Here at XP3 Students, we receive a variety of questions from youth workers such as you. Questions like:

  1. Are your graphics editable?
  2. How would you approach combined groups of middle and high school students?
  3. Is it Laurel or Yanny?


1- Middle School, yes. High School, probably not. (It’s a whole thing.)

2- This probably needs a conversation.

3- If you hear high frequencies well, you probably hear “Laurel.” If you can’t hear high frequencies well, you probably hear “Yanny.”

On occasion, we’re also asked this:

Why don’t you make one entire year of curriculum available for download at once?

In short, it’s all about relevance. At length…it’s about relevance.

For those of us who grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s, we can remember a time when something in pop culture could become ubiquitous and stay that way for months or even years. Think TRL, the “Rachel” hairstyle, or the Spice Girls.

But then along came the Internet, which eventually cleared the way for social media. These two were not playing around and have literally changed everything about our culture.

One change? Today’s culture now moves at light speed. Music, movies, and GIFs that were hot six months ago are now old news. Like, old. Like, 30s old.

Need proof? Just think of:

The Top 50 Spotify playlist. Today’s popular music burns bright and brief. The best way to manage that? Make series playlists every three months. (And our media guy still feels behind the curve on that schedule.)

Clothing Trends. Stores like Forever 21, H&M, and even Target have moved from seasonal clothing to micro-seasonal releases. Because what works in early Fall is clearly not okay for late Fall.

Pop Culture References. We love some Stranger Things. So when that show broke out, we immediately referenced it. If we had to wait a year, there’s a good chance students would’ve thought that was old news. Because Eleven and the gang are getting older and soon they won’t be cool anymore.

Social Media Trends. These trends are literally blink-and-you-miss-it moments. And if we try to guess now what will be awesome in 2019? #lame

That Laurel and Yanny reference? That won’t even be a thing in a few months. Probably sooner. (I wrote this blog two months ago. See what I mean!)

Our high-speed culture affects youth culture more than any other group. See more about that here. And, Generation Z isn’t just affected by change, they’re driving the culture and the conversation. So it’s important that we have time to stop and hear what they have to say.

Generation Z isn't just affected by change, they're driving the culture and the conversation. Click To Tweet

So while we consider ourselves reasonably adept at seeing what’s happening with youth culture, we have no idea what it will look like in a year.

And because of that reality, we’ve decided that the best way to stay current is to make curriculum in a current context. In other words, let’s not try to figure out what’s next. Let’s work on what’s now.

Join the Conversation

Loading comments...