The Socially Savvy Career & Technical Education Director

Putting people and human interaction at the center of day-to-day activities is more important than ever before. Relationship building, online communication, collaboration and cultivating influence are fast becoming core and required skill sets to succeed in today's connected economy.

CTE Directors need to embrace new strategies and approaches to anticipate and respond to the rapid shifts in the world. The innovative CTE Director will engage with the district and school leadership to shape the student and instructor experience and move the school district forward. And, as the Millennial generation enters the workforce and continues to change personnel dynamics, there will be a stronger focus on transparency, relevance and engagement.

 "No leader can afford to lead as they did in the Industrial Age. This is a new era with new rules. All around us, the entire world is flattening, democratizing, and socializing. It’s quite possible that as the social age matures, there will be only two types of business leaders: social … and retired. " (The 7 Attributes of CEOs Who Get Social Media, HBR)

Teen Social Media Statistics (Pew Research Center, Internet, Science & Tech)

56% of teens — defined in this report as those ages 13 to 17 — go online several times a day, and 12% report once-a-day use. Just 6% of teens report going online weekly, and 2% go online less often.

71% of teens use more than one social network site.

African-American and Hispanic youth report more frequent internet use than white teens. Among African-American teens, 34% report going online “almost constantly” as do 32% of Hispanic teens, while 19% of white teens go online that often.

Older teens ages 15 to 17 are more likely than younger teens to cite Facebook (44% vs. 35% of younger teens), Snapchat (13% vs. 8%) and Twitter (8% vs. 3%) as a most often used platform, while younger teens ages 13 to 14 are more likely than their older compatriots to list Instagram (25% vs. 17% of older teens) as a platform they visit most often.

Teenage girls use social media sites and platforms — particularly visually-oriented ones — for sharing more than their male counterparts do. For their part, boys are more likely than girls to own gaming consoles and play video games.

Take Aways / Recommendations

Incorporate a social business curriculum across the CTE program that addresses state CTE competencies related to digital communications and social media. Social media communication skills and online judgement are critical components of social business and personal brand building. Help students develop the needed social media /digital skills, learn to make good decisions about what activity is appropriate and understand how social media actions will impact their online identity and personal brand.

Train-to-teach through professional development of the CTE staff. Provide training in social media and social business for the CTE and related instructors at both the high school and junior high school levels to assist to catalyze the social business and personal brand building program and enrich the student experience. Teachers will be able to ground the instruction in personal examples and experiences.

Involve administration, including the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Principal and Vice Principals in the social media journey. Leadership by example at the administration-level will propel the social business and personal brand building program in the right direction.