When 'A Platform for Good' asked me to write a post for their blog, we were thrilled. Choosing a topic wasn't easy though. So many worthy subjects that we could choose from in our field - Internet Safety. I chose to write about our Youth-2-youth Program, one near and dear to my heart, especially because it incorporates so nicely restorative justice principles.
Life online in the late-nineteen-nineties was fluid. I could be anyone, i could talk to anyone, argue any point of view. They called it the "information superhighway" then and I was working with 'street kids'. My frustration as a youth worker then was that the only people youth seemed to meet online were predators or or pedophiles. The people who care most about youth where NOT the early adopters of the Internet.
I spent fifteen years as a youth worker and when I wrote my first article about children, youth and the internet, the prevailing concerns were about online sexual exploitation and the vulnerabilities inherent in letting children loose in the un-restricted wild west show that was the internet. Then, we were concerned about MSN instant messaging and pedophiles who might lure young people out of their homes to be sexually assaulted.
"Wow! It was a great talk. I wish even more parents had the opportunity to see hear/see it. I hope we can get them to come in to present to our students (at least the older ones)." Toni.
WebweWant was/is published in part, with participation from the European SchoolNet and InSafe, both of which have excellent reputations and track records in this field.
Amongst the sincere sentiments today will be some girls and boys who know that they have sent hurtful or untrue text or humiliated someone online or forwarded a personal message to the whole school or re-shared nude pictures of one of the girls in their school. They too will wear their pink shirts.
Peter Nowak has a great review of the big tech stories in Canada in 2012, including UBB, throttling, the CRTC, lawful access, and copyright reform.
"Is digital technology the savior of education? Or is it the destroyer of education? Or is it both . . . and neither?" Interesting article by Mark Roberts
Whether you've noticed it or not, Facebook has likely changed your brain. You get a rush of dopamine - that same chemical that kicks in when you're rewarded - when you see a notification. An interesting infographic from Best Masters in Psychology details the social network's effect on the brain.
Since the death of Amanda Todd. I have been trying to sort out what this tectonic shift in public awareness and online youth culture is going to mean and how to best use this pivotal moment in time. After the shock, grief, initial outpouring of rage/counter-rage and media coverage how to be best move forward. While I am doing my best to stay abreast of the current research, I thought I would share with you a few articles I am reading.