Frequently Asked Questions

What is Social Media TestDrive?

Social Media TestDrive is an educational program that offers a number of modules about key digital citizenship topics, e.g. managing privacy settings, smart self-presentation, upstanding to cyberbullying, and news literacy.

Each Social Media TestDrive module teaches a set of digital citizenship concepts and allows youth to practice and reflect upon what they have learned using a simulated social media experience within a safe and protected platform.

What is digital citizenship?

Digital citizenship is the ability to engage in safe and responsible online communication and to think critically about the content you see online. Watch this video from Common Sense Education to learn more.

Who is Social Media TestDrive for?

TestDrive is most effective for new social media users or those who are likely to enter into the social media world in the near future. Our target audience is middle school-aged youth, but we welcome everyone to explore it.

Children at these ages are aware of and likely becoming interested in social media, but are unlikely to have their own social media accounts, since most social media platforms require members to be at least 13 years old. This is a great time to learn the prosocial skills and behaviors in Social Media TestDrive.

How do Social Media TestDrive lessons work?

In a Social Media TestDrive lesson, young people first learn key terms and practice social media skills in a guided setting. Then, they explore a simulated social media site where they interact with content designed to provide opportunities to further practice their new social media skills.

The final section in the lesson is a reflection activity where learners answer questions designed to help them reflect on what they learned and how they can apply their learning in real life in conversations with friends or strangers.

How does Social Media TestDrive keep young people's data safe?

Social Media TestDrive does not collect or store any personal information. Young people are able to choose from a library of photos when creating posts, upload text, make comments on the simulated social media site, and change their profile name, location, and description, but all data are permanently deleted once users finish a module or leave the Social Media TestDrive website.

Our privacy policy gives more details.

Who created Social Media TestDrive?

Social Media TestDrive is a platform created by researchers in the Cornell University Social Media Lab, in collaboration with Common Sense Education.

The project is generously supported by the Morgan Family Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

What should I do if I run into a problem with Social Media TestDrive?

If you have any questions about Social Media TestDrive or run into any problems while using it, please e-mail us at socialmediatestdrive@gmail.com or Contact Us below. We will do our best to respond within 1–2 business days of receiving your e-mail.

How can I access Social Media TestDrive?

All Social Media TestDrive modules can be accessed from the Modules page of this website. We suggest previewing the modules first to become familiar with them. An overview of the contents of each module (i.e., learning objectives, key terms, prosocial behaviors, and reflection questions) is available in the Educator Guide.

What technology do I need to use Social Media TestDrive?

It is recommended that young people access Social Media TestDrive using a desktop or laptop computer for the best experience. Social Media TestDrive is also compatible with tablets (e.g., iPads, Kindles, Galaxy Tabs, etc.), smartphones, and other mobile devices, but smaller screens may make it difficult to see all content. For the best experience, we recommend maximizing the Social Media TestDrive browser window on the screen.

How can I evaluate progress?

Once young people reach the end of a Social Media TestDrive module, they are prompted to answer multiple-choice and open-ended reflection questions about the activity completed within the module. At the end of this page, there is a feature (“Print your responses”) that enables young people to save their responses to the reflection questions as a PDF file. You can instruct young people to share this with you through email, Google Classroom, or your Learning Management System (LMS), and review their responses to assess learning outcomes.

What should I do if I run into a problem with Social Media TestDrive?

If you have any questions about Social Media TestDrive or run into any problems while using it, please e-mail us at socialmediatestdrive@gmail.com or Contact Us below. We will do our best to respond within 1–2 business days of receiving your e-mail.

Can I use Social Media TestDrive at home with my child?

Absolutely! All Social Media TestDrive modules are designed so that children can complete them by themselves, but we encourage parents to try out and discuss Social Media TestDrive with their children. The reflection questions at the end of each module are a great opportunity to have a deeper discussion of the material.

If you want to check Social Media TestDrive out before trying it with your child, you are welcome to try some of the modules yourself.

How does a Social Media TestDrive module work?

In a Social Media TestDrive module, young people first learn key terms and practice social media skills in a guided setting. Then, they explore a simulated social media site where they interact with content designed to provide opportunities to further practice their new social media skills. The final section in the module is a reflection activity where learners answer questions designed to help them reflect on what they learned and how they can apply their learning in real life.

How can I see my child’s progress?

At the end of the reflection page, there is a feature (“Print your responses”) that enables young people to save or print their responses to the reflection questions. You can review the responses to see how well your child is understanding the module content. You can also use the reflection questions at the end of each module to have discussions with youth to promote a deeper engagement with the material.

Will my child’s data be safe?

Social Media TestDrive does not collect or store any personal information. Young people are able to choose from a library of photos when creating posts, upload text, make comments on the simulated social media site, and change their profile name, location, and description, but all data are permanently deleted once users finish a module or leave the Social Media TestDrive website. We take privacy and safety seriously; see our privacy policy for more details.

What should I do if I run into a problem with Social Media TestDrive?

If you have any questions about Social Media TestDrive or run into any problems while using it, please e-mail us at socialmediatestdrive@gmail.com or Contact Us below. We will do our best to respond within 1–2 business days of receiving your e-mail.

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