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Youth, Social Media and Digital Civic Engagement

NCSS Position Statements
The use of social media saturates the everyday lives of young people, offering complex, rich challenges and opportunities for cultivating their skills with and disposition toward online participatory politics in “a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world ” (National Council for the Social Studies). While attempts to define digital civic engagement are still in a formative stage (Kligler-Vilenchik & Thorson, 2016), National Council for the Social Studies suggests drawing upon youth’s informal personal use of social media and seeking to transfer these experiences into formal civic and academic settings so as to enable students to become civically engaged in digital spaces. The following are reasons to do so, supported with recommendations on ways to aid in that transformation, and with resources to enable us as social studies educators to turn those recommendations into civic realities.
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