Interacting with students over social media may seem like a scary concept to many workforce professionals. True, you need to be careful about maintaining the professional relationship but social media can be a great engagement tool. As long as you are diligent about the things you share with students, this can be a wonderful addition to your summer workforce program toolbox.
Snapchat is a very popular social media app that many participants love. It sends quick pictures and/or messages (called “snaps”) between users. Summer programs working within social distancing guidelines, like our program - Workforce and Summer Job Success, can use this important tool to quickly engage participants when social distancing gets in the way. Here are a few reasons why this is a great idea.
1. Snapchat helps you relate to young people in a modern way.
Don't be that 8-track summer program in an MP3 world. There often seems to be a rift between youth and adults, especially old-school workforce development professionals. It can be hard to relate to people much younger than yourself given the speed of technological change and cultural differences. Using apps like Snapchat helps you bridge this gap and may better help you seem more relatable. If you can relate then you can connect. Students will be able to express themselves easier and see you as more of a mentor. It also makes them more willing to accept information from you since you develop a closer connection.
2. Snapchat is a great visual teaching tool.
Many young people are visual learners. With whatever work readiness subject or life skill you teach, you can use Snapchat to give visuals to the lessons. You can also use these visuals to demonstrate assignments or specific steps needed to complete tasks.
For example, you can use Snapchat to send pay schedules, work charts, and other visual aids. At Workforce and Summer Job Success, we use Snapchat to give MAKiN' iT Nation members access to our live POP-UP Workforce seminars and job readiness contests. You can also use it to walk students through steps of filling out an application or opening a bank account. Snapchat lets you provide these visuals with more in-depth, step by step explanations.
3. Use Snapchat to keep your students on track.
Email and online boards are great for reminders but these are usually overlooked when students are used to getting notifications on phones and other devices. Students are much more likely to pay attention to social media notifications than one from your online website.
For this reason, Snapchat becomes a great tool that you can use to send reminders and keep students on track with their work assignments, paysheet compliance, and attendance to virtual events. We send snaps to remind members about upcoming speakers, contests, and the next time our Kernel KIck-Ass is hosting his next workforce video game stream (we are serious and the members love it). You can also send snaps to remind them of what was discussed during a workshop.
Snapchat, when used properly, can be a fantastic summer job aide. As a workforce development professional, you can use Snapchat for a variety of student engagement activities. It helps close the gaps created by social distancing. It provides a way to send reminders that are sure to be noticed by your students.
Edward DeJesus is the President of DeJesus Solutions and the Founder of the MAKiN' iT Nation. For more information on their Workforce and Summer Job Success summer and year-round program, visit: https://mailchi.mp/ededucates.com/makin-i-t-nation. Sign up for the newsletter for more information and helpful announcements.