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The Power of Social Media and Effects on Children Teach-Out

Discover the positive and negative impacts of social media for young people and learn how to navigate online spaces safely.

1,640 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours
  • Digital upgrade


Unpack the evolution of social media platforms and influencers

Globally, there are rising concerns about how young people interact online. 45% of American teens say they are online nearly constantly, and social media use is rapidly rising among younger children as well.

On this two-week course from the University of Michigan, you’ll hear from teenagers, parents, teachers, researchers, and content creators on the benefits and risks of social media.

Whether you are a parent, teacher, or young learner, this course will help you understand how to adopt mindful and healthy social media practices.

Delve into how children and teenagers use social media

There are a number of potential pitfalls on social media and it’s just as imperative that young people understand the risks, as it is for parents and teachers to be able to guide young social media users.

On this course, you’ll learn methods and tips for protecting personal information and navigating digital spaces appropriately and effectively.

Discover the impact of social media on youth mental health

By nature, social media is limitless. While the freedom to share and connect is a positive aspect, it also allows for more harmful interactions.

Social media users report concerns about self-image, addiction, bullying, and more. You’ll explore the negative effects of social media on the mental and emotional health of children and teenagers and hear ways these issues can be mitigated through mindfulness, authenticity, and parental oversight.

Pursue digital citizenship with the University of Michigan

Throughout the course, you’ll be guided by the educators at the University of Michigan. With their expertise, you’ll know how young learners can think critically about social media use, adopt safe social media practices, practice empathy and self-regulation, and become informed digital citizens.

What topics will you cover?

  • Overview of social media, platforms, and influencers
  • Social media risks, rewards, and responsibilities
  • Mental and emotional impacts of social media use
  • Digital citizenship

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the landscape of social media and its societal relevance
  • Discuss the positive and negative effects of social media on mental health, well-being, self-image, and connection to others
  • Describe research on the positive and negative consequences of teenagers' use of mobile media and communication
  • Reflect on the importance of the parental voice in the elementary, middle and high school social media space
  • Improve understanding of responsible social media use, strategic navigation of online communities, and digital citizenship

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for parents, teachers, and teenagers, but will also be useful to anyone interested in learning more about social media and its effects.

Who will you learn with?

University of Michigan Teach-Out Experts

Who developed the course?

University of Michigan

As the #1 public research university in the United States, U-M has been a leader in research, learning, and teaching for more than 200 years, with 102 Grad programs in the top 10 — U.S. News & World Report (2019).

  • Established

  • Location

    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  • World ranking

    Top 30Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

What's included?

University of Michigan are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

    Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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    Get a taste of this course

    Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

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