Best of the Week 2020-2021: Teaching to the Future
ENGLISH STUDENTS DISCUSS THE IMPACT SOCIAL MEDIA HAS ON OUR EVERY DAY, ANALYZING 'THE SOCIAL DILEMMA'
Freshman Honors English students have studied the trending Netflix documentary "The Social Dilemma," which explores the dangerous human impact of social media and features riveting interviews with tech experts that shed light on the realistic consequences that social media has on our daily lives.
"Through studying the film, students have been exposed to deeper analytical thinking, writing, and speaking exercises using the film as their text to explore the statement of inquiry," says Dean of Academics Matt Stepnowsky. "Great writers empower us to perceive ourselves and the world around us in a richer, more nuanced way."
In the first unit of Freshman Honors English, students study poetry and short stories, focusing on literary devices that writers use to impact not only the reader's experience with the text, but also their perception of the world around them. Taking that knowledge and applying it to what students observed in "The Social Dilemma" helped them to think more critically and analytically about how social media has become a lifeline for us that is inevitably affecting humanity.
"The film proposes that nothing has so drastically impacted human thought and behavior in the modern age than social media," says Mr. Stepnowsky. "Social media is a ubiquitous part of the modern high school students' experience in sweeping ways, ranging from how they interact with their peers to how they consume information about the world. In studying how and why social media impacts our thoughts and behaviors, students are primed to explore how great writers impact our perceptions as well. The central message of this documentary also allowed for great discussion around the differences between the informing or inspiring as compared to manipulating or shaping an audience's perceptions and experiences."