Image Source: CNN

#Being13 – Inside the Secret World of Teens – a recent documentary, facilitated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, is a compilation of over 200 interviews with 13-year-olds from schools around the country. The documentary aired on CNN, October 5, 2015. CNNgo has posted an online version. You can preview the first 10 minutes and then will be prompted to login using the same username and password you use to access your TV provider account (DirectTV, Dish, Xfinity, etc.).

CNN enlisted two university researchers to guide the project: Marion K. Underwood, Professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas and a local researcher, Robert W. Faris, Associate Professor of Sociology at U.C. Davis.

In addition to students, the documentary included a panel of parents, who shared their perception of how they believed their children were using – and overusing – social media.

Footage for the documentary was gleaned from an app the participating teens agreed to download to their social media accounts in order to archive everything they posted on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook from September, 2014, to April, 2015.

Key takeaways from the research and documentary included:

  • 13-year-olds, in their efforts to fit in, often check their phones up to 100 times a day (or even more) for social media updates.
  • In addition to dealing with cyberbullying, 13-year-olds frequently deal with online attacks from those they are closest to (“social combat”).

Digital Citizenship Is the Bridge to Contemporary Teaching and Learning

Because the #Being13 documentary brought out more perils and pitfalls than positive uses of social media by teens, you might want to read a short article by Matt Harris, Chair-Elect of Board of Directors for ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education). Although schools were not a focus of the #Being13 documentary, we recognize and agree with the author’s stance that “Digital Citizenship comprises the skills, attitudes, and basic knowledge students need to have in order to be safe, effective, and productive users of the Internet for work and life.”

Bullying Prevention Month/Digital Citizenship Week

Did you know that October is National Bullying Prevention Month? Did you also know that Digital Citizenship Week falls in the month of October? Stay tuned for our next post that includes some great resources to engage students in conversations around bullying awareness and how they can step up and be the change. Please consider this an invitation to contribute any resources and or activities you would like to share.