AAC&U is a partner in EVERYONE MATTERS, a six-month global social media campaign to foster inclusiveness and reduce intolerance.
Faculty, staff, administrators, and students are encouraged to participate in the campaign by:
- Inviting students (or faculty) to upload a 15-second video from smartphone or webcam sharing experience of being misjudged—or misjudging!— or how they learned to be more inclusive, stronger, or wiser;
- Taking the 24-Hour Challenge to “Not Judge in Thought or Action” for a whole day—and inviting your class, student organization, or department to take the 24-Hour challenge;
- Inviting your class, student organization or department to submit videos as a group classroom project, themed to pride of identity, being judged, judging others or related topic. (With the help of Everyone Matters staff, you can quickly and easily create a video page on Tout for your institution or course to upload the videos to a single page, with your institution's name and logo. It's simple and easy to do.)
- Contacting Everyone Matters staff and collaborating with innovative ideas for community involvement, classroom projects or to involve your students.
In Spring 2012, EVERYONE MATTERS will coordinate an academic week with colleges and universities to collectively upload video shares. The six-month campaign will lead up to EVERYONE MATTERS Day, featuring additional local and online events—and the fulfillment of the 24-Hour Challenge by a targeted 100,000-plus participants.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Everyone-Matters/295429577163605 to find out more about the EVERYONE MATTERS campaign. Join now to ensure that everyone has the right to be exactly who they are, without apology—whatever their race, socioeconomic status, gender, age, sexual orientation, ability, worldview, age, or ethnicity.
On September 22, 2008, the Corporation for National and Community Service announced six new grants (for a total of $2.3 million) to support the use of “social media to engage college students in service to meet community needs.” “Social media” means a range of tools that permit many people to create and share digital material; examples include Facebook and other social networks, wikis (collaboratively written and edited documents), YouTube videos, Craigslist, and blogs.
Individuals who are 55 years of age and older are the fastest growing demographic using Facebook. But there are some older grandparents looking to gain friends and check in with their grandchildren. And so, Dr. Rik Hunter, assistant professor of English, developed a class for students to teach local elders what all of the "liking" is about.
The class, Digital Literacies, is part of the College's service-learning initiative, one of 17 courses with a component of service built into the curriculum. Hunter's students, a total of 20, are in week three of their Facebook lessons to eight elders from St. John's Meadows in Rochester.
Each week, St. John's transports the residents to campus, to take part in the class. There are eight students developing lesson plans and doing one-on-one instruction, and the other 12 students are paired in instructional document design teams. Those teams are creating a website based on the lesson plans developed by their peers that can then be shared with those who are participating, and the rest of the St. John's community.
Hunter came up with the idea after hearing a story about his wife's grandmother, who just started using the social media website in the last year. She was reading through status updates from family members and saw one from her granddaughter, who had just posted her senior class photo. She saw comments from others referring to more photos, and was frustrated that she couldn't see them. A family member had to walk her through the process, and helped her find what she was looking for.
"This is a generational issue tied to how we think about photos working in the analog world compared to the digital world. In her mind, photos are static," said Hunter. "Technological barriers such as these are standing in the way of elders participating on sites like Facebook, and we wanted to help change that."
Through this class, the students are also studying the impact of information technology on research and teaching, the social and cultural dimensions of technology, and models of writing associated with digital media.
"I think this is a really great way to get the generations together," said Debbie Hammond, director of social recreation at St. John's. "To watch the relationships developing between the 'teachers' and the students is really heartwarming."
Channel 13's Patrice Walsh came to class this week, and interviewed students and elders, shining a light on the importance of service-learning as well as great interaction between two generations.
by Howard Rheingold, Stanford University, Communication Department
"As increasing numbers of young people seek to master the use of media tools to express themselves, explore their identities, and connect with peers—to be active creators as well as consumers of culture—educators have an opportunity to encourage young media makers to exercise active citizenship.1 Might teachers enlist these young people’s enthusiasm for using digital media in the service of civic engagement? I propose one way to do this: help students communicate in their public voices about issues they care about".