How is your school handling student use of social media and streaming services? Some schools in B.C. have banned specific apps (see Maple Ridge School District article). They have banned Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and Netflix. On the other side of Canada, the Toronto School District, has also been struggling with the issue of how to deal with students and social media. Last spring, they estimated that between 20-30% of their educational bandwidth was being used up by students on social [...]
Have a Great SafeOnline Summer! Summer is here and before your students head out the door, I'm sending you a link to a list of safe, educational and pro-social websites I recommend for students to explore over the summer. Please feel free to distribute it to your Parent Advisory Council, parent mailing list or other education contacts. Thanks to all of you who have invited me into your schools over this past year. I do appreciate the trust [...]
Rule Suggestions for Parents Every parents wants to, and ultimately does, have control over their children’s level of online access. Like the other incremental responsibilities and freedoms we provide our children as they grow up, online education ideally starts early. Starting with complete physical restrictions of media use for children ages 0-2, and evolving into co-engagement, supervision and varying levels of constraints for children ages 3-16. At a basic level, for very young children or those children experiencing difficulties resisting [...]
Current levels of technology use by children, youth and their parents, are costing children and youth their developmental milestones. Children are now showing signs of language delays, limited vocabulary and lack of ability to understand nuanced communications such as body language and established social cues. Read the scientific evidence: Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Atler. I believe it's very telling that there exists exclusive tech-free private schools in the Silicon Valley in [...]
Today's story about the Abbotsford teen charged with child luring, extortion, making child pornography and sexual interference, brought several reporters to my office for my views on the situation. Our interviews were brief and to the point, but I would like to more fully express some of my ideas and concerns. First, with this story and many others, I feel we have a confusion of definition. This incident will be called 'cyberbullying' by some. It wasn't. As the criminal charges [...]
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.