Everything I Know About Social Media I Learned In Kindergarten
Everything I Learned About Social Media I Learned In Kindergarten
Everything I Learned About Social Media I Learned In Kindergarten

I taught kindergarten for one year of my career. It was an extraordinary year. It was an experience I wish every teacher and leader could have at least a small taste of.

There’s something about being around young children; beyond their energy, freshness, and laughter.  Children are wise without knowing it. Fearless learners and compassionate leaders; children live in a world where everything matters and everyone has value.

I loved seeing their faces light up when I told them how smart they were making me. They smiled with pride and appreciated the praise; but I am not sure they understood how true those words were.

I can honestly say, everything I needed to know about social media and life; I learned in kindergarten.

It was there, I learned to:

  • Notice beauty and wonder all around me
  • Never take a day, or even an hour for granted
  • Find evidence of life and growth in the most unlikely of places
  • Listen with a mind and heart wide open
  • Dream big and celebrate little
  • Capture the extraordinary in the ordinary and everyday things
  • Most Importantly … Love Unconditionally

The world is what we make of it, and children know that. To fully embrace the potential the web holds; we need to be more “child-like” in our approach.  The web depends people’s ability to move through it with respect and grace; to demonstrate community and social responsibility, and to fully experience it with love.

If you have not had the privilege of spending your day in the presence of such genius minds, I leave you with a “taste”.  Enjoy the lessons from my teacher and friend, Adora Svitak.  As you watch her amazing TED talk, think about what you can teach your students about being more “childish.” (You’ll wanna take notes, I promise!)

About the Author

Angela Maiers
Angela is an active blogger, social media evangelist , and passionate advocate for bridging the gap between business and education. She is a recognized educational leader, trainer, and author. She is the owner and Chief Learning Officer at Maiers Educational Services, a company emphasizing the creative use of technology and social media to advance learning; in and out of the classroom.
  • Jason Nolan

    LMAO. I work with them regularly… they’re not wise, they’re curious, fearless and active inquirers. They don’t know what it means or how to connect disparate parts of their experience or extrapolate from nuance… and they don’t fall for truisms or superficialities. As Ursula k Leguin is won’t to remind us. Children can eat any amount of garbage, but unlike their parents, they’ve yet to learn to eat plastic. :)

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  • Mlhenton

    Thanks for sharing and reminding us of some basic truths.

  • Mlhenton

    Thanks for sharing and reminding us of some basic truths.

  • it's a shame the majority of us have evolved to become more untrusting and cynical as we get older – think how great the world could be if it were the opposite..

  • This is a great article, but what about naps and time-outs? If only those innovations were possible in twitter!

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  • The most interesting thing about all of this is that we were all children. We all had these traits within us from the start. It is funny sometimes how people speak of children as an entirely different race of beings sometimes. We might want to think of it as less reciprocal learning as Adora called it) and more like a reminder of our explorative, less inhibited, and all around kinder self. Good post Angela.

    • Great point Adam! I just finished a webinar on teaching “21st Century Skills” – creativity, imagination, curiosity, innovation… as if these are things that have never experienced. We were all children once and need reminders of how we used to learn and experience life! “

  • This post is really awsm.And it highlights that we started learning how to learn and grow and network from the time we were a kid.We now know it more consciously.

  • patricklarkin

    Thanks Angela for the great post. I wish that everyone would give social media a try and experience the benefits that it can bring to both their personal and professional lives. If only those people with fear and anxiety about social media could make an initial attempt in this realm with the joyful curiousity of a kindergartner.

    What is the age that we lose that childlike enthusiasm for learning anyway? I am still waiting to lose it myself, but it seems like many others lost it long ago. I guess I will share Adora's TED Talk with them to see if it strikes a chord.

    • Great idea Patrick. It would be great to share her message with kids as well and have them way in on the topic! Love to hear what your students think!

  • I think that children bring fresh eyes to the world and often see things that are no longer obvious to people who have been socialized to “don'ts” and “can'ts.” When I visit schools as a children's science author, I do a very simple interactive presentation with my audience on how to think like a scientist so that they'll experience why scientists love science. It always blows me away that the kindergarteners come up with the out-of-the-box thinking the exercise requires far more often than the older children while the teachers, are still scratching their collective heads.

    Interestingly, the many successful scientists I have met and interviewed over the years more often than not have never forgotten to how play. It is our duty as parents and educators to listen more closely to children. Often they are not as articulate as we might like, but just as often they have first hand knowledge of what they speak.

    Angela, stay on your powerful soapbox!!! There are a lot of us out here who DO get it.

  • > @Ike and @Steve- Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement! I am thrilled to be in the conversation!

  • Angela, I am impressed if you went far enough back to find the dinosaurs.

    Well done!

  • Looking forward to seeing more similar posts, continue the great work.

  • George F. Snell III

    I must be cranky today. I hate to rain on a parade, but today I will. Children are not wise. They have no experience or sound judgment to draw upon. Nor do they have a pool of knowledge. Most children are naive and often times selfish and unfocused. They are children after all and still learning how to use their minds and find an emotional equilibrium.

    As a parent of three, your depiction seems fictional or at least a whitewash of childhood. To say that ALL children find beauty around them or listen with “a mind and heart wide open” just doesn't ring true – at least for me (Any parent who has tried to get a tired kindergarten kid ready for bed can attest to their ability to listen…). Nor do they love unconditionally because sometimes they dislike with just as much passion. And grace is beyond the emotional range of of most small children.

    The world is not what we make of it. Circumstances dictate a lot. Many people grow up in abject poverty – with no sound eduction. Some people have no clean water and not enough to eat. Others live in war-torn areas or under totalitarian regimes. Other people are abused – physically and emotionally. Not every can succeed or be a CEO or a famous writer or reach the top. The world doesn't work that way.

    Sorry – like I said – cranky today.

    • George, maybe she's right, but not in the way she intended.


      • George F. Snell III

        Ha! Great link!

    • George, George! I so need to bring you to schools with me. Children, at their core, are born natural, intuitive learners. They are biologically driven to wonder and explore the world. It is when they “go to school” and begin to get “educated” by adults that they stop asking questions.

      I am not suggesting environment and adult guidance are not critical factors in an individuals success. Nor am I depicting a panacea. The facts are clear, the world has been changed in big and small ways by individuals who retain their “child-like” qualities – curiosity, imagination, adaptability, and passion.

      These are the very attributes (identifiable in nearly every person under the age of 4) the world and the workforce demand. The post was simply a reminder of the potential talent pool we are wasting if these attributes are not recognized and nurtured by the adults in childrens' lives.

      Thanks for the comment, I love the discussion!

      • George F. Snell III

        Hi Angela:
        Thanks, but I've taught on the substitute level and put one child through kindergarten and have another there now – so I spend plenty time in that environment. I don't recognize the magical wonderful filled utopia that you're describing. And I certainly would not describe admirable business attributes like curiosity, imagination, adaptability or passion as “child-like.” Each to his own!

  • Jim Cosgrove

    RE: Adora Svitak video: I admire the girl for her stage presence and ability to deliver a message, however canned. But whoever fed her the political slam at the beginning of the message should be ashamed. I was looking forward to an inspirational message, but I couldn't watch it past that point. I consider this direct manipulation of what appears to be an otherwise brilliant child. Shame.

    • Jim-

      Maybe so. I wished you had watched the rest, the message was powerful beyond that point. There is still a great deal to gain from listening to her words and learning from them as adults. Even if we disagree, there is always something we might be able to apply.

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