New research paints a clear picture

New research is showing us the level of saturation of media use by children and youth is up dramatically. Common Sense Media released a study this year, called “Social Media, Social Life, Teens Reveal Their Exeriences, 2018” . In it, teens report an increase in social media use (34% in 2012 vs. 70% in 2018) and smartphone use (41% in 2012 vs. 89% in 2018).  and which apps their using (Facebook is out and SnapChat and Instagram are in). These [...]

2018-10-01T16:30:57-07:00September 21st, 2018|News, Online Safety|

Realistic use of technology

I believe we are getting closer to using technology realistically and I’m encouraged by some of the recent voices and awareness raising about excessive screen time and how it’s affecting us socially, psychologically and emotionally. Tristan Harris is a former Product Philosopher and Design Ethicist for Google where he studied how technology affects people’s attention, wellbeing and behaviour. "Called the “closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience,” by The Atlantic magazine, Tristan Harris spent three years as a Google [...]

2018-09-24T13:29:10-07:00September 21st, 2018|News|

Schools Ban Social Media and Netflix – Will It Work?

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 [...]

2017-09-14T10:23:11-07:00September 14th, 2017|Online Safety|

SafeOnline Summer Activities 2017

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 [...]

2017-06-27T16:41:29-07:00June 27th, 2017|General, Online Safety|

Establish Family Online Rules

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 [...]

2017-06-27T16:40:04-07:00June 14th, 2017|Online Safety|

Overuse of Technology by Children & Youth

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 [...]

2017-06-27T16:46:23-07:00May 31st, 2017|Online Safety|

Impact of Trolls in Online Gaming

Parents less aware of impact of trolls* in online gaming According to Canadian statistics, Canadian girls grades 4-11 face stricter rules about their online activities than boys do. At the same time, boys (60%) are more likely than girls (27%) to access the internet through gaming platforms. (Reference) While it is true that online environments in general ARE more hostile to girls and women (Wikipedia) and that may justify having stricter rules for girls, SafeOnline advocates paying more attention to [...]

2017-03-20T12:43:31-07:00March 20th, 2017|General|

CTV and Global Coverage of Cyber Abuse in Abbotsford

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 [...]

2017-03-15T19:40:55-07:00March 15th, 2017|Media and News|

Teens and Child Pornography: Sensible Solutions Needed

By its very nature, adolescent development includes elements of peer negotiation, identity construction, and sexual experimentation (including gender roles and exhibitionism). It’s the learning process required by young people to function as members of our culture. In other words, they have to figure out who they want to hang out with, how they want to act and think of themselves as social and sexual persons, and they have to try out boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.

2016-10-24T11:45:45-07:00January 9th, 2015|Online Safety|

Parents don’t need to be terrified of the internet!

This has long been the approach of Safe Online where we appraoch the Internet and Internet Safety from a place of possibility and positivity rather than negativity and scare tactics.  Heres a great article from the that delves a little deeper. Parents should try to encourage conversations about what sites and apps their children access and who they're connecting with. This dialogue is essential to keeping our kids safe online. We need a more balanced and less fear-based approach to [...]

2016-10-24T11:45:47-07:00September 23rd, 2014|Education, Media and News, News|