productive ways social media can create fodder for meaningful conversations.

Twitter, specifically offers you the option of “protecting” tweets, which ensures that only certain people can see them. If you would like to shepherd this social media foray for your student, you might consider that tool as an ally. Please add my account (@AliBG) to the accounts that are allowed to see your child’s tweets.

As always, I’m available by email or phone to answer any questions or concerns you may have.


Alina Borger-Germann

NOTES about setting up a Twitter account:

  • CAREFUL! When setting up a Twitter account, the users must UNCHECK the boxes they do not want to follow when it says “follow 40 and continue.” If the users choose fewer than 40, they may have de-select ANOTHER group of people.
  • In addition, unless the user is interested in connecting other accounts, use “skip this step” several times in the account set-up phase.
  • If users would like to protect their weets, once the account is set up and they’re on the home page of the Twitter newsfeed:
    • Click on the user photo (or the picture of the egg/oval) and then go down to SETTINGS.
    • When the settings menu comes up, click on “security and privacy.”
    • Then click on the box that says “protect my tweets”
    • Users may also want to include other privacy protections, and all of those are delineated on that page.

Hope that’s useful.


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