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Facebook Updates Educational Resources for Parents and Students Ahead of Back-to-School Season

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With US students returning to school over the coming weeks, Facebook has updated its parent and student resource tools, in order to provide additional guidance to help parents manage their students’ online activity, and help students avoid unwanted exposure online.

First off, Facebook has rolled out a new update to its ‘Get Digital‘ online education resource hub, which provides a range of guides to help parents and students safely navigate online connection.

Facebook Get Digital

As per Facebook:

“We are excited to announce that we have expanded the content for the back-to-school season based on parent and teacher feedback to further support facilitation in the classroom, after school and at home.”

Launched late last year, Facebook’s ‘Get Digital’ platform aims to improve digital literacy, and keep users safe while logging into their lessons online. Which, given the ongoing lockdowns, is a major point of concern for many in the back-to-school period.

Facebook’s new Get Digital elements include:

  • Professional Development – Five individual professional development guides to be used by teacher leaders to train educators on how to use these materials in the classroom.
  • After School Guide – A facilitator’s guide designed for after school programming to support the usage of Get Digital in an after-school setting and among youth serving organizations.
  • Media Literacy Lessons – New media literacy lessons on reverse image search and metadata for our Get Digital Engagement pillar. These were drawn from the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Youth and Media.

​These are important tools, and really, should become part of the general educational curriculum. These days, the majority of our interactions come via online means, and with more businesses looking to let people work from home, and more students logging in remotely, that reliance is only going to increase.

Some regions have already started building digital literacy into the general education stream, which seems like the right way to go. Most, however, are not at that stage as yet, and as such, these new resources could prove extremely valuable for those looking to take it upon themselves to improve teacher and student understanding of these essential elements.

In addition to this, Facebook has also launched an updated Child Safety Hub, which is designed to further support parents, caregivers and educators with resources to facilitate increased youth safety online.

Facebook child safety hub

“The hub centralizes and expands upon our expert-informed, research-based programs in the areas of online safety, digital literacy, well-being, and bullying prevention. In addition, it will serve as a resource for live and on-demand training presented in partnership with our safety partners.”

Facebook further notes that, over the course of the next few weeks, its Child Safety Hub will be available in 55 languages.

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These are important initiatives from Facebook, which align with increasing societal trends, and cater to what may be a gap in the educational curriculum in regards to dealing with increased online usage. Of course, parents and educators are well aware of these concerns, and many have implemented their own programs and processes to help provide insight and information on these elements. But if you’re looking for more, or you simply want to brush up on your own knowledge, it’s worth referring to Facebook’s updated tools.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Instagram Confirms that Videos Under 60 Seconds in Stories will No Longer Be Split into Segments

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Instagram Confirms that Videos Under 60 Seconds in Stories will No Longer Be Split into Segments

Instagram continues its gradual process of merging its video products into one, with the announcement that videos in Stories that are under 60 seconds in length will no longer be split into 15-second segments in the app.

As you can see in this in-app alert, posted by social media expert Matt Navarra, when you update your IG app, you’ll get a notification letting you know that your videos in Stories will no longer be cut up, making it a more seamless viewing experience.

Instagram’s been testing the update with selected users over the past year, as part of its broader process to integrate its video options, in line with the short-form video shift and general engagement trends.

Last October, Instagram retired its IGTV brand, as it combined IGTV and feed videos into one format, while in July, Instagram announced that all uploaded video under 15 minutes in length would be posted as Reels, further aligning its various video formats.

Instagram Reels update

The merging of its video options is aimed at simplifying the app, while it will also, ideally, help Instagram maximize user engagement, by making all of its video content, in all formats, available in more places where users are interacting.

By shifting its video content to a more aligned format, that’ll give IG more video inventory to insert into user feeds, which it’s increasingly looking to do via AI-defined recommendations, as it follows TikTok’s lead in making your main feed more focused on entertainment, as opposed to being restricted to only the latest posts from people and profiles that you follow.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently noted that just over 15% of the content in Instagram feeds now comes from people, groups, or accounts that users don’t follow, with its AI recommendations contributing more and more to the user experience. Zuckerberg noted that he expects to see that amount more than double by the end of next year.

Instagram’s been working towards this for some time, with Instagram chief Adam Mosseri noting back in January that: 

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We’re looking about how we can – not just with IGTV, but across all of Instagram – simplify and consolidate ideas, because last year we placed a lot of new bets. I think this year we have to go back to our focus on simplicity and craft.”

The merging of its video formats will ideally facilitate more opportunities in this respect, while also making it much easier for users to understand where to find each different type of content – or increasingly, to not have to go searching for it at all, as it’ll be fed directly into your main feed, whether you follow the creator or not.

Which, of course, is a process that not all users are entirely happy with as yet, but still, Meta remains confident that they’ll come around as its recommendations algorithms continue to develop.

Instagram has confirmed the new Stories video expansion to TechCrunch, explaining that:

“We are always working on ways to improve the Stories experience. Now, you’ll be able to play and create Stories continuously for up to 60 seconds, instead of being automatically cut into 15-second clips.”

That’ll also make it easier to skip through those longer videos that you’re not interested in (as you’ll only have to skip once, as opposed to tapping through each individual frame) – though it may also have implications for creators who’ve structured sponsored content deals based on frame counts, as opposed to Story length.

That’s a relatively easy fix, longer term, with the focus shifting to length instead. But it may add some complications to the process in the immediate future, as the Stories eco-system evolves in line with the new process.

Instagram says that the new, longer video Stories are being rolled out to all users.

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