The Digital Literacy Team at East is pleased to welcome parents to our first Coffee Morning – this time focusing on: Social Networks: Why they matter, and how you can help your child develop a positive online presence.
We looked first at what was worrying you about Social Networks. Here is a wordle which shows your concerns:
How much time with technology is too much? What’s appropriate for a child at a particular age? The answers to these questions will be different for every family, and depend on a variety of factors – making it a difficult one to answer!
The DLT team recommends having a discussion with your child about what is reasonable. Homework, outdoor play, relaxation etc are some of the considerations to think about. Obviously the age of the child makes a difference too.
Dr. David Finkelhor (director of the Crimes against Children Research Center), in a panel discussion entitled ‘Just the Facts About Online Youth Victimization‘ states,
“Our research, actually looking at what puts kids at risk for receiving the most serious kinds of sexual solicitation online, suggests that it’s not giving out personal information that puts kid at risk. It’s not having a blog or a personal website that does that either. What puts kids in danger is being willing to talk about sex online with strangers or having a pattern of multiple risky activities on the web like going to sex sites and chat rooms, meeting lots of people there, kind of behaving in what we call like an internet daredevil.”
For more information, you might like to read the following articles:
As the geeky father of a 9-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter, one of my worst fears as they grow older is that they won’t be Googled well. Not that they won’t be able to use Google well, mind you, but that when a certain someone (read: admissions officer, employer, potential mate) enters “Tess Richardson” into the search line of the browser, what comes up will be less than impressive. That a quick surf through the top five hits will fail to astound with examples of her creativity, collaborative skills, and change-the-world work. Or, even worse, that no links about her will come up at all. I mean, what might “Your search did not match any documents” imply?
Some of the suggestions we gathered from students, parents and teachers may help:
– Put your Skype on invisible so others think you are offline.
– Turn off Chat in Facebook/Google Chat
– Turn off Twitter notifications (or turn it off entirely)
– Work in a public place (e.g. Kitchen table), so other people can keep you on task
– Take regular breaks
– Set targets and reward with social networking check-ins
– Make homework a family time, where everyone works at the same time
– Work in Fullscreen view, to eliminate ‘visual noise’
– Download Self Control, an OSX app that allows users to block certain websites for predetermined time periods.
At UWCSEA we are of the opinion that educating students about what to do when coming across inappropriate content is the most effective long-term strategy. We can’t control what people put on the Internet, but we can control our reaction to it.
As part of our school-wide focus on Digital Citizenship, teachers discuss strategies students can use if/when they come across inappropriate content. Some suggestions include:
– Closing the window
– Covering it with your hand
– Changing your search terms
– Letting a teacher know
– Scrolling down the page
– Hitting the ‘back button’
We encourage students to be responsible, and not make a big fuss – the worst thing they can do is to draw attention to it.
cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by zoutedrop: http://flickr.com/photos/zoutedrop/2317065892/
cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by nuclear dwarf: http://flickr.com/photos/kafkapie/4182398090/
cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo by escapedtowisconsin: http://flickr.com/photos/69805768@N00/3292899689/
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