New social media class makes its way to campus


Kara Shen

CREATING CONTENT Jai Pandoh and Kara Shen collaborate as Pandoh takes a photo of Sade Calvero in the audio visual room for promotion of the seniors on the Mater Dei Tennis Team: “The skill of collaboration I think is very key to being able to […] [be successful] in what you’re doing, to accept people’s not only critiques but also their influences because it can shape your art or your brand,” Shen said.

Isabelle Alyn, Advertising Director and Historian

In the present age of technology, social media has become a growing presence in many people’s day-to-day lives. Because of social media, new markets and jobs have surfaced across the globe, creating a surge of positions that need to be filled, which is why Mater Dei has introduced a new elective class for the 2022-2023 school year: Social Media. The new Social Media class is for future innovators looking to hone their craft in skills like marketing, photography, videography and design.

Senior Kara Shen was one of the first students in this elective. Shen has always been interested in the skills needed to work in the social media industry. Prior to this class, she interned with Mater Dei to create media for their different platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.

“Mainly what I work on is the photos and infographics for [Mater Dei’s] Instagrams. Last year, the biggest thing that I worked on was the lacrosse team’s infographics,” Shen said.

Now with the creation of the Social Media class this year, Shen has been able to take on a variety of different projects with more opportunity to pursue alternative interests.

“We now actually have a block instead of running around and doing nothing. […] It’s one of my favorite things just because we get a place on campus to do what we love to do. And seeing it evolve from last year [when] I used to sit in Mr. Hernandez’s office with my little computer. It’s evolved so much,” Shen said.

Parker Shoaff is the primary teacher of the social media class. Shoaff created the class not only as a way to teach students about the ins and outs of the social media market, but also as a way to help Mater Dei as a whole.

“So essentially it’s to help support the school and all the programs here with creating social media content […] and also graphics for posters. Right now, the class is still getting built out, so we’re limited in what we can do so photos and videos are kind of the main thing. But, eventually it’s going to help promote tennis, soccer, robotics, a bunch of those [that need help with] content. So really, it should be content creation,” Shoaff said.

To take the class you must have some type of arts prerequisite: art, film, photography, etc. One student who has a lot of the experience required to take this class is junior, Jai Pandoh.

“Anyone who has experience with editing, photography, videography, or graphic design [can take it] because if you have a little bit of experience then you will grow so much more in this class,” Pandoh said. “It’s a class for people who have some interest in camerawork and editing, stuff like that.”

Since taking the class Pandoh’s portfolio and knowledge of social media has expanded, giving him the opportunity to explore his passion for videography more freely.

“[The class has] taught me how to tell a story in just 30 seconds,” Pandoh said. ”Like if it’s a big football game and how to not have so many different clips of it just doesn’t really matter. It kind of taught me how to put what matters out there and what’s intriguing to people, what people want to watch. We don’t have any limit at all. We have some guidelines, but it doesn’t stop us from doing whatever we want to do. So I think everyone in there can just be as creative as they want to be.”

The social media class is a place for innovators who want to pursue an industry that is relatively new.

“The social media class is a place for students who want to grow a portfolio and learn how to do social media marketing. And it’s a place for them to all meet together, organize all their content together, and to edit and get tips from Mr. Shoaff. So it’s a little kind of a little community of people who want to do social media,” Pandoh said.