Many schools have been in the news for negative things (televised fights, threats of violence, inappropriate relationships between teachers and students, etc.), but Madison schools just made the news for some innovation. Four Madison schools (2 middle and 2 high schools) are piloting a program that shuts down free Wi-Fi access to certain social media apps (including Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more) during school hours. Don’t worry- the students will still be able to access school email through their devices and be able to communicate with family in emergency situations. The goal of this program is to see if grades, student behavior, and school safety improve with fewer online distractions. Interesting, can I do the same while teens are in my clinic?
First, let’s acknowledge something. This is a blog, which is a form of online interaction and connection. And you may have found this blog through Facebook, Twitter, or some other form of social media.
If you’re using social media, your teen most definitely is, and usually more often and in more complex ways.
Recently, a group of teenagers from Kennewick, Washington, were winners in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge for their proposed app, “Safe&Sound,” to give teens a way to manage stress and depression. When interviewed on NPR, three members of the group described their own personal experience with depression and anxiety as well as a school shooting in their community as inspiration for the app. While they acknowledge that the app – which offers, for example, inspirational quotes, breathing exercises, and suggestions for coping – does not address all of the elements necessary for dealing with mental health concerns, it is a small piece of the puzzle to help teenagers deal with stress in an increasingly hand-held and web-based world. The app is expected to be released in June 2015. Read more