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Technology and Social Media Changes Life for Today’s Teens

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Life is a far more complex and confusing environment for today’s students than it was 20 or even 10 years ago. Technology has changed the face of education and social interaction and it is delivering new challenges.

Back to school for today’s teenagers looks a lot different than it used to. On top of new classes and friends, they might also be exploring new social media networks, online relationships or digital personas.

“By the time they hit high school, the Internet and social media are a constant presence in students’ lives,” said Matthew Johnson, Director of Education for MediaSmarts, Canada’s centre for digital and media literacy. “It’s essential that they learn how to use these tools safely, wisely and effectively for both for school and in their personal lives.”

That’s why MediaSmarts, with financial support from Shaw Communications, has produced two comprehensive guides for high school and post-secondary students to help them navigate their evolving online worlds.

The Your Connected Life guide is designed to help students who are just entering high school balance the demands of their offline life with their digital one. It offers practical advice on various activities kids like to do online, such as social networking, gaming, shopping, studying and watching videos. The guide also helps teens spot potential problems like cyberbullying and plagiarism, and contains tips and solutions to deal with common challenges.

University and college life comes with a whole new set of freedoms and challenges, with more and more of those taking place online. On the Loose: A Guide to Online Life for Post-Secondary Studentscovers a variety of digital issues including school work, money and security, online relationships, and physical and mental health.

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