The Brave New Online World of Teens and a Call to Action for Educators

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Heslip, Joseph
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The aim of this study was to investigate current research regarding the online practices of teens, and make recommendations regarding the role of the school counsellor in providing support and education to ensure the safety of high school students. According to research, today's teens are faced with a new digital reality never experienced before. This "Brave New Online World" includes serious safety risks, privacy issues, and a rise in cyberbullying- and sexting-related suicides. Research shows that while students have largely been facing these challenges with little guidance from previous generations due to a "digital divide", recent efforts have been made to create digital literacy curriculum highlighting safety and digital citizenship. This study aims to investigate research on these topics and provide recommendations to high school educators wishing to support students' online education. I recommend that future studies examine the effectiveness of teacher / counsellor lead digital literacy curriculum through pre and post survey methods.