SAVAGE, Minn. (WCCO) — We all have those Facebook friends who might need a lesson in social media. A teacher in Savage is doing it right, educating her kids at an early age how to use it properly.
Kerianne Loran teaches at Marion W. Savage Elementary. She’s on a mission to show her students how to be good digital citizens, and she does it by letting them post on the class’ very own Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.
“Every day I show up, and I’m always in a good mood,” she said.
Loran is right at home with her fourth-graders.
“It’s the only job where I get to wear really cool pencil shoes,” she said.
And “at home” is how she wants them to feel, with intentionally placed pillows and lamps.
“As adults, we design our environments whether its homes and apartments to get work done, whether it’s a home office or a cubicle, we make it homey and right for us and I thought we not set up our classroom that way?” she said. “It’s kind of our home when we’re here.”
She wanted to give this home away from home a window, where parents could get a glimpse into their children’s school day.
“I really wanted to find a way to connect with families,” Loran said.
What better way to connect than through social media.
“I’ll take pictures of us throughout the day of things that were learning or if we have guest speakers, like this will probably end up on our Instagram,” she said.
The class uses all platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, but Instagram is a favorite.
“We share things like a couple of our boys volunteered at Culvers night,” she said. “Another thing we did is we started recorders last month.”
In all the posting, there is a lesson.
“The kids are learning about how to be good digital citizens and learning what’s appropriate to post what’s not appropriate,” she said.
Before these kids have an online life of their own, their teacher is making sure they’re acing online etiquette.
“It’s just such an important life skill, like why we learn to be polite and kind to others in person,” she said. “To have that same presence online is so important and it’s a skill they’ll continue to use the rest of their lives.”
Loran is involved in almost every extracurricular activity available for staff — from leading and teaching the after school program, teaching summer school, and volunteering at the school talent show, and being a part of the building leadership team.
She is involved in every aspect of the school.