Will those who Tweet vote? Social media clearly create new opportunities for voice, for agency, and potentially for influence. But they create risks as well, because there is no reason to assume that engagement with participatory politics will inevitably or organically develop in positive ways.
That’s where schools come into the picture, playing their traditional role of preparing students to be citizens. It will be a challenge for researchers, teachers and education policy makers to keep pace with the rapid use of digital media by youth. But it seems clear that the virtual world can be good for the real world.