Go back to high school via social media | News

Do you wonder what it is really like to be in high school these days?

You can find out on Monday, Oct. 2, and without having to step foot in a classroom.

That’s the day when teachers, staff and students at the three west county high schools are going to digitally record everything that happens that day and it’ll be picked up on the social media Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts operated by Analy, El Molino and Laguna high schools.

 “Four of every five adults have no direct connection to high school, so they lose touch with what happens there,” said Steven Kellner, superintendent of the West Sonoma County Union High School District. “The last time most adults were on a campus was the day their kid graduated.”

The “day in life at high school” can be found by following the hashtag “1daywestcounty.”

Students will be encouraged to turn on their cell phone cameras throughout the day and record events in the classroom, hallways, lunch room and sports fields. Using the designated hashtag on their own social media platforms, the images will be instantaneously available.

“Some of our teachers asked if they should be doing an extra special lesson on that day and I had to discourage that,” Kellner said. “We want to capture what they do on a daily basis, so do what you are already doing.”

Videos and photos will start getting posted about 7 a.m. and the feed will shut down late in the evening. The goal is to capture and record after-school events, such as sports, band practices and club meetings, as well as lessons in the classrooms.

Rosalie Abbott, the former Analy librarian who manages the school’s Facebook page,

 said “I would like to see a good representation of the diverse experiences that are happening to all students. There are great things happening in high schools these days and teachers are often too busy to take photos of everything they are doing.”

Abbott, who now works at the Sebastopol Library, said she will be conducting preparation sessions for Scholastic Aptitude Tests that day at El Molino so that’ll be her contribution in addition to monitoring the school’s Facebook platform all day.

A similar social media harvest of student videos and photographs occurred at in the Arlington Heights, Il. schools where Kellner previously worked.  But the idea for creating an archive of a single day’s events at the three west county high schools stemmed from a program last year called “West County Pride” in which students and staff attempted to digitally document school events.

“We got over 200,000 hits on that, which tells me we have a story to tell and on Oct. 2, you can check back into high school and see for yourself, minute by minute,” Kellner said. 

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