Public schools tend to shy away from social media, sometimes violently. On the other hand, the world is moving rapidly in that direction. Nearly every aspect of life is impacted by social media and the digital world. We do our students a disservice by not preparing them for the digital life they will be exposed to when outside of school. We need to prepare out kids for the real world.
Students spend a great deal of their lives online. In my experience they are woefully unprepared for the dangers they are exposed to. People, for example, who live in a large urban area, become used to the threats they face daily. They know instinctively when to cross streets or in what areas of town they can go alone at night. The Internet is the biggest city ever conceived. It contains many of the same types of threats. Just because people are not physically threatened it does not mean that the threats are not real and the damage they do inconsequential. Students need to learn what to watch for.
Parents are not adequately preparing their kids for the digital world. It is not a lack of concern on their part, but a lack of knowledge. This blog, for the next few issues, will provide some resources for parents to aid them in ‘net proofing their kids. With any luck at all, someone will read this article who has issues with children, especially teens, getting into situations online.
Probably the most useful piece of advice I can give is “Know What Your Kids Are Doing Online”. I am willing to bet that 75% of teens in Whitesboro have a social media account that Mom and Dad know nothing about. You need to involve yourself in your kids’ lives. Know their friends. Know where they hang out. Yes, they will hate you. They will accuse you of snooping into their lives. They will make all sorts of dire and dramatic pronouncements about your impact on their social lives and standing in the community. They will stay safe.
Stay tuned for more but in the meantime, if you have questions about anything in particular, please leave a comment below.