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Thursday, November 12, 2009

WaterShed Moment in the History of Online Safety Education

In Larry Magid's Brief, Poingnant Overview of the recent third annual conference of the Family Online Safety Institute, he called it a "WaterShed Moment int he History of Online Safety Education" I felt buoying hope.  Below are the extracted annotations from his article from me but I'd like to add something that I just emailed to Larry.

Wow, Larry. Just a note that your current article in the San Jose Mercury News is SPOT ON - http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_13723472?nclick_check=1

We've been seeing this in our Digiteen projects where the kids determine their own ACTION project to teach digital citizenship to the audience of their choice.  (You can see this year's action projects forming here - http://digiteen09-3.flatclassroomproject.org/Westwood+-+USA -- they are right now in progress.) The kids research digital citizenship w/ partners around the world and self form teams.

One of the coolest is my Super Social Safety Team (http://supersocialsafety.blogspot.com and http://www.twitter.com/socialsafety ) they are testing programs for kids 8-12 and upset that many sites are being marketed that are irresponsible.

Just wanted to reach out and say YES!!  There are schools using social media like Nings and wikis and Twitter and some ARE receiving erate funding -- eRate funding has long been an EXCUSE to do nothing and the blocking has gotten ridiculous with a lot of public schools not even being able to upload a video for Obama's youtube contest.

I hope that people are reading, but right now with budget cuts, outsourcing of filtration, and the typical struggle to keep your head above water mentality many of us have right now - I hope that wise people become progressive about these things and realize that the greatest danger is the person who picks up the kid in the car every day - not some random stranger who might see a kids picture on the Internet. (Although kids SHOULD be educated about that.) Personally, I think Digital Citizenship encompasses more than just safety and that all kids of all ages should be included.  But as my ninth graders say, they are often best qualified (with guidance) to create compelling educational lessons for younger kids on safety.  

Magid: Treating kids on the Web in a new way - San Jose Mercury News
  • a watershed moment in the 16-year history of online safety education.
  • in that young people were viewed less as potential victims of online crimes and more as participants in a global online community.
  • the "predator panic" that was rampant a few years ago has largely been put to rest as safety experts and law enforcement studies from the Crimes Against Children Research Center and elsewhere show that, statistically, the odds of a prepubescent child being sexually molested by an
  • online stranger is virtually zero and the odds of it happening to a teenager are very low, especially when compared with children who are harmed by family members and others they know from the real world.
  • the culprit is far more likely to be a fellow young person.
  • Kids are affected by their own behavior ranging from posting pictures or comments online that could come to haunt them later to "sexting," sending nude or nearly nude pictures of themselves to others.
  • a few misguided ones have used these laws against children.
  • others continue to perpetuate myths about Internet dangers.
  • "one size doesn't fit all.
  • There was a lot of discussion about the lack of interactive social media in schools.
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