Company News

MySociaLife Launches a World-First Social Media Current Affairs Program in Schools – OneLife

OneLife - social media current affairs show for teens

Kids on social media are getting younger while the content they’re exposed to is getting wider and harder to control. Reports indicate that a third of children aged 7-9, and half of tweens aged 10-12, use social media despite the 13+ age restriction on most social media platforms.

While we’ll never be able to stop children from being social on games and apps, this exposure is costing them their mental health, attention, and focus, planting dangerous seeds in their brains that are either too difficult to uproot or too difficult to process. This often leads them to become secretive, causing feelings of shame and guilt — the results of a harmful snowball effect that never ends.

What is preventing us from solving this critical problem?

Currently, there’s no relatable teaching that bridges the generational divide — there’s a gap in education that MySociaLife, an Edtech digital citizenship, social media literacy, and online safety program, plans to fill. Parents, teachers, counsellors, and principals, most of whom are +35 years old, are unable to understand the new and complex landscape of those under 18. Even if they believe that they’re cool technologically adept enough to be in touch with what their children are experiencing, it’s simply impossible to understand a generational language because they’ve lived in a different influential environment. 

There is potential for there to be a current affairs show that actually relatably attends to all the different issues teens, pre-teens, and even children now face due to their presence online, including sextortion, cybersecurity, sexuality online, privacy, critical thinking, and more. This is where OneLife comes in — a one-of-a-kind web show that presents fresh, regular, and relevant content in a language that students understand, offering the experience of experts and creators that have grown up in the same world as the students and are especially well versed in teaching important life skills.

Our founder, Dean McCoubrey, says, “OneLife is essentially not just a life skills coach but a digital life coach for the new generation that bridges the generational divide using the mechanisms of a current affairs show.” 

The solution: OneLife

OneLife will take place as a 22-minute show with 6 mini news segments, such as Outrageous Untruths, Hacked Off, Explore and Excel, that can either be played by teachers during class or on students’ own devices, perfect for grades 7-11. Each episode comes with its own lesson plan and discussion points at specific points to guide teachers.

This differs from our other 8-module life skills program. Instead of 8 hours of lessons, OneLife delivers one 22-minute lesson with relevant discussions each month. Not only is this web show more accessible, and available on students’ own devices across the world, but it offers regular positive reinforcement of these essential digital life skills that are fundamentally relevant to the world our children grow up in.

Join the new age of teen education by bridging the generational divide and equipping the youth with the digital life skills relevant to the new and complex technological landscape that they are growing up in. Click here to learn more about OneLife!

We are now an ambassador for the world’s leading online safety organisation!!

We have just been announced as a Common Sense Education Ambassador for the 2021-2022 school year. Already a Certified Common Sense Teacher, the invitation to become a global Ambassador means more parents, teachers and learners in South Africa can be provided with access to the world’s leading online safety resource, helping kids to be safer and smarter in a complex digital landscape of games and pop culture apps like TikTok, Omegle and Snapchat. This comes at a time where many students are reporting hours more screen time per day, increased mental health concerns, obsessive use of games and social media, and access to age-inappropriate content.

An independent, non-profit and research-backed resource, Common Sense Media, based in San Francisco, has been a leading global source of entertainment and technology recommendations for families and schools since 2003. Every day, millions of parents and educators trust their vast library of reviews that rate apps, games, movies, and TV shows so parents can feel secure about the entertainment choices they make for their kids. Their advocacy work highlights legislation related to technology and identifies solutions that protect consumer privacy, push for better connectivity for students and families, and hold tech companies accountable to ensure a healthy internet for all. Social media once again dominated the news in October after Frances Haugen, Facebook’s whistleblower declared the social media giant’s knowledge of the harm that their platform has on teen mental health.  

“There’s a huge amount of work to do in South Africa around online safety. And we need access to the world’s best resources. Ever since we started out a few years ago, we have had so much respect for CEO, Jim Steyer, and his team at Common Sense. We even flew to meet their team in New York two years ago, and later spoke again with their Vice President in San Francisco,” says Dean McCoubrey, our founder. “We are one of the few organisations in the world that train five different audiences – teens and pre-teens, and then parents, teachers and mental health professionals. This means that we can help get the Common Sense message into South Africa, and out to both learners and the adults that guide and care for them,” he adds. 

As an ambassador, we will play a role in elevating Common Sense Education resources, providing feedback to the global organisation and supporting fellow educators as they guide students to become learners, creators and leaders in this digital age. We will complete a number of activities such as hosting two professional learning events in South Africa during the school year, showcasing the work they’ve done using Common Sense Education resources. Our training team will also be upskilled via mini-webinars and receive ongoing support from global experts.

Ambassadors receive access to exclusive information and materials, via previews of new resources and materials to share in their own training, plugging into a larger audience of teachers and students around the world, and attending global conferences.

“It’s been a huge year for us. We have been shortlisted as Startup Company of the Year at the GESS Education Awards 2021 in Dubai, which will be announced in the middle of the month. And this work with Common Sense will only deepen the expertise that we already have,” McCoubrey concluded. “We are excited about what we can do for online safety in South Africa and Africa.”