The very best part of my job is talking to kids about how to stay safe online. I have to give a shout out to Forsyth School for inviting me to spend time with their 5th and 6th graders this week – what an amazing bunch of kids!!! (Their parents and teachers are pretty cool too)
As hard as I try, I can’t keep up with every new gadget or app or site, but when I talk to kids they tell me what’s going on and help me learn. You see – this whole safety thing really is about us looking out for each other – and talking!!! They knew all of the standard things about not sharing personal information, or talking to strangers, or being mean online. But what we really talked about is sometimes we forget, or we don’t think, and we do share information, or we do post pictures we shouldn’t or we trust other people online and sometimes – not on purpose, but sometimes we are mean.
So what do we do about it? We stop and clean up our act and we move forward as better people. We remember that we live in this Internet World and we owe it to each other to be good digital citizens. If that sounds kind of naïve and goody-two-shoes, I’m okay with that. You see when I look at those innocent faces and know they trust us to keep the world safe for them – I’m good with reminding the rest of us that it’s our job to be kind – online and off. And it’s time we start.
We’ve put together this guide Some helpful how-to hints for parents to help you navigate some of the new apps and as a way to start the discussion with your kids about how to use these sites. I update this handout frequently and will repost it here when I update. I welcome suggestions and hints from all of you too. Send them in and I’ll add it to the list. Let’s face it – we’re in this together.
Forsyth – thanks for making my week!!! You guys keep up the good work – I’m proud of you!
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