Young people are ashamed of negative attention from adults A lot of young people articulate how they distance themselves from abusive and destructive behaviour on social media. I have heard so many young people state that they are ashamed of all the negative attention directed at their use of social media. They also express that they do not want to represent specific groups which display negative and abuse behaviour on eg. Snapchat and Facebook. Others have expressed insecurity and fear in relation to eg. not being able to decipher what “the correct behaviour” should be among their groups of friends on social media. They are afraid of opposing the majority. These are all nuances which paint a picture of what it is like to be a teenager in today’s society, and also how complex and often paradoxical the digital educational work is. At the same time, this is exactly what makes it so very interesting and important.

We have to grab on to the informal learning!

We are all co-creators of social media, and in a way sub-consciously dependent hereof, and at the same time we try to liberate ourselves and our young people from these same media. Right inbetween, we meet our most important peagogical work and the opportunity for digital education. Our keyword must be reflection. We must grab and use that which young people have informally learned, and give them the opportunity to extract quality and value from their informal learning, enriching them in their lives, through dialogue and debate. Social media hold vast resources and opportunities for a young person in the 21st century. Interacting on social media creates opportunities for young people to recognise that it is not just “me in the world” but it is “us”, among others, in the world. This is extremely important to the educational work of the school.

Turn on your curiosity, but give room

Social media today has great value to the relationsips that young people enter into across friends, family, and school. Like everything else, young people also meet challenges on social media. Sort of a downside, if you will. As adults and professionals, we must be bold and face such downside. We must be capable to enter into dialogue with our young people, and keep the door open for conversations that are not always easy. The task for adults working and interacting with young people, must be to turn on our curiosity, reflections, and the desire to understand. This is a balance which also entails giving room for young people to live their own teenage lives, to become adult and grown-up, independent human beings. Following three inspiring months as a guest speaker with Centre for Digital Youth Care, I am now able to turn my attention and reflections toward my further theoretical work on my current MA (Ed) in General Education at the University of Aarhus, with new eyes and a much deeper understanding of pratice. However, all is changed, digital pedagogy has got me good!]]>

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