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Candid Cameras on Career Day

Our first Career Day at Mifflin did not go as planned — but what fun would that have been? We got schooled on social media when the kids turned our cameras on each other.

As bloggers, our goal for our first Career Day wasn’t just to teach the kids about blogging. We also wanted to get a blog post out of it, so we brought every recording device we owned (and one we borrowed!) in the hopes of getting enough pics and videos to showcase our experience.

With the exception of a stationary cell phone/webcam, Mifflin’s kids provide all the content in this post. They filmed and photographed each other, they interviewed each other using some questions we gave them, and also some they made up as they got comfortable talking on camera.

We started every presentation the same way: by admitting to the kids that we didn’t know what to expect from our first Career Day, but whatever happened we were going to document it as best we can. We’d explain my GoPro and flip on Facebook Live (“Everybody wave!!”), and then hand out our cameras with the following instructions:

  1. Center your subject’s head in the screen
  2. Ask them what they want to be when they grow up, what they don’t want to do, and what social media apps they’re on.
  3. Ask follow-up questions if you can think of any

We had four hand-held video cameras circulating — the kids were great about trading back and forth,  and although the classroom got loud, the kids were engaged the whole time. When they got sick of interviewing, Facebook live provided a lot of excitement whenever a comment came in.

Shout out to our Facebook friends! We heard from Walter Falvey, a truck driver who checked in from Milford, Connecticut — he’s originally from 35th & Allegheny , and went to Cook-Wissahickon. Ed Wilson’s a 1953 Mifflin grad from NJ.

Also checking in: Jon Kennedy,  Nancy Cashman Farren, Earline Brunson Reid and Lynsey Augustus Larson. Former school aid Betty Schneider got the most cheers from students who miss and love her.

After Facebook, we passed around East Falls Local newspapers and, let’s be honest, watched their reactions. Would kids in the digital age even be interested in something so old-fashioned? YES! It’s apparently universally appealing to see people you might know among familiar scenery. Even when there’s live video feed to distract you.

The ah-ha moments kept coming for us –and the “ha-ha” ones, too. These kids are too much! We spliced up the best video clips and urge you to check out the three Facebook Live recordings which are also chock full o’ random cuteness.

TOP SIX INSIGHTS FROM MIFFLIN CAREER DAY

1. A lot of kids said they wanted to be an attorney when they grew up — mostly to “help people” but also to make lots of money. The number one “Not” occupation is dentist, and they had clear reasons why.

2. Two professions seemed to divide the class: teaching and police work. Funny how even grade school kids know teachers don’t earn a decent salary. And while they all expressed great admiration for cops, “I don’t want to get shot” was a top reason they’d rather not have that job as a grown-up.

3. Facebook Live is really live — like, wow. That could’ve gone horribly wrong. Thanks to some major lag, we felt we could screen for any “inappropriate” comments but fortunately this was not an issue. (Whew!)

4. The kids are crazy for the video sharing/social media app Musical.ly that we’d never heard of — and after checking it out, we’re still mystified. Members lip-synch a 15-second video along to their favorite song, then share it on the app or on Twitter or Instagram.

Basically the cell phone equivalent of singing into a bathroom mirror, but with 90+ million users globally since launching in 2014, marketers are starting to take it seriously. If you’re trying to reach the teen/tween demo, Musical.ly is a practically untapped resource for advertising. Hmmmm….

5. Kids are naturals with video cameras, both behind and in front of the lens. Poised, inquisitive, honest, thoughtful — and quite fearless with comments and reactions.

They weren’t just at ease being filmed, many were really working it, with some results that made us laugh out loud.

6. Did we say everyone was engaged? Even when interviews turned into gossiping & flirting, the kids kept recording and the content just got more interesting. Talk about social media!

So those are our take-aways, what about the kids?

At the end of our presentation, we took questions from the students, and did our best to stress that anyone can blog — you don’t need inventory, special equipment or even training. There are no materials to buy or licenses or certifications. If you’ve got basic communication skills and something to say, you can be a blogger.

And if enough people enjoy your ideas & images, maybe you can earn a living. Or some extra income. Or just make your mark in the world, in your own unique way.  After watching all this wonderful Career Day footage, we’re excited to seeing how these bright, creative kids will shine in their futures.

Thank you to all the students! YOU DID GREAT!  Parents: if you think your child would like blogging, please email us about a neighborhood kids feature.

Thank you to Stacey Dello Buono for inviting us to present at Mifflin Career Day, and to Nicole Boyd (3rd grade) for setting us up, sharing her room, and even participating in some interviews.

Love what you do — or know someone who does? Email info to Stacey Dello Buono (sadellobuono@philasd.org), and she’ll put you on the email list for next year.

Thomas Mifflin Elementary School
East Falls’ public elementary school, grades pre-K thru 8.
3624 Conrad Street
215-951-4007

BONUS: Additional interviews will make you smile:

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1 Comment

  1. Yes, the kids made me smile! I especially love that scientist was a choice for a couple of kids.

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