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COMMColloquium: Amanda Purington Drake

Friday, November 4, 2022 at 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Mann Library, 102
Cornell University Mann Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA


Social Media TestDrive: Helping Youth Navigate the Digital World

Dr. Amanda Purington Drake, ACT for Youth, Cornell University

2pm in 102 Mann

Reception to follow in the Hub


Social media are pervasive in adolescent lives, filled with the potential for youth to experience both risks and opportunities. Social media provide a space for youth to address some of their most salient developmental tasks, such as identity exploration, developing relationships beyond members of their family, and finding places to meaningfully belong in a larger social environment. Social Media TestDrive (SMTD) is an educational intervention designed to develop youth (ages 9–13) knowledge and skills to engage in social media in ways that are safe, positive, prosocial, and fun, in order to maximize benefits while minimizing the risks. Founded on experiential learning theory principles, the heart of Social Media TestDrive is a social media simulation in which learners can explore, practice new skills, and reflect on their actions. During this talk, I will give an overview Social Media TestDrive (including a demonstration of its interactive and experiential components) and a description of who is using it and how. I will also share results from research evaluation studies assessing its effectiveness and digging more deeply into its experiential learning underpinnings. Finally, I will share the future directions of TestDrive, including the development of new artificial intelligence features to give learners real-time feedback on their posts and comments in the simulation. 


Amanda Purington Drake is the Director of Evaluation and Research for the ACT for Youth project within the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research at Cornell University. She is also a research collaborator with the Cornell Social Media Lab. Professionally and academically, Amanda is passionate about using research and evaluation to promote the health and well-being of youth.

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Amanda Purington Drake

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