Why New Jersey is Giving Social Media Training to 7th Graders

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After a bill was sent to Gov. Chris Christie, schools in New Jersey may put in place measures to educate students from 6th – 8th grade on the power and pitfalls of social media. In order to enforce cyber safety, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle spoke about social media training and of the importance to teach kids at an early age to responsibly use tools so they don’t make foolish mistakes that could derail their lives. This brings up the question of the severity a teenager’s digital footprint may have when submitting both job and university applications.


1 in 3 colleges are watching your every move

Of 381 colleges taking part in a 2013 questionnaire by Kaplan Test Prep, 31% of admissions officers were said to look at applicants’ Facebook profile to help finalize their decision, which is up 5% from 2012. Of these admissions officers, 30% found information which negatively affected their applications. “Students’ social media & digital footprint can sometimes play a key role in the admissions process” argues Christine Brown, the executive director of K-12 and college prep programs at Kaplan Test Prep.

Admissions officials also say that they have occasionally rejected and even revoked students’ acceptances because of online material. Upon being notified of an applicant writing offensive comments online, Angel B. Perez, Pitzer’s dean of admissions told New York TimesWe did not admit this student”. Additionally, Colgate, unlike Pitzer, is more transparent with their rejection letters. Dean of admissions Gary L Ross, called a student, who had already been accepted, to check whether an alcohol-related incident that was reported online was true – It was. Consequentially, Colgate University rescinded its offer to this student.


More and more students are receiving attention for attention for publishing statements like this:

Cardale Jones

Kaplan’s survey further showed that a lot of students are becoming savvier in their efforts to mask their stained digital footprint. 22% were said to have changed their searchable names on their social media accounts, 26% untagged themselves from photos and 12% deleted their profiles altogether.

Social media training doesn’t only benefit social brands; it benefits people. Having a tailored seminar whereby students can learn how to conduct themselves online appropriately can prove vital in the future of the younger generation in preventing an already stained reputation when applying to both university and job markets.

About Leon McLean

Leon McLean is a Project Manager and Trainer at SayItSocial, focusing on digital marketing strategy and project development as well as live, virtual and eLearning training initiatives. Please connect with Leon on... Google +

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