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JHS Business Classes Learn What it Takes to Be a Social Media Influencer

JHS Business classes with Kristin Kohler are delving into what it is like to be an entrepreneur, through the lens of being a social media influencer as part of a unit on finding meaningful careers, our digital footprint and the impact of social media on careers long term. 

Ms. Kohler uses a curriculum called NGPF (Next Gen Personal Finance) for some of her Career Exploration courses.  They have a variety of simulation interactive games and activities that are engaging for the students including one called “Influenc’d.”

“So many students tell me they want to go viral and "get rich" on social media,” said Ms. Kohler. “This game was developed to give them a more realistic idea of just how difficult it is to really be an entrepreneur in the digital world.

Student are given a series of goals to meet with regard to their online following, as well as financial, and then, they navigate through a series of challenges to see if they can responsibly manage their online posting, engagement, and make decisions about their earnings related to their online activity.  They are only successful if they meet or exceed every goal.  The students enjoy the game and become competitive with each other.

“I think it is important for kids to understand that most people who make a living as influencers on any platform do not just go viral overnight and suddenly become rich,” said Ms. Kohler. “We discuss that most influencers actually do a great deal of work behind the scenes and that they need a vast knowledge of more than just ‘posting.’  They need to know about videography and editing.  They need to understand the platform's algorithm.  They need to understand their audience and branding for themselves as well as any brand partnerships that they make.  Most of them either need a manager or they need to have a real working knowledge of contracts. Just like most entrepreneurs, they get to be their own boss, but that comes with a lot of hard work and oftentimes hours of sacrifice and compromise.  We talk a lot in my Careers Exploration about finding work you are passionate about.  I want them to understand that they need to find a career that they love being good at, not just something they are good at.”

Students also played a game that put them in an Uber seat during this unit to see what it was like to do gig work showing the same competitiveness and enthusiasm while playing.  Learning business and still having fun!