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Summer Program – Digital Media and Decision Making

Program Background

Research that focuses on social media uses and practices of youth (Baracan, 2016; boyd, 2014; Stevens, et al., 2017) outline some of the influence that social media has on the perception and decisions of youth. These studies are American based and although the focus of these studies are based on the accounts, perspectives, and practices of diverse groups of participants, there is limited information on the impact of intersectionality and culture on youth’s perceptions and attitudes leading to their decisions. Studies on social, economic, and digital lives of American teens and their decisions making creates opportunities for similar types of research studies on the experiences and perspectives of Canadian youth in social and academic contexts.

Project Overview

The Summer Program offers 15-20 Grades 10-12 high school students, the opportunity to participate in 10 weeks of activities on the campuses of York University and Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU). Participants will engage in activities in Professor Kisha McPherson’s Digital Media Lab at TMU. 

The aim of the program is to have participants reflect on the role of social media in shaping their educational and social activities, ambitions, and decision-making. Of course, are informed about keeping in mind, the ways in which dynamics pertaining to peers, family, community, media, and other elements influence their life circumstances, ambitions, plans and decisions. Additionally, our study also seeks to examine how media education (technology training and critically engaged pedagogies) can support Black youth in developing the critical analysis and discernment skills to support positive decision making to advance their desired future directions and endeavours.

At the end of the program, with their developed skills in digital literacy, participants will have learnt to critically assess how they engage in and with social media and have better understanding of how to navigate the impact of social media in their lives and decision-making as racialized Black youth.