NSW Department of Education

How chat, texting and messaging can keep us connected

For teachers
For parents
For students

Key message

Staying in touch with friends and family is now easier than ever before. Young people are using online communication to build friendships, share their lives and work together.

Young people are making using of changing technology to send and share much more than simple text messages. New apps and associated social networks are regularly created. The Office of the eSafety Commissioner maintains an index of apps that includes descriptions and answers some questions about games and social networking apps.

Video chat

Video chat is now a core function of most messaging apps and social networks. Young people can screen share, watch videos together, and add creativity and flair to conversations with filters and emojis.

Video chat allows young people to:

  • convey humour and emotions through facial expressions and gestures
  • develop social skills and maintain relationships, even over great distances
  • share activities, experiences and parts of their lives with peers.

Voice chat

Voice chat, beyond simple telephone calls, is most popular with gamers who use it to communicate with teammates.

Voice chat allows gamers to:

  • share in online social experiences and multiplayer games
  • plan and cooperate on reaching shared goals
  • develop team and collaborative skills.

Online groups

Online groups and communities help young people connect with others who share their interests. These groups can be part of social networks or can be built around other online communication tools, such as a WhatsApp group.

Online groups offer young people the chance to:

  • connect with other people with shared interests, beyond their friendship circle
  • experience a sense of shared belonging
  • access a safe space and a supportive community.

Top tips

Additional resources

Curriculum and syllabus links


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