Technology's Role in Teens' Friendships
The Pew Research Center examined the role technology plays in teens' social lives in its new report titled "Teens, Technology and Friendships." Researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,060 teens between the ages 13-17 online from September-October 2014 and February-March 2015, and conducted 16 online and in-person focus groups in April 2014 and November 2014. Unsurprisingly, researchers found that technology heavily influences how teens make and maintain friendships. According to the findings, 55% of teens spend time with their closest friend online.
What is surprising is the difference in how males and females use technology for friendship. For example, males are more likely than females to make online friends: 61% of boys as compared to 52% of girls. When it comes to maintaining friendships, females are more reliant on text messaging to stay connected with friends and males are more reliant on gameplay.
Being familiar with how teens are using social media is the first step to keeping them safe and teaching them how to be responsible online. Read the Pew Research Center's report in its entirety here.
Important Training to Consider
At WORKS, we stay ahead of legislation and topical issues to anticipate your district staff training needs. Part of this is, of course, state or federally mandated trainings, but districts may also want to deploy additional training courses to address growing concerns within their district.
We have more than 400 courses — including both mandated and non-mandated courses — to address your district's needs. Below are four courses you should consider adding to your staff's training plan.
"Social Media: Personal and Professional Use" — Balancing a personal and professional presence on social media has proven to be challenging for some educators and has even resulted in some educators' terminations. The "Social Media: Personal and Professional Use" course guides educators in making smart social media choices in order to protect their online reputation and career.
"Discriminatory Harassment - Identification and Response" — Research shows that bullying is often related to student biases and prejudices. The 2013 National School Climate Survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network found that 74.1% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students were verbally harassed, 36.2% were physically harassed, and 16.5% were physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation. Specifically, peer discriminatory harassment is defined as when a student "engages in actions that make another student worry about his well-being or feel uncomfortable." The "Discriminatory Harassment - Identification and Response" course defines the eight types of harassment which include sexual-orientation, sexual-identity, race, sex, color, national-origin, disability, and religion. The course also mentions LGBT, how peer discrimination is different from bullying, and how school employees should respond and intervene. This course is a valuable asset to school districts because it provides training associated with Title IX relating to Sexual Harassment.
"Concussion in Sports - a Guide for Coaches" and "Concussion in Youth Sports - Heads Up" — Once the school year starts, fall sports tryouts follow. Whether the sport is football, soccer or cheerleading, all coaches should be trained on the dangers of head injuries, the signs of and how to treat a student with a head injury. The "Concussion in Sports - a Guide for Coaches" course details facts about concussions, how to recognize a possible concussion, what to do when a concussion is suspected, the danger signs that indicate a student's need for immediate medical attention, how to prevent and prepare for potential concussions and how to effectively raise awareness about concussions with students and parents. The "Concussion in Youth Sports - Heads Up" video created by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) explains what a concussion is, how to prevent a concussion, how to recognize and respond to a concussion, and when it is safe for an injured student to resume playing a sport.
Interested in learning more about these courses? Contact us to learn more.
Customer Highlight: Belle Plaine Unified School District 357
Belle Plaine Unified School District (USD) 357 in Belle Plaine, KS, implemented WORKS’ EmployeeSafe Suite in the fall of 2012. The additional risk management support was a welcome resource since administrators throughout the district wore so many hats. One of the district's top needs was deploying required safety training and ensuring employee completion of these trainings. The district pinpointed blood-borne pathogens staff training as a need because of the federal requirement. Before using EmployeeSafe, the school nurses conducted this training during an in-service day. However, due to state budget cuts, the district cut nursing personnel and now conducts this training online.
Using EmployeeSafe's Staff Training System, the lone district nurse’s training workload has dramatically decreased while the percentage of timely completion of trainings has dramatically increased. Instead of deploying the training in person, employees watch the training online and complete a short quiz at their convenience. The automation in the system manages training via auto-email notifications, and the auto-reporting to administrators lets each know their staff's training status. Additionally, all training records are centrally located online so the district can easily pull a report proving all staff members are trained should they be audited.
After the 2014-2015 school year, Belle Plaine USD 357 experienced additional cuts in public school funds from the state — leaving administrators responsible for reevaluating if the value of EmployeeSafe was worth the cost.
The district felt the value of EmployeeSafe was worth the cost because it met a top priority need, made the process easier for all staff and provided the assurance that the district was compliant should it get audited. Even though the district had access to some online training through its insurance company, it chose EmployeeSafe because the suite provides a complete solution for meeting compliance requirements for training, (M)SDS and compliance tasks.
Please Vote Today!
The deadline for District Administration's Top 100 Products Awards program is quickly approaching — have you nominated EmployeeSafe or StudentWatch yet?
If not, simply go to districtadministration.com/top-products and briefly share how either suite makes your job easier and click "submit." The last day to submit nominations is Monday, September 7, 2015.
Thank you for your continued support!