Technology and social media now play a central role in young people’s educational, social and psychological development.  It is important to remember that whilst young people have grown up immersed in technology they do need to actively learn ways to use technology positively as well as how to deal effectively with harmful online behaviours. This will allow young people to maximise the opportunities technology can provide in their lives, now and into the future.

Adults have grown up in a world where online and offline are two different worlds but for ‘digital natives’ these worlds have been combined often making it challenging for adults to understand the love for technology that young people have.  Keeping up to date with what young people are doing online can be a challenge for even the most avid user, but an understanding of young people’s use provides teachers with the necessary basis for teaching cybersafe practices. The best way of understanding what students are doing online is by talking to them about their use of online technologies.

To support you in your role as an educator, this module provides some background information to extend your understanding of students’ social media use as well as access to further resources.