Cornell Social Media Lab and Common Sense Education collaborated to create Social Media TestDrive, a simulated social media environment where young people can practice and prepare for real-life experiences in the digital world.
Through modules that focus on realistic dilemmas and scenarios, students practice how to respond to situations they will encounter when they become social media users. Each module has a guided activity, a free play section, and reflection questions that help solidify digital citizenship skills and habits. Social Media TestDrive aligns with middle school lessons in the Common Sense Digital Citizenship Curriculum.
Social Media TestDrive is a web-based educational program that offers modules about key digital citizenship topics, such as managing privacy settings, self-presentation and identity online, responding to or preventing cyberbullying, and analyzing news and information students could encounter through social media.
Each TestDrive module teaches a set of digital citizenship skills and allows students to practice and reflect on what they've learned using a simulated social media experience within a safe and protected platform.
Kids in the U.S. must be 13 or older to sign up for a social media account, but they often use the platforms at even younger ages. TestDrive is designed for upper elementary school and middle school students age 9 to 12, who are likely to join or participate in social media sites and apps in the near future.
At the beginning of each Social Media TestDrive module, young people learn key terms and practice social media skills in a guided setting. Next, they explore a simulated social media environment where they interact with content designed to provide opportunities to apply what they've learned about safe, responsible social media use. The final section in the module is a reflection activity with questions that help students reflect and think critically about how to apply their learning in real-life scenarios.