Posted in 21st century job hunting, 21st Century life, anonymity, anonymous apps, apps, citizenship, conversations on commenting, cyber-bullying, digital citizenship, digital parenting, educating digital natives, family conversations, parents and technology

Teach Children About Anonymity Before They Make Mistakes

childing typingAnonymity presents digital kids with a complicated social obstacle — one they must confront and understand if they are to protect themselves from potential problems. Digital anonymity is not a friendly concept for growing children. I’d argue, in fact, that it’s downright dangerous, but app makers continue to offer the feature. For now these apps are a part of many digital kids’ daily lives, often negatively affecting their digital wellness.

No child with a connected device is immune from possible trouble caused by anonymity, because issues can arise in an instant, often as a part of routine online social interactions. Anonymous opportunities take advantage of kids’ developing brains, encouraging them to make public mistakes in judgment, and enabling young people, sometimes as young as third or fourth grade, to act and communicate with less and less restraint. A mistake made with an app’s anonymity feature can be hurtful or humiliating.

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Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century parenting, blogging, commenting, conversations on commenting, digital footprints, family conversations, parents and technology

Encouraging Digital Kids to Write Polished Comments

commenting sprialPart of becoming a strong 21st Century digital learner is mastering the art of writing and sharing comments online.

If you read comments at the end of articles or blog postings — even at some of the respected newspapers and magazines — you have surely discovered more than a few inappropriate and sometimes distasteful remarks. Sometimes people leave these comments anonymously — individuals who do not understand why websites invite visitors to share thoughts and ideas. Sadly, many unfiltered remarks are permanently attached to websites — personal indiscretions (digital footprints) waiting for the whole world to discover. Even leaving an anonymous comment is not particularly secure, though many people — kids and adults — think they are off the hook and hiding when they leave comments without a name attached.

Read a short post and watch a video on newspaper comments, uploaded by the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard. Some newspapers sites, such as the Boston Globehave updated their policies and now post a short and succinct comment policy that tells users what the publication expects from comment writers.

Helping your child avoid public website blunders, not to mention future humiliation, is one reason to discuss commenting etiquette on a regular basis. Children don’t know or they forget that all comments leave digital footprint trails, little paths of information that last much longer than a child’s pre-adolescent and even teenage years.

Confusion arises because many children first encounter commenting opportunities in places where adult supervision is scarce. As a result an impulsive idea can beat out good common sense even when a child knows better. Bottom line — response and commenting areas are not places to leave nasty, sarcastic, rude, or hateful conversation.

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Posted in conversations on commenting, digital footprints, digital learning, digital parenting, digital world conversations, family conversations, parents and technology

Encouraging Digital Kids to Write Polished Comments

Comment

Part of becoming a strong 21st Century digital learner is mastering the art of writing and sharing comments online.

If you read comments at the end of articles or blog postings, you have surely discovered more than a few inappropriate and sometimes distasteful remarks. Sometimes people leave these comments anonymously. Posted by folks who do not understand why websites invite visitors to share thoughts and ideas, many unfiltered remarks are permanently attached to websites — personal indiscretions waiting for the whole world to discover. Even leaving an anonymous comment is not particularly secure.

Read a short post and watch a video on newspaper comments, uploaded by the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard. Some newspapers sites, such as the Boston Globe, post a short and succinct comment policy with a link to a more detailed document.

Helping children avoid public website blunders is one reason to discuss commenting etiquette. Children don’t know or they forget that all comments leave digital footprint trails, little paths of information that last much longer than a child’s pre-adolescent and even teenage years.

Continue reading “Encouraging Digital Kids to Write Polished Comments”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, acceptable use, conversations on commenting, digital citizenship, electronic communication, interesting research, parents and technology, social media, social networking, teaching digital kids

Online Etiquette Not the Greatest

 Check out the May 13, 2012 post, Online Etiquette Lacking, Study Finds, over at the  Techlicious blog

Writer Christina DesMarais describes a study that identifies irritating digital world behaviors such as communicating at inappropriate times, sharing too much information, and highly negative commenting — all related to our increasing use of 21st Century social media.

This article is filled with digital world conversation starters that parents and teachers can use to begin discussions about ethics, privacy, and security.

Also, you can check out my related post, Conversations About Commenting.

Posted in commenting, conversations on commenting, digital citizenship, digital parenting, electronic communication, parents and technology

The Public Forum, Facebook, and Democracy

Visit the U.S. Capitol — a symbol of our democracy.

Read Social Media — The Public Space on Steroids, a May 4, 2012 opinion piece in the Seattle Times.

Today, as everyone is talks about the public stock offering and it’s worth, writer Taso Legos examines the value of Facebook as a societal public space that enables people to share ideas and speak up. Without a doubt, face-to-face communication is occurring less and less in coffee houses and community centers, but we are all aware of that aspect of our 21st Century virtual world communication bargain.

I wonder, though, about what is the best balance between face-to-face and electronic communication — the best to ensure a vibrant democratic process. It’s up to parents and teachers of digital kids to help identify the right balance.

Most Interesting Quotes

We engage more in the public sphere because it has never been easier to do so.

… the new electronic public sphere offers instantaneous dialogue with little time for reflection. Democracy is thus now on steroids and this speeding up affects how we make decisions.

If you enjoyed this post, you might want to read, Conversations on Commenting.

Posted in 21st Century Learning, commenting, conversations on commenting, cyber-bullying, digital citizenship, digital parenting, family conversations, parent education, parents and technology

Removing Racist and Hateful Comments: A Simple Relevancy Test

Click to hear Tyler’s dad reading a statement after the jury returned its verdict.

After the jury announced its verdict in New Jersey I watched Associated Press video statement read by Tyler Clementi’s father. Sad and clearly with a heavy heart, he nevertheless looked to the future in a way that most of us could not have done had we lost a child the way he lost Tyler. Then I glanced down at the YouTube comments — just about every one included a gay slur or offensive language, and I was disgusted. The comments were not relevant.

Racist and hateful online comments demean writers, video-makers, and people who thoughtfully share digital content. It’s becoming tiresome. Masquerading as run-of-the-mill responses at the end of articles and videos – they are actually cyber-bullies’ remarks left here and there with the goal of offending and hurting others. The time has long past for comment and blog editors everywhere  — but especially at Google’s YouTube — to set up and enforce guidelines.

I know that the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of speech; however, it’s not freedom of speech we are observing but freedom to run off at the mouth and bully others in ways that are not relevant to the content. As a result we are teaching all sorts of silent lessons — the kind we don’t really intend to teach to young people as they grow up.

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