Posted in digital citizenship, digital parenting, parent education, parents and technology

Help! What’s that Internet Term? M!T!P! Blog Excursion-10/5/10

Click to go to GetNetWise.

So you are online, and you see a term you do not understand — aggregator, for instance or secure socket layer (SSL). How about TRUSTe? No need to despair. Instead, when you discover an unfamiliar word go to  GetNetWise and visit the Internet glossary.

Although your digital children whiz confidently around the virtual world (probably too confidently, from your perspective), it’s likely that they don’t know many of these terms either. Make it your business to learn about them and have fun demonstrating your knowledge.

The site also features a Tools for Families database to help parents search for filters, blockers, monitors and other tools to assist families craft home Internet environments. You can also check out the GetNetWise blog.

Posted in online safety, parents and technology, risky behavior, social networking

Modifying Adolescent Risky Behavior on Social Networking Sites

The impulse-driven and wild-West environment of social networking sites encourages pre-adolescents and adolescents to “publicly display references to behaviors that are both personal and associated with health risks, such as sexual behaviors.” This article, Reducing At-Risk Adolescents’ Display of Risk Behavior on a Social Networking Web Site, published in the January 2009 Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine is a riveting journal article.

Of interest to parents, the article reports how a physician researched at-risk behavior concerning sex or substance abuse openly posted by teenagers on social networking sites. Although it contains some complex statistics and research language, the article is available free for downloading and worth the time it takes to read.

A pediatrician, at the time of the research from the University of Washington Medical School, Megan A. Moreno, MD, M.S.Ed, MPH (Dr. Meg), identified public adolescent social networking profiles that featured risky behavior. She wondered whether hearing directly from a physician via e-mail about risky behaviors depicted on the social networking sites might influence how the young people represented themselves on-line and might perhaps encourage them to make healthy changes in their profiles.

Continue reading “Modifying Adolescent Risky Behavior on Social Networking Sites”

Posted in digital citizenship, digital parenting, online safety

Protecting Personal Information: The Jigsaw Puzzle Metaphor

Parents can use the jigsaw puzzle metaphor to illustrate how easily one online person can gather personal information about another individual.

In the digital world just two revealed personal facts provide enough information to help someone figure out and learn more about a person. While today’s online kids all know not to share a combined first and last name, they are less savvy about combinations such as a first name and an athletic team or school identification — details that can be combined and used to identify even more information about a child.

The jigsaw metaphor, which I’ve used for years with fourth and fifth grade students, concretely illustrates how it’s possible to figure out information.

Continue reading “Protecting Personal Information: The Jigsaw Puzzle Metaphor”