“Win At Social” Educates Students About Navigating Social Media & Technology


Photo courtesy of thesocialinstitute.com.

Win at Social allows students to join the lesson using either a laptop or a phone, and allows for an interactive experience with students responding to questions and polls.

Was there anything good that came out of the pandemic? For TBS, one could argue yes. The School pivoted quickly and was able to teach students remotely as they were at home and unable to come to campus. In addition, the Middle School recently adopted a new way to teach students about online safety. Win At Social is a new way that TBS students are learning best practices all through a new advisory activity. 

One of the reasons we adopted Win at Social is that we wanted to increase our focus and attention on the variety of issues that stem from the increased use of social media,” said Student Services Counselor Mrs. Kari Rankine. “We felt this program was a good choice because it has interactive and discussion components, as well as a parent portal which allows our parents to access important information to help our students navigate social media use safely,” she said.  

Head of middle school Mr.Charles Hagy came across the program, which is also used at the Upper School, and thought it would be a good way to engage students when it comes to social media and staying safe online.

Two aspects of Win at Social really appealed to me: one, the interactivity and relevance for students, and two, the parent tool kit for our parents,” said Hagy. “Parents are using the tool kit to best inform themselves and their children about how to best use social media.”

He also sent a letter to parents with a code which allows them to learn more about what Win At Social is teaching and so they can talk about the lessons with their children at home.

Students choose an emoticon when they log in using the class code generated by the program. (Photo courtesy of www.winatsocial.com. )

Students enter Win At Social via a class code on their laptops, and then choose a personal emoticon. Once logged in, students wait for their classmates to join in order to start the lesson, which is facilitated by their advisor. Students learn about best practices when it comes to a number of issues, such as gaming, social media, and protecting their identity online. 

Win At Social has taught me about online safety, Earth Day, and more,” said sixth grader Lia Interlandi.

Questions about these topics can be answered by students in real time, and they can see how their answers compare to the rest of their advisory, their school, and even users across the country. 

So far, the web-based program has been well-received by middle schoolers.

I have learned to be safe on social media and not tell private information,” said eighth grader Ryan Smith. 

At the end of each lesson, students are asked what they learned and how much of the information they already knew. Students and teachers are brought together in a “huddle” where questions and prompts encourage students to discuss the topics in class. 

Win At Social brings my advisory group together because we have a chance to talk together as a community,” said seventh grader Grace Vining. “We get to reflect and learn together.” 

Win At Social also provides videos of other students’ opinions, as well as articles on the different topics to help support the discussions.

Students join the lesson online via a generated code. (Photo courtesy of www.winatsocial.com.)

The added benefit of the program is that there is vertical alignment between the Middle School and Upper School as the advisory programs are both using WIn at Social, and there are lessons for each grade level.

From what I have been told, there has been positive feedback on the upper school campus,” said Rankine. “Here on the middle school campus, I have personally had lots of positive feedback from students and teachers,” she said.  

According to ravenscroft.org, Win At Social was founded by Laura Tierney, a woman who is a part of The Social Institute (TSI), to teach students how to be safe online. The Social Institute is an online learning platform that helps students learn in school using different techniques. Win At Social is targeted at students in elementary grades through high school, and is used in schools all across the country. According to thesocialinstitute.com, 30,000 students have used the Win at Social program.

“Students are staying much more engaged because of the technology component and the relevant issues we are discussing,” said Hagy.