“Youth Safety on a Living Internet”: Report of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group

The “Youth Safety on a Living Internet” report from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s  Online Safety and Working Technology Group, released Friday, June 4, advises that scare tactics related to online safety and blocked access to social networking sites is detrimental and does more harm than good to youth.   The findings of this report bolsters the efforts of librarians and educators to fight restrictive filtering policies that block students’ access to  content that can be used to help youth access, read, write, and interact with multiple forms of media via the web.

According to Larry Magid, Technology Journalist for the Huffington Post and member of this task force:

” What we concluded is that we need to go beyond worrying about predators and pornography and start thinking about young people as active participants – true citizens – in an increasingly interactive online environment where young people are just as likely to create content as they are to consume it.”

Take the Plunge Integrate Social Media Into the Classroom

Thinking of using social media to aid with teaching and learning? But not sure where to start?  There is a great post over at Mashable with 4 Tips for Integrating Social Media Into the Classroom

1. Let Down the Filters, Cautiously

52% of schools said they prohibit any use of social networking sites on campus. Some districts are working toward making those sites more accessible to students, but they need an educational justification to do so while ensuring usage won’t be abused.

2. Add “Digital Citizenship” to the Curriculum

Susan Brooks Young, a former educator who is now a technology consultant for schools, likens children’s social media usage to driving; neither activities are going away. “We really guide them through the process of driving to make it as safe as we can. Social media in a lot of ways parallels that. You would never just give that child a set of car keys.”

3. Keep One Eye on Student Conduct, the Other on the Law

Many states have laws giving schools authority over off-campus conduct if it disrupts in-school instruction. Francine Ward, a California-based lawyer specializing in social media issues, expects the number of cases involving social media use and schools to climb in the next few years. The best way to get ahead of this is to amend every school’s “Code of Conduct” to include online activity, if only to have a policy in place when something does erupt. Adding social media policy to student handbooks sends a message that schools take online usage seriously.

4. Teach With Social Media

A 2009 survey commissioned by PBS shows digital and social media use by teachers is on the rise, but social media usage in classes lags behind other types of media. While 76% of American K-12 teachers say they use digital media in class, only 29% say they use a social networking site or social media community for instruction.

Read more:

Creative Commons licensed photo used courtesy of My Silent Side

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 272 other followers

%d bloggers like this: