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.
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.
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.