Last Monday I read three powerful articles, and they fit together like a puzzle. They illustrate how a generational digital divide accentuates adolescent virtual world problems — a result of the contradictory digital perceptions of teens and adults.
POISONED WEB: A Girl’s Nude Photo and Altered Lives, appeared in the New York Times. The article describes how small, teenage misjudgments in the unsupervised world of instant web, smartphones, and cyber-bullying, can magnify hate and cause terrible pain. Reporter Jan Hoffman quotes adults who wish they had supervised more carefully and pledge to do more in the future. I wondered, as I often do when I read these articles, what leads adults not to supervise in the first place? Reading about the teachers, administrators, and officials who attempted to create opportunities for growth and learning out of the senseless hurt and cruelty was a highlight of the article.
Are We Ready to Stop Labeling Ourselves Digital Immigrants? — an amazing and thoughtful post at A Space for Learning, gets to the heart of the digital divide issue. The author writes: Continue reading “Pediatricians, Parents, and Digital Kids, Part II”
Over at Net Family News, Ann Collier has provided a superb summary of the Bullying Prevention Summit held last Thursday at the White House. Her blog post, Takeaways from the Bullying Prevention Summit, includes a list of presenters, links to organizations that are working on national plans to deal with cyberbullying, and a list of federal government initiatives.
Early in January 2011 this blog published a short post, Bullying and Cyberbullying: Myths and Reality, describing an Washington Post article, Five Myths About Bullying by one of the summit presenters, Susan Swearer-Napolitano. Swearer, a professor at the University of Nebraska, co-authored the book, Bullying Prevention and Intervention (under the name Susan M. Swearer).
Other Articles About the Bullying Prevention Summit
Trend Micro, a web security firm, devotes a part of the company’s website to Internet Safety for Families and Kids. The section is well-organized and topical so a visitor can quickly scan a list of subjects to find tips, links to organizations that support digital citizenship, and an internet safety and citizenship resources library that includes a wide range of documents available downloading and sharing. Topics include Safety Tips for Social Networking, three short videos on social networking, and A Safety Guide for Web Threats. These and other documents can be used as handouts for parent organizations and discussion groups, or just shared during those parent-child conversations that are so necessary in today’s digital world.
Continue reading “Trend Micro’s Family Internet Safety and Citizenship Site”
I’ve been keeping Dr. Gwen Schurgin-Okeeffe’s (AKA Dr. Gwenn) book close by for several months now. Cybersafe: Protecting and Empowering Kids in the Digital World of Texting, Gaming, and Social Media is chock-full of helpful information and advice, juxtaposing the need to empower as well as protect today’s children in the always-expanding virtual world where they live. I’ve read the entire book, and I highly recommend CyberSafe to a people who are planning school book fairs and searching for a book that addresses technology and parenting. For parents who are seeking a broad overview of digital age parenting, CyberSafe, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is the current best bet.
This week Dr. Schurgin’s book is juxtaposed in my mind with the December 5, 2010 New York Times article, As Bullies Go Digital, Parents Play Catch-Up. The piece, by reporter Jan Hoffman, focuses on what parents are doing – and not doing – to make the digital world, and especially potential cyber-bullying, less treacherous for their children. My technology colleague, Bruce, sent me what he felt were the most important thoughts in the New York Times article. I’ve posted these quotes below. Continue reading “Keeping Track? Adolescents in the Digital Age”