Brand Identity in a Digital World for Duval County Public School Students
William Jackson, M.Ed.
STEM Teacher in DCPS
DCPS students access and
engagement in future business
ownership is being influenced
by their activities online. DCPS
students will be future business
owners, entrepreneurs and
solo-preneurs have been taking
steps to strengthen their digital
skills with participation
STEAM and STREAM education because of ownerships of laptops being provided for online learning. Middle school students many times
do not understand their personal Brands can influence career and educational opportunties
in the future.
The growing noise of distractions
in movies, advertising, music and
broadcasting is drowning out the
realities of being positive and
Middle school students want to
be seen online, many want their
content to go viral and even pull
them into fame and fortune,
the dangers are in the type of
content they create and broadcast
that can come back and hurt
Building the “right” identity requires parents to check digital footprints of their children,
checking their social sites and having conversations of their children’s digital friends and associates.
Just as the term a photo is worth a thousand or
a million view, the wrong photo or video can cause
heart ache and sorrow because of being in the wrong place as the wrong time, being with
those that do not value education, law and order
and do not represent the morals and values of their families.
Middle school students do not understand that it
is easy to get pulled into trouble and extremely difficult to get out of it. Parents make significant
sacrifices to make sure their children are provided for, but in this effort the use of common sense is
left out of the discussions of appropriate use of technology, social sites and engagement.
Being personally connected is just as valuable
as being digitally connected.
“Social media is a powerful source of information and social support for those in crisis. Considering the widespread popularity and increased use
of social media (and technology, generally) among both parents and children”.
“Parents and Children Using Social Media”
In my 33 years of teaching students increasingly place value on their digital devices for the wrong reasons and many times use them for incorrect ways to build notoriety with their peers by the postings on Instagram, SnapChat, Tik Toc and
other platforms. I have seen young ladies and
young men attempt to take personal photos of
themselves and videos using profanity, speaking
in a way that no future employee would hire
them and no educational institution would
consider them to receive an internship or scholarship.
Defining a personal Brand has become a business model of strategic marketing, def. from dictionaries; “Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers,
but it allows customers and clients to know what
to expect from your (performance) company.”
If a business does a background check on a
middle school student parents must seriously consider what don’t they know about their
children’s behaviors online.
As a teacher for NASA at Edward Waters College
in the 1990/2000 “NASA Master Teacher Re-Certification Program” even during those
early years I advised parents and teachers of
their digital footprints and the consequences
for inappropriate content. To share what they
learn with students in middle and high schools.
Now with the influence on students even in elementary schools discussions need to be
expanded to help students strengthen their
The efforts to create, build, design and market
a personal Brand does not have to be expensive
and time consuming. Parents talk to their
children and share what expectations are with language usage, who their children friends are, taking photos in known areas of trouble and
consider how their behaviors can be
misunderstood and perceptions can be influenced.
Guy Kawasaki “The Art of The Start”
speaking about establishing a Brand;
youth, teens and young adults need to
learn early they will be consumers,
business owners, digital influencers
and their reputations can be built
still by “Word of Mouth.”
That word of mouth can either by
positive or negative and have lasting
influences even when at a young age.
During the COVID19 pandemic crisis
African Americans are the largest
demographic posting content about
their life experiences. These postings
are informative, they can be
life changing, influence community
perceptions and markers for
Parents should realize their:
“young people are exposed to news
in a way that … starting at 13 or 14,
kids are getting news constantly pushed
to their phones and through social media.”
Parents must be able to help youth understand
and digest this information for their use in life
Students and Parents Consider Impact of
Social Media During the Pandemic.
The importance of digital content should
not be discounted and a surprise when middle school students reach adulthood and find out
they have been denied opportunties from past activities and engagements in online environments. Parents check your children’s digital content monthly, just like you invest in a retirement or scholarship fund, invest in your children’s digital future to stop potential problems.