La Crosse schools teach students about social media use

La Crosse schools teach students about social media use

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -- - School librarians in the La Crosse School District are teaching students about responsible social media use.

Local teachers said it is important to teach kids how to use this digital world in a positive way, along with the consequences it can carry. 

"(We care about) what kind of image they are putting out there and how they are representing themselves," said Cindy Halter, librarian at Central High School. 

She said it's something instructors are becoming better at understanding. 

"You have to put yourself out there, get these accounts, and see what that looks like," Halter said. That's what librarians do. We are out there to stay on top of it." 

Working with teachers and students, librarians from across the La Crosse School District focus on teaching students how to consume information on social media using critical thinking. 

"Bias or one side or the other liberal or conservative and it's not that you can't read that stuff but understand that the audience is that," Halter said.

Gundersen Health System child and family therapist, Jeff Reiland, said children need to find a balance between technology and reality. 

"My hope is that parents and school districts will get together and say, 'What exactly is expected and how can we limit the social media use so that our kids can have virtual time in technology, but they can also have real time with families and friends," Reiland said.

Halter said there are positives to this growing media. 

"They get to see things that are happening in the world and they are more globally connected things that I wouldn't have learned until a few days after when I was a youth," Halter said.

Reiland also said social media has it's upsides, but said can also set kids back. 

"They also don't learn how to wait, they don't learn how to delay gratification," Reiland said. 

This is something Halter said local librarians are trying to accomplish.

"We are teachers and media specialists and we have an opportunity to see this from outside of the classroom," Halter said. "I like to think that we are there and we are going to be there for our students."

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