The educational thoughts of Jason Epstein
THE PERSONAL VIEWS, OPINIONS AND COMMENTS CONTAINED HEREIN ARE SOLELY THOSE OF THE BLOG’S AUTHOR IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY, AND ARE NOT ENDORSED BY ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY.
Anthony Orsini sent an e-mail blast to the Benjamin Franklin Middle School community in Ridgewood, New Jersey, on Wednesday, urging parents to take down their children's online profiles on Facebook and elsewhere. "There is absolutely no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site!," he wrote. "Let me repeat that - there is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site!" The main problem, he wrote, is that tweens do not have the resilience to withstand internet name-calling. "They are simply not psychologically ready for the damage that one mean person online can cause," he said.
On listservs and blogs, education researchers and teachers are beginning to discuss how to handle this latest online application. To most educators, filtering is never a preferred option. Teachers and media specialists almost uniformly choose to use opportunities like this to teach students how to make decisions about what’s appropriate on their own. “One of the responsibilities of working with students on the use of online resources is to make them aware of potential dangers so they can make informed choices,” says Deb Logan, librarian and media specialist for Mount Gilead (OH) High School, by email. “A discussion of online resources like Chatroulette offers a learning opportunity. These opportunities sometimes come at unexpected times.” But educators believe Chatroulette may be a bit different then other similar sites like Omegle.com and Facebook’s PopJam in that video is involved—and there’s no way to edit what pops up on the screen other than clicking “next” after it’s already appeared. There’s no lurking allowed on Chatroulette—once a user signs in, they’re visible to anyone who chances upon them, and anyone, in turn, is visible to them. Needless to say, there’s a bit of nudity and sexual play being reported on the site, and the swiftness of people moving from image to image doesn’t allow children to protect themselves—other than signing off.
A range of research reports suggest that digital literacy should be a key part of curricular developments in both primary and secondary schools. Digital literacy is about far more than functional ICT skills: it requires support for children to access, create and communicate using ICT, as well as to be evaluative and critical about the influences and impacts of new media.
Steve Balkam, FOSI: Digital Citizenship includes not just the rights of free expression (as important as that is) and the right to remain safe online but also duties and responsibilities of a full active and engaged citizen, respecting others' rights and looking out for other cyber citizens in a civil and respectful manner.
Excerpts from conversation about National Broadband Plan adoption.
A free online device that can be used for digital storytelling/cyberbullying. Children and teens create comic strips online by choosing backgrounds, characters, and props. They can also write dialogue using speech bubbles. There is a Comic Strip Planning Sheet, a printable PDF that comic creators can use to draft and revise their work before creating and printing their final comics. When the comics are completed, they can be printed out and shared. The sample comic strip shows a three-pane comic.
These folders have been created as a way for educators to share book trailers for children's and YA books. It is an extension of the group "Book Trailers for All" on Teacher Tube. The reason they are available in both locations is that this site is blocked by many school filters, while Teacher Tube remains the most accessible file sharing site.
"These resources include multiple strategies for locating and evaluating culturally authentic international children’s and adolescent literature as well as ways of engaging students with these books in classrooms and libraries. "
Eight Smithfield State High School students who joined a cyberbullying social networking group that branded another girl a "liar" have been suspended. The Smithfield High students, all girls, were suspended for one day and the Facebook group, which had 11 members, was shut down after The Cairns Post was alerted to it before the Easter school holidays. It is understood the Facebook group was started after an argument between friends. Smithfield High acting principal Barry Courtney said the school took a tough stance against any form of bullying."Our response is students who join any cyberbullying site will be dealt with and it is a suspendable offence and parents are contacted about it straight away," he said.
Here are 8 tips to monitor and protect one's online reputation:
Search your name. Type your first and last name within quotation marks into several popular search engines to see where you are mentioned and in what context. Narrow your search and use keywords that apply only to you, such as your city, employer and industry association.
Expand your search. Use similar techniques to search for your telephone numbers, home address, e-mail addresses, and personal website domain names. You should also search for your social security and credit card numbers to make sure they don't appear anywhere online.
Read blogs. If any of your friends or coworkers have blogs or personal web pages on social networking sites, check them out to see if they are writing about or posting pictures of you.
Sign up for alerts. Use the Google alert feature that automatically notifies you of any new mention of your name or other personal information.
Limit your personal information. Tweet/chat/discuss regarding business and the emerging trends in your industry, but limit posting information on your personal life, which could be a subject of major scrutiny by recruiters and hiring managers. Also, be sure you know how organizations will use your information before you give it to them.
Use privacy settings. Most social networking and photo-sharing sites allow you to determine who can access and respond to your content. If you're using a site that doesn't offer privacy settings, find another site.
Choose your photos and language thoughtfully. You need to ensure that information posted online is written professionally without use of swear words and catchy phrases. Also, be very selective in posting photographs, and use your judgment to ensure that these photographs are how you want the world to see you.
