Utah Electronic High School’s iTunes U content focuses on the whole student, going beyond strictly academic topics, and seeks to engage parents. For example, a video by the Utah State Office of Education’s Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Program teaches students how to cope with bullying, and the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control posted commercials from ParentsEmpowered.org.
The commercials educate parents about the brain damage and other potential ill effects of underage drinking and offer advice on how to speak to children. The goal of the commercials is to “give parents permission to set clear rules, to monitor their kids, and to bond with them,” says Doug Murakami, the agency’s alcohol-education director.
The “Stay in Contact” TV spot features an underage-drinking session disrupted by a distant mom jerking the bottle out of her son’s hand with the help of a comically long string. Robin Taylor, prevention coordinator for the Northeastern Counseling Center, in Vernal, Utah, says parents have received the lighthearted ads well. “It’s a fun campaign. It’s not pointing fingers at people,” Taylor notes of the initiative, which includes radio ads, billboards, vehicle wraps, and even town hall meetings. “They can give the information in a different way, and it wouldn’t be as productive. The way they are going about it has been successful in our area.”
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