Take action If you find information about yourself online that is embarrassing or untrue, contact the website owner or administrator and ask them to remove it. Most sites have policies to deal with such requests.
Teachable moment about the significance of digital footprints and online reputation in today's job market, even beyond corporate America. This blog recounts the story of someone who advertised for a housekeeper on Craigslist, researched the job candidates' social networking history and then, reports on what they found.
This excellent series of interactive case studies explores 8 topics: Wireless, Social Networking, Digital Permanence, Cyberbullying, Misinformation, Fair Use, Privacy and Downloading. Through multimedia activities, students examine issues affecting schoolwork, class papers, entertainment activities and online safety. Units are illustrated with Nickelodeon-style graphics and include assessments of learning. "Power to Learn" is Cablevision's nationally recognized education initiative. Some of the resources here are available in Spanish.
Use Flickr Storm with your students for locating imagery for digital storytelling projects. It locates multiple photos for you that relate to the keyword and annotates with a Creative Commons license, providing the user name you need for attribution. There is a great tutorial on using Flickr Storm at http://www.jakesonline.org/using_flickrstorm.pdf
One of eight interactive case studies for kids (GR 4-8) from Cable In the Classroom: Power to Learn. An understanding of the wonderful world of wireless will help the young people avoid any pitfalls that may arise from using laptops, smart phones, and PDAs. And if they are going to be using wireless technology it doesn't hurt if they understand how it works. This unit explains the importance of password protection and cybersecurity. The graphics are Nickelodeon style. A short quiz assesses understanding. For the entire series, check out: http://powertolearn.com/internet_smarts/interactive_case_studies/index.shtml
One of eight interactive case studies for kids (GR 4-8) from Cable In the Classroom: Power to Learn. It's very popular for young people to meet and connect online at sites like MySpace.com. However, an awareness of the risks and steps for being safe can ensure a positive experience with social networking. Don't give yourself away! This unit explores the concepts of identity, at-risk behaviors and safety online. The graphics are Nickelodeon style. A short quiz assesses learning. For the entire series, check out: http://powertolearn.com/internet_smarts/interactive_case_studies/index.shtml
One of eight interactive case studies for kids (GR 4-8) from Cable In the Classroom: Power to Learn. These days, what goes up online, often stays online. It may not be where it was initially posted, or in the same format, or it may disappear and resurface somewhere else - even though it's digital, it can still be permanent. Ensure that what you post won't get you in trouble or affect the online impression you make. This unit explores the concept of "digital footprint". The graphics are Nickelodeon style. Topics are presented for student debate. For the entire series, check out: http://powertolearn.com/internet_smarts/interactive_case_studies/index.shtml
One of eight interactive case studies for kids (GR 4-8) from Cable In the Classroom: Power to Learn. Harassment and humiliation take on new forms in Cyberspace. Learn about the consequences, actions and reactions of using cell phones, the Internet and other digital devices to bully one's peers. This unit explores cyberbullying and the offline consequences for online actions. The graphics are Nickelodeon style. A short quiz assesses understanding. For the entire series, check out: http://powertolearn.com/internet_smarts/interactive_case_studies/index.shtml
One of eight interactive case studies for kids (GR 4-8) from Cable In the Classroom: Power to Learn. With no central authority or librarian to help students separate valid information from junk online, assessing the credibility of a site is an important part doing internet research. This unit explores evaluation of web sites and other online resources for authenticity. The graphics are Nickelodeon style. There is a quiz on spoof sites. For the entire series, check out: http://powertolearn.com/internet_smarts/interactive_case_studies/index.shtml
One of eight interactive case studies for kids (GR 4-8) from Cable In the Classroom: Power to Learn. Establishing basic guidelines for Internet use is the first step in ensuring students' online safety. Learn what information should and shouldn't be shared online and appropriate interaction with online "friends." This unit explores the concepts of privacy in social networking destinations, the importance of being honest but not revealing too much information. The graphics are Nickelodeon style. A template allows students to create class rules. For the entire series, check out: http://powertolearn.com/internet_smarts/interactive_case_studies/index.shtml
One of eight interactive case studies for kids (GR 4-8) from Cable In the Classroom: Power to Learn. Educating students about the legal and ethical aspects of illegal downloading offers the best opportunity to minimize the ethics gap which allows otherwise law-abiding kids to break the rules. Case studies are explored. Students are asked to develop an essay question. The graphics are Nickelodeon style. For the entire series, check out: http://powertolearn.com/internet_smarts/interactive_case_studies/index.shtml
One of eight interactive case studies for kids (GR 4-8) from Cable In the Classroom: Power to Learn. Understanding the fair use exemption to copyright law is critical for students who routinely mine the Internet for digital media for class projects, research papers, and other educational purposes. This unit focuses on copyright and fair use. Case studies are explored. Students are asked to develop an essay question. The graphics are Nickelodeon style. For the entire series, check out: http://powertolearn.com/internet_smarts/interactive_case_studies/index.shtml
ImageStamper is a free tool for keeping dated, independently verified copies of license conditions associated with creative commons images. You can use it to safeguard your use of free images from license changes, or to prove you are the original image creator.
FaceBook Safety Center - a revamped help portal featuring educational information for users, with sections dedicated to parents, teens, teachers and law enforcement professionals. The educator section contains quick and helpful advice for administrators, including advice for teacher accounts and removing student profiles that are harmful in intent.
What happens if someone posts an unflattering, or worse, a scandalous or compromising picture of you on Facebook? What are your rights? That's a sensitivity that we need to start nurturing by training our kids -- and our employees -- to use online tools responsibly', says Anna O'Brian, a PHD student in digital technology. What happens when only some of us know how to use these connective technologies to improve our lives (as opposed to overwhelming ourselves even more). In other words, what happens when only a small portion of online users is actually digitally literate?
Computer scientists and policy experts say that such seemingly innocuous bits of self-revelation can increasingly be collected and reassembled by computers to help create a picture of a person’s identity, sometimes down to the Social Security number.
Smokescreen is a cutting-edge game about life online. We all use Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and MSN to keep up with our mates - and we've all heard the stories about parties on Facebook being mobbed, or people getting stalked on MSN. The question is, what would you do if it happened to you?
Over 13 missions, Smokescreen follows the story of Max Winston and Cal Godfrey, two mates who've set up an exclusive social network called White Smoke. After Cal's involved in a car accident and falls into a coma, White Smoke becomes huge - and starts attracting huge problems. Each mission sees you explore the world of White Smoke, and find out who you can trust - and who you can't.
Thematic unit on digital citizenship for students in middle school aged 10-14. For this unit we have broken it into two weeks. Week one will be on plagiarism, copyright, and creative commons. Week two will be on online etiquette and cyberbullying. The students will learn about each theme over a course of days. After the two themes have been examined, students will complete a final project related to the goals.
Recent surveys suggest that approximately 70% of employers are using Facebook to screen potential employees — even more than those who check LinkedIn, a strictly professional social networking site. Don't make these Facebook faux-pas — they might cost you a great opportunity.
Like many photographers I enjoy people viewing my pictures, but I don’t appreciate people using my images without permission, again by this I don’t mean when someone uses my images and gives me proper credit and links back to this site, that is ok and encouraged. What I mean by “without permission” is when they pass it as their own or use it for profit without compensating me and asking for permission.
For a wide range of topics/resources on Digital Citizenship, check Diigo List. All resources have been tagged and cataloged from the entries found in the AD4DCSS Diigo Group on Digital Citizenship. This just makes them easier to find.
Salt Lake City's Granite School District is expected to approve a new policy this month barring students and teachers from connecting on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The policy - the first of its kind in Utah - provides an exemption for teachers' sites that are educational, not personal. Officials said there was no specific incident that spurred the new guidelines. But with the popularity of social networking sites in schools, Granite wants to eliminate any gray areas when it comes to teacher-student interaction, district spokesman Ben Horsley said. "The reality is if someone is going to interact inappropriately with a student, there's certainly lots of technology out there that can help them get around those rules and guidelines in a very nonpublic way," Horsley said. "This gives us some tools to move forward on a disciplinary track."
In answering the famous Twitter question “What’s happening?” we can tune in to the world around us; from grocery shopping to attending a business function, we can now share both our personal thoughts and literal happenings. Now, with the rise of “location-based social networks” the “What’s happening?” suddenly becomes the question “Where are you?” giving transparency a whole new meaning. Currently leading the pack is Foursquare.com.
A teen has sued his mother for harassment after she logged into his Facebook account and changed content. He also claims she's made "slanderous" comments about him in Facebook as well. It's important to note that this 16-year-old lives with his grandmother and not his mother, and that he appears to be old enough to drive in his home state of Arkansas.
Finally, there's something Google and Microsoft can agree on: Our electronic privacy protections are in serious need of an overhaul. They, along with Intel, AOL, AT&T, the ACLU, and a dozen other household names, have formed the Digital Due Process coalition, aimed at urging Congress to modernize the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) -- the only thing keeping Johnny Law from pawing through your digital life.
At Google, we pursue ideas and products that often push the limits of existing technology. As a company that acts responsibly, we work hard to make sure any innovation is balanced with the appropriate level of privacy and security for our users. Our Privacy Principles help guide decisions we make at every level of our company, so we can help protect and empower our users while we fulfill our ongoing mission to organize the world's information.
10 suggestions for how adults can improve social networking sites for kids.
I was recently interviewed by a local high school student named Julian for his research project about the impact of social network sites on society. I always enjoy being interviewed by teens and end up learning something in the process. Julian asked a question that I have been thinking about since we spoke: "What can adults do to improve social network sites for kids?